Definition of Chronic Renal Failure
Chronic renal failure, sometimes called chronic generalized nephropathy or CRF, is a progressive disease that impacts the kidneys’ ability to do what they’re supposed to do: concentrate urine and remove waste products from blood. The causes of CRF aren’t understood. As dogs age, their kidneys may just wear out. Genetics probably also play a role. Other factors may include exposure to toxins, congenital kidney disorders, bouts of acute renal failure, urinary tract infections, administration of drugs, polycystic kidney disease, lymphoma and diabetes mellitus. CRF causes toxins to build up in the blood. Owners usually don’t notice symptoms until the condition is irreversible. Affected dogs become excessively thirsty, drink lots of water and urinate more than normal. Unfortunately, once signs of CRF appear, the kidneys have lost most of their ability to function. CRF can be managed, but it can’t be cured. It usually worsens with time and ultimately is fatal.