Kidney disease or damage can be caused by a host of factors, including infection, drugs, or other chemical toxins, trauma, advanced age and even congenital kidney conditions. An annual blood screening test can help identify kidney problems as early as possible so that owners and veterinarians can do their best to manage progression of the disease.
Preventing Kidney Disease in Dogs
One of the most troubling aspects of chronic kidney disease is that affected animals usually do not show clinical signs until after the kidneys have been severely damaged. Once roughly 2/3 of functional kidney tissue is damaged, the only viable “treatment” is supportive care. It can take months to years for the disease to progress to this point. Again, the best prevention is to have your dog get annual blood tests to identify problems with kidney or other organ function at the very earliest opportunity. The importance of these examination increases dramatically as our companion dogs advance in age.
Owners can help manage the risk of kidney disease by feeding their dog a high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet, of course with free access to fresh water. Potential poisons or other toxins should be kept well out of reach of animals, including household cleaners, medication, plants and antifreeze. Owners should pay particular attention if their dog is drinking more water and urinating more frequently than normal, or in greater volume. Dogs that show these signs should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.