Dogs can experience any number of diseases and ailments throughout their lives, and one of the most severe can be kidney disease. Since the kidneys are responsible for removing waste from the dog’s system kidney disease is considered serious no matter how minor it seems.
Loss of appetite can point to a kidney disease, but loss of appetite can also signal other diseases as well. That’s why it’s important to get regular physical checkups for your dog. Another sign that your dog may have developed a kidney disorder is increased urination or failure to urinate. Lack of urination is especially disconcerting, and should be examined immediately upon noticing the problem.
Kidney diseases often hide and go unnoticed by the owners because many of the symptoms seem mild. And, kidney disease can develop all of a sudden, or take years to manifest. There are two different types of kidney disease: chronic, which means it has taken a period of time for the dog to show signs of the ailment, and acute, which means the symptoms came on suddenly.
Chronic kidney disease in dogs can be caused by hereditary issues, nutritional factors, or immune system troubles. Acute kidney disease is normally caused by shock, surgical stress, some type of trauma, blood loss, dehydration, ingestion of poisons, or an infection.
Chronic kidney failure can develop and it is not to be reversed. Acute kidney problems can be treated and the progression of the disease stopped, in most cases. With acute kidney disease many dogs recover to live a long, healthy life, if the disease is recognized and treated timely.
The most common symptoms of a kidney disease that is just beginning to show itself are loss of appetite, loss of energy, and increased thirst. Urination problems are also usually present and can range from mild to severe.
Any time your dog seems to be behaving differently, whether it’s sleeping too much or yelping when he stands or lays, it’s time to see the vet. Some people write these things off to the dog just being tired or having played too hard, but that’s rarely the case, especially if symptoms continue.
The earlier you recognize and treat kidney disease in a dog, the better off he’ll be, health-wise. Get regular checkups for your dog, and report to the vet any time the dog seems to be acting differently. It’s better to be on the safe side and receive a clean bill of health, than to put off seeing the vet and lose your best friend to something so horrible as kidney disease.