What Is Kidney Disease?

What Is Kidney Disease?


Just like people, animals are susceptible to illness and stress. And, just like people, there is a lot you can do to keep them healthy.

We noticed that our dog , Berti, was drinking more water. Not just once, but several days in a row. We knew that excess thirst can be a sign of illness, so we took Berti to our veterinarian for tests. Blood and urine tests showed that Berti was OK, but our vet explained that the early stages of acute kidney disease can look similar. This occurrence made me do a research about kidney disease, because if you discover this illness early enough you still have a chance to help your dog.

What Is Kidney Disease?

Briefly, kidneys filter and remove waste material from the blood stream. They also regulate the volume and composition of your pet’s body fluids.

There are two types of kidney disease:

Acute – a sudden loss of kidney functioning which is sometimes reversible, and
Chronic – a loss of kidney function that occurs gradually over time. Chronic kidney disease is often progressive, be that as it may, depending on the basic reason and with watchful management, dogs often live comfortable lives for several years.


The reasons of kidney disease can include genetic defects, infections, exposure to a toxic environment and simply aging. Despite the fact that the reason for kidney disease can be hard to determine, with careful testing by your veterinarian, the illness can often be managed. Most medications are aimed at diminishing the workload of the kidneys, decreasing the seriousness of symptoms, and slowing the progression of the disease.

What Are Its Symptoms?

If the illness has undermined the kidney’s capacity to perform properly, waste materials gather in the blood. Signs that could show a potential kidney problem include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination or increased volume
  • Poor hair coat
  • Depression and/or vomiting

What You Can Do To Prevent Kidney Disease?

While kidney disease is most often found in older dogs and cats, even young animals can be affected. And keeping in mind that the illness isn’t generally preventable, there ARE things you can do to help minimize the odds of your dog developing the malady, such as:

  • Feeding the best quality dog or cat food you can
  • Providing continual access to clean, fresh water
  • Eliminating toxic materials from the home
  • Maintaining a low stress lifestyle
  • Regular veterinary care to detect potential issues as soon as possible

You are your dog’s day by day detective and advocate. You are your animal’s best chance for receiving medical treatment when the problem is still at an early stage and treatment is most successful. It is always better to prevent a disease, or to treat it early, than to have to treat it after it has become advanced.

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  1. Our beloved Jack Russell who weighed about 7kg suffered kidney damage & enlarged liver after a serious infection. She was about 12 years old and on IV fluids. Our Vet recommended 1/2 tablet (200mg) SAM-e daily. In the USA SAM-e is considered nut-job medicine but I understand in Europe it has a lot more respect.. If I remember correctly I bought 2 packages and she was on it for about 3 months. She lived to be 18 and died of a heart attack while jumping on the table to steal an unattended meal. You might want to ask your Vet about if for Berti.

  2. I lost my beloved Pomeranian, Tigger, to renal failure, CAUSED BY dehydrated chicken strips from China. This was confirmed by his vet. Beware of similar treats like this, even if pkg. says made in Canada or the USA, as the ingredients may be imported still rendering the product toxic.

  3. If you do some research you will see this is not an isolated case. Thousands of dogs have succumb to renal failure as a result of ingesting these kinds of treats. It was believed to be because of melamine in the treats, however it was never confirmed which would leave me to believe they covered it up.

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