5) Age-Related Changes
Unfortunately, as bodies age, organs slow down
. Some will slow down enough to cause failure. The kidneys are one of the most common organs to fail in pets with age
. With failure you may see increase in drinking, urinating, weight loss, and loss of appetite
Diagnosis of Kidney Disease
The most common way to diagnose kidney is by bloodwork. There are certain factors in the bloodwork that are outside normal range that could indicate that there is evidence of kidney disease. The two most common factors are Blood Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine. Other values that are looked at are phosphorus and concentration of the urine.
Treatment of Disease
Treatment and success of the disease depend on the cause of it. Typical treatment usually involves intravenous fluids to help flush the kidneys and bring down the values in serious conditions. Other issues that may have to be addressed may include anemia and high phosphorus levels. There are dogs that may require additional medications such as aluminum hydroxide and a special kidney diet.
Sometimes dogs are sent home with an at home treatment which involves giving fluids under the skin at regular intervals.
Prognosis of Kidney Disease
Prognosis of kidney disease depends on initial cause. With kidney disease caused by toxin ingestion, prognosis will depend on how much of the toxin was ingested and how early it was treated. With age-related changes, treatment can slow down the progress of the disease, but eventually, the dog will succumb to the disease.
Final Thoughts on Kidney Disease
Kidney disease can be challenging and devastating in dogs. Early treatment and diagnosis can be the key to improving the success for this disease. Unfortunately, long-term prognosis may be poor.