Kidney disease is very common in dogs, and protecting your pooch from kidney disease means you should be prepared to look for problems early. Studies show that 1 in 10 dogs suffer from kidney disease, reports Dr. Celeste Clements. Dogs can get kidney disease for any number of underlying reasons, and even worse, it’s often difficult to spot. Some of the earliest signs of kidney disease in dogs may include subtle weight loss, urinating/peeing more often and drinking a lot more water. Therefore, if you notice your dog is peeing on the floor or asking to go out more, or if your dog is always thirsty, it’s time to visit your veterinarian.
Unfortunately, sometimes once these signs are present, there’s typically already been a great deal of kidney damage. Fortunately, new advances in the veterinary world are making it easier to find kidney disease in dogs earlier (even without signs being present).
What is kidney disease in dogs?
Kidney disease in dogs is notoriously hard to catch early and can have devastating effects on our canine friends. In general, kidney disease (sometimes called “kidney insufficiency or failure”) happens when your dog’s kidneys stop doing their job as well as they should. The kidneys help clean waste products from the blood, if they are not working properly these waste products can build up in the blood. (Learn more about what kidneys do for your dog.) This damage, once done, can be permanent and can be caused by a variety of issues. (Learn more about 10 common causes of kidney disease in dogs.)
Kidney disease in dogs is classified in two primary ways, as:
Learn more about kidney disease in dogs:
Since kidney disease impacts so many dogs and early detection is so critical, it’s a great idea for any dog parent to learn and know everything you can about the disease. We’ve included some in-depth articles about kidney disease in dogs and additional tools below, as well as tips for helping keep your dog’s kidneys as healthy as possible for the long-haul:
Kidney disease quick tips:
- Kidney disease is a leading cause of suffering and death in pets,3 and has been so difficult to combat because it was often not detected until most of the damage was done and permanent.
- Certain factors like kidney stones, urinary tract infections, or other infections, including Lyme disease, or hereditary conditions could make kidney disease more likely.
- Treatment options for advanced kidney disease are usually limited to supporting the kidneys and treating the signs of kidney disease as dialysis and kidney transplants are not readily available for dogs.
- Encouraging your dog to drink more water can help with kidney health
- As dogs age, the likelihood of developing kidney disease increases.
The IDEXX SDMA™ test is a maker of kidney function and can help identify decline in kidney function and disease months to years earlier than previously possible.3[Editor’s Note: IDEXX Laboratories is the parent company of Pet Health Network.] This can allow your veterinarian to take early action to treat some causes of kidney damage, and better support kidney disease.
There’s much more to learn about chronic kidney disease if you want to protect your dog, and having this knowledge is step one in the fight against a disease that has claimed far too many lives. Check out the resources below, and ask your veterinarian what you can be doing to keep your dog healthier, happier and in your life longer.
A new test is available to help detect kidney disease earlier,
ask your veterinarian about the new IDEXX SDMA test.
More Kidney Disease Resources
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.