Dogs get sick from parasites, viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungus. In some cases, these diseases and infestations are fatal without thought early and treated. Sometimes they sow the seeds of death or debilitation years down the road by causing chronic illness or damaging organs.
The term "chronic kidney failure" suggests that the kidneys have quit working and are, therefore, not making urine. The typical form of chronic kidney failure is the result of aging; It is simply a "wearing out" process. The age of sunset is related to the size of the dog. For most small dogs, the early signs occur at about 8-14 years of age. Large dogs have a shorter age span and may go into kidney failure as early as seven years of age.
Causes of acute kidney disease
o Trauma – Any type of trauma that causes the blood pressure to fall dramatically, such as shock and blood loss from being hit by a car.
o Disease – Leptospirosis (a type of bacteria), fungal infections, heart disease
o Poison – Ingestion of antifreeze or rat poison
o Medication – Certain antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs
When aging causes the filtration process to become inefficient and ineffective, blood flow to the kidneys is increased in an attempt to increase filtration. The clinical signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, and very bad breath.
The diagnosis of kidney failure is made by determining the level of two waste products in the blood: blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and blood creatinine. The urinalysis is also needed to complete the study of kidney function.
In some cases, the kidneys are worn out so that they can not be revived. However, with aggressive treatment many dogs will live for several more months or years.
Treatments – Treatments for acute kidney disease focus primarily on terracing the underlying cause first. Other therapies may include:
IV fluids – Helps to remove toxins from the body
If treating the underlying cause and IV fluids are not enough, temporary dialysis may be used to eliminate toxins from the body, giving the dog's kidneys a chance to heal. For peritoneal dialysis, fluid is injected into the belly and later drawn back out to help remove toxins. In hemodialysis, a machine is used to filter the toxins from the bloodstream. Hemodialysis is quite expensive and not all veterinary facilities are equipped to provide this treatment.
To get help with your dog and any health issues, contact your local veterinarian. He or she can often recommend treatments, care tips and even books for further learning on the subject. Health books for dogs are also available in local pet stores as well as online at popular websites like Amazon and Ebay. Simply search keywords phrases in their individual search engines like, "dog diseases" or "dog healthcare" and then review listings that turn up. Also search top search engines like Google and Yahoo in a similar manner for websites and other resources.