Taking care of your pet means understanding when something is wrong with them. Kidney disease is a condition that is common in aging pets with approximately ten percent of dogs developing some sort of kidney disease. Unfortunately, this condition is also closely linked to dehydration in pets. To understand the link between pet dehydration and kidney failure, let’s take a closer look at just what the kidneys do for our dogs:
What Do The Kidneys Do?
The kidneys are important organs that perform a number of functions when they are healthy. They are designed to filter the blood, process any protein wastes, balance body water, and maintain red blood cells. Kidney disease can mean that any one or more of these functions is drastically impacted.
Most of the time, you will not notice that anything is wrong with your pet until the kidneys are functioning well below their capacity. In fact, most dogs do not show symptoms that their kidneys aren’t functioning until they are at approximately 33 percent or less of their capacity.
Early Signs Of Kidney Disease
One of the earliest signs of kidney disease is a marked increase in drinking and urination. Dogs often drink copious amounts of water which is often referred to as polydipsia. Of course, this is logically followed by excessive urination (polyuria). It becomes most apparent when your dog begins to have accidents during the nighttime when he or she was previously able to hold their bladder for a solid night’s sleep. The reason that your dog is so incredibly thirsty is due to the increased fluid loss in the urine.
Later Stages Of Kidney Disease
As kidney disease progresses, you are likely to see a more concerning issue than polydipsia and polyuria. Most dogs become extremely lethargic with a poor appetite. You may even find that they vomit more frequently. If they are vomiting, it may closely resemble coffee grounds because they are throwing up digested blood. When your dog reaches severe kidney failure, you may actually notice that the level of urine decreases. Eventually, they may cease to urinate at all. They may not even be able to pass normal stools. Expect to see black stool that closely resembles tar.
Dehydration As A Cause
While dehydration is often a symptom of kidney disease, it can also be a cause. Extreme dehydration that is caused by severe vomiting or diarrhea can also contribute to new or worsening kidney failure. These two activities decrease the blood flow through the kidneys and actually cause long-term damage.
Taking Care Of Kidney Failure
When it comes to taking care of your pet’s kidney failure, you need to make sure that you are in the right hands. A pet care specialist can help you to make the right choices for your family and your furry friend. At Allure Integrated Pet Specialists, we will make you feel right at home as we work hard to treat your pets as if they were our own.