The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood and removing toxins in an animals system. Kidney damage may result from several sources, but the aging process is probably the most common reason for this disease. No cure is available but many things can be done to help the pet live a more comfortable life.
The best way to express the reason for kidney failure/disease in an aging pet is that the kidney cells just begin to wear out. Cells are lost throughout the pets life on a gradual basis. As the pet ages and these cells are lost the neighboring cells must work twice as hard to compensate for the loss. As a result, kidney disease may be present long before any visible signs are shown.
Tests can be done to diagnose this problem through blood and urine samples long before symptoms of kidney failure are apparent. Some symptoms include increased water consumption, increased urination and lack of bladder control. Additionally, the dog may lose weight, go off its food, show weakness or vomit.
Once kidney damage has been diagnosed there are several things you can do to minimize the dogs discomfort such as diet management which is very important in dogs with kidney failure. Certain restrictions may include: restricting phosphorus which may help in hormonal and mineral imbalance; restricting proteins which also may help cut out overwork by the kidneys in trying to filter out the protein by-products; sodium restriction is highly recommended since dogs with kidney failure are at high risk for hypertension (high blood pressure); water soluble vitamins, especially B vitamins, can help replace those lost by the damaged kidneys; an increase in potassium is good since the damaged kidneys lose many important vitamins and minerals.
No cure is available but many things can be done to help the pet live a more comfortable life.
Article written and reprinted with permission of: http://www.pedigreedpups.com/
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http://www.pedigreedpups.com is a website offering the best purebred dog breed information, online resources and high-quality dog content for all dog owners, dog lovers and those considering dog ownership. Debbie is the owner of pedigreedpups.com, a dog lover, owner and dog breeder of many years.