How To Treat Acute Renal Failure in Dogs

Kidneys have an important role in keeping dogs alive and healthy. When kidneys suddenly fail due to poisoning, infections, dehydration, and illnesses, dogs may develop acute renal failure. Though acute renal failure is a serious condition, it may be treated.

  • Observe your dog for signs of acute renal failure. Kidneys regulate the fluid in a dog’s body and clean the dog’s blood. When kidneys don’t work properly, the whole body suffers. Notice if your dog is in pain, moving sluggishly, urinating more often, thirsty more often or if it loses its appetite more often. These are acute renal failure symptoms. Go to the vet and make the dog undergo blood and urine tests to confirm the presence of acute renal failure.  
  • Remove the poison. If the dog has ingested poison that has caused his kidneys to fail, vomiting may be induced to remove the poison from the body before it creates further damage. The dog’s stomach may be pumped if the poison isn’t removed adequately. When the poison remains in the dog’s blood stream, dialysis should be done to clean the blood.  
  • Eliminate infections. Lab tests are done to determine what bacteria are causing the kidneys to cease functioning. After determining the type of bacteria, antibiotics are given to the dog to kill the offending organisms. Testing is important because some bacteria are resistant to certain types of antibiotics.  
  • Correct your fluid and electrolyte imbalance. Fluids in the dog’s body transport electrolytes and nutrients that are responsible for the proper functioning of the different body parts. Fluids perform several vital functions such as regulate body temperature and blood pressure. When fluid levels are altered, complications may result such as dehydration, shock, weakening of the organs, and so on. Blood tests and urine tests are taken to determine what fluids and electrolytes are out of balance, and intravenous transfusion is given to the dog to correct it.  
  • Treat the symptoms. Acute renal failure brings a lot of discomforts to the dog. Medication may be prescribed by the vet to alleviate pain, vomiting, dizziness, and the like. If the dog’s blood pressure is abnormal, medications are given to normalize it. Make sure you give medications properly. The dog must receive the correct medication at right amounts and at the right times.  
  • Give the correct diet. The recommended foods are those that are low in protein, salt and fat. These substances are processed in the kidneys. In the current state of the kidneys, it’s possible that these aren’t processed adequately, thus kidney stones or even blood poisoning may develop. The vet will give you a list of foods to give. Vitamins may also be given to compensate for lost nutrients.  
  • Avoid stress. The dog’s body needs all its strength to recover from the illness. Avoid putting your dog under unnecessary stress and make life more comfortable for it.  
  • Undergo dialysis. A dialysis is done to replace the kidney’s function. This is done when other treatments fail and the acute renal failure is severe. Dialysis involves connecting a dialysis machine to your dog’s blood vessels so that the machine can purify the blood.  
  • Get a new kidney. When the kidneys are severely damaged, a kidney transplant may be necessary. This is the most costly of all treatments, and is possible only when there’s an available healthy kidney. 

Pay close attention to your dog and see whether the dog is experiencing complications. Prevent the recurrence of acute renal failure by keeping toxic substances away from your dog. Give healthy food and clean water to your dog to improve his health. Most of all, seek advice from a licensed veterinarian, as this article doesn’t function to substitute his advice.


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