Dog Kidney Failure – When to Euthanize?

Pet Health


July 13, 2021

Renal diseases in dogs are likely to occur if they are not fed a good diet. Renal failure is also hereditary in most cases, and occurs at an older age. However, you need to understand the signs of illness and if you can diagnose the problem at its early stages, you can treat your dog.

The best way to ensure your dog’s longevity and health is to make sure that you take it to the vet for regular checkups from time to time. In case an ailment or illness is found, make sure you get treatment right away. Canine kidney failure occurs most commonly in older dog breeds, and can usually go unnoticed for a while.

Understanding Kidney Failure

If you do not observe your dog regularly, you may face a difficult decision later on. Learning the important details about dog kidney failure – when to euthanize – and when to seek treatment, is very important. Renal failure is simply the incapability of the kidneys to function in the right manner. The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood and removing waste substances from it.

Most dogs who suffer from kidney failure tend to pass lots of urine, however, it doesn’t contain the toxic waste from their body. As a result, the toxicity levels in their blood continue to rise up. The disease continues to progress over time, and usually starts from poisoning. Many dogs tend to suffer from acute kidney failure because they are exposed to toxins such as antifreeze. These can lead to serious problems in the future.

As the kidney problems continue to worsen, the amount of oxygen delivered to the dog’s kidneys decreases, along with the flow of blood. The blood and urine are not being cleaned properly, so it could lead to kidney infections. Over the long-term, this damage is usually irreversible, and while there are medications that can be used to treat the problem, your only option might be to euthanize the dog. Most vets give antibiotics or chemotherapy drugs for treatment.

Understanding the Symptoms

One of the clearest signs of a kidney infection in dogs is when the dog suddenly starts drinking more and more water. As a result of the excessive drinking, they also urinate more than normal. The kidneys don’t function properly, so the body starts using up more and more fluids. There are other symptoms that you need to look out for as well, such as excessive lethargy or sleeping times.

Breathing difficulties or a loss of balance while walking are also clear indicators. More importantly, dogs that suffer from renal failure tend to lose weight gradually. You will notice your dog shedding more than normal, and mouth ulcers might start showing up as well. Most dogs have difficulty in keeping their food down, and as a result of that, they tend to vomit or suffer from diarrhea as well.

Their heart rate tends to slow down too, while their blood pressure increases. Uremia is a serious condition that affects dogs who suffer from acute renal failure. In this condition, the quantity of waste products starts to increase in the dog’s body. This can eventually result in acute toxicity as well.

Seeking Treatment

When you first go to the vet and the problem is diagnosed, they are going to recommend changing the dog’s diet. While there’s no way to reverse the damage that’s been caused, a change in diet may slow down the rate at which the kidney is failing. A diet that consists of less phosphorus and low sodium will do the trick. More importantly, the vet might recommend providing anti-inflammatory drugs or supplements that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Both vitamin B and C supplements might be necessary to increase the dog’s appetite and to help in maintaining the average nutrition levels. The vet might also recommend a few ACE inhibitors to reduce stress and improve the dog’s quality of life as well. Acupuncture, for instance, has been shown to improve the animal’s life and also reduces the rate at which the kidney fails.

Keeping Your Dog Comfy

If the renal failure is in its advanced stages, your only option will be to figure out how to keep your dog as comfortable as possible. You will notice a change in the animal’s demeanor as it starts feeling sick. In these moments, there’s not a whole lot that you can do except make the place as loving and as comfortable for the animal. For instance, you will want to start by making sure that the dog has a warm bed, and all of its toys are around it.

You will also want to make sure that play is supervised, so as the animal does not exert itself too much. You will also want to spend as much time as you can with the dog to keep it company. Dogs love to spend time with their owners, so you will want to be there for the animal as much as possible. Also, while ill, the dog might not be able to clean itself properly.

You will want to make sure that you clean the dog, dry its coat, and take care of its brushing and washing too. This is going to ensure that your animal remains clean and has a quiet, comfortable life. Obviously, it can be difficult to euthanize the dog, but you can make sure that the days leading up to the euthanasia are as good as possible for the animal.

The Right Time to Euthanize

If the vet has tried multiple treatments and all of them have failed to yield results, you might want to get in touch with your vet about euthanasia. If you notice your dog spending most of its time in serious distress and pain, it might be a wise idea to think about ending the fight. Many dogs tend to suffer from incontinence as the renal failure worsens, so you will have a big decision on your hands. How much time can you spend with the animal?

You can either get the dog euthanized at home or at the vet’s clinic. You will want to get in touch with a trained and qualified vet who is experienced with euthanasia. You can comfort the dog until the end while the vet administers the injections to peacefully end the dog’s life.