UNDERSTANDING YOUR DOG’S KIDNEY CONDITION

Dogs, just like us, have two kidneys located in the abdomen under the lumbar spine.

The kidneys perform many vital functions including:

Many of these processes occur in tiny filtering units inside the kidneys called nephrons. A healthy kidney contains hundreds of thousands of nephrons. When these nephrons are damaged, the kidneys no longer function properly, leading to the accumulation of toxins in the body.

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Dogs can get a variety of kidney diseases, but the two most common are known as acute kidney disease (AKD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD):

  • In acute kidney disease, there is sudden damage that prevents the kidneys from working properly.
  • In chronic kidney disease, there is a gradual loss of nephrons in the kidney over time. CKD is more common than AKD in dogs.

Chronic kidney disease is most commonly seen in older dogs. It occurs partly due to ageing changes and partly due to other factors that damage the kidneys. Often it is not possible to find out what these others factors are – but sometimes an underlying cause such as infections, tumours or high blood pressure can be found. Chronic kidney disease usually progresses over time and various signs develop as a result.

Many symptoms of CKD arise from the accumulation of toxins in the body that would normally be eliminated through the urine, and through the inability of the kidneys to produce concentrated urine (meaning that your dog will produce larger volumes of urine).

Common signs include:

  • Drinking more and urinating more frequently
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Unusual breath odour

The earlier your veterinarian diagnoses kidney disease, the more effective the treatment is likely to be, that is why it is recommended that you visit your vet at least once a year (or twice a year if your dog is over 7 years of age) for a check-up. Your vet will need to perform blood and urine tests to confirm a diagnosis of CKD. Sometimes an X-ray, ultrasound or even a kidney biopsy may also be suggested.

Treatment is aimed at slowing the progression of the disease and minimising the symptoms so that your dog maintains a good quality of life. Different medications may be needed according to the stage (severity) of the disease and the complications that arise.

Treatments may be needed, for example, to control:

  • Dehydration (e.g. with an intravenous drip)
  • Blood pressure
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Anaemia

Your veterinary surgeon will discuss what treatments your dog may benefit from with you. After diagnosis, it is also important to have your dog checked regularly by your vet, and to adjust treatments as needed at each check-up.

FOOD IS IMPORTANT

Feeding your dog the correct food is one of the most effective ways of managing Chronic Kidney Disease. A correct diet is at least as important as any medications in helping to control the disease, slow its progression and help your dog achieve a good quality of life.

Reducing dietary phosphorus is key to slowing the progression of CKD. Optimising the level and type of protein also helps improve the quality of life of dogs with kidney disease - it minimises clinical signs, whilst still providing energy and helping maintain healthy muscles, organs and immune function.

PURINA® PRO PLAN® VETERINARY DIETS Canine DM Diabetes Management has all of these features, making it an ideal diet to help support dogs with diabetes.

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Dietary phosphorus restriction

To help protect kidney function and slow progression of CKD.

Restricted but high quality proteins

To help reduce the build-up of toxins in the body and minimise loss of muscle.

Omega-3 fatty acids

To help reduce high blood pressure in the kidneys and reduce inflammation.

Canine NF Renal Function is also highly palatable, which is crucial as many dogs with CKD have a reduced appetite.

It is recommended that advice from a veterinarian be sought before use and before extending the period of use.

Purina ...A NAME YOU CAN TRUST

Purina has been at the forefront of pet nutrition for over 120 years. By working closely with scientists and studying the most up-to-date research, we’ve created PURINA® PRO PLAN® VETERINARY DIETS – a range of innovative and effective formulas designed to help you enhance the health and quality of life enjoyed by your pet.

With PURINA® PROPLAN® VETERINARY DIETS Canine NF Renal Function, you can be confident that your dog will benefit from a diet that provides optimum nutrition.