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How Kidney Disease Affects Dogs – Ask Your Local Bristol Vet

Local Bristol Vet

When we speak with dog owners and vets from the city, one of the most common ailments that come up is how kidney disease affects dogs in Bristol. The reassuring news is that canine kidney disease is not influenced by geographical area. However, if you have any concerns, consult your local Bristol vet.

Of course, this does not take away anything from the severity of kidney disease in dogs from Bristol or any other area. This article aims to give you a brief insight into how kidney disease affects dogs.

What is canine kidney disease?

Kidney disease can affect dogs at any age and presents as an acute or chronic condition. The symptoms of either condition or similar, but the long-term effects can vary significantly. The underlying cause of your dog’s kidney disease will influence the long-term prognosis.

Symptoms of canine kidney disease.

In the case of you being a dog owner in Bristol, and you suspect your dog might have canine kidney disease, you should consult your local Cloud 9 vet. However, it is good for you to understand the symptoms, which include the following:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Bad breath.
  • Increased drinking.
  • Weight loss.
  • Vomiting.
  • Lethargy.
  • Increased urination.

With acute kidney failure, symptoms can present suddenly and with severity. As well well as those mentioned above, acute kidney disease also so as the following symptoms:

  • Depression.
  • Weakness.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Disorientation.
  • Seizures.
  • Blindness.
  • Pale gums.

Causes of kidney disease in dogs.

As previously mentioned, kidney disease in dogs presents as either an acute or chronic condition. The causes of these conditions vary. 

Causes of chronic canine kidney disease:

  • Inherited from parents.
  • Issues with the immune system. 
  • Infection complications.
  • Kidney tumours.
  • Toxins.
  • Urine flow obstruction.

Causes of acute canine kidney disease:

  • Poor blood supply.
  • Prolonged dehydration.
  • Toxins.
  • Accidental poisoning

Diagnosing canine kidney disease in Bristol.

If you know any of the symptoms above, you should take your dog to your local vet in Bristol and get them checked out. They will give your dog a physical examination and conduct urine and blood tests to rule out or confirm kidney disease. The results of these tests can also give you an indication as to the severity of your dog’s condition.

Your vet will also take your dog’s blood pressure to check for abnormalities that can cause kidney disease. Other tests could include ultrasound or abdominal x-rays.

Treating canine kidney disease.

How you treat your dog’s kidney disease depends on its severity, what has caused it, and whether it is an acute or chronic condition.

Treating chronic canine kidney disease.

Although the chronic type of kidney disease cannot be reversed, it can be managed. If you get to it quick enough, you can slow down the symptoms and prevent complete kidney failure. Therefore, as soon as you know the underlying cause, it should be treated immediately. 

Restricting your dog’s dietary phosphorus and increasing the intake of Omega-3 and other healthy fatty acids will benefit dogs suffering from chronic kidney disease. There are also special kidney diets that you can put your dog on. Once again, your local Bristol vet will be able to help you with this.

Your vet may also recommend medications called ACE inhibitors. These improve your dog’s blood flow to the kidneys, preventing high blood pressure. If your dog’s condition is is relatively poor, your vet may also administer intravenous fluids for a couple of days. These will help reduce your dog’s feeling of nausea and vomiting.

Treating acute canine kidney disease.

If your dog has acute kidney disease, its kidneys may have a chance to regenerate. However, the long-term and short-term outlooks will depend on the severity of damage already done to the kidneys and the underlying cause. 

Generally speaking, the prognosis is quite guarded and varies from case to case. Treatment usually starts with a round of aggressive intravenous fluid therapy. This phase can last from several days to several weeks. Your dog requires close monitoring to identify any unbalances in their bodily acids and electrolytes during this time.

Your local Bristol vet will take regular blood samples to check how your pet responds to the treatment. However, you can also help by noticing any changes in your dog’s appetite, mood, or behaviour.

How to prevent canine kidney disease? 

In many cases, canine kidney disease is unavoidable. There is very little you can do do do as a Bristol dog owner to prevent the condition from occurring.

However, there are a few things to consider that can reduce the risk. These include the following:

  • Grapes and raisins. Feeding your dog grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney disease. You should have limited these from your dog’s diet entirely.
  • Antifreeze. Believe it or not, antifreeze can taste sweet to dogs, but it will cause them harm, as you would expect. 
  • Vaccinations. Keep your dog up to date with all its vaccinations. Leptospirosis can bring on kidney failure in your dog.

Although the following measures will not prevent canine kidney failure, they will help your dog’s overall health:

  • Get your dog regularly checked by your local Bristol vet.
  • Monitor your dog’s water intake so that you can do this and he fluctuations.
  • Again, have a good understanding of your dog’s moods and behaviours, so you can take action if they fluctuate drastically.


Canine kidney disease can be devastating for both your dog and yourself. Although it is generally unpreventable, early action can reduce the impact of this condition. Now you have a bit more information about canine kidney disease and understand the symptoms, and you are in a better position to add quickly. If you have any suspicions, you should contact your local Bristol vet as soon as possible.