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Kidney problem

Species: dog | Category: medical-surgical | Submitted: 28 October 2010 10:05AM | viewed 79715 times
Q Joanna asks:

Hi. I moved to Holland recently with my 11 year old dog (she's a mongrel rescue dog). She recently stopped eating and has lost about 1.5kg weight (now weighs 11kg). The vet took blood tests last Monday which showed that the levels of toxin in her blood were very high. Last week she was on a drip for 4 days and antibiotic injections and the levels began to drop. The vet also took x-rays but there were no stones or blockages. They thought at first it was chronic kidney disease but part of the blood test made them unsure. She also had blood in her urine. After consulting with a specialist they thought it may be an infection and continued antibiotics. We just went back for a check up after 5 days at home (also on antibiotic injections) and there is still blood in her urine and the levels of toxins in blood are very high (CREA 484 umoll and UREA 50.0 mmoll). The vet is surprised the dog is not sicker (she is lethargic and still not eating well but no vomiting). He has said that the prognosis is not good and that I should consider having her put down. We could do an ECHO test but he thinks that will be academic rather than providing a solution to the problem. I would really like some advice. I have had dogs before and I realise that she is getting old and at some point this is inevitable. However, I would like to be sure that there is nothing else worth trying - particularly as there is a slight language barrier for me here. I also feel I can't put her down whilst she is OK in herself - but I dont want her to be uncomfortable. Really grateful for any advice Jo

Q Our vet says: Sorry to hear about your dog's illness. Sadly, kidney disease is something which is fairly common in older pets and once the kidney cells have been damaged they do not regenerate.

The cause of the problem is not clear- but if infection is part of the problem then the antibiotics may help. The levels of urea and creatinine you mention are high, but if the cause is a treatable infection then they may come down as the infection comes under control. If this occurs and your dog's condition improves then supportive care will be necessary with a diet suitable for renal problems and adequate hydration.

It is obviously impossible for me to comment on your pet's prognosis, however from what you have told me I believe that your vet is correct that the prognosis is poor.

It is important to remember that dogs can be very good at hiding how unwell they are- although there is no vomiting the lethargy and lack of appetite you mention could indicate that your dog is feeling sick and chronic nausea is very unpleasant.

If the condition cannot be controlled in the very near future then euthanasia may sadly be the kindest option. It is an awful decision to make but it is also the greatest gift we can give our pets under some circumstances.

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