Excess Protein in the Urine in Dogs

Excess Protein in the Urine in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
34 Veterinary Answers

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

Excess Protein in the Urine in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

Youtube Play

What is Excess Protein in the Urine?

Excess protein in the urine is no more common for dogs of any age, gender or breed. Because there are several possible causes, it is important for you to obtain a diagnosis for your dog’s excess urinary protein level as soon as possible in order to seek prompt treatment. Sometimes you may notice symptoms and bring your dog in for veterinary treatment in order to obtain a diagnosis; however, sometimes an elevated protein level is only found during urinalysis at a regular health check-up. This is indicative of the importance of bringing your dog in for regular veterinary check-ups even when she does not exhibit any health issues.

Proteinuria is the presence of protein in dog’s urine. Dog’s urine normally contains a trace amount of protein in the urine, as proteins are blocked by the glomerulus, the part of the kidney that filters waste products, or pass through the glomerulus and then reabsorbed by renal tubes or broken down by the epithelial cells of the renal tubes. Proteinuria may be associated with lower urinary tract disease, reproductive tract disease, or an indication of renal dysfunction or damage.

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

Compare plans
advertisement image

Excess Protein in the Urine Average Cost

From 16 quotes ranging from $500 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,200

Symptoms of Excess Protein in the Urine in Dogs

Excess protein in the urine is a symptom of an underlying cause. Additional symptoms that accompany excess protein in the urine depend upon the cause, as discussed below.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Excess Protein in the Urine in Dogs

Urinary Tract Infection

  • Strain during urination
  • Inability to urinate
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Fever
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Increased amount and/or frequency of urination
  • Pain during urination
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Licking urinary opening
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst

High Blood Pressure

  • Blood in the urine
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Dilated pupils
  • Retinal detachment
  • Ocular hemorrhage
  • Acute onset blindness
  • Nosebleeds
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Ataxia, or lack of coordination
  • Circling
  • Partial paralysis of limbs
  • Heart murmurs

Glomerular Disease

historically has been found to lead to chronic kidney disease, the symptoms of which are:

  • Loss of appetite, or anorexia
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Excess Protein in the Urine in Dogs

As with most appointments, unless the veterinarian is absolutely sure, the doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination of your dog and ask that you report the onset and extent of any symptoms, as well as any medical history. The most important diagnostic tool will be a urinalysis in order to confirm the presence of elevated protein in your dog’s urine. This test will also include sediment examination in order to identify the presence of any crystals or stones. The urine may be cultured in order to identify specific bacteria that may be causing infection if urinary tract infection is a suspected cause. The concentration of your dog’s urine will be measured, and can indicate the kidney’s ability or inability to correctly process urine, which may indicate kidney failure.

A blood sample will also be analyzed for a chemical blood profile, which will measure electrolyte levels in your dog’s blood as well as elevated levels of creatinine and blood urea nitrogen, all of which will point to chronic kidney disease caused by the glomerular disease. Your dog’s blood pressure will be measured via an inflatable cuff to determine if he is suffering from hypertension. A complete blood count will also be taken in order to measure red and white blood cell and platelet counts and may indicate anemia, another indicator of kidney disease.

Further, x-ray and ultrasound imaging can be utilized in order to observe the size and shape of your dog’s kidney, if kidney failure is suspected. A kidney biopsy may be necessary in the case of glomerular disease causing kidney failure.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Excess Protein in the Urine in Dogs

Specific treatment will depend upon your dog’s diagnosis. In severe cases, your dog may need to undergo stabilization treatment for dehydration, which will consist of IV fluids. Glomerular disease will be treated through a combination of immunosuppressant medication, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition, low-dose aspirin and a special diet low in protein, phosphorous, calcium and sodium and high in potassium and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. In the case of inflamed kidneys and urinary tract infections, antibiotics will be prescribed. High blood pressure will be treated through a calcium channel blocker or beta-blocker and the possibly the recommendation of a low-sodium diet.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Excess Protein in the Urine in Dogs

For all treatment, monitor your dog’s recovery process and report any changes in health to your veterinarian right away. You will likely need to schedule follow-up appointments to evaluate the efficacy of your dog’s treatment plan and avoid any complications.

If your dog has been prescribed, or is supposed to be on home cooked special diet, she may display disinterest in the new food as it will not be as flavorful as what she is used to. Consult the veterinarian on how best to address this, as you may be able to enhance the flavor with tuna juice or another liquid.

All recovery of proteinuria regardless of the cause will require sufficient hydration, so be sure to always keep fresh water available and encourage your dog to drink.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Excess Protein in the Urine Average Cost

From 16 quotes ranging from $500 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,200

arrow-up-icon

Top

Excess Protein in the Urine Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Shih Tzu

dog-age-icon

Eleven Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

4 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

Hello! I am curious about the next course of action that should be taken for my 11 year (female) shih tzu. She is not spayed and has never had a litter. When she went to her vet for blood work her vet suggested retesting her urine because the concentration wasn’t great. It was 1.019 (she had a trace amount of occult blood & Her rbc were 4-10. 3 Months later it was retested her specific gravity is now 1.027. She now has a trace amount of protein in her Urine, occult blood is 2+, and rbc is 21-50 her wbc are in range. She has been eating/ urinating normally and doesn’t show that she is sick.

Nov. 15, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

4 Recommendations

This would depend on what symptoms she is showing. A trace amount of protein can be normal if the dog has a protein rich diet (which most do). Blood isn't expected and can indicate e.g. bladder stones, an infections etc. The WBC count if measured via dipstick is not accurate. We should consider a blood test and bladder imaging as well as possible a urine culture.

Nov. 15, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Roscoe

dog-breed-icon

Shepherp/ Mix

dog-age-icon

9 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

6 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

A Lot Of Drinking , Peeing

Dog was drinking excessively and urinating all the time. So we take him in. High blood work numbers were NEU 12.50 Band suspended MPV17.4 ALT 202U/L and ALKP 1472 rest of the numbers were normal. So they took Xrays said they found his Liver was enlarge but everything else looked ok no UTI. SO we get over 100.00 in meds go home shows a little emprovement, a back to were he was drinking a lot peeing a lot acting lethargic sleeping all the time. So we take him back in, they do a MRI and Urine test, Tell us the Liver a little rounded but with his big chest they cant see to much. No have you both Vets at this place said he didn't have a UTI. Did a urine sample said again to us little blood , but mind you he had a catheter 1 day before hand. She said it was not a UTI. But the Protein in his urine was 30 but really wasn't concerned. They had mentioned Cushing. But told us lets give him 12 hours and maybe start talking about the quality of life with him. So they call that night tell me both agree now he has a UTI, But no antibiotic given to him at all. Said something about his vomiting which we said he was never doing. And they will call in about 3 days. Can you please look at his numbers.

Sept. 22, 2018

Roscoe's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

Excess Protein in the Urine Average Cost

From 16 quotes ranging from $500 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,200

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

advertisement image
ask a vet placeholder
Need pet insurance?