What are Kidney Filtration Problems?
The filtration system of the kidney, or the glomerulus, is commonly negatively affected in kidney filtration problems in dogs. This kidney filtration mechanism shows no signs of being abnormal in the early days of the problems, but over time, the problem becomes worse. When damage continues over a period of time from an infection, the surrounding tissue of the kidney becomes severely damaged. When this occurs, the filtration mechanism becomes damaged.
Kidney filtration problems in dogs may be caused by an inflammation or infection from a toxic substance to the kidneys, or it may be from a disease that causes inflammation of the glomerulus, such as diabetes or lupus.
Kidney filtration problems in dogs can be called glomerulonephritis (glomerular nephritis) or glomerulosclerosis. Both of these disorders are caused by inflammation of the glomeruli, which are responsible for filtering out the blood.
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Symptoms of Kidney Filtration Problems in Dogs
Knowing the symptoms of kidney filtration problems in dogs can help you understand when it is time to visit the veterinarian. These symptoms may be isolated, or in severe instances may be combined, thus making your dog feel very ill. Symptoms include:
- Blood in the urine
- High amount of protein in the urine
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
There are different diseases that attack the glomeruli, and these tiny blood cleaners are adversely affected. Glomerular disorders fall into two distinct categories and are slightly distinct from one another. Types include:
- Glomerulonephritis, or the inflammation of the kidney’s tissue that filters waste from the blood
- Glomerulosclerosis, or the damage of blood vessels in the kidney by scarring
Causes of Kidney Filtration Problems in Dogs
When the immune system is affected by certain conditions, immune complexes can form, which in turn can cause glomerular nephritis. Causes of glomerular damage can be from inflammation that is autoimmune, and when damage occurs the glomeruli become impaired, thus leaking more protein into the urine.
Causes of this include:
- Periodontal disease
- Tick-borne diseases, such as ehrlichia and Lyme disease
- Uterine bacterial infection (Pyometra)
- Bacterial infection of the heart (Endocarditis)
- Inflammation of the skin
- Inflammation of the prostate
- Ingestion of toxins
- Chronic dehydration
- Heat stroke
Diagnosis of Kidney Filtration Problems in Dogs
Once you identify any of the above symptoms, you will need to take your dog to the veterinarian. In order for this disorder to be accurately diagnosed, the veterinarian will take a biopsy. A urinalysis will also be conducted to check for any protein loss. Also, a urine test will rule out any infection of the bladder.
Other tests that the veterinarian may perform are complete blood count, serum chemistry testing, and blood pressure testing. These will determine any anemia, inflammation, decreased platelet counts, the concentration of blood protein.
Treatment of Kidney Filtration Problems in Dogs
Treatment for kidney filtration problems in dogs depends on the specific illness that is causing it. Depending on the underlying disorder, the veterinarian will determine the proper treatment. If an underlying illness cannot be determined, treatment can include several methods.
Drugs that suppress the immune complex can treat glomeruli inflammation, as oftentimes this is an autoimmune disorder. These may have to be given to your companion for the rest of his life.
Supplements in the form of Omega-3 fatty acids can prevent any clotting and lessen any inflammatory response causing the kidney filtration disorder.
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
These inhibitors can lessen the urine’s protein loss and help stabilize the blood pressure of the dog.
High Blood Pressure Medication
Medication that controls hypertension can be given to dogs that have this disorder which can inhibit proper kidney filtration.
For dogs with kidney failure due to kidney filtration problems, foods that are low in phosphorus can be given to dogs. The veterinarian can recommend prescription medication to give your loved one.
Recovery of Kidney Filtration Problems in Dogs
Kidney filtration problems in dogs are serious and life-threatening disorders. After complete diagnosis and treatment, the recovery depends on the severity of the condition causing the disorder. It is recommended that you follow the veterinarian’s instructions for at-home care, and continue regular visits to the veterinarian to monitor the condition.
Following the veterinarian’s suggestions and keeping a watchful eye for any symptoms will keep you proactive in helping manage the illness. This type of condition can change very quickly so monitoring is very important. Under your veterinarian’s care, you can feel confident that you are doing the best for your canine.