What is Kidney Toxicity (Drug Induced)?
Kidney disease that is drug induced is one significant cause of renal failure and kidney disease, which can become chronic. There are specific drug types that can cause kidney toxicity in dogs, and fortunately the disorder can be reversed as long as the dog is removed from the medications before it is too late. Watching and being aware of symptoms, your dog’s ill-health, and behavioral changes will prompt a visit to the medical professional. There are some factors that can increase chances for this illness. Old age, the amount of medication, the amount of time the medication was taken, pre-existing conditions, and use of other types of nephrotoxins. Unfortunately, even though this condition may be treated, the scarring of the kidneys and the damage caused is irreversible, and can lead to chronic kidney issues.
Kidney toxicity (drug-induced) in dogs is characterized by marked kidney disease or even renal failure from the ingestion of toxins. Many effects are irreversible if left untreated, and may lead to life-threatening results.
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Symptoms of Kidney Toxicity (Drug Induced) in Dogs
Drug-induced kidney illness has several symptoms and some of them are quite severe. If your dog is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, please make an appointment with the veterinarian as soon as possible. Symptoms include:
- No appetite
- Ulcers in the mouth
- Issues with bladder control
- Side pain or abdominal pain
- Bloody urine
Not all dogs will become ill if they ingest medications; however, there are some instances where illness can occur. Types of medications that can cause kidney toxicity are:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- ACEIs (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors)
- Contrast agents
Causes of Kidney Toxicity (Drug Induced) in Dogs
Drugs that are mostly responsible for kidney toxicity, or drug-induced nephrotoxicity, are the causes of this illness. Specific causes of this illness are:
- Medications interfering with blood flow to the kidneys
- Medications causing tubular abnormalities in the kidneys
- Damage to cells of the renal tubule
Diagnosis of Kidney Toxicity (Drug Induced) in Dogs
The veterinarian will listen to your report of the dog’s symptoms and perform a complete examination with blood work, a urinalysis, and biochemistry profile to check on the organ function. Within these tests, the veterinarian will be looking for several things, such as blood urea nitrogen, how well the kidneys are filtering by measuring the creatinine, the levels of phosphorus, protein amounts, and sediments in the urine. Imaging methods will be conducted, such as radiography, an ultrasound, and an excretory urography. These check the size and condition of the kidneys, and the excretory urography uses injected dye so the medical professional can view the filtration of the kidneys. An ultrasonography will allow the veterinarian to look at the density of the kidneys, and during this procedure, a biopsy may be taken and sent off to the laboratory for even more information about the cause of the kidney’s abnormal function.
Treatment of Kidney Toxicity (Drug Induced) in Dogs
Treatment depends on the level of toxicity and the severity of the case. Treatment methods include:
Flushing out the kidneys by using intravenous fluid therapy will help dissipate toxin levels and allow the dog to urinate. Fluids may be given for several hours, and may be combined with specific medications to help the dog produce urine, if it is difficult for him to do.
If specific toxins are determined, the veterinarian may give the dog medication to induce vomiting.
Certain antibiotics may be given to fight any bacterial infection caused by the toxin in the kidneys.
For severe cases of toxicity that have caused renal failure, dialysis may be performed. This therapy is generally given if the dog is not responding to any other form of treatment, is not urinating (even with medications), and, in few cases, dogs that have required a form of surgery.
Recovery of Kidney Toxicity (Drug Induced) in Dogs
Chronic renal damage is irreversible, but with treatment and management of the dog’s condition, the prognosis ranges from fair to probable, and sometimes good. The prognosis is dependent on the severity of the toxins in the kidneys and the amount of time between the ingestion of the toxin to the initial appointment with the physician. Once your dog is recovered, or even for any dog that hasn’t had toxicity in the kidneys, it is important to prevent this from occurring by keeping the dog away from dangerous agents and medications. When the dog is outdoors, be sure to keep an eye on him, and do not give him over-the-counter medications unless the veterinarian says to do so. The veterinarian may prescribe a change in diet, such as a low-protein diet, so the kidneys can remain stable. Each case is different, and depending on the exact situation of the dog, the diet may vary. Supplements may also be recommended by the veterinarian, again, determined by a case-by-case basis.It is also imperative that your dog receive clean, fresh water daily. Your pet needs to be monitored in the areas of eating, drinking, and urination; if any changes occur or any signs of distress occur, the veterinarian needs to be contacted as soon as possible. Fortunately, dogs that recover from kidney toxicity usually can live normal lives with a few adjustments in their lifestyle.
Kidney Toxicity (Drug Induced) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
silky terrier 16 has kidney failure. hi is on second week of daily 300 ml iv daily at home. he refuses all hills and royal canin prescription diet foods I cook chicken remove the skin add rice and green peas and some cesar or authority lamb and rice can dogfood.just to get him to eat something. any sugestions greatly appreciated.commercial food food or home made ...thanks joan comeaux
Toto needs to be on a low quantity high quality protein diet; a commercial diet would be best as it will be nutritionally balanced, but can be difficult to find an appetising one. Hills and Royal Canin are your two universally available brands; other local brands may be available depending on your location, both IAMS and Purina have renal diets too. Boiled chicken and rice would be good but may not deliver all nutrition Toto requires; l would try to stick to a commercial diet but if you need a homemade diet, speak with your Veterinarian to determine the severity of the kidney failure to have an idea of how much protein you need to cut back. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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