Renal Dysplasia Average Cost

From 369 quotes ranging from $500 - 8,000

Average Cost


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What is Renal Dysplasia?

This condition can affect the canine unilaterally or bilaterally, for animals affected bilaterally the prognosis is often grave, with death occurring soon after birth. For dog’s who have been affected unilaterally the prognosis is also poor, with treatment aimed at managing the subsequent renal failure and providing the best quality of life as possible.

Renal dysplasia is a defect that has been reported in many breeds including the Chow Chow and Malamute. This condition develops in the womb during renal development. In the normal development of the kidneys, ureter muscles grow from the kidneys and branch out to form a network of urine collecting tubules. In a fetus affected with this condition the tubules fail to branch out, instead causing urine build up and cysts to form. These cysts eventually replace the kidney.

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Symptoms of Renal Dysplasia in Dogs

Signs of this disease may include failure to thrive from birth, polyuria and polydipsia and other symptoms seen in chronic kidney disease including:

  • Constipation
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Bad breath

If your dog is presenting with uremic crisis (the dangerous buildup of toxins in the blood stream due to inadequate toxin removal from the bloodstream by the kidney) symptoms may include: 

  • Weakness and collapse
  • Muscle tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting of dried blood
  • Neurological signs

Causes of Renal Dysplasia in Dogs

Renal dysplasia in dogs is considered a familial disease in certain breeds. This condition is caused by a defect in utero during the development of the kidneys, leading to immature glomeruli, primitive tubules and lesions caused by cysts. 

The onset of this disease can be in the neonate or young puppy from between 6 months and 2 years of age. 

There appears to be a strong breed predisposition in the following breeds:

  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Beagle
  • Boxer
  • Chow Chow
  • Great Dane
  • Bulldog
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Samoyed

Diagnosis of Renal Dysplasia in Dogs

Your veterinarian will perform a full clinical examination of your pet. Signs such as a small body size for age, rubber jaw, failure to thrive, or a history of kidney failure in your dog’s family may suggest this condition. 

If your veterinarian suggests this condition she may perform radiographs of the abdomen. In cases of renal dysplasia, small or irregular kidney shapes may be seen as well as a poorly mineralized skeleton, pathological fractures due to renal osteodystrophy, and the appearance of floating teeth in the skull.

Your veterinarian may take a blood sample to perform a biochemistry panel which will show increased urea and creatinine due to the body’s reduced ability to remove these toxins from the blood stream.

Treatment of Renal Dysplasia in Dogs

Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease, however the treatment is very similar to that of chronic kidney failure and aimed at managing the disease and providing the best life quality for your pet. 

If your dog is experiencing uremic shock, intravenous fluid therapy may be given to reduce shock and correct dehydration.

Other treatments that may be given are: 

  • Anti-emetics if your pet is vomiting
  • Subcutaneous fluid therapy for chronic maintenance 
  • Potassium supplementation 
  • Oral bicarbonate may be considered to address metabolic acidosis 
  • Treatment to manage hypertension

Recovery of Renal Dysplasia in Dogs

Unfortunately, the prognosis for this condition is not good, with deterioration expected within months of diagnosis. A phosphate restricted diet may be recommended for your pet. Specific kidney diets have shown to maintain or improve nutrition, delay the onset of uremia, slow progression or development of other complications, and extend expected life time. 

These renal diets should contain:

  • Carefully balanced levels of phosphate, as this mineral is metabolized by the kidneys
  • Reduced levels of salt as studies have shown the reduction of salt intake to slow the rate of progression of the disease 
  • Low quantities of high quality protein, protein breakdown leads to toxic waste products in the blood stream that require processing by the kidneys for excretion through the urine

Providing a diet that contains low levels of high quality protein means a reduced amount of waste for the kidneys to process while the pet’s energy requirements are met. Your pet will require regular examinations to monitor for signs of uremia such as ulcerations. 

As this disease is degenerative, life quality assessment is a major aspect of care, and it may be recommended as the disease progresses to euthanize your pet to relieve suffering. In cases where the birth parents and littermates are known, it is recommended that breeding from these canines ceases, as this is a known congenital disease.

Renal Dysplasia Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

9 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

lethargic, off her feed.

I have a nine month old puppy diagnosed with bilateral renal dysplasia. We are dealing with it. What do I do about the rest of the litter and the parents? Is there a test for this? Dam is 2.5, sire is 4. At the moment both parents and the rest of the litter appear healthy? Don't want to frighten all the other puppy owners. What do I do?? What should I expect?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1408 Recommendations
There is a genetic test for renal dysplasia, though I am unsure as to the validity of the test at this time. Your veterinarian would be able to give you more information on it - it would be a good idea to see if the rest of the litter is affected.

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2 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms


hi our dog was diagnosed with bilateral renal dysplasia. She is 2yrs old without any symptoms other than her lab values. Since changing her diet her creatinin level went from 2.3 to 2. Her BUN went back to normal levels and we will continue to monitor her lab work with routine checks. What other lab value should I be looking out for when assessing if her condition is getting worse? Specific gravity was also on the low side. Can dogs live a full life with this condition? pLease help

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2996 Recommendations
Due to the progressive nature of the condition, it is a case of keeping and managing the symptoms and the diet as best as possible; eventually the level of kidney degeneration will result in the worsening of symptoms and consideration of euthanasia. Two two important values to look out for are BUN and creatinine, which are the best indicator of renal health. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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5 Months
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

moderately active-at times lethargi

Medication Used

Hills prescription liver care food

We adopted a retriever/Labrador/Shepard mix from the Humane society and our sweet 2 month old puppy appeared completely healthy until she turned 4 months and began urinating in kennel and having apparent bladder issues. After multiple tests, blood work and finally an ultrasound - Renal Dysplasia was determined in both kidneys. She is now on special diet, but that is all we are aware of to treat her from our local vet. What other questions can we ask regarding: life expectancies, prolonging, signs to look for to begin fluid injections etc? Are there any other options? We have heard a year -4 years possibly? Is there anything else we can do or ask to determine severity? We feel left out in the dark as to a next step. Our 15 year son is heartbroken.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2996 Recommendations
A diagnosis of renal dysplasia can be made based on symptoms, poor mineralisation of bone and signs of kidney failure; ultrasound of kidneys may show deformed and/or small kidneys, however the diagnostic method of choice is a renal biopsy. There is no specific treatment, but management is similar to kidney failure with life expectancy based on the degeneration of the kidneys. Urinary accidents may be caused by a variety of conditions which may include urinary tract infections, hormonal conditions, ectopic ureters (especially in Labrador breeds) among other causes. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss

My 4 year old boxer has been diagnosed with renal dysplasia yesterday. My vet gas her blood test. She has lost weight and gone off her food for a couple of weeks. Will she need an MRI scan to see whether both kidneys are affected. Can the extent of the disease be diagnosed with a blood test.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2996 Recommendations

Blood tests will only indicate the severity of some renal disease, not the specific renal disease; along with blood tests, I would be more tempted to try ultrasound first as a diagnostic tool as both kidney’s can be visualised: the shape, size, echogenicity, corticomedullary definition and other anomalies may be seen. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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1 Year
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

bone pain

My 1 year old white boxer Luna, was diagnosed with renal dysplasia about a couple weeks ago. We’ve put her on pain meds and other medication to lower her protein levels along with other levels. She was doing a lot better since we switched her diet and got her on the pain meds. But, now in the past couple days she seems to have declined. She doesn’t seem interested in her dry dog food (even when mixed with wet food), she’s been shivering like a leaf, and now constantly swallowing, along with drooling. But it looks like she’s having a hard time swallowing and trying to throw up. Tonight she managed to cough up white mucus about 4 times and then puked up a good amount of food with saliva and white mucus.
Is there anything I can do or any medication to help with throwing up and the shivering?? She looks extremely uncomfortable.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2996 Recommendations
There is a medication which may help, but it isn’t available over the counter and you would need to see or call your Veterinarian to explain the change in Luna’s symptoms for them to consider whether or not to prescribe. You should let Luna rest for the time being and just give her water, reintroduce food (possibly some boiled rice) after a few hours. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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