Chronic renal failure is a prolonged, often slowly developing disruption of kidney function, which leads to a cumulating destruction of functional tissue. The kidneys play a major role in the process of excreting nitrogen-compounds, metabolites and drugs from the body. Subsequently the blood-clearing function performed by the kidneys is lost.
Since the disease often occurs in older animals, the first symptoms of chronic renal failure are often misinterpreted as signs of old age. The first symptoms of an uremia are that the dog is often exhausted and more easily fatigues. The dog drinks noticably more and urinates more frequently. As the disease progresses, the dog loses its appetite as well as weight. Depression and reduced physical performance steadily increase as the disease advances and vomiting as well as diarrhea can occur. At this stage of the disease a foul mouth odour is often noticable.
Chronic kidney failure can be the result of a nephritis not completely cured, or among others result when the kidney tissue is damaged over a longer period of time by the retention of so called immune complexes (clustering of an antigen/foreign matter and an antibody/body's defensive protein, as are generated for the protection of the body).
Depending on the severity of the symptomatology, a persistent treatment with medication needs to be realized, mostly in combination with an infusion therapy and administration of hormone preparations for stabilization of the kidney function. Chronic kidney failure can often not be reversed completely and the animal needs to get a strict diet and take drugs from now on.
In case of chronic kidney disease, any types of stress should be avoided for the animal since these always have effects on the circulation of the dog and come along with changed requirements of the kidney. In individual cases that means that overstraining, excessive fasting but also excessive feeding shall strictly be avoided. The animal may under no circumstances for reasons of house-training (due to increased urine discharge) be supplied with too little liquids. The owner shall rather create possibilities that the animal is able to discharge urine at any day and night time. Diet measures are of decisive importance and are to be determined by your veterinarian individually for each animal and under consideration of laboratory examinations.