Thursday, October 18, 2018 by Ralph Flores
Dogs are indeed wonderful creatures, but they’re also prone to some severe (and potentially life-threatening) diseases. An example of that is chronic kidney disease, which affects at least 9 out of 1,000 dogs. Older dogs are usually more prone to having kidney disease, but it can still develop in relatively younger dogs.
For the most part, the kidneys function in the same way for humans and dogs: They remove waste products from the bloodstream, regulate the distribution of certain minerals like sodium and potassium, conserve water, and produce urine. In the case of chronic kidney failure, the kidneys become damaged, leading to a buildup of toxins, causing the dog to become sick. It also means that certain functions become impaired. One challenge when it comes to treating kidney failure is that it goes undetected until the organs reach an advanced stage of damage, such as when only 25 percent of the kidneys are properly functioning. This makes taking steps to prevent kidney damage and recognizing the signs early on a difficult but key step in correcting the condition.
Several risk factors dictate the likelihood of kidney disease for dogs, including their age and breed, and certain conditions accelerate kidney damage, including cancer, kidney stones, and even infections. In particular, one of the earliest signs of kidney problems is when a dog urinates and drinks more. Often, dogs with kidney disease will also need to urinate during the night and even have “accidents.”
Other signs and symptoms include:
Giving your dogs the right diet can greatly help them avoid kidney failure, as poor quality and unbalanced diets are one of the primary contributors to the condition. A diet with high levels of phosphorus but limited amounts of calcium can result in the onset of kidney stones, which can ultimately cause the organs to fail. If your dog has already been diagnosed with kidney failure, feed a low-phosphorus diet with the right amount of calcium. Switching to a low-protein diet might work, but it should be carefully monitored so that your dog will not suffer from malnutrition along the way.
In addition, Traditional Chinese Medicine, coupled with natural supplements, can prevent the progression of kidney disease in pets. The formulation, called Ba Wei Di Huang Wan, combines aconite and cinnamon to improve blood flow to the kidneys and restore optimal health.
Moisture is also important for dogs with kidney disease. Feeding your dog with conventional dry food may worsen the condition, so make sure to provide plenty of water and feed raw or moist foods on occasion. These foods will give the dog the hydration it needs and help the kidneys flush out its waste load. (Related: Does your dog have kidney stones? Study finds that false pepperwort leaves can help.)
Giving your dogs nutritional supplements is also a great way of improving your dog’s condition despite kidney failure. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the inflammation in the kidneys, thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, supplementing your dog with vitamin E helps boost the efficacy of certain supplements. In particular, adding vitamins C and B complex could stimulate their appetite and improve their quality of life, as these two vitamins are the first to be lost in dogs with kidney failure.
It’s not just kidney failure that owners have to look out for. Learn more about conditions that could affect your dog and natural ways to treat them at PetHealthDaily.com.