Chronic Renal Failure
My dog Raider was neutered recently. He is only 6 months old, but the veterinarian said that blood and urine tests indicate that Raider has chronic renal failure. What is it and how did my dog get it at such a young age?
I am glad to hear that you chose to neuter your dog at a young age. Allowing your veterinarian to evaluate his bloodwork and urine provided early detection of an underlying disease. Renal failure is the inability of the kidney to maintain normal function. This affects most of the body's systems because of the kidney’s role in maintaining fluid balance, regulating composition of body fluids, and controlling blood pressure. Renal failure may be congenital (present at the time of birth), or caused by aging, stones, urinary tract infection, or diabetes mellitus. If your dog is healthy, he would probably be considered to have Congenital Renal Failure. Renal failure is not contagious. When the kidney loses more than 75 % of its function, it's ability to concentrate urine is decreased. This leads to polyuria (greater than normal urine production) and polydipsia (greater than normal water consumption). It also causes retention of waste products, leading to azotemia (presence of nitrogen-containing waste products in the blood). As the disease progresses you may notice vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia. Treatment will consist of a diet low in protein, phosphorus, and sodium. Your veterinarian will recommend a diet right for your dog. Free access of fresh water at all times is important. Unfortunately the disease may progress to terminal chronic renal failure over months to years. It is important to work with your veterinarian to keep a continuous check on Raider's blood and urine to monitor his progress. Early detection and closely working with your veterinarian could allow Raider an extended life, but unfortunately there is no cure.