Based on surveys, the leading causes of death among Toy Poodles are old age and kidney disease. Yes kidney disease! While it affects lots of people around the world, kidney disease is also common in dogs such as Toy Poodles.
The kidneys are organs that filter blood to maintain the balance of chemicals, remove the waste products and eliminate them as urine. The kidneys also regulate blood pressure, regulate the production of body fluid and produce hormones that stimulate the production of red blood cells.
Since the kidneys play various roles for the continued health of humans and animals alike, a malfunction in this organ can cause various problems. Canine kidney failure or kidney disease occurs when the kidney ceases to function properly and becomes unable to eliminate harmful wastes from the bloodstream. Kidney disease can either be acute or chronic. Acute kidney failure is an abrupt decline in kidney function that results to poisoning or external toxins. On the other hand, chronic kidney failure is a kidney disease that develops over a period of time.
Increase in water consumption as well as increased urine production are the early clinical signs of kidney failure in dogs. As the disease progresses, more signs can be seen. These includes loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, bad breath and ulcers in the mouth.
To diagnose and determine the disease, urinalysis and blood tests such as blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and blood creatinine are necessary. To treat the disease, large quantities of intravenous fluids are given to flush out the kidneys. This process, called diuresis, helps stimulate the kidney cells to function again. Other initial treatments include drugs to control vomiting and diarrhea, management of blood electrolyte abnormalities and management of anemia.
Diet and nutrition also plays an important role in treating the disease. A low-protein, low-phosphorus and low-sodium diet is advisable to help regulate or slow down the progression of the disease. As much as possible, give diet that is specifically formulated for your dog’s needs. Foods specifically formulated for dogs with kidney disease has a reduced amount of protein, minerals and salt.
Added advice to all dog owners, puppy proof your home before Fido arrives. Make sure that household chemicals even laundry detergents and bleach should be out of your dog’s reach. Regular check up is also advisable especially in adult dogs to detect kidney disease early.