Chronic renal (kidney) failure (CRF) is a common problem in all dog breeds
. The digestion of food produces waste products, which are carried by blood to the kidneys to be filtered and excreted in the form of urine. When the kidneys fail, they are no longer able to remove these waste products, and toxins build up in the blood producing clinical signs of kidney disease.
All breeds of any age can be affected. However, older pets are commonly affected as the prevalence increases with age. The average age of diagnosis in dogs is seven years.
Breeds thought to be more susceptible include: Cocker spaniel
Soft-coated wheaten terrier
CRF affects almost every body system causing many changes throughout the body and usually results in the following:
Abnormal filtration of blood and retention of waste materials
Failure of hormone production (including substances that stimulates the production of red blood cells [erythropoeitin])
Disturbance of fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance
CRF can be caused by several different processes. These may include diseases, some of which can be secondary to other disease processes or trauma, that may have caused acute kidney failure such as:
Poor blood flow and lack of oxygen (ischemia)
Immune system abnormalities.
What to Watch For
Lack of coordination when walking