Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) in Dogs - Page 1

My Pet: FREE Tools to Care for Your Pet and Connect with Others

Over 10,000 Vet Approved Articles Search All Articles

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) in Dogs

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

Read By: Pet Lovers
Email To A Friend Print
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a slowly progressive, irreversible, inherited kidney disease that can result in renal failure. This is a common condition in some cat breeds and relatively uncommon in dogs. Australian bull terriers may be affected.

The disorder is often present at birth. Multiple small cysts slowly grow in size, causing the kidney to enlarge dramatically. The cysts replace the normal kidney tissue, while kidney function continuously declines. PKD often progresses to cause clinical signs of kidney failure.

Clinical signs of PKD are non-specific and are similar to those seen in dogs with chronic renal failure of any cause. These include depression, decreased appetite or anorexia, excessive drinking, excessive urination, weight loss and sporadic vomiting.

What to Watch For

  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia or reduced appetite
  • Increased thirst and urination (Polydipsia and polyuria )
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Occasional vomiting


    Physical examination findings and routine laboratory data are recommended for diagnoses. The results will vary depending on the severity of the disease.

  • Complete blood count.
  • Serum biochemical profile
  • Blood pressure
  • Urinalysis
  • . Radiographs
  • Ultrasound
  • Biopsy


    There is no specific treatment for PKD. Treatment is the same as that for chronic kidney failure of any cause, for example:

  • Restricted protein and phosphorus diets
  • Possible subcutaneous fluids
  • Phosphorus binders
  • Calcitriol (Vitamin D)
  • Erythropoietin

    For more information on the details of treating renal failure, go to Chronic Renal (Kidney) Failure in Dogs

    Home Care and Prevention

    There is no specific home care for dogs with PKD that have no symptoms. Dogs with PKD that have developed chronic kidney failure undergo home care typical for that condition including:

  • Prescription diet
  • Possible subcutaneous fluid therapy
  • Medication

    There is no way to slow the progression or prevent the onset of chronic renal failure once PKD has been diagnosed.

  • Comment & Share
    Email To A Friend Print

    Dog Photos Enjoy hundreds of beautiful dog photos Let's Be Friends Follow Us On Facebook Follow Us On twitter


    Email to a Friend

    Article to eMail
    Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) in Dogs

    My Pet
    Coming Soon

    Tools to Care for Your Pet and
    Connect with Others!

    Be the First to Know.
    Notify Me