Renal Dysplasia in Dogs (Familial Renal Disease) - Page 2

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Renal Dysplasia in Dogs (Familial Renal Disease)

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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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 may show signs of anemia.

  • Serum biochemical profile may indicate abnormally elevated kidney values including the blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine. Additional abnormalities may include high phosphorus, low potassium, high or low calcium, high cholesterol, and low albumin levels.

  • Blood pressure may be abnormally elevated (hypertension).

  • Urinalysis may demonstrate poorly concentrated urine and possibly abnormal blood, protein or glucose.

  • Radiographs. X-rays may show abnormally small kidneys or soft-tissue mineralization.

  • Ultrasound. This is a sensitive, non-invasive technique for diagnosing kidney disease. Ultrasound may show small irregularly shaped kidneys.

  • Biopsy. Histopathic evaluation of the kidney tissue confirms the diagnosis.


    There is no specific treatment for renal dysplasia. Treatment is the same as that for Chronic Renal (Kidney) Failure in Dogs of any cause, for example:

  • Rehydration with intravenous or subcutaneous fluids
  • Restricted protein and phosphorus diets
  • Phosphorus binders
  • Calcitriol (Vitamin D)
  • Erythropoietin
  • Control of vomiting with antiemetic drugs
  • Control of hypertension
  • Pain control for bone pain
  • Frequent monitoring of blood levels to determine results of therapy

    Home Care and Prevention

    There is no specific home care for pets with renal dysplasia that have no symptoms. Dogs with renal dysplasia 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 renal dysplasia has been diagnosed. Prevention requires responsible breeding.

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