Overview of Canine Hydronephrosis
Hydronephrosis is the distension or enlargement of the pelvis of the kidney with urine as a result of obstruction of the ureter, which is the tiny tubular structure that allows the passage of urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder. It can be caused by anything that blocks the ureters, including narrowing, cancer or scarring. Other causes include:
Dogs are affected more often than cats. There is no particular age, sex or breed predilection.
What to Watch For
Signs of hydronephrosis in dogs may include:
In cases where there is associated infection or kidney failure watch for systemic signs of illness:
Diagnosis of Hydronephrosis in Dogs
Baseline tests to include a complete blood count (CBC), biochemical profile, and urinalysis are recommended in all dogs. Although these tests are often within normal limits, there may be changes consistent with kidney failure or urinary tract infection. Additional tests include:
Treatment of Hydronephrosis in Dogs
It is most important to determine whether the dog’s condition warrants admission to the hospital for treatment or treatment at home as an outpatient. Treatment may consist of:
Home Care and Prevention
Administer all medication and diet as directed by your veterinarian and return for follow- up. If any change is noted in your dog’s condition, notify your veterinarian.
Eliminate factors predisposing to urinary tract infections or stones. Dietary manipulation may be of benefit in helping to prevent the formation of certain stones, and in turn, urinary obstruction and hydronephrosis.