Renal Dysplasia in Dogs (Familial Renal Disease)

Overview of Canine Renal Dysplasia

Renal dysplasia, also known as familial renal disease or progressive juvenile nephropathy, is a disease in which development of the kidney tissue is abnormal. In dogs, the clinical signs of the disorder typically occur before the age of two years. Ultimately, renal dysplasia can result in Chronic renal (kidney) failure and death.

Kidney failure is the malfunction of the kidneys to filter waste products produced by the body. Waste products are normally 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 causing toxins to build up in the blood producing clinical signs of kidney disease. Kidney failure affects almost every body system causing many changes throughout the body and usually results in the following:

The disease is most commonly inherited. It is more common in dogs that cats. It can occur in any breed, age or sex. Most animals begin to show symptoms of disease before the age of 2 years. Breeds predisposed to renal dysplasia include the cocker spaniel, Lhasa apso, golden retriever, shih tzu, Dutch kookier, Finish harrier and soft-coated wheaten terrier.

What to Watch For

Signs of renal dysplasia in dogs may include:

Diagnosis of Renal Dysplasia in Dogs

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

Treatment of Renal Dysplasia in Dogs

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

Home Care and Prevention

There is no specific home care for dogs 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:

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.