Dogs are wonderful pets and they do require special attention apart from just the regular feeding and vet appointments. Just like human beings dogs also undergo various ailments which can range from mild to severe conditions. So a pet dog should be taken care of properly and like always, prevention is better than cure so try to make the best possible choices when it is regarding your pet. In this article we will be discussing about kidney damages caused due to drugs and medications.

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Drug induced kidney damage

Drug induced kidney damage  is also known as nephrotoxicity and is caused due to certain medications administered and intended to treat other medical disorders in dogs. Among all the pet’s dogs are the ones who are subjected to such problems in a larger scale. This kind of kidney damage may hit at any time regardless of the age of the dog but older ones are prone to this ailment.

Kidney damage or renal failures will create havoc in the dog’s body as it would be incapable of filtering waste products out of the blood. Normally the kidneys help to eliminate toxins and nitrogen from the body through urine but when they don’t work normally the blood gets concentrated with all these waste products. Such a situation causes imbalance in body fluids and finally lead to kidney damage. At a normal rate about 25% of the blood circulates through the kidneys with every heart beat and these results in more accumulation of toxins in the kidneys.

Drugs that can cause kidney damages in dogs

Kidney damage due to drug toxicity is a major problem with most of the canines. This drug induced ailment interferes with the blood flow inside the kidneys further leading to tubular dysfunctions. Early treatment is always advised as any delay can lead to tubular necrosis and finally kidney failure.

Certain drugs that can induce or cause kidney damage in dogs

  • Chemotherapeutic agents like Cisplatin, Pamidronate and Vincristine.
  • Aminoclycosides like Amikacin and Neomycin.
  • Sulfonamides
  • Cyclosporine
  • Non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Methoxyflurane
  • Radiocontrast agents like Diatrizoate and iopamidol.

Symptoms or side effects associated with nephrotoxicity due to drugs

  • Severe vomiting
  • Loose stools or diarrhea
  • Loss of water due to dehydration
  • Anorexia or loss of appetite
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Halitosis or bad mouth odor
  • Bladder ailments (Polyuria and polydipsia )
  • Lack of interest or lethargy
  • Depression
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Shivering or fever chills

Normally these symptoms appear suddenly as soon as the dog’s body finds it difficult to flush out toxins through kidneys. Mild symptoms like increased thirst and excess urine may be noticed by owners of diseased dogs. When symptoms start appearing it is better to take your pet to the doctor without any delay else it may lead to death in severe cases.

Methods to find out nephrotoxicity in dogs

When your dog is suffering from a drug induced toxicity better take it to a vet and find out possible causes and concerns which are to be addressed. Usually the veterinarian will refer for a biopsy of a portion of kidney tissues if a drug induced nephrotoxicity is suspected. The detailed results obtained will help him to determine whether a kidney failure is present and what is the current status. Another method employed by many is by having a detailed urine analysis. After receiving all the reports your vet will determine the possible treatments and course of actions which are to be taken.

Treatments available for drug induced kidney damage

Mostly dogs suffering from drug induced kidney damage will require intensive inpatient care until the effects are reversed. In certain cases where the ailment is severe, then the last method applicable is a surgery.

Managing your pet suffering from drug induced toxicity

Once your dog is back after undergoing a treatment, you have to provide special care and attention for a speedy recovery. You will have to take care of its diet and daily activities in a prompt way. Make sure that you don’t provide a diet which has excess protein and phosphorus in it. Also reduce the activity level of your dog and give it proper rest until recovery.

Dogs that have kidneys problems are more prone to dehydration so always make sure your pet is drinking enough water, if not then talk to your vet who may advice for a fluid therapy. Certain tests like electrolyte panels and urine analysis will be done frequently like every one or two days, just to evaluate the severity of the condition. Abnormal levels of nitrogen compounds or toxins in the blood should be regularly monitored and controlled. Always watch for symptoms and take immediate action by taking your pet to an expert.

How to prevent such ailments in dogs

The best method to prevent such ailments like drug induced toxicity is to avoid harmful nephrotoxic drugs. Keep your dog healthy right form its early stage by giving it proper exercise and moderate diets which will build it into a healthy canine. If you don’t give proper care and attention then your pet might catch certain diseases which can only be treated by using the above mentioned medications. In such cases make sure you don’t self prescribe any medicines for your pet. Always consult a vet before taking any decision or changing the dosages for the betterment of your pet. Drugs may have possible interactions with other medications and causes many side effects so it is better to take any action only under an expert guidance.

Natural remedies for kidney damage in dogs

Certain herbs that can help to prevent kidney ailments

  • Hawthorn – helps to improve blood circulation through kidneys and lowers high blood pressures.
  • Golden rod – this herb helps to improve the overall functioning of kidneys.
  • Barberry – a great body cleanser which can helps to decrease the workload on kidneys.
  • Parsley – this herb helps to flush out toxins from the kidneys due to its diuretic effect.
  • Rhubarb – if your dog is suffering from chronic kidney diseases, this herb will help to slow down its development.

Herbs are usually used by holistic vet practitioners to improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation and to increase urine output in canines. Ginkgo and hawthorn helps to improve blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels in kidneys. Certain herbs like dandelion, nettle, stone root are very helpful to increase urine output. To fight against inflammation, special herbs like marshmallow, corn silk and ginkgo will help to a large extent. Usage and dosage should be performed only after talking with an expert.

For an early stage of kidney failure an infusion prepared out of below mentioned herbs can help a lot:

  • Mix equal parts of alfalfa, ginkgo, and hawthorn to make a tea out of it by boiling in water. Dosage is about 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight.
  • Dandelion tea is another natural remedy for early stages of kidney damages. Use one tea spoon dried leafs per 20 pounds weight of the dog and boil it in water. Dosage is about 1/3 cup of tea per 20 pounds of the total body weight and it should be given three times a day. Dandelion is great diuretic so it helps to flush out toxins from the kidneys.

Precautions while treating dogs

  • Do not treat your dogs with any kind of medicines without consulting a vet as certain medications may cause side effects and interactions. This is applicable to both natural as well as allopathic medicines.
  • Maintain hygiene and protect it from infections.
  • Have a well scheduled diet after consulting a vet.
  • Spend quality time with your pet to save it from mental issues.
  • Set a perfect environment for your buddy to hang out.

Conclusion: Having a dog as a pet is like a having a friend watching over you the whole time with utmost care. Dogs are the only pets who take of their owners like their own kids and stay devoted their entire life time. So it is our duty to protect such wonderful creations of God by doing the best possible for them. If you want your canine to be healthy you have to make sure that you are bringing it up it a healthy manner right from its small age. A healthy puppy with develop into a healthy adult dog rather than a weak puppy which is cared less. So always provide it with the right food and exercise to keep it active.