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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Signs and Symptoms of Dog Kidney Infection

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

A dog kidney infection can be a very serious issue, as kidneys that don't function properly will hamper the body's ability to naturally eliminate waste. This can lead to a buildup of toxins in the body. If the infection is not treated in a timely manner, it can ultimately lead to kidney failure and even death so you should never take an infection like this lightly.

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The function of the kidneys is to eliminate waste and accumulated toxins from the blood. This is achieved through urination and when it doesn't happen in a routine manner it can cause serious problems. Because kidney function is tied to urination, not surprisingly many of the primary symptoms of infection will be in relation to your dog's urinary habits. If you notice any sudden changes in the number of times your dog urinates or in the smell of his urine, that could be a sign of kidney trouble.

An increase in thirst, accompanied by an increase in urination, is a key indicator of dog kidney infection, as is squatting to go but not producing any urine. As the infection becomes more pronounced you might notice an unpleasant odor to your dog's urine as well as changes in its color or even the presence of blood in the urine.

Photo for Dog Kidney Infection article showing Australian Shepherd drinking water.

traceyhwright /

An increase in thirst and urination can be primary signs of a kidney infection in dogs.

Other symptoms of infection can include a loss of appetite, weight loss, and changes in behavior such as restlessness or depression. This can be particularly noticeable in Australian Shepherds as they normally tend to be very enthusiastic and active dogs. If your dog is suddenly slowing down or not expressing interest in participating in activities he usually likes, it could because he is in pain from a kidney infection.

Because impaired kidney function caused by a dog kidney infection can make it difficult for your dog's body to process food, he will likely show less interest in consuming it. At the same time, he could be exhibiting increased thirst as his body craves water to wash out the built up bacteria and other toxins. And naturally, the more he drinks, the more frequently he will have to urinate.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

More Symptoms Of A Dog Kidney Infection

As an infection gets more serious, your dog might also exhibit symptoms such as vomiting and fever and, if the infection develops into kidney failure, that might be accompanied by diarrhea, very bad breath and sores in the mouth. Of course, you should act quickly at the first signs of an infection so that it never gets to this potentially lethal stage.

If you suspect a dog kidney infection, it is imperative that you get your dog to the vet as quickly as possible so that a proper diagnosis can be made. Your vet will perform a series of blood tests to confirm the presence of an infection and once the diagnosis is made, he will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics.

In most cases, this will be enough to successfully treat the infection. In some more serious cases, where an obstruction of the urinary tract or a kidney stone is involved, surgery may be necessary to remove the blockage.

Having a kidney infection is not a pleasant experience and if left untreated it can be deadly, so always be aware of any sudden changes in your dog's behavior and get him to the vet for diagnosis and treatment so that the infection can be stopped before it spreads. As with any illness in dogs, being a mindful owner and staying on top of any problems is always the best medicine of all. icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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