how long can a dog live with kidney failure?

Dog Health how long can a dog live with kidney failure?, I have an 11 year old golden retriever who has just been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure, most likely how long will he have to live?...

08-01-11, 00:21
  how long can a dog live with kidney failure?
I have an 11 year old golden retriever who has just been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure, most likely how long will he have to live?

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08-01-11, 00:35
Treatment of kidney failure in dogs occurs in two phases. The first phase is to "restart" the kidneys. Large quantities of intravenous fluids are given to "flush out" the kidneys. This flushing process, called diuresis, helps to stimulate the kidney cells to function again. If enough functional kidney cells remain, they may be able to adequately meet the body's needs for waste removal. Fluid therapy includes replacement of various electrolytes, especially potassium. Other important aspects of initial treatment include proper nutrition and drugs to control vomiting and diarrhea.

There are three possible outcomes from the first phase of treatment of kidney failure in dogs: 1) The kidneys will resume functioning and continue to function for a few weeks to a few years. 2) The kidneys will resume functioning during treatment but fail again as soon as treatment stops. 3) Kidney function will not return. Unfortunately, there are no reliable tests that will predict the outcome.

The second phase of treatment in dogs is to keep the kidneys functioning as long as possible. This is accomplished with one or more of the following, depending on the situation:

1. A special diet. The ideal diet is low in protein, low in phosphorus, and not acidified. This type of diet helps to keep the blood tests as close to normal as possible, which usually makes your dog feel better. Also, once kidney disease is advanced, a decreased protein diet will decrease the workload on the kidneys.

2. A phosphate binder. Phosphorous is removed from the body by filtering through the kidneys. Once the filtration process is impaired, phosphorous begins to accumulate in the blood. This also contributes to lethargy and poor appetite. Certain drugs will bind excess phosphates in the intestinal tract so they are not absorbed, resulting in lower blood levels of phosphorus.

3. Fluids given at home. Once your dog is stabilized, fluids can be given under the skin (subcutaneously). This serves to continually "restart" the kidneys as their function begins to fail again. This is done once daily to once weekly, depending on the degree of kidney failure. Although this might not sound like something you can do, you will be surprised at how easily the technique can be learned and how well most dogs will tolerate it.

4. A drug to regulate the parathyroid gland and calcium levels. Calcium and phosphorus must remain at about a 2:1 ratio in the blood. The increase in blood phosphorus level, as mentioned above, stimulates the parathyroid gland to increase the blood calcium level by removing it from bones. This can be helpful for the sake of the normalizing calciumhosphorus ratio, but it can make the bones brittle and easily broken. Calcitriol can be used to reduce the function of the parathyroid gland and to increase calcium absorption from the intestinal tract. This is recommended if there is evidence of abnormal function of the parathyroid gland.

5. A drug to stimulate the bone marrow to produce new red blood cells. The kidneys produce erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. Therefore, many dogs in kidney failure have a low red blood cell count, anemia. Epogen (or Procrit), synthetic forms of erythropoietin, will correct the anemia in most dogs. Unfortunately for some dogs, the drug cannot be used long term because the immune system recognizes the drug as "foreign" and will make antibodies (immune proteins) against it. This is recommended if there is persistent anemia present.
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08-01-11, 01:13
Depends on what caused the kidney failure, how much function he has left, and whether the progression can be stopped. If he has little or no kidney function left, he has not long to live. One of my co-worker's dogs was diagnosed with kidney failure December 23rd, and had to be put to sleep December 24th when she began to urinate blood. But I've also known some dogs to live for a year or more after diagnosis when they had more function left and the vet was able to slow or stop the deterioration. The only person who can answer your question is the vet who diagnosed him.
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08-01-11, 02:16

I'm not vet & neither is anyone else on this forum so my suggestion is to not take any advise other then from the vet that diagnosed you r dog. If you are concerned about having to do another consult the vet should tell you for free over the phone.
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