How Long Can A Dog Live With Kidney Failure? (2023)

Kidney disease continues to be a serious health problem for dogs and cats that usually cut their life short. Over the years the situation has been improving thanks to the greater awareness about the need for detecting and addressing kidney disease.

Aging Causes Kidney Slowdown

Dogs end up with kidney problems for two reasons. One is the age factor that wears out the kidney tissues and second is unhealthy food. The aging complications are often linked with the size of the dog.

In small dogs, kidney failure issues generally show up after 10 to 14 years whereas in large dogs kidney problems can begin after six years of age. When age advances the filtration capability of kidneys becomes slower, inefficient, and ineffective.

Timely medical attention for a sustained treatment and use of food supplements and medications could lessen the scope of kidney failure among dogs, and extend a dogs life who is dealing with kidney failure.
Therefore, a dog with kidney failure can live a long time.

However, kidney failure does not mean automatic death. Many dogs facing kidney failure can live on a small amount of function with the proper nutrition, supplements and medication.

Treatment For DogsWith Kidney Failure

The treatment of chronic kidney disease is planned based on test results. However, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment can help dogs carry on with a normal lifestyle for many months or years.

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There has to be urgency in addressing the life-threatening kidney disease among pets as they are emotionally tied with a person and his family sharing amazing love and devotion.

Kidney diseases are described by many names including renal failure, kidney failure, and renal insufficiency. When kidneys of a dog become dysfunctional it affects every system in the body.

Kidney disease builds up toxins in the bloodstream, and the progression will lead to the following issues:

  • Dehydration
  • High blood pressure
  • Decreased urine output
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Blood in urine
  • Inability to regulate body temperature
  • Anaemia
  • Seizures

Dogs with acute renal failure will show many of the above conditions which will deteriorate in the days ahead. In the case of chronic kidney disease, these symptoms worsen over months or years depending on the dog’s response to the treatment.

Acute renal failure is often reversible. But timely treatment can prolong life considerably although abrupt outcomes are also not uncommon.

We have data on cases where dogs with kidney disease have lived many years by due care and treatment. But delayed treatment or severe CKD could curb life even if the best treatment for stage 2 or stage 4 kidney diseases is rendered.

According to Stanley Rubin, a veterinary expert at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital, an insidious onset marks out chronic kidney disease that becomes progressively worse.

The obvious early signs include pet drinking more and urinating frequently. In cats kidney disease also shows up as selective eating habits and acute blindness.

(Video) Old Dog Kidney Failure

This happens from the blood pressure that hurts the eyesight and also damages the central nervous system and a host of organs. Ultimately, the life expectancy of a dog or cat will be severely curtailed by the kidney disease.

Signs of kidney disease in dogs

Vets detect kidney disease among dogs from the following signs. They normally ask for details on the following problems from pet owners.

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Drowsiness
  • Lack of hunger
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrohea
  • Weight loss

Phases of kidney treatment

The kidney treatment of dogs usually occurs in two phases, first, the kidneys are flushed for removing the accumulated toxins from the blood, and treatments start that would manage the disease and delay the progression of renal disease.

In the first phase, intravenous fluids are be administered to ‘flush” the kidneys and the bloodstream. The process is called diuresis and repairs damaged kidney cells as well to make them functional again by removing the toxic metabolites.

If there are enough functional kidney cells left in the ailing pet, the filtration and waste removal of kidneys can be reactivated.

To assess the degree of damage to kidneys vets use the IRIS (The International Renal Interest Society) staging system on serum creatinine levels, with a sub-staging on protein in the urine by measuring the protein: creatinine ratio [UPC]) and the blood pressure.

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That initial treatment will also address shortcomings in nutrition and control vomiting and diarrhea by medicines to generate a feel-good condition for the dog.

A urinalysis will evaluate the conditions of kidney functions. If the urine specific gravity (USCG) is lower, it can be taken as an indication of kidney disease. The enhanced presence of protein in the urine will also indicate decreased function of the kidney.

The volume of waste products in the blood such as blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and blood creatinine (CREA) will indicate the deceleration of the kidney functions. Tests on the levels of albumin, globulin, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and calcium, plus the red and white blood cell in the blood will show the extent of kidney failure.

Constant vigilance is the key to saving cats or dogs from kidney ailments. The most important path to mitigation is the prevention of the build-up of free radicals and inflammation that eventually leads to the breakdown of kidneys.

Food supplements as remedy for kidney disease

Now the good news is that many supplements are available in the market that when added to pets’ daily meals will ensure a healthy life. Our very own is one such supplement that supports normal kidney function and pets’ health.

Kidney failure progresses at a slower pace and even an outwardly healthy pet may be undergoing the strain of kidney issues. The above-mentioned supplements save pets from the terminal condition which comes from the sudden disclosure of damage to kidneys.

The critical role of kidneys as organs that filter the blood to remove toxins and chemicals is well understood. If the kidneys are in a state of damage or collapsing from the effects of toxins, nitrogenous waste, free radicals, and build-up of acids it will be a case of negligence also.

(Video) My dog died from Kidney Failure

Fortunately, diet control and science-based supplements have come a long way in supporting normal kidney function even among pets.

A good diet plan can be the centre piece of a dog’s chronic kidney disease (CKD) treatment road map. According to Tufts University’s Veterinary Medical Center, a dog battling kidney disease must be served food that has less phosphorus, protein and sodium compared to regular dog foods.

Kidney Shield

There is a breakthrough natural kidney formula for pets known as now on offer containing the best omega-3 fatty acids derived from deep-sea cold fish. Its usage ensures the supply of cleanest levels of EPA/DHA for a pet’s health.

According to researchers, omega-3 fatty acids, found in plenty with fish and seafood is best to check inflammation and in ensuring normal kidney functioning. It carries two crucial health-giving compounds EPA and DHA.

By the effective supplementing of omega-3s in the pet’s diet, the spread of free radicals and toxins can be arrested and normal kidney function can be ensured.

Our supplement offers the best antioxidants as a supplement that is safe but natural too. Free from any adverse effects, it takes care of a pet’s body in several ways.

Kidney Shield is made from very rich sources including wild Alaskan Salmon, sardine, mackerel, and anchovies that are treasure troves of powerful omega-3 fatty acids.

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To conclude, identifying the basic cause of kidney damage quite early is most important, as far as pets are concerned. It may include leptospirosis, kidney stones, or bacterial infections. Prevention is always better than cure.


How Long Can A Dog Live With Kidney Failure? ›

It's best if some treatments are started when the pet is at a specific stage of chronic kidney disease. Median survival time for dogs in Stage 1 is more than 400 days, while Stage 2 ranged from 200 to 400 days and Stage 3 ranged from 110 to 200 days.

What are the final stages of kidney failure in dogs? ›

Common signs that a dog may be entering their final days include weakness, lethargy, decreased appetite, decreased activity level, difficulty breathing or labored breathing, change in behavior or overall attitude, and confusion.

Is a dog in pain when it has kidney failure? ›

Is Dog Kidney Failure Painful? Kidney failure usually comes with a lot of pain. Most times we can see the signs; from the tremors to the vomiting and the loss of appetite. It is important that you prioritize your dogs' comfort.

How quickly does kidney failure progress in dogs? ›

PROGNOSIS. Prognosis is associated with severity of disease. Studies have shown shorter median survival times in dogs with higher IRIS stages. Median survival time for IRIS Stage 1 dogs was over 400 days, Stage 2 ranged from 200 to 400 days, Stage 3 ranged from 110 to 200 days, and Stage 4 ranged from 14 to 80 days.

Can a dog with kidney failure survive? ›

It is estimated that more than half of pets suffering from acute kidney failure either die from the condition or are euthanized to prevent suffering. That said, if caught early and treated aggressively some dogs are able to recover from acute kidney failure.

How can I make my dog comfortable with kidney failure? ›

Management tips for dogs with CKD

A warm, comfortable place to sleep. Easy access to food and water. A palatable kidney prescription diet. Fluids administered under the skin, if directed by your veterinarian.

How much does it cost to treat kidney failure in dogs? ›

The cost of treating kidney failure in dogs can vary based on the prognosis. Costs can range from several hundred dollars a month for supportive care (special foods, hydration therapy done at home) to thousands of dollars for dialysis or a kidney transplant.

What is the best food to feed a dog with kidney failure? ›

These diets are formulated to help dogs with CKD avoid metabolic acidosis and are available from your veterinarian. Examples include Hill's® Prescription Diet® k/d®, Royal Canin® Veterinary Diet Canine Renal Support, Purina® ProPlan® Veterinary Diet NF Kidney Function®, and Rayne Clinical Nutrition™ Adult Health-RSS™.

How sudden is kidney failure in dogs? ›

Signs of acute kidney failure in dogs will come on quickly, usually within a couple of hours or days of ingesting the toxin. If your dog is experiencing acute kidney failure, you might notice one or more of these symptoms: Lethargy. Increase or decrease in volume of urine.

What are the symptoms of worsening kidney disease? ›

And as kidney disease progresses, you may notice the following symptoms. Nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps, loss of appetite, swelling via feet and ankles, dry, itchy skin, shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, urinating either too much or too little.

Do dogs with kidney failure still eat? ›

Loss of appetite is usual in kidney disease. Tempting a dog to eat who is probably very nauseous due to toxins accumulating in his blood is often a labor of perseverance, love, and high anxiety.

Do dogs drink a lot with kidney failure? ›

Early Signs Of Kidney Disease

One of the earliest signs of kidney disease is a marked increase in drinking and urination. Dogs often drink copious amounts of water which is often referred to as polydipsia. Of course, this is logically followed by excessive urination (polyuria).

Will a dog with kidney failure eat? ›

Since dogs with kidney disease sometimes have poor appetites, they need to eat enough to stay at a normal weight; losing weight—particularly muscle tissue—can put added stress on their kidneys. An ideal diet will have a high concentration of calories, yet still be low in protein and phosphorus.

What can a vet do for kidney failure? ›

IV fluids: the initial treatment for acute kidney failure is intravenous (IV) fluids. These fluids are used to restore good hydration and to flush out the substances that the kidneys should be removing from the bloodstream.

How can I treat my dogs kidney failure at home? ›

A low protein diet is recommended to slow the progression of renal disease in pets,” says Dr. Grzyb, as is a diet that is low in phosphorus, calcium, and sodium. Diets lower in protein and these minerals can help stabilize and even improve kidney enzymes—leading to a healthier pet with a longer life span.

What do vets do after they put a dog to sleep? ›

Following euthanasia, your veterinarian or veterinary nurse or technician will help to gently clean your pet if necessary, and remove any intravenous cannula that was placed. Then, depending on whether you are burying your pet at home, having your pet cremated or are still undecided, a few different things may happen.

Are eggs good for dogs with kidney failure? ›

Are eggs good for dogs with kidney disease? Eggs are a great source of protein for dogs, but make sure they are cooked. For dogs with kidney failure, this protein should be fed in moderation and with care as the yolk has high amounts of phosphorus.

Why is my dog shaking when he has kidney failure? ›

Should your dog experience kidney failure or chronic kidney disease, his potassium levels may be low, leading to muscle weakness and tremors. Also known as hypoadrenocorticism, Addison's disease occurs due to a decrease in the secretion of corticosteroid from the dog's adrenal gland.

Is white rice good for dogs with kidney disease? ›

Healthy dogs can safely enjoy some table scraps like lean meats, bland rice or pasta, and some fruits and vegetables.

What is red flags in kidney disease? ›

Reduced GFR is a red flag for six major complications in patients with CKD: acute kidney injury risk, resistant hypertension, metabolic abnormalities, adverse drug reactions, accelerated cardiovascular disease and progression to end-stage kidney disease.

What is the number one symptom of kidney failure? ›

Decreased urine output, although occasionally urine output remains normal. Fluid retention, causing swelling in your legs, ankles or feet. Shortness of breath. Fatigue.

What is the last symptom of kidney failure? ›

Some of the most common end-of-life kidney failure signs include: Water retention/swelling of legs and feet. Loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. Confusion.

How long does the final stage of kidney failure last? ›

Once the patient reaches end stage renal disease (ESRD), death usually occurs within a few weeks. This can be longer or shorter depending on the patient's overall health, and how much kidney function they have left.

How do I know if my dog's organs are shutting down? ›

The most prominent sign that you will notice is a complete relaxation of the body, your dog will no longer appear tense, rather they will “let go.” You will notice a slimming of the body as the air is expelled from their lungs for the last time and you may notice the lack of life in their eyes if they are still open.

What is the last stage of kidney failure before death? ›

Overview. End-stage renal failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), is the final, permanent stage of chronic kidney disease, where kidney function has declined to the point that the kidneys can no longer function on their own.

What is stage 5 end stage kidney failure? ›

Stage 5 CKD means your kidneys are getting very close to failure or have already failed. Kidney failure is also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). If your kidneys fail, you will need to start dialysis or have a kidney transplant to live.

Is end stage kidney failure painful? ›

Kidney failure occurs when your kidneys no longer function well enough to meet your body's needs. It is also known as end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). About 60% to 70% of people with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) experience pain.

What are the symptoms of stage 4 kidney disease in dogs? ›

The clinical signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and very bad breath. Occasionally, ulcers will be found in the mouth.

How close is death when kidneys shut down? ›

Without life-sustaining dialysis or a kidney transplant, once a person with kidney disease reaches stage 5 (end stage renal disease or ESRD), toxins build up in the body and death usually comes within a few weeks.

What organs shut down first when a dog is dying? ›

A common reason dogs lose interest when they are dying is that their brain functions begin to shut down.

Did my dog know he was being put to sleep? ›

Answer: Fortunately for us, dogs do not understand they are going to be put down and what happens after they are given the injection that puts them to sleep.

Does kidney failure cause sudden death? ›

Chronic kidney disease patients face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality, and the risk of sudden cardiac death increases as kidney function declines.

Is kidney failure a gentle death? ›

A natural death from kidney failure does not hurt. As toxins build up in your blood, you will start to feel sleepy. Water building up in your blood can make it hard to breathe. You may want to have treatments that remove water but not toxins, to make you comfortable.

What to expect hours before death? ›

In the hours before death, most people fade as the blood supply to their body declines further. They sleep a lot, their breathing becomes very irregular, and their skin becomes cool to the touch. Those who do not lose consciousness in the days before death usually do so in the hours before.

What color is urine when your kidneys are failing? ›

When your kidneys are failing, a high concentration and accumulation of substances lead to brown, red, or purple urine. Studies suggest the urine color is due to abnormal protein or sugar as well as high numbers of cellular casts and red and white blood cells.

What is stage 6 kidney failure? ›

End stage renal disease is the final stage of chronic kidney disease, in which the kidneys are functioning at less than 15 percent of their normal capabilities. The kidneys experience complete or near complete failure and are unable to function on their own.

How long does stage 5 kidney failure last? ›

How long can you live with stage 5 CKD? If you choose to start dialysis treatment, stage 5 kidney disease life expectancy is five to 10 years on average, though some patients have lived on dialysis for 20 years or more.


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2. The Story of My Dog with Kidney Failure...
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3. Symptoms of Kidney Disease in Dogs Stages 3-5. Canine Kidney Disease Signs & Symptoms
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