Anyone familiar with elderly dogs with kidney failure/disease?

My Old English Sheepdog is 15 years old, and for a few days he had diarrhea and no appetite, and this morning he started both having diarrhea and puking out blood sometimes. We thought for sure he was going to have to be put to sleep, but we asked the vet her opinion and she said she would do some blood work to see if his kidneys started failing. When the vet came back she said that was the problem, but since he was doing fine just a few days ago and he doesn't really have any other health problems, the vet recommended we should put him on IV fluids for a few days and see what happens afterwards. She said a lot of dogs get better afterwards, and some don't respond to the IV at all. I felt better afterwards knowing there's still hope for him but I'm still worried. I was just wondering who's dog has been through this or know someone else's who has been through it and how well they felt after the treatments.

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am so sorry to hear about your dogs problems. I know, it is heartbreaking :o(

    The symptoms you are describing may indicate kidney failure, BUT - those symptoms are also classic for an autoimmune disease called Addison's disease. Addison's is often misdiagnosed as kidney failure, because, strictly speaking this is what is happening - However, Addison's is easily treatable with either Florinef or monthly Percoten-V (DOCP) injections.

    Addison's disease is the total failure of the adrenal glands.... which consequently leads to kidney and heart failure, if not treated. Dogs can die within hours when they crash and only immediate IV fluid treatment (and consequent diagnosis and treatment) can safe them.

    Obviously, I do not know your dog and your vet might (SHOULD) have already checked for Addison's. On the other hand, most vets still believe that Addison's is rare, and they do not think of testing for it. Sadly, it is no longer rare, and OES dogs are genetically predisposed to this condition.

    Please contact your vet and ask that they check for Addison's via an ACTH test (which is the ultimate test for this condition) or at least do an Electrolyte's blood test, where HIGH Potassium and LOW Sodium would be indicators for this disease.

    I hope this helps - please don't lose any time asking your vet to check. If it were Addison's and not kidney failure, it is very treatable....

  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Improve Kidney Function Today :
  • 1 decade ago

    The unfortunate part of renal failure is the kidney's inability to regenerate itself. Nothing can be done to restore the function that has already been lost, but aggressive fluid therapy (inpatient IV fluids for several days), followed by subsequent occasional fluids, in addition to a low protein diet (such as Hill's Prescription k/d) can help slow down futher destruction.

    There's no curing kidney disease, but it can be managed for a certain amount of time, varying depending on the amount of function lost prior to diagnosis, and response to treatment. Many pets do well for months after starting therapy, but unfortunately there are some that do not respond. I certainly hope your girl's in the first category. Only retesting her bloodwork after a few days in the hospital will tell.

    I wish you the best of luck, you and your pup are in my thoughts...15 years is quite an age for a Sheepdog!

    Source(s): Certified Veterinary Technician My 16 year-old Persian had renal failure...managed for several months before quality of life required the very tough decision for euthanasia.
  • 5 years ago

    Heal Kidney Disease Forever :

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  • 1 decade ago

    Sorry honey they don't always work it is time to say good-bye to

    your old friend and let him or her pass with dignity.

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