I noticed that Tilly didn't seem as active as usual, even though she is 13 years old. She seemed a bit lethargic and was having some urine incontinence. After she was shown in Veterans at the CSCLRC supported entry, I knew that she was not feeling well. She just wasn't perky at all and didn't want to be in the ring which is unusual for Tilly.
So I took her to our vet for a check up. Dr. Shong found that she had a kidney infection. We know that the kidneys are vital organs which maintain the balance of certain chemicals in your dog's blood while filtering out the body's wastes as urine. The kidneys also help regulate blood pressure, help regulate the production of calcium and phosphorus metabolism, and produce a hormone that stimulates red-blood-cell production.
The structural units that work as filters in the kidney are nephrons. The nephrons are susceptible to damage due to many causes such as poisons, aging, infection, trauma, cancer, auto-immune diseases, and genetic predisposition. If any of these occur the entire nephron stops functioning. Fortunately, there are millions of nephrons. If damage to nephrons occurs gradually and the surviving nephrons have enough time to hypertrophy, a kidney can continue to function with as few as 25 percent of its original nephrons.
When the number of functioning nephrons drops below 25 percent or when damage occurs too suddenly for the remaining nephrons to compensate, kidney failure occurs. There are two types of kidney failure. Acute kidney failure is a sudden loss of function that is sometimes but not always reversible. Chronic kidney failure is an irreversible loss of function that occurs gradually over months or years.
Dr. Shong suspected that Tilly had an acute problem. He did a blood workup and found that her levels of creatinine (a chemical byproduct of muscle exertion) were higher than normal. All of her other blood work was good, her joints were good, and her heart was good. He suspected that her infection would respond well to antibiotics.
Tilly was started on Baytril and has gotten much brighter and more like her old self. There is a lot of information about kidney disease in canines on the web. This site has a lot of information that may be useful.