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Dr. Chenoa
Dr. Chenoa, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 217
Experience:  Tufts Veterinary School graduate, Mass licensed vet
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can a dog live if one kidney is removed

Customer Question

my dog has a large mass on his kidney, if removal of the kidney is nessasary can he survive on only one kidney
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Chenoa replied 10 years ago.
Hello,
I'm sorry to hear your dog has a mass. As long as the function of the other kidney is okay, he should do just fine on one kidney. Some tests that can indicate if the second kidney is okay would be intravenous pyelograms, to assess blood flow to the kidney, ultrasound, and possibly clearance testing, where a substance is injected into a vein and subsequent blood draws show how quickly the kidney is clearing it. Since the other kidney has a mass, it is likely not working too well.
Most pets that have one kidney removed do fine with just the one kidney, the big concern would be what type of mass is it, and is it a type of cancer that may have already spread to other organs.
Sometimes, masses on kidneys aren't actually a tumor of the kidney. They can be giant blood blisters, cysts, or even a problem with a neighboring gland called the adrenal gland. If he has already had an ultrasound, this would eliminate a lot of those possibilities, as well as confirm it is confined to the kidney for now.
If this is your major concern in deciding whether or not to pursue surgery, I would say to go ahead with it.
Please let me know if you have any more questions about the procedure, or if you have more information about a more specific condition he has been diagnosed with.
Best of luck,
Dr. Chenoa