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Jessica, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 568
Experience:  Licensed Veterinary Tech with 7 years experience in small animal practice
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I lost my 12-year-old Shih-Tzu to acute kidney failure.

Resolved Question:

I lost my 12-year-old Shih-Tzu to acute kidney failure. She was very healthy and lively and in fact on May 27 of this year had her annual physical with her usual shots. My only complaint at that time was that she had a little diarrhea but I took in a stool sample that came back negative. She became ill on June 24, would not eat or drink water. She was hospitalized with IV''s but died within a couple of days. She ate the recalled Iam''s food a couple of years ago and then I switched her to Little Ceaser Beneful, alternating them, both of which she loved. How did she get kidney failure so suddenly?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jessica replied 9 years ago.
Hi there...I am so sorry this happened to you. It sounds as if you adored this dog!

The truth of the matter is, it is possible your dog may have had chronic renal failure for a long time without it having been diagnosed or noticed, especially if you hadn't had bloodwork done recently. It may appear to your vet that this was acute kidney failure because it seemed to suddenly come on, but if you had not had bloodwork done in the last couple of years, it's possible the kidneys weren't working all that well for a long time. Remember than dogs (and cats) are very good at disguising illness...this is an instinctual behavior to keep potential predators from knowing they are weak.

If it was truly acute renal failure, this could have been caused by toxic injury to the kidneys, decreased blood flow and oxygen delivery to the kidneys, infection, obstruction of the kidneys, or inability to eliminate urine caused by a ruptured bladder. The one way you may have gotten answers is by having done a necropsy on your dog, but even that may not have revealed anything specific.

I am including some links to acute renal failure and chronic renal failure information so you may educate yourself and maybe understand what it is that happened to your sweet dog. Please know that this wasn't your fault...sometimes animals get sick so suddenly that we don't have time to react. And sometimes, even if they have been sick, they are so good at hiding it that we have no idea something is wrong. You obviously loved this dog immensely and were a good owner to her. Take your time to grieve and remember her. Soon the grief will turn into remembrance, and you will smile at all the happy memories you have of her!

Best wishes and I hope this has helped you.
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