Kidney Disease Symptoms in Dogs and Cats

Symptoms of kidney disease in pets

The first signs of kidney disease in pets include excessive drinking and urinating. Eventually your pet's energy level and appetite drops, with subsequent weight loss. In advanced cases, ulcers may develop on the gums or in the mouth. Digestive disturbances may occur, including vomiting and diarrhea. Pale gums may develop, along with a toxic odor from the mouth known as uremic breath.

Early kidney disease symptoms:

  • Excessive drinking and urinating
  • Decreased energy level, appetite
  • Weight loss

Advanced kidney disease symptoms:

  • Ulcers
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pale gums
  • Bad breath
Diagnosis of kidney disease in dogs and cats

Although history and physical exam findings may lead to a suspicion of kidney disease in pets, blood and urine tests are essential in the definitive diagnosis of kidney disease. Microscopic urine analysis and possibly urine cultures may be needed. Blood parameters, especially the blood creatinine level, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and blood phosphorus levels are commonly elevated in pets with kidney disease.