Glomerulonephritis in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Recognizing and Managing Glomerulonephritis in Dogs

Glomerulonephritis in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Dogs' glomeruli are impacted by the dangerous medical disorder glomerulonephritis. In this article, we will break down this inflammation disorder.

Glomerulonephritis is a serious nephrotic syndrome in dogs, particularly those of certain breeds. The glomeruli, which are small blood arteries inside the kidneys and play a crucial role in filtering waste items from the blood, are impacted by this illness. The glomeruli may not function effectively when they are inflamed, which can result in a variety of symptoms and consequences.

We will look at the causes, signs, and available treatments for canine glomerulonephritis in this article. Recognizing the symptoms of glomerulonephritis in their dogs and seeking the necessary care will help dog owners give their beloved friends the best chance for recovery.


There are several potential causes of this glomerular disease in dogs. Some of the causes include:

  • Immune system disorders: Glomerulonephritis can occur as a result of an overactive immune system that attacks the glomeruli, causing inflammation and damage.

  • Infections: Glomerulonephritis may occasionally result from bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. An immunological reaction brought on by the virus harms the glomeruli.

  • Genetics: Because of a hereditary tendency, several dog breeds, such as Shar-Peis, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, and Samoyeds, are more likely to develop glomerulonephritis.

  • Medication: Glomerulonephritis can occur as a side effect of several medicines, including some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory treatments.

  • Toxins: Glomerulonephritis can be brought on by exposure to some toxins, such as heavy metals or specific chemicals, which can harm the kidneys.

  • Cancer: In rare instances, malignant cells may infiltrate the glomeruli, causing swelling and damage.


The signs of glomerular diseases in dogs can vary based on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. Some common warning indicators to look out for are as follows:

  • Increased urination: Dogs with glomerulonephritis may need to pee more frequently than normal or experience house accidents.

  • Reduced appetite: A decrease in appetite is a typical sign of kidney disease in dogs, and it can also be a sign of glomerulonephritis.

  • Weight loss: Dogs with glomerulonephritis may lose weight as a result of changes to their metabolism or decreased appetite.

  • Vomiting and diarrhea: Dogs with kidney issues may have vomiting and diarrhea as a result of gastrointestinal issues.

  • Lethargy and weakness: Dogs with glomerulonephritis may seem exhausted or weak and may exhibit lower levels of energy.

  • Swelling: Some dogs with glomerulonephritis may experience edema, or swelling, in their legs, faces, or other body parts.

  • Changes in urination: Dogs with glomerulonephritis may have urine that changes in color or smell, or it may even contain blood.

As soon as you see any of these signs in your dog, you should take it to the vet. Glomerulonephritis can quickly worsen and irreversibly damage the kidneys if left untreated.

Treatment Options

The underlying cause of the ailment and the degree of kidney damage will determine the course of treatment for canine glomerulonephritis. Typical forms of treatment include:

  • Medications: Dogs with glomerulonephritis could require medicine to treat their symptoms and stop the kidney damage from becoming worse. This may include drugs to lower blood pressure, control inflammation, or reduce protein loss in the urine.

  • Diet: A specific diet that is high in fatty acids and low in protein and phosphorus may be required for dogs with renal issues. This can ease the burden on the kidneys and prevent the function from declining too quickly.

  • Fluid therapy: To help keep them hydrated and promote kidney function, dogs with glomerulonephritis may require intravenous fluids or subcutaneous fluids.

  • Treatment of underlying conditions: If an underlying illness, such as an infection or an autoimmune disease, is the cause of glomerulonephritis, treating that condition may be important to enhance kidney function.

  • Dialysis: Dogs with glomerulonephritis who have severe symptoms may need dialysis, a procedure in which waste materials are extracted from the blood through an external machine.

Preventive Tips

While there is no surefire way to prevent swollen kidneys in dogs, there are several steps pet owners can take to minimize their dog's risk of developing kidney disease:

  • Routine veterinary check-ups: The early detection of kidney issues before they worsen can be facilitated by routine veterinary appointments.

  • Good dental care: Bad dental hygiene can lead to infections that can damage the kidneys. Brushing your dog's teeth regularly and providing dental treats or toys can help maintain good oral health.

  • Adequate hydration: Ensure that your dog always has access to fresh water, and encourage them to sip often, particularly in hot weather or after activity.

  • Regular exercise: Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and minimize the risk of high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for kidney disease.

  • Avoiding toxins: Keep your dog away from toxic substances such as antifreeze, cleaning products, and certain plants that can damage the kidneys.

  • Proper nutrition: Feeding your dog a balanced diet that is appropriate for their age and activity level can aid kidney health.

Pet owners can lower their dog's risk of acquiring kidney disease, such as glomerulonephritis, by taking these precautions. To guarantee fast treatment and the best outcome for your furry buddy, it's critical to seek veterinarian care as soon as you observe any changes in your dog's behavior or health.

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