How do I tell if my dog has acute or chronic kidney failure?
k.c., I’m sorry. Kidney failure is a beast. I lost a dog to this and there aren’t words to describe the pain. It can be difficult to determine acute from chronic. Acute may happen when a dog ingests a poison. It may be possible to reverse acute kidney failure. Now, that said, if the damage is too great, the dog then has chronic kidney failure even if caused by an acute episode. Chronic kidney failure is typically seen due to age (and your guy is elderly) and/or disease process. It can’t be reversed. Fluid therapy can help short-term. The sad thing with kidney failure and the reason it is so horrible, is that the problems don’t begin to show up until the kidneys have 70-75% failure. So, your dog could have been suffering some damage at his blood panel 5 months ago, yet not reached the tipping point for it to show up on the blood work. I wish you all the best. Please talk to the vets and make well-informed choices for his benefit. I really hope you won’t have to say goodbye. It hurts.