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Answers from vets about your dog:

Top 5 Most Damaging Kidney Toxins for Dogs

Reviewed by Dr. Celeste Clements, DVM, DACVIM on Monday, July 13, 2015
Posted July 21, 2015 in Dog Toxins & Poisons

Adult dog on couch

As an emergency critical care veterinary specialist and toxicologist, I see a lot of poisoning cases in the ER. Some of the most life-threatening and costly are poisoning cases that cause acute kidney injury (AKI). Even with treatment, AKI can result in chronic scarring or permanent damage to the kidneys, predisposing your dog to chronic kidney disease (CKD). That’s why it’s important to be aware of these potential kidney toxins to keep your dog away from.

Depending on what type of kidney toxin is the culprit, the most common clinical signs of kidney poisoning include:

Typically, veterinary treatment and evaluation includes:

  • Decontamination (e.g., inducing vomiting and giving activated charcoal to bind the poison from the stomach and intestines)
  • Daily blood work to monitor kidney function
  • Aggressive intravenous (IV) fluids
  • Anti-vomiting medication
  • Urine monitoring
  • Symptomatic supportive care

Typically, hospitalization for 24-72 hours is necessary, depending on the kidney toxin. The prognosis is almost always better when the poisoning is identified sooner, rather than later. Once clinical signs of poisoning are seen, the cost and duration of hospitalization is more costly and longer, and the prognosis is worse.

And without further ado, here are the top 5 most dangerous kidney poisons to keep out of reach of your dog!

1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
Most of you know that you should never give any human over-the-counter (OTC) medication without consulting a veterinarian, right? That’s because common human drugs including NSAIDs (e.g. Advil®, Aleve® and Motrin) can cause serious harm to pets when ingested, and cause stomach and intestinal ulcers as well as potential acute kidney injury (AKI). Even veterinary NSAIDs – while safer than human NSAIDs – can result in similar problems when ingested in large amounts. That’s why it’s so important to keep chewable veterinary prescription NSAIDs out of reach – even your cat finds them tasty. Rarely, adverse side effects can be seen even at therapeutic doses, so if you notice any vomiting, diarrhea or side effects, check with your veterinarian before giving an additional doses.”

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Justine has more than 18 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a board-certified emergency critical care veterinary specialist and toxicologist as well as the CEO and founder of Vetgirl. She is also a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.