Kidney Disease in Dogs
Chicken jerky strips (and other treats?) from China may cause kidney failure in dogs
The FDA and the AVMA have been issuing warnings about chicken jerky treats from China being linked to kidney failure in dogs since 2007. The latest warning came in November, 2011. Dogs in Canada are also getting sick. The cause is still unknown.
Note that these products often appear to be made in the U.S., but if you search carefully, you'll find "Made in China" in tiny print somewhere on the bag.
In April, 2012, reports started coming in about dried sweet potato treats, and possibly pig ears, causing the same problems.
In May 2009, researchers in Australia reported a possible link to Veggie Dents dental chews as well.
See Recalls for more information.
My interest in kidney disease stems from being involved with a breed, the Chinese Shar-Pei, that is prone to genetic kidney disease (renal amyloidosis), and belonging to a family that also has genetic kidney problems (my grandfather, father, uncle and sister all have had Polycystic Kidney Disease).
I have compiled information here on diet, supplements, and medical treatments for dogs with some degree of kidney disease. One of my main goals is to provide alternatives to feeding your dog k/d, which I believe is inappropriate for dogs with early-stage kidney disease. It is also a problem if your dog does not want to eat it, as many dogs do not.
The first section is about the Tests Used to Diagnose Kidney Disease. This information will help you to understand your dog's diagnosis, and decide whether additional tests might be advisable. It is important to know the severity of your dog's problem to best understand how to treat it, and it can also be meaningful to find the cause of the problem, especially in younger dogs, who may be suffering from Acute Renal Failure (ARF) rather than Chronic Renal Failure (CRF).
Next is Diet for Dogs with Kidney Disease. This section will not provide specific diets, but will give you the information you need to create your own diet that is right for your dog.
Is Feeding a Low Protein Diet Necessary or Desirable? provides links to and excerpts from a number of different articles and studies that show that feeding a low protein diet will not prolong your dog's life or slow the progression of the disease.
A Table is provided that lists nutritional values for a number of different foods you may want to feed.
Information on Supplements for dogs with kidney disease is also provided.
- NAT Nutritional Analysis Tools and System Calculate the nutrient content of various foods in a meal
- USDA Nutrient Database or Nutrition Facts Database Look up the nutrient content of individual foods
- Raw Meaty Bones Analysis Lists the nutrient content of several different raw meaty bones
- Nutrition Counter Lists the amount of sodium (Na), Potassium (K) and Phosphorus in various foods
- Phosphorus and Calcium Guidelines Lists the amount of calcium and phosphorus in various foods
- Potassium and Sodium Guidelines Lists the amount of potassium and sodium in various foods
- A Guide to Good Nutrition Links to information on various foods and nutrients (human oriented)
- Dietary management of chronic renal failure General information on the role of protein, phosphorus, fat, sodium, potassium and calcium in the diet of dogs with chronic renal failure.
Web Sites with Current Information on Kidney Disease
- International Renal Interest Society (IRIS) See IRIS Guidelines for clearly written information on staging of CKD and treatment recommendations.
- Dogs with kidney problems Excellent article on kidney disease in dogs, written by a vet
- Kidney Failure in the Dog and Cat Good overview of the different types of kidney failure and their causes
- Chronic Renal Failure: What You Should Know Another good overview with information on test results and treatment options
- Managing a Renal Crisis
- Chronic Renal Failure and Diabetes
- Plan of Action for Amyloidosis Although this article is geared toward Shar-Pei with amyloidosis, it has a lot of information about various medications and dosages used to treat dogs with chronic kidney disease.
- Chronic Renal Disease and Failure (CRD, CRF) Very technical but lots of good information.
- Class Notes from WSU College of Veterinary Medicine Highly technical but very good information.
- The Canine Kidney from the Waltham Course on Clinical Nutrition.
- Chronic Renal Failure Class notes, highly technical but informative.
- Chronic Renal Failure Very complete overview of different tests and treatments for various problems relating to kidney disease.
- Prolonging Life and Kidney Function Very thorough overview of treatment for various aspects of kidney disease from 2009 conference proceedings.
- Phosphatemia: Management in the Treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease, A Roundtable Discussion (2006) Detailed information regarding phosphorus restriction and the use of binders.
- 11 guidelines for conservatively treating chronic kidney disease Written for vets but fairly easy to understand.
- Tanya's UK Feline Chronic Renal Failure Information Centre Feline oriented, but lots of good information
- Feline CRF Information Center Feline oriented, very informative.
- Chronic Renal Failure from Holisticat
- Kidney Disease in Dogs Lots of links to information of all kinds. Also includes some homemade diets near the bottom of the page.
- Canine and Feline Nephrology and Urology Page Links to more info
- IRIS 2009 Treatment Guidelines See sections on Proteinuria
- Glomerulonephritis in Dogs
- Glomerulonephritis in Dogs (pages 1-4; click Close Windows on the popup)
- Glomerulonephritis and Allergies Article from Good Dog Magazine
- New Thoughts On Proteinuria And Management Of Glomerulonephritis
- Lyme Disease
- What Every Dog Owner Should Know About Lyme Disease
These sites are technical, but provide very good information:
- Glomerulonephritis remains an important cause of renal disease in dogs (be sure to see both pages)
- Glomerulonephritis in Dogs and Cats
- Diagnosis and Management of Canine Glomerular Disease
- Proteinuria and Renal Disease: A Roundtable Discussion
- Strategies for Protein Losing Nephropathy
- Assessment and Management of Proteinuria in Dogs and Cats
- Glomerulopathy (glomerulonephritis) (GN)
- Protein Losing Nephropathy: An Overview
- Protein Losing Nephropathy
Leptospirosis (Acute Renal Failure)
- Leptospirosis in Dogs
- Update on Leptospirosis
- 2010 ACVIM Small Animal Consensus Statement on Leptospirosis: Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Treatment, and Prevention
- An Overview of Canine Leptospirosis
- Leptospirosis - An Update
- Leptospirosis posing new threat for canine hepatic, renal disease
- Lethargic Chesapeake Case study of a dog with lepto
- Serovars that may cause disease in dogs Table of the serovars commonly transmitted by a variety of different animals
If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me, but I have less time to answer questions than I used to, and it may be several days to a week before I can respond. My name is Mary Straus and you can email me at either or