Fluid Buildup in the Kidney Due to Kidney or Ureter Obstruction in Dogs

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Your dog will be treated on an inpatient basis and will be started on supportive care (e.g., fluids and antibiotics) while diagnostic testing is performed. Correction of fluid and electrolyte deficits will be undertaken using intravenous fluid therapy over four to six hours, followed by maintenance fluids as needed. If your dog is exhibiting extreme polyuria, (excessive urination), higher maintenance fluid rates will be necessary for replacing those being excreted.

Relieving the lower urinary tract obstruction as soon as possible by catheterization will be a foremost priority, along with serial cystocentesis. Cystostomy is the surgical formation of an opening through the abdomen into the urinary bladder using a tube-like structure. Any obstructions should then be surgically corrected as soon as is possible.

Your veterinarian will discuss with you the possible presence and implications of renal disease and the possible need for surgery should it be diagnosed. Specific treatment (usually surgical) depends on the cause of the disease and whether there is concurrent renal failure or other disease process at work (e.g., metastatic cancer). Emergency surgery is rarely required for renal disease. Kidney removal is generally not necessary unless is is infected or cancerous. If mild disease is secondary to the kidney stones, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, which uses shock waves to break up the kidney stones, may be used as an alternative to surgery.

Ureteral stents have also been used experimentally in dogs. These are hollow, plastic tubes that are surgically placed between the kidney and the bladder, functioning to hold the ureter open to allow normal drainage of urine.

Living and Management

Your veterinarian will schedule follow-up appointments with you every two to four weeks after the obstruction has been successfully removed in order to monitor your dog's progress. Bloodwork will be taken at these appointments to be sure that the blood urea nitrogen and blood creatinine levels have fallen to normal levels. If you notice that your dog is urinating excessively and/or losing weight after the obstruction has been removed, contact your veterinarian for a further examination.

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