Diseases of our smaller brothers are “everyday things,” as one well-known character used to say. Of course, in most cases, everything is limited to commonplace fleas or helminths, but sometimes more serious cases occur. For example, pyelonephritis in dogs.
General description of the disease and clinical manifestations
In general, what is it? This is called inflammation of a bacterial nature that arose in the renal pelvis. Bacteria can enter the kidneys during septic infections, but more often they rise through the urinary tract in case of their disease. The pathology is severe, accompanied by fever, severe intoxication, which occurs due to impaired renal excretory function. What signs may indicate the presence of this disease? Here is their main list:
- Polydipsia and polyuria (thirst and increased urination).
- Abdominal pain or pain in the lumbar region.
- Painful urination.
- When urinating, the dog is very tense, pushing.
- In the urine, you can often notice blood or even its clots.
- Allocations can acquire a fetid odor.
- Lethargy (coma occurs due to intoxication).
- Loss of appetite.
- Intermittent fever.
Note that for any damage to the kidneys, hormonal disorders can be observed, since many substances are released in the adrenal glands, which are extremely important for the normal functioning of the body. The main symptoms associated with pyelonephritis can be mild, and in some cases go unnoticed. You should know that this disease must be distinguished from other pathologies that may be accompanied by similar symptoms:
- Urolithiasis (stones). Here it should be noted that they themselves can contribute to the development of pyelonephritis, and these two diseases in this case proceed interconnected.
- Infections of the lower urinary tract.
- Chronic renal failure.
- Bacterial prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate).
- Metritis (inflammation of the uterus).
- Orchitis, balanoposthitis, urethritis.
- Benign and malignant neoplasms.
Other causes of fever and pain during palpation of the abdomen, such as pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or peritonitis (inflammation of the abdomen), can also be confused with damage to the renal pelvis. Other causes of increased thirst and increased urination include hypercorticism (Cushing's disease), diabetes mellitus, and various liver diseases.
How is an accurate diagnosis made with a suspicion of this pathology? In general, they carry out normal tests: a general blood test and its biochemical analysis, and urine status is checked. To make a differential diagnosis and exclude adverse diseases, the following types of diagnostic studies can be used:
- Bacteriological examination of urine to check for related infection.
- Radiographs of the abdominal cavity to exclude or confirm the presence of calculi (stones) and other diseases that could "imitate" pyelonephritis (including tumors of benign and malignant etiology).
- Ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity to visualize the urinary tract (in particular, you can see the renal pelvis) and other structures of the abdominal cavity.
- A special composition is introduced to the animal, the elements of which are deposited in the kidneys and ureters, and then an X-ray examination is performed. The components used in this technique glow brightly under x-rays, and therefore all structures of the affected organ are clearly visible.
Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity is especially important and is often the only available and truly accurate diagnostic test method. Ultrasound is very necessary not only to assess the condition of the kidneys, but also to distinguish between infection of the upper and lower urinary tract. There are characteristic changes that are the main visible signs of developed pyelonephritis. The kidneys can be enlarged in case of an acute course, but in a chronic course, their size is slightly larger than a stunted walnut. The only difficulty is that for the correct interpretation of the obtained data you need good equipment and a competent specialist.
Therapeutic measures and caring for a sick animal
It is very important from the very beginning to determine whether the animal can be cured at home, or whether it will be necessary to leave it in the clinic. Treatment may include:
- Diet therapy.
- The treatment of pyelonephritis in dogs with antibiotics is one of the most common and effective methods, but its effectiveness is only high if the drug has been previously tested (on bacterial cultures).
- Replacement, symptomatic treatment: painkillers, agents for maintaining cardiac and respiratory activity, other drugs.
Finally, in some cases (not only when removing stones) you have to turn to surgical intervention. Only a veterinarian can decide on a complete cure. An ill dog should undergo clinical examination at least once a month. This is especially important after prolonged antibiotic therapy: it is important to make sure that the pathogen in the animal’s body is actually gone.
Here's how to treat this disease. Of course, effective therapy is possible only in a well-equipped veterinary clinic. At home, you can’t do anything ... Although, proper nutrition for a sick dog will be completely within your power to organize. First, you need to limit the amount of protein that comes with food. From meat you can give only well-cooked, low-fat chicken. It is also advisable to include vegetables that are mixed with chicken broth in a diet through a fine sieve. Potatoes, pasta and bread do not need to be given, since an excess of carbohydrates at this moment is also undesirable.