Kidney Enlargement in Dogs

Renomegaly is the enlargement of one or both kidneys, caused by any number of conditions. This enlargement can be felt through abdominal palpation and confirmed via X-rays and ultrasounds. This abnormal enlargement of kidneys may hamper function of other body systems such as the respiratory, nervous, hormonal, urinary, and digestive systems.

To determine if the kidney(s) are abnormally large or not, a quick rule of thumb is that the kidney length on abdominal radiographs should be approximately equivalent to 2.5 to 3.5 times the length of the second lumbar vertebra in dogs. 

Some dogs with abnormally large kidney(s) may remain asymptomatic (without symptoms) while other can display signs related to this condition. Common signs include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, oral ulcers, dehydration, weight loss, loss of appetite, discolored urine, pale mucous membrane, bad breath, abdominal pain and/or mass, abnormally large abdomen, palpable kidneys, excessive thirst and urination (polydipsia and polyuria).


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