Uremia, also known as kidney or renal failure, is the condition characterized by raised levels of urea, protein products, amino acids and other potential toxic substance in the blood. A uremic crisis is present when kidney failure is in its advanced stage and cannot filter urea (body waste) through the kidneys, causing blood poisoning. This condition can appear slowly overtime, known as chronic kidney failure, while it can also occur suddenly, as a result of kidney injuries or obstruction in the urinary tubes that connect kidneys to the bladder. When the onset is sudden, it is known as acute kidney failure or uremia. Acute uremia is treatable with timely diagnosis and prompt treatment.
Any dog can be affected by this condition, however, most affected dogs are between six to eight years of age. The most common cause of uremia is exposure to chemicals such as antifreeze.
The signs typically do not appear until about 75% of functioning kidney tissues have been destroyed. Therefore, the kidneys have suffered significant damage by the time the condition becomes apparent. The buildup of toxins produces the signs and symptoms of uremic poisoning. A dog affected with acute uremia will typically look depressed. Other obvious symptoms may include loss of appetite, vomitting, diarrhea, bad breath, mouth ulcers, fever, decreased or increased pulse and urine output, seizures and coma.