Issue Description Kidney cancer is any cancer that originates in
a kidney. Other Names Kidney Cancer, Renal Neoplasia
Causes Renal (kidney) tumors are rare in dogs. The
typical dog is middle-aged to older, and there is no breed or sex
predilection. The exception is the German Shepard, which is
predisposed to a syndrome of renal cystadenocarcinomas and nodular
dermatofibrosis. The majority of primary renal tumors are carcinomas,
but a variety of other types have been reported. In addition, some
types of cancers can metastasize (spread) to the kidney from other
Symptoms Some dogs have no clinical signs associated
with a kidney tumor. Others might have symptoms associated with the
urinary tract, such as bloody urine or frequent urination. If the
cancer has metastasized, which occurs in about half of dogs with renal
carcinoma, there can be symptoms related to the organ or tissue that
Diagnosis A thorough staging evaluation is always
indicated when a kidney tumor is detected. This includes chest
radiographs (X-rays), abdominal ultrasound, and complete blood cell
count and chemistry profile. The most common sites of spread are the
lung, liver, and the linings of the abdominal cavity.
Treatment If there is no detectable evidence of cancer
spread to other sites, if the uninvolved kidney has good function, and
if the dog is in good enough health to tolerate surgery, then
nephrectomy (removal of the affected kidney) is usually indicated.
However, metastasis might still become evident weeks or months
following surgery. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to indicate
what type of chemotherapy might be effective in delaying or preventing
Optimal treatment for your pet requires a
combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be
critical, especially if your pet does not rapidly improve.
Administer all prescribed medication as directed. Alert your
veterinarian if your pet is having any problems, such as respiratory
difficulty or changes in urination.
General blood work, including a complete blood count and
biochemical profile, may need to be reevaluated as recommended by your
Abdominal ultrasound, depending on the tumor type, should be
followed every several months.
Thoracic radiographs may be recommended on a regular basis to
assess for metastatic disease.
Long-term prognosis is poor for most of the malignant renal