Issue Description Familial renal disease in animals is an
uncommon cause of renal failure (kidney failure) in young dogs and
cats. Most causes are breed-related (familial) and some are inherited.
Some are congenital (present at birth). Renal dysplasia is a type of
familial renal disease characterized by abnormal cellular
differentiation of renal tissue. Dogs and cats with renal disease
caused by these diseases have the typical symptoms of renal failure,
including weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, and increased
water consumption and urination. A list of familial renal diseases by
dog and cat breeds is found below. Other Names Familial Renal Disease, Hereditary Nephritis
Some Breeds That Are Predisposed Basenji Basenjis can be affected by a type of renal
tubule disease known as Fanconi syndrome. Findings include the
inability to concentrate urine, and the presence of glucose, protein,
and amino acids in the urine. Fanconi syndrome is also found in
humans. It can progress to renal failure. Basenjis are usually
affected between the ages of one and five years. In the United States,
10 percent of Basenjis are found to have glycosuria.
Beagle Beagles can be affected by glomerular
amyloidosis, which is deposition of amyloid in the kidney. Findings
include protein in the urine. It does progress to renal failure.
Beagles are affected between the ages of five and eleven years.
Beagles also can have familial polycystic kidney disease.
Bull Terrier Bull Terriers can be affected by an inherited
type of renal disease caused by basement membrane disease. Protein in
the urine is a consistent finding. Bull Terriers are affected between
the ages of one and eight years.
Cairn Terrier Cairn Terriers can be affected by polycystic
kidney disease. Multiple small cysts are found in the kidneys. Cysts
are present by the age of six weeks. It is inherited through a
autosomal recessive mechanism.
Chow Chow Chow Chows can be affected by renal dysplasia
that progresses to renal failure and secondary fibrous renal
osteodystrophy, causing fractures and "rubber jaw".
Cocker Spaniel Cocker Spaniels can be affected by glomerular
disease before the age of four years. It does progress to renal
failure. It is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.
Doberman Dobermans can be affected by basement membrane
disease of the kidneys that can progress to renal failure.
German Shepherd Dog German Shepherd Dogs can be affected by
multiple cystadenocarcinomas of the kidney. It is inherited and
appears between the ages of five and eleven years. Blood in the urine
is often seen. It is sometimes accompanied by nodules in the skin or
multiple uterine leiomyomas.
Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzus can both be affected
by renal dysplasia before the age of five years. It does progress to
renal failure. It can be accompanied by fibrous osteodystrophy, caused
by calcium absorption from the bone. Signs include bone fractures and
Miniature Schnauzer Miniature Schnauzers can be affected by renal
dysplasia before the age of five years. It does progress to renal
Norwegian Elkhound Norwegian Elkhounds can be affected by renal
tubule disease (Fanconi's syndrome) that does not progress to renal
failure. A consistent finding is glucose in the urine.
Rottweiler Rottweilers can be affected by glomerular
disease before the age of one year that does progress to renal
failure. Findings include protein in the urine and high cholesterol
levels in the blood.
Samoyed Samoyeds can be affected by basement membrane
disease of the kidneys. It is inherited through the X chromosome and
therefore more severe in affected male dogs. Findings in male dogs
include the presence of protein and glucose in the urine and the
inability to concentrate urine, and progression to renal failure by
the age of nine months and death by sixteen months. Affected female
dogs have protein in the urine and a failure to gain a normal amount
of weight, but are usually otherwise normal.
Shar Pei Shar Peis can be affected by glomerular
amyloidosis which is caused by deposition of amyloid in the kidney and
occurs secondary to Shar Pei fever. It progresses to renal failure by
the age of six years.
Shih Tzu Shih Tzus have a type of renal dysplasia
characterized by persistence of the fetal glomeruli. The predominating
signs are of chronic renal failure. Severely affected dogs only live
for a few months. The mechanism of inheritance appears to be through
an autosomal dominant gene with incomplete penetrance.
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers can be affected by
renal dysplasia that progresses to renal failure. It is usually seen
by the age of three years.
Standard Poodle Standard Poodles can be affected by renal
dysplasia by the age of two years that progresses to renal failure.
Secondary fibrous osteodystrophy can be seen.
Welsh Corgi Welsh Corgis can be affected by renal
telangiectasia between the ages of five and thirteen years. It is
characterized by red-black nodules in the kidneys. It can cause
hydronephrosis and abdominal pain. It usually does not progress to
Diagnosis Dogs affected with glomerulonephropathy present
with weight loss, loss of appetite, apathy, vomiting, increased thirst
and urination. Clinical signs include mild to severe proteinuria,
microscopic hematuria, and occasionally glycosuria at 6 weeks to 2
months of age and eventually chronic kidney failure near 6-10 months
Treatment Hereditary Nephritis In dogs with hereditary nephritis treatment is
directed to decreasing proteinuria, improving kidney function.
Salt-restricted and protein-restricted diets are also recommended.
Despite urine protein loss, dietary protein supplementation is not
advisable as proteinuria can worsen. Dogs and cats with fluid buildup
(edema) or ascites should be treated with cage rest and dietary sodium
restriction. Sometimes, there may be a need for tapping the abdominal
cavity with a needle in order to draw off accumulated fluids if
animals experience difficulty breathing and abdominal discomfort.
Overzealous use of diuretics (furosemide) may cause dehydration and
acute kidney insufficiency. Plasma transfusions provide only temporary
Glomerulonephritis Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the
glomeruli. In dogs, infectious diseases such as brucellosis,
dirofilariasis, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever,
borreliosis); tumors, and inflammatory diseases such as pancreatitis,
polyarthritis, and prostatitis can cause the disease. As most affected
dogs develop proteinuria as puppies, it is important to include urine
analysis in their health screening. There are often no clinical signs
associated with nephritis. The prognosis for dogs with
glomerulonephritis is generally poor, although early recognition and
appropriate therapy can extend the lives of these patients.