They are popular as pets thanks to their quirky personalities, high intelligence and outgoing temperaments – but like all pedigree dog breeds, the Samoyed has a hereditary predisposition to developing certain health conditions, some of which can be very serious.
One such condition is called Samoyed hereditary glomerulopathy, which is a type of hereditary progressive kidney failure – but pre-breeding health screening can identify a predisposition to this condition, enabling breeders to remove affected dogs from the wider gene pool of breeding stock.
However, because not all breeding stock are tested for Samoyed hereditary glomerulopathy, and because you might not know whether or not your dog’s lineage includes relatives that suffered from the condition, knowing how to recognise the symptoms of kidney failure in the Samoyed is important for owners of dogs of the breed.
In this article, we will look at the range of symptoms that kidney failure can cause in the Samoyed dog, and how to recognise them. Read on to learn more.
One of the first indications of the early stages of kidney failure in the Samoyed is an increased thirst, and you may notice that your dog needs to drink more and more water each day as time goes on. The amount of water dogs drink each day can fluctuate with the seasons, your dog’s activity levels and even what they eat, but if your dog always seems to be drinking or hanging around the water bowl, you might want to ask your vet to investigate.
Accompanying an increased need to drink water, most dogs in kidney failure will also need to pee more often too, and produce greater volumes of urine than they would normally. This may manifest as inappropriate urination during the night, or at any other time when your dog cannot go outside.
However, in some cases, dogs with kidney failure will urinate less than normal rather than more, so keep an eye out for any changes.
If your Samoyed seems to be vomiting regularly, this, in combination with other symptoms can be one of the indicators of kidney failure. However, vomiting alone doesn’t indicate kidney failure, and dogs do of course throw up for a whole variety of reasons.
Some dogs in kidney failure will also suffer from diarrhoea too, although this is not always the case.
Dehydration is common in dogs with kidney failure, despite their increased desire to drink more water. If your dog is also vomiting frequently and/or has diarrhoea too, this is a particular risk.
You can check whether or not your dog is dehydrated by touching their gums, which should be moist and slick – if they are dry and tacky, your dog may be dehydrated. Other signs of dehydration include sunken eyes in extreme cases, and during the earlier stages, skin that is not supple and flexible, and does not spring back quickly if lightly pinched.
Dogs might not have particularly pleasant breath, but it should not smell foul. Bad breath in the dog is usually caused by dental problems, but many internal health conditions like kidney disease can also lead to strong smelling and highly unpleasant breath, so never ignore this.
Loss of appetite and loss of interest in food doesn’t affect every Samoyed with kidney failure, but in many cases, it will lead to your dog going off their food.
They might appear to want food but then not eat much, or they may potentially ignore food entirely, even if offered a favourite treat.
The systemic effects that kidney failure has on the dog’s body, particularly if accompanied by other issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea, will all serve to make your Samoyed lose condition over time.
This means that they are apt to lose weight and have problems gaining or maintaining a normal range of weight, and that their coats are likely to look dull, dry, and unkempt, and the dog as a whole will tend to look less than their best.
Muscle weakness does not affect every dog with kidney failure, but the condition can cause wasting of the muscles, which will have an impact on your dog’s ability to exercise normally. This can lead to poor coordination and an inability to jump and play normally, and a low tolerance for walks and physical activity.
This will worsen progressively over time, and will tend to affect the dog’s hind limbs most acutely. Your dog is also likely to spend more time sleeping than previously, and generally be quieter and less engaged in things than they were before they became ill.