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Mouth Ulcers in Dogs With Kidney Failure

Mouth Ulcers in Dogs With Kidney Failure

Mouth ulcers in dogs with kidney failure are a disturbing symptom that may occur along with other problematic symptoms. If your dog was diagnosed with kidney failure, you may have heard about the possibility for mouth ulcers to form and may be wondering what you can do about them. Mouth ulcers in dogs with kidney disease are not only painful, but may also cause a dog to lose its appetite and refuse to eat. This is not surprising, considering that dogs quickly learn to associate those painful ulcers with act of eating.

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A Matter of Waste

Mouth ulcers that occur secondary to kidney disease are the result of increased waste product levels in the dog's body. In a normal healthy dog, the kidneys are responsible for removing waste from the body and excrete the waste in the urine, but in dog with impaired kidneys, this waste accumulates in the blood causing what is known as uremia, or more distinctly "uremic poisoning."

These increased waste products circulating in the blood can cause the production of excess acid which can lead to damage to tissues, such as the layers of the dog's gastrointestinal tract, but also the tissues of the mouth.

These are often referred to as uremic ulcers and they may occur with acute or chronic renal failure. In order to succeed in dealing with these ulcers, it's therefore important addressing the underlying organ disease, points out veterinarian Dr. Kara. 

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Treatment for Mouth Ulcers

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If your dog is suffering from mouth ulcers due to kidney disease, consult with your vet. There are chances your vet can prescribe an antibacterial oral rinse so to fight the bacteria in the dog's mouth and prevent the ulcers from developing secondary bacterial infections.

In the mean time, you can make eating more comfortable by feeding soft foods, suggests Dr. Kara.

If your dog is not eating, you may assume it's because of a mouth ulcer, but another good reason to see the vet is to determine whether your dog is not eating because of the presence of a mouth ulcer or because he or she is nauseated. This is very important, so don't just assume your dog is not eating because of a mouth ulcer!

When a dog is suffering from kidney disease, the build-up of toxins can cause nausea, and the nausea makes a dog reluctant to eat, points out veterinarian Dr. Gabby.  Your dog may need your vet to give fluids under the skin so to flush these toxins out. While he's at it, your vet can also provide prescription anti-nausea medication for your dog such as Cerenia for dogs.

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