Kidney Toxicity (Drug-Induced) in Dogs

Drug-Induced Nephrotoxicity in Dogs

Drug-induced nephrotoxicity refers to kidney damage induced by medication administered for the purpose of diagnosing or treating another medical disorder. It is more commonly recognized in dogs than cats. And although drug-induced nephrotoxicity may occur in dogs of any age, older dogs are more susceptible.

Symptoms and Types

Signs associated with nephrotoxicity may include:


Nephrotoxicosis can be induced by the administration of pharmacologic agents (or drugs), which interfere with the blood flow to the kidneys as well as cause tubular dysfunction in the kidneys. If left untreated, the damage to the renal tubule cells may lead to tubular necrosis and even kidney failure. Risk factors that may increase the odds of developing drug-induced nephrotoxicity include dehydration, advanced age, and fever.


When drug-induced nephrotoxicity is suspected, a veterinarian will often biopsy a portion of kidney tissue. This will help him or her identify kidney failure and also the proper course of treatment. Another useful diagnostic procedure is a urine analysis.


A medical condition involving excessive thirst


Excessive urination


A condition of dead tissue


The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.


The condition of having urea and other nitrogenous elements in an animal’s blood.


Term used to imply that a situation or condition is more severe than usual; also used to refer to a disease having run a short course or come on suddenly.


A medical condition in which the body has lost fluid or water in excessive amounts

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