Renal disease
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Renal Disease

Canine Renal Disease: Two Diseases By One Name

In a healthy dog, kidneys fulfill the role of filter for the body's waste. They absorb toxins from the bloodstream and pass them out of the body as urine. In addition, they regulate the level of calcium in the bloodstream and aid in the metabolism of phosphorous. The "filtering" aspect of a kidney's function is carried out by tiny funnel-shaped tubes called nephrons. They number in the millions in each kidney and are essential parts of the filtration process. However, they are incredibly sensitive to damage. Poison, disease, fever, trauma, bacterial infection and aging all can destroy nephrons very easily, and once destroyed they never grow back. This usually isn't a major concern, though, as kidneys are made to continue working with as little as one quarter of their nephrons intact. If the level falls much below that, however, renal failure will rapidly occur. [...]

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