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Dog died of kidney failure. Water system at fault? Answered by Dr. Slome

petdr
May 4th, 2001, 08:39 PM
Question:

My 11 yr. old dog recently passed away due to kidney failure, she was in the vets 3 weeks prior and was given a clean bill of health. She started to lose weight and when I took her to the vets she was diagnosed with kidney trouble. I had to put her down 2 days later :-(

I heard a few pets in my local area had the same situation and friends blamed the local water, could our water system be at fault for killing our pets? Or could it be another problem we were not aware of?

Answer:

This is a valid question. Obviously at 11 years old kidney failure is not uncommon as this is an older pet. A vet check with a clean bill of health refers to only a general physical examination. A true clean bill of health can only be given if an internal screening blood test is done annually and it is my opinion that a geriatric pet should also receive an annual blood screen.

However also depending on the area you live in , it is very feasible to believe that an E.coli infection could have also caused kidney infections and associated problem although diarrhea is usually the most common sign. It is also something to consider that seeing as pets tend to be more scavenging than people and are exposed to soiled or waste products more than we are, it is more likely that the amount of E.Coli in the water would need to be at higher counts to cause similar illness in people. All depends on the resistance and individual pet though.

There are also various chemical runoffs etc. which could be hazardous e.g. antifreeze which is extremely toxic to pets' kidneys.
Hope this helps.

Martin Slome DVM
Centre Street Animal Hospital
Thornhill, Ontario, L4J 7Y3
Tel: (905) 771-9855