The term uremia technically means elevated concentration of urea in the blood, but commonly refers to the collection of clinical signs that are associated with kidney failure. Urea is a major by-product of metabolism of amino acids. Uremic illness is a potentially life-threatening condition that is largely the result accumulation of organic waste products that are normally cleared by the kidneys. In two outbreaks of pet food-associated renal failure (2004 and 2007), all animals died or were euthanized because of severe uremia.3 Clinical signs of canine uremia include loss of appetite, vomiting, mucosal ulcers, and weight loss. Some dogs may develop chronic diarrhea, staggering and disorientation.1 Oral bleeding is sometimes seen and is believed to be caused by bacterial toxins that are released during degradation of urea.2

A recent study4 showed the beneficial effect of a commercial dietary supplement including chitosan, enteric phosphate binders, and alkalinizing agents in dogs affected by chronic kidney disease and fed renal diet.


  1. Linda P. Case. The dog: its behavior, nutrition, and health
  2. Michael Schaer. Clinical Medicine of the Dog and Cat
  3. Brown CA, Jeong KS, Poppenga RH, Puschner B, Miller DM, Ellis AE, Kang KI, Sum S, Cistola AM, Brown SA. Outbreaks of renal failure associated with melamine and cyanuric acid in dogs and cats in 2004 and 2007
  4. Effect of Dietary Supplements in Reducing Probability of Death for Uremic Crises in Dogs Affected by Chronic Kidney Disease (Masked RCCT)


Related Conditions

Urinary (Bladder) Stones



Familial Renal Disease

Fanconi Syndrome


Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

Kidney Failure

Nephritis, X-linked

Protein-losing Nephropathy

Renal Dysplasia

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Tract Infections


Hereditary X-linked Nephritis

Veterinary Drugs

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