Excess Protein in the Urine of Dogs

Proteinuria in Dogs

Abnormally high protein levels in the urine may easily corrected when it is attributed to the dog's diet. But when it is because of the medical condition known as proteinuria, it can be quite serious and should be immediately addressed.

Proteinuria can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

Symptoms and Types

Other than the abnormally high protein levels in the urine, there are often no symptoms associated with proteinuria. However, there are some cases where blood may be present in the dog's urine.

Causes

There are a number of risk factors to having a high level of protein in the urine, including:

  • Chronic infection
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Inflammation of the kidneys
  • Scar tissue in the kidneys
  • Lipemia
  • Blood or pus in the urine (hemouria and pyuria, respectively)

Strenuous exercise can sometimes cause additional protein to be present in the urine.

Diagnosis

The most common test that will be administered is a urine dip test strip, which reviews its content and make up. If glomerular disease (a condition where the kidneys cannot process waste) is suspected, a kidney biopsy may be recommended.

The veterinarian will look to identify the underlying cause for the abnormal protein level to be present in the dog's urine. If it the condition is believed to be a sign of something more serious, X-rays and ultrasounds may be used to determine the cause.

 
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