In healthy dogs, the kidney values for creatinine should be below 1.4 mg/dl and the SDMA value below 18 µg/dL. In the case of acute kidney diseases, however, these values can be many times higher, depending on the stage.
Basically, doctors differentiate between two different types of kidney problems depending on how long they last:
- Acute: Short-term kidney problems under 3 months
- Chronic: Long-term kidney problems over 3 months
The course of kidney disease is classified into different stages. This should help with diagnosis and treatment.
Below is a table of kidney values for dogs depending on the stage of the disease. In stage 1, the kidney function is usually still over 33%.
|Stage 1||< 1.4||< 125||< 18||no|
|Stage 2||1.4 – 2.0||125-179||18 – 35||light|
|Stage 3||2.1 – 5.0||180-439||36-54||moderate|
|Stage 4||> 5.0||> 440||> 54||strong|
As a rule, creatinine levels only rise when the kidneys have already lost ⅔ of their function. For this reason, the SDMA value is also determined more often these days.
It is a biomarker for kidney function. It can also indicate kidney problems with a loss of function of just 25%.
The measurement is carried out using the IDEXX SDMA test. Today, this value is considered even more reliable than the pure creatinine value and allows for early treatment.
Ideally, creatinine should be measured at least twice. Always on an empty stomach, with sufficient drinking, and at intervals of several weeks.
If the dog’s creatinine levels are below 1.4 mg/dl, this does not necessarily mean that the kidneys are healthy. Because many factors can influence the measurement.
At the same time, a result of 1.7 mg/dl does not automatically mean that the dog is in the second stage. It should never be interpreted without a urine test.
More precisely, it means the specific gravity of urine. This value should always be taken into account when interpreting the kidney values from the table.
If the specific gravity of the urine is less than 1030, the urine protein/creatinine ratio (UP/C) should also be determined. It indicates existing proteinuria:
|Perhaps||0.2 – 0.5|
In order to be able to interpret the results even better and to make the treatment more effective, measuring blood pressure can be useful.
Here, the number to the left of the slash indicates the systolic blood pressure and the number to the right of the slash indicates the diastolic blood pressure. Here is an overview:
|Risk Level||Blood Pressure [mmHg]|
|0 – Minimum||< 150/95|
|1 – Low||150/95 – 159/99|
|2 – Moderate||160/100 – 179/119|
|3 – High||> 180/120|
In any case, you should always discuss your dog’s kidney values with a veterinarian. Because there are also numerous influencing factors that can distort the results:
- Muscle mass
Studies have shown that bull terriers, German shepherds, Bernese mountain dogs, German boxers, and Samoyeds in particular are more likely to suffer from kidney problems.
In the case of existing kidney failure, the creatinine values can sometimes rise above 5 mg/dl. In order to be able to better interpret the kidney values in the table, the SDMA value, the urine protein/creatinine quotient, and the blood pressure are usually also measured.
Symptoms of Existing Kidney Disease
- Poor appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Metallic bad breath
- Constant urge to urinate
- lethargic behavior
- Unexplained weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Pale gums
- Blood in urine