I have a hound that was recently shot with buckshot - ( my husband uses our dogs during hunting season) - this individual did not belong to my husbands hunt club, anyway - "Timeout" was shot in November - initial diagnosis @ the vet that day was a broken leg - other injuries unknown - dog had 6 holes in his left hind leg! Vet put a pin in leg and a couple days later I picked him up and brought him home. 3 days later - he stopped eating and on the 4th day stopped urinating - immediately took him to vet - Vet put in a cath- did labs- and IVs - @ that point we were told our dog was suffering from kindey failure due to trauma of the kidneys. Vet kept Timeout on fluids, and started Azodyl - this went on for a week - HIs initial BUN levels were 185 - my understanding is normal levels are below 25 - since then I have been able to bring the dog home. His appetite is wonderful - up to almost 70lbs, still on Azodyl, will check new levels next week - His last level a month ago was 51. MY question is : Is it possible for the kidneys to "repair" themselves or heal and his levels return to normal or is the possibility that my dog will be on this medication for the rest of his life?
Kidney trauma leading to acute kidney dysfunction can definitely improve.
A typical cause other than direct trauma is an episode of very low blood pressure (as occurs when a dog is in shock from blood loss). This might be unknowable at the initial presentation so that may explain why this came up after the bone repair.
The values of interest to monitor theimprovement, or lack of improvement in kidney function, are the creatinine value and the urine specific gravity. BUN alone is unreliable as it varies with diet and with muscle or other tissue trauma and healing. If the creatinine has fallen to 1.0 and the dog has reasonably "concentrated" urine, this means the kidneys are doing their job adequately. Conversely, chronic kidney dysfunction, which could have conceivably existed before the gunshot wounds occurred without obvious symptoms, is unlikely to improve and must be managed with diet, medications and perhaps fluids given periodically or at home.
A creatinine in the 1 -2 range and nicely concentrated urine will mean your dogs kidneys are functioning properly. Long term consequences cannot be known now.
Periodic lab work to evaluate that function is advisable. Every six months indefinitely would not be too often.
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