Polycystic Kidney Disease, PKD

Kidney and Bladder

Cysts are abnormal, fluid filled structures that arise from the kidney cells themselves. As they grow, they take up functional space within the kidney leading to a progressive loss of kidney function.

  • Signs and symptoms

    You may notice your dog has abdominal pain and is drinking and urinating excessively. Severe loss of kidney function is characterized by vomiting, lethargy, neurologic behavior, and the inability to produce urine (anuria).

    PKD has an adult onset.

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  • Diagnosis

    Genetic and laboratory testing are used to diagnose this condition. An abdominal ultrasound can visualize the cysts in the kidneys.

  • Treatment

    There is no treatment for PKD. Management of the kidney disease includes giving a prescription diet, supplemental fluids, and medications to control the symptoms.

  • What to do if your dog is at risk


    • Regular veterinary visits and laboratory testing will be vital to catching this disease in any early stage where it can be more easily managed.
    • Closely monitor your dog for changes in their drinking and urination patterns.

  • Genetic Information

    This mutation was first described in the Bull Terrier.

    This mutation is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, meaning that one or two copies of this gene will cause the disorder.

    Gene names:

    PKD1 (Exon 29) ‐ chr

    Inheritance type:


  • Breeds affected

    This health condition affects the following breeds

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