Renal Dysplasia (RD) is a developmental or genetic defect of the kidneys. Dogs affected with renal dysplasia have kidneys that did not properly develop when the foetus grew in the uterus and so are born with
the problem. Further information about the Urinary system and Kidney anatomy can be found at Hereditary > PLE and PLN
Unhealthy or malformed nephrons in the kidney are replaced by fibrous tissue and microscopic cystic lesions in the renal cortex and decreased immature foetal glomeruli and cystic glomeruli.
Eventually the kidney cannot do its job of cleansing the blood.
Dogs with Renal Dysplasia need to drink and urinate frequently. They cannot concentrate their urine making it very dilute and pale in colour.
Up to 70% of the kidney can be damaged before any signs of illness can occur.
Renal dysplasia is a developmental or genetic defect of the kidneys. Dogs affected with renal dysplasia have kidneys that did not properly develop when the foetus grew in the uterus.
The damage to the kidneys is present at birth. Puppies are often characterised as 'poor doers'; are not good eaters, are depressed and do not thrive.
Treatment for chronic renal falure may help prolong quality of life.
Average age of onset is under 1 year, althugh it may not be detected until years later.
Tests necessary to detect the presence of RD are blood, urine and if necessary a wedge biopsy.
Please refer to the Comparison Chart of Hereditary Diseases for signs and symptoms of this disease.
Learn more about kidney failure here
The disease is genetic and the mode of inheritance is thought to be caused by a recessive mutation. This means that both parents must carry the gene for a puppy to be affected.
(Inheritance of Recessive Genes chart refers).
Because of the small gene pool available within the breed the gene is still present within the dog population, consequently breeders must remain vigilant and careful breeding is required to try to prevent this disease re-occurring.
Please note that links given to articles that are general in nature on external websites are not a substitute for your own Veterinarian's advice.
Differentiating Renal Dysplasia (Juvenile Renal Disease) from Protein Losing Nephropathy (PLN) in our Wheatens. Meryl Littman 2006 click
here for pdf file.
Renal Dysplasia in Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, Lori Wise DVM, MS click here for pdf file