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Peritoneal dialysis in the management of acute renal failure in 5 dogs with leptospirosis


  • Address correspondence and reprint requests to:
    Nicole F. Beckel, DVM, New England Animal Medical Center, 595 West Center Street, West Bridgewater, MA.


Objective: To describe the use of peritoneal dialysis (PD) in the management of 5 dogs with acute renal failure (ARF) caused by leptospirosis.

Case Series Summary: All dogs were treated for leptospirosis with intravenous (IV) fluids and ampicillin prior to PD. Median age of dogs was 5 years (range 2–6 years). All dogs had positive titers for Leptospira bratislava. Median duration of PD was 4 days (range 3–16 days). PD resulted in a decrease in azotemia in all dogs. Median serum blood urea nitrogen at the start of PD was 192 mg/dL (range 140–235 mg/dL) and at the end of PD was 63 mg/dL (range 48–139 mg/dL). Median serum creatinine at the start of PD and the end was 12.8 mg/dL (range 7.7–16.9 mg/dL) and 3.4 mg/dL (range 1.4–11.1 mg/dL), respectively. Complications identified during PD included hypokalemia (n=3, 60%), hypoalbuminemia (n=2, 40%), hypomagnesemia (n=1, 20%), pelvic limb edema (n=2, 40%), central nervous system signs (n=2, 40%), dialysate retention (n=1, 20%), and leakage from the catheter site (n=1, 20%). Peritonitis was not identified in any of the dogs. Four dogs (80%) survived to discharge from the hospital. PD was effective for management of uremia in dogs with ARF caused by leptospirosis.