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Renal pathophysiology: lessons learned from the canine remnant kidney model


  • Scott A. Brown VMD, PhD

    Corresponding author
    • Departments of Physiology & Pharmacology and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
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  • The author declares no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Scott A. Brown, UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, 501 D.W. Brooks Drive, Athens, GA 30602, USA.




To review the pathophysiology of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in dogs and the contributions of the canine remnant kidney model to our understanding of this disease.

Data Sources

Original studies in the human and veterinary medical fields.

Data Synthesis

Three of the fundamental principles of modern nephrology—the intact nephron hypothesis, the trade-off hypothesis, and the hyperfiltration theory were developed directly as a result of studies of the remnant kidney model. Most of the pivotal early studies were conducted in dogs. As a result, our understanding of CKD, and of the renal and systemic adaptations to CKD, is largely based on studies of this model.


Studies of the remnant kidney model have advanced our understanding of the pathophysiology of CKD. Nearly every therapeutic intervention used in CKD, by veterinarians and physicians alike, has its basis in studies of the remnant kidney model or in knowledge that was derived from studies of this model. A great debt is owed to the canine participants in these studies and to a small number of key scientists who conducted this important and insightful research.