Renal agenesis is a congenital defect characterized by the lack of one or both kidneys.
This condition is rare in dogs and is always accompanied by ureteral aplasia and infrequently, urinary bladder hypoplasia.
Uterine aplastic or hypolastic anomalies may also coexist in teh same dog, such as unicornuate uterus or uterine segmental agenesis.
Bilaterally affected dogs rare live beyond 4 - 6 weeks of age, but unilateral renal agenesis may be asymptomatic in dogs and an incidental finding during investigation of incontinence or suspected ectopic ureters.
Clinically affected dogs with unilateral renal agenesis usually present with signs of urinary incontinence, polyuria, polydipsia and dehydration.
Ultrasonography and excretory urographies are usually suggestive of this disease but definitive diagnosis often necessitates exploratory laparotomy.
A differential diagnosis would include urolithiasis, renal hypoplasia of Boxers, X-linked hereditary nephropathy, polycystic kidney disease and renal cystadenoma or cystadenocarcinoma associated with dermatofibrosis in German Shepherds.
Unilateral renal agenesis is often an incidental finding at exploratory laparotomy and nephrectomy is rarely indicated due to the small size of the affected kidney. Dogs with chronic renal disease in association with this condition require specific renal support.
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