Ectopic kidney is a congenital disease of dogs characterized by anatomically unusual location of one or both kidneys.
This condition is caused by a delay in the migration of the kidney into the lumbar region or the persistence of the embryological structures.
Other aberrant malformations can also occur such as duplex kidneys or ectopic dysplastic kidneys. Rare human cases of intrathoracic kidneys have also been reported, but not in dogs.
The abnormal insertion of the ureter, rotation anomalies, and different localization of the kidneys predispose the ectopic kidney to vascular insufficiency, glomerulonephritis, hydronephrosis, ureteroliths or ureteral stenosis.
Some cases are diagnosed accidentally during routine abdominal ultrasonography and are clinically asymptomatic.
Diagnosis is based on presenting clinical signs, abdominal palpation of a mass in an usual location, and imaging studies such as ultrasonography and excretory urography.
Urinalysis and urine cultures should be performed to exclude urinary tract infections.
In unilaterally cases in dogs with signs of renal compromise in the affected kidney, treatment invariably involves nephrectomy and ureterectomy due to renal disease, providing normal function is observed in teh ipsilateral kidney.
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