What Do High Creatine Levels Mean for My Dog?

Written by tracy hodge
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What Do High Creatine Levels Mean for My Dog?
High creatinine levels may be a sign of kidney failure in dogs. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Beverly)

The kidney is often the first organ to weaken in dogs. Chronic kidney failure is one of the leading causes of illness in ageing dogs, second only to arthritis. High creatine levels may indicate a decline in kidney function in your dog.


Dogs experience a steady decline in kidney function as they age. This may result in chronic kidney (renal) failure. As a dog's kidneys begin to fail, it may urinate more frequently. This may result in the kidneys working overtime to remove waste. As kidney function continues to decline, your dog cannot consume enough water to keep the body hydrated.

Early Symptoms

One of the first signs of kidney failure is excessive thirst. The dog may consume more water than usual, and may begin to urinate more often. This is often followed by a decrease in appetite, resulting in weight loss. Dogs often become lethargic and lose the look of good health.

Advanced Symptoms

In advances stages of kidney failure, dogs will refuse to eat, and often have nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Diagnostic Tests

There are two tests that are performed to determine the level of kidney function in dogs. A blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test and a creatine test are usually performed at the same time to determine kidney function.


High levels of BUN and creatine indicate kidney failure in dogs. Veterinarians run these tests to determine if treatment for kidney failure is working. These tests are performed periodically to track kidney function.

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