• 25th April 2024

Fanconi Syndrome In Dogs

Fanconi syndrome can cause severe health problems for dogs, as this renal abnormality requires much-needed nutrients and electrolytes to be excreted through the urine. Owners who have been advised that their dog’s breed is at high risk for this issue may wonder if Fanconi Syndrome involves and what measures should be taken to ensure the health of their furry friend.

Common Symptoms

Symptoms of abnormal kidney function in the most frequently affected dogs include increased urination and heavy drinking. Less frequently, dogs can lose weight despite normal appetite, fatigue, urinary incontinence, and poor hair coat. Glucose in urine with normal blood glucose levels is a typical feature of this disorder.


Your cat or dog may have acquired this disorder due to genetic causes or from taking medication that has had an adverse effect on their kidneys. Some important causes include:

  • Hereditary, meaning your pet inherited Fanconi syndrome
  • Medications
  • Heavy metal poisoning
  • Hypoparathyroidism

The most common genetic trigger among dogs is the Basenji, Whippet, Yorkshire Terrier, Border Terrier, Norwegian Elkhound, Labrador Retriever, and Shetland Sheepdog breeds.

Diagnostic Tests

The presence of sugar in the urine when glucose levels is normal is common for Fanconi syndrome. Blood biochemistry can display elevated levels of urea nitrogen or creatinine in the blood or low levels of potassium or bicarbonate. Special urine tests can be conducted to verify the loss of amino acid, distinct from those typically used to identify protein in the urine. The presence of  this syndrome can also be confirmed by taking blood and urine samples at the same time and then analyzing the relative quantities of substances, particularly potassium and phosphate, in both samples.


If your dog has Fanconi Syndrome, your veterinarian will typically recommend a special supplement for treatment. In the situation of Acquired Fanconi Syndrome, the vet may also want to determine the cause and ensure that the dog has no further exposure to the toxin.

In any case, treatment is continuous and must be managed to ensure proper functioning of the kidneys. You will also need to make daily visits to the vet to track the progress of the treatment plan. Fortunately, as long as pet parents catch and handle it early, their dogs appear to lead a healthy life.


If treatment is provided before kidney damage is serious, your dog may have a good prognosis. Follow-up visits are likely to be made so that the veterinarian can ensure that the medication is effective and make any adjustments to the treatment based on follow-up and testing. You will need to work closely with your veterinarian to achieve the best result for your pet. Although the disease cannot be treated, it can be controlled.

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