Urinary Oliguria in Dogs – All You Need To Know


Dogs experience a life-threatening condition called Oliguira or Anuria. It is not the regular urinary blockage that is experienced by humans, but is rather is marked by complete suppression of urine through the kidneys which is either caused by a problem in the urinary tract or kidneys.

If your dog is producing less than 0.25 milliliters per kilogram per hour, then the condition is called Oliguria. Complete suppression of urine or the inability of the body to produce urine is better known as Anurai.

Both conditions can be fatal to dogs and require immediate attention from a qualified veterinarian. This article aims to explore the types, causes, symptoms, and treatment of this condition.

Types of Oliguria

There are two types of Oliguria:

Physiological Oliguria

When a dog is going through a condition such as dehydration, its body will try to suppress more fluids than usual to retain the normal fluid balance of the body. Such kind of Oliguria is characterized by a small amount of urine which is highly concentrated, i.e. it has more waste substance than water. The most common causes include increased nitrogen concentration that limits blood supplies to the kidneys, dehydration, shock, stress, and anxiety.

Pathological Oliguria

Pathological Oliguria is a condition when the body does not produce enough waste to make up for urine. This condition is diagnosed when the body is producing less than 0.5 ml per kg per hour of urine. This condition is found in dogs with renal failure and those who are rehydrated. The most common causes are excessive dehydration that results in the restriction of blood to vital tissues and can damage the renal tubes of the kidneys.


General symptoms of Oliguria include a sharp decrease in the amount of urine produced. There can also be additional symptoms that may vary greatly depending upon what type of Oliguria is present. The common symptoms of Oliguria include but are not limited to:

  • Dehydration
  • Paleness of mucous membrane
  • Weak pulse
  • Irregular pulse
  • Tiredness and Fatigue
  • Fluid loss
  • Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
  • Lethargy and fatigue

Symptoms for Anuria may present themselves during the test and it is up to the vet to distinguish if it is Oliguria or Anuria, which may include signs such as:

  • Abdominal pain (Example: food poisoning)
  • Building up of fluid that surrounds the urinary tract
  • Palpitations


Both Oliguria and Anuria are fatal conditions that can lead to death within hours if not taken care of timely. These are medical emergencies that are not to be taken lightly.

Treatment will be prescribed after identifying the symptoms and the underlining causes. Intravenous fluid could be administered by providing saline solution if it is diagnosed as hypoperfusion which is characterized by severe dehydration.

After that, diuretics may be prescribed to increase urine flow. An operation may also be required if the diagnosis has presented an abnormal tissue growth in the urinary tract.

Additionally, medicines to recover the kidney may be prescribed in case there is a renal failure to prevent further damage.

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