Retrospective Evaluation of Acute Kidney Injury After Zoledronic Acid Administration to Dogs With Malignant Osteolysis

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Zoledronic acid (ZOL) is an intravenous bisphosphonate indicated for the use of hypercalcemia of malignancy and management of bony metastases. Its therapeutic effect lies in the targeting of malignant osteoclasts; however, administration can be associated with renal toxicity. The objective of this retrospective study was to evaluate the frequency and severity of acute kidney injury (AKI) following ZOL administration in a cohort of cancer-bearing dogs. A pharmacy search was conducted to identify dogs that received a dose of ZOL between June 2016 and July 2019. Inclusion criteria included baseline and post-treatment chemistry panels. Medical records were reviewed to obtain clinical data including signalment, dose, dosage, number of treatments administered, and changes in renal function. Forty-four dogs met the inclusion criteria. Median number of doses administered was three [interquartile range (IQR), 2–5]. The median highest creatinine value occurred after a median of one dose (IQR, 1–2 doses) compared with the median highest value of blood urea nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which occurred after a median of two doses (IQR, 1–3). Six (13.6%) dogs developed an AKI, and one dog (2.3%) had progression of an existing azotemia after treatment with ZOL was initiated. Two dogs (4.5%) had ZOL treatment discontinued secondary to development of azotemia. Use of concurrent administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or anesthesia did not significantly increase the risk of AKI in this cohort of dogs. Acute kidney injury is observed infrequently in cancer-bearing dogs treated with ZOL and is generally mild to moderate in severity; discontinuation of ZOL due to AKI is uncommon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number647846
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
StatePublished - Jul 2 2021


  • aminobisphosphonate
  • azotemia
  • canine
  • pain management
  • zoledronate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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