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Q: protien and kidney failure in dogs

March 13, 2010 | By Amber | 5 answers | Expired: 1580 days ago

Amber

over the past few days we noticed that Pepper wasn't eating much and last night she started having diarrhea.

this morning i brought her to the vet, and the vet said the diarrhea is due to a bacterial infection & for that she is being treated with antibiotics, but he also did a blood test and found that her BUN level was pretty high, raising some concerns about her kidney health. he feels that the number may be elevated in part because of the infection and because she's a bit dehydrated from the diarrhea. so Pepper is spending the weekend at the vet's office on IV fluids to hopefully get that number down.

meanwhile, i'm researching what we can do to help her kidney function as much as possible when she gets home. my biggest question is with regard to protein.

i'm reading 2 very different things. apparently, originally, it was believed that dogs with kidney failure should be on a low-protein diet. more recently, other research has indicated that the amount of protein is less important than the quality of protein in the dog's diet. more important is the phosphorous level in the dog's food.

from what i'm reading and also based on good ole common sense, i can see where at the very least supplementing her kibble diet with a moist, canned food, if not switching her entirely to canned food, would be beneficial. at present, Pepper is eating Wellness Core kibble. on the one hand, Core is a high protein food, which may not be the best thing. on the other hand, it is, as more recent research suggests, a higher quality protein, with the top 4 ingredients being "Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal". the nutrition label lists the Phosphorous level as "max. 1.4%".

my concern is that they will try to put her on some prescription diet which, on the one hand, *might* (and i'm not that confident, honestly) address her specific health needs, but most prescription foods have notoriously poor ingredients. i really don't want to feed her something like Science Diet that is full of wheat, corn, by-products, and ambiguous "animal" ingredients.

does anyone have any experience and advice?

Readers' Answers (5)
Judi D.
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Mar 17, 2010

I had a cat with kidney failure. She was diagnosed at 12. We put her on a perscription diet, and that kept her healthy enough that we didn't have to do anything else until she was 17! After changing her diet, we did followup bloodwork that showed it helped.

Keep open minded about it. My experience was wonderful.

She lived to 19 and a half. A fine age for any cat.

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Kelly
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Mar 17, 2010

I haven't had a dog with kidney failure, but one of my cats, Scout was diagnosed with it a couple of years ago. She went from being a healthy cat to being almost emaciated in no time. Once she was hydrated & her blood levels were normalized, we brought her home & put her on a prescription diet that she does not vary from. We monitor her regularly to make sure her levels stay within acceptable ranges. She's about to turn 16 & still plays like a kitten on most days. I have been reading that omega 3s from fish oils (not the liver oils) have had some effect on slowing the progression of the disease.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Mar 13, 2010

My vet's main concern when a pet of mine had issues that required the prescription diets was that any diet chosen met PH and specific gravity parameters he wanted for this particular problem. Maybe if you found out what those numbers were, you could write the manufacturers and see what their food's numbers are. Eagle and Halo met my vet's criteria on both numbers and the folks answerd my emails quickly.

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