Flag

Q: protien and kidney failure in dogs

March 13, 2010 | By Amber | 5 answers | Expired: 1635 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)
  • Sort by:
  • Latest |
  • Rank
Lisa B.
Flag

Mar 21, 2010

Get a high quality dog food like EVO or Call of the Wild, check the website for rating dog foods. don´t buy anything from the grocery store or WalMart. My neice´´s dog was on Ole Roy dry dog food and one can once a week and died at 5 from diabetes. That´s all she fed him. If the pet has dark black stools then that means digested blood. I just found that out from Dr.Jon.com. If I would have known that 2 weeks ago I probably could have saved the foster cat I was keeping. I told the vet she had diarrhea and he thought she was dehydrated had me give her pedialyte every hour until he got to the office at 8 a.m. and she passed that night with a slow drip and viatmin K. She was bleeding to death internally. I took her from the Humane Society as a foster and she had just been treated for an upper resp. infection and came to me with the internal bleeding. Not know what to look for can be so frustrating. Foods with high ash cause urinary tract problems.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Kelly
Flag

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.

Thumbs Up: 2 | Thumbs up!

Judi D.
Flag

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.

Thumbs Up: 2 | Thumbs up!

Mary C.
Flag

Mar 15, 2010

I went through a similiar problem with my dog as well and I am a firm believer in natural pet foods. My dog had 3 surgery's to remove oxalate crystals, I did tons of research looking for the best diet for him as I knew the vet would suggest a low protien Science Diet food (he knows I'm not a fan so he told me to check out other foods first) A good high protien diet is very benificial in most cases, I chose to go with Taste of the Wild grain free for mine, he's been on it going on 3yrs. now and we have yet to have any more crystals. I hope you can find the right food for your dog as well. I would also check into Canine Caviar brand foods, they are suppose to be formulated for a holistic alternative to the prescription diets.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Anonymous
Flag
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.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

You might also enjoy:

Got a question about your pet? Get the answers you need from Zootoo's community of pet experts and owners.

Advertisement

Advertisement

See more ›
Know the Answer?

There are always new questions that need answers. Contribute your knowledge about pets.