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Kidney Disease In Dogs

I am concerned, because for the last week I have had numerous calls regarding pets with renal (kidney) disease.The number of calls has me concerned that there is an escalation of this disease. I also see that these symptoms appear with the 6 to 7 year old dogs. I’m suggesting that at this age the disease has had time to progress to this stage. In most of the cases the dogs have been fed a variety of heat processed grain diets. I have related earlier my theory about putting the right gas in the engine to have it operate most efficiently. At some point (could that be 6 to 7 years) the engine breaks down and in this case it may be the organ systems that malfunction first?

For the last 50 years, dietary protein restriction has been the recommended treatment for renal failure patients. This turns out to be a myth because actually a dog fed a higher than normal protein diet tends to have enhanced feelings of well-being. There are undesirable results associated with restricting dietary protein. If you restrict the dog or cats protein needs you end up with a reduced glomerular filtration rate, protein depletion (decreased body weight), muscle mass, anemia, and acidosis. It is ironic that the energy needs and the minimum protein requirements for dogs and cats with chronic renal failure are actually HIGHER than those of normal dogs and cats. In other words there are disadvantages to restricted protein diets. These include a reduced kidney function, a negative nitrogen balance, and the aggravation of a catabolic state. The obvious conclusion is that the pet must be put onto a raw food and raw meat diet. There is overwhelming evidence that high protein diets enhance renal function in normal dogs. Modern research has clearly shown that the concept of increased workload, protein intake causing injury to the kidneys, and reduced protein intake slowing the progression of renal disease ARE INCORRECT. This should be good news for all those pets that have been diagnosed with kidney function problems and are looking for a better solution than the recommended protein restricted diets.

posted by Rob Mueller

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25 Comments  comments 

25 Responses

  1. Mary Jo Koranda

    I have a 10 yoa Airedale with polycystic kd heritable, not necessarily caused by heat processed grain diets but probably not helped by years on them. For others looking for help with a kidney dog, please also see http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/K9KidneyDiet/ and
    http://www.dogaware.com/
    There are absolutely wonderful people on these sites that have provided a wealth of information on how to care for a dog with kidney disease. They are both also advocate keeping protein levels up and phosphorus levels low.
    Thanks for affirmation.

  2. i have a young dog with juvile kidney disease. all my other dogs are on raw with some sojo dog food. but i am afraid to do anything but kd on fushia. she is in kidney failure now. do fluids on her daily. do you think raw is better and what raw?

  3. Hi carol,
    I guess what I have written in my blog are the suggestions that I would make for you. I would switch to a raw meat diet and keep the protein level elevated. Any of our varieties of protein should work fine. (Lamb, Beef or Chicken- PATTIES.
    Thanks,
    Rob mueller

  4. with great sadness i did have to put fushia down. when she went into seizers due to her kidney failure. she will be missed

  5. I’m guessing you have already fixed the problem, but every this morning I was unable to get on your site. I kept getting the “server has timed out” error over and over. Is this even a problem with the website or maybe its my computer?

  6. Sera Lean

    I have a 2 year old frenchie who had some basic blood work done; pre-breeding and surprisingly we food very elevated kidney enzymes. We duplicated the test and again they were very elevated. The vet is concerned that the dog is going into very early renal failure. We are surprised. she is not an old dog. She is healthy. She has been on a high protein conventional dog food Orijen 40% protein. He suggested putting her on a lower protein for a month to see what happens and then retest. I was wondering if i should put her on raw but i know nothing about raw. do not have a recipe to start with, and am confused b/c i am hearing that maybe i should be increasing proteins. Could anyone help me on this? I need to be proactive and get on top of this fast. Thank you.

  7. Hi Sera,
    We do find that the Kidney enzyme levels are higher on dogs fed raw diet. i have fed this diet for 34 years and have solved many kidney issues with lots of dogs with kidney issues. You will experience great results when making the switch to raw. Orijen is what I call the middle of the road food because it is a quality product above most other dry foods but a step below going totally to raw. I suggest giving the BARF DIET a try. Good Luck.

  8. Nicole

    When our Border Collie x Ridgeback was 6 mths he ate a pack of ibuprofen tablets & went into renal failure, which he survived. The vet put him on a precription diet of KD dry & canned only, which he hated we had him on barf raw diet. We came to a compromise of half pKD & half home made which he loves. It’s been over a year since & he’s in wonderful shape, even the vet is impressed with his condition & health. Our mix is all cooked rice, eggs, beans, sweet potato with cooked chicken or mince beef & finished with crushed up calcuim, multi vitiam, kelp & fish oil tablets. All this is human grade product & his treats are bits of stale natural sourdough breads & plain mini wheats. Once a dog has reanl problems, a low protein diet is recommended.

  9. Christine Small

    I have a 7.5yr old dog that has just been diagnosed with renal insufficiency. We don’t have BARF products in NZ, so i wondered what sort of diet you could suggest for my dog, and perhaps what supplements he will require.
    Thanks

  10. Hello Christine,
    I suggest that you make your own homemade diet for your dog. I would follow the advice from Dr. Billinghurst’s book called “Give Your Dog A Bone.” Follow his suggested recipe and you will have a healthier dog. He is one of the founders of our company and lives in Bathhurst, Austrailia. good Luck

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    • Maria

      hi,
      thanks for this post!
      I am truly confused and terrified about the suggestions of our vet. My dog (Alfie) was infected with babessia and it has damaged the kidney. He is very happy, energetic and looks good. He was on renal prescription diet; however the protein and urea data are improving. It is actually very serious now on paper. Our problem is that the data doesn’t add up to his behaviour and happiness.
      We have started to feed him with raw diet and got talked down by the vet. PLEASE help us where to start. This is our last hope. I am really worried about doing the right thing and would not like to hurt him more.
      thank you very much!

      • Hello Maria,

        It’s unfortunate that your current vet is no open to the idea of feeding Alfie raw because you are definitely on the right track. I would suggest you read “Give Your Dog A Bone” by Dr. Ian Billinghurst to familiarize yourself some more about the BARF diet and also to seek a second opinion from a veterinarian that is educated about raw food and alternative medicine. You could try Dr. Cathy Alinovi – she is a great intergrative vet that practices both alternative AND traditional medicine and offers her consultation services by phone. Give my office a call at 1-866-282-2273 to schedule a consultation with us and we’ll get your dear Alfie on the right track. Good luck!

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  15. Mark Campbell

    We rescued a beautiful pit bull (Kia) when she was 2 months old, ever since we had her she was always throwing up, never had a appetite, and would never stop drinking water. We thought something was wrong with her but the Vet said she is too young for anything to be wrong and to bring her back at 1yr. When we did her blood results showed she did have renal failure, her BUN was at 118, Creatinine at 6.1, and her Phosphorus 5.5 The vet had her on Fluids with a IV for 2 weeks (3 litters a day) her numbers cut in half but were still high, he then suggested the “Low Protein Diet” with 1/2 Pint of subcutaneous fluids EOD. Her numbers THEN went back up, we are extremely sad and want the best for Kia. She is so young and is the best dog anyone could ask for. How can we prolong her life and keep her painfree? Could it be as easy as changing her diet to BARF w/ Q10 & Fish oil? Do we continue subcutaneous fluids as well? (She cries and hates it).

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  18. Mosquito LEUNG

    I’m from Hong Kong.

    My dog: fox terrier, female, aged 11, has the problem of 1) early renal failure, 2) skin problem. Vet said the sources of problem is due to the autoimmune disease.

    Now she is taking Hill prescription K/d. I would like to let her try Barf Lite. Is it the right starting choice on Barf diet? Or other meat like kangaroo?

    Thx!

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