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Old June 8th, 2007, 01:23 PM
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Dr Lee Dr Lee is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bay Area California
Posts: 1,058
Good morning Michelle,

In taking a look at the blood work there kidney levels are high. Was a urine test performed? While the blood work is supportive of kidney failure, a urinalysis is usually needed to confirm the diagnosis. It may also help offer further treatment option.

Diet information
I will break this into two types of suggestions.... 1) prescription diets and 2) general recommendations with regard to holistic diets.

1) Science diet k/d is the diet for garden variety kidney failure. c/d would be useful if a pH problem is also present.

2) What is necessary in a kidney diet? Some of the general principles include a low protein diet (protein is cleared through the kidney and so the less the better) (a NO protein diet however cannot work, the body will start to break down its own muscle); also low phosphorus is important to relieve stress on the kidneys, and having a diet rich in omega fatty acids can help to improve kidney blood flow.

General kidney options
A couple new medications have become available and are nutriceudical. Azodyl is a great supplement which creates enteric dialysis (that is it pulls the urea out of the blood stream). How it works: a strain of lactobacillus bacteria which degrades urea nitrogen products. It is made from vetquinol. See the website Also Epikitin is a phosphorus binder which you can place on the food.(same company). Have had a few patients do well on this.

Further workup
In kidney failure there are many different underlying causes as well as secondary problems which need to be addressed. Causes range from idiopathic degeneration (old age), infections, inflammatory diseases, toxins (the recent food recall; also some chronic exposures can lead to chronic kidney disease – such as raisins and grapes), cancer, etc… Understanding what the underlying cause is may help to provide a more clear plan to help the doggie out.

Secondary problems include systemic hypertension and hyperparathyroidism. In light of the blood test, I am concerned about the parathyroid. I would recommend that you talk to your regular veterinarian about further options – blood pressure, further blood and urine testing, and diagnostic imaging (ultrasound and radiographs). At least a urinalysis and blood pressure...

The good news,
There are a lot of options. An answer of ‘your dog has kidney failure; here’s a bag of k/d” is not appropriate. If he/she was a human, the doctor wouldn’t say “you have kidney failure, don’t eat a lot of meat, and good luck”. There are so many ways of helping these guys out and sometimes to a normal life expectancy with great quality of life.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
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