I am looking for a grain free food with quality medium to low protein and phosphorous for a 13 year old ESS with borderline high BUN and Calcium. Any suggestions?
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi Cathy –
I’m going to alert Shawna to your post. Shawna is a regular poster here and is very knowledgeable about kidney disease. She has a dog that was born with kidney disease. What I can tell you is that you do not want to reduce protein levels prematurely – doing it too soon (such as in the early stages of the disease) will ultimately do more harm than good. The focus in early state kidney failure should be on switching to a high quality protein (i.e. avoiding kibble and instead moving to fresh foods).
Thank you for your advice. I am trying Honest Kitchen Force (dehydrated fresh food) which she loves. However she doesn’t seem satisfied on it. She is trying to get into garbage etc and didn’t do that before on Annamaet Grain Free Kibble. My Vet, however said I should reduce protein from the Annamaet 30%. I’m in a quandary about what to do.
Hi Cathy W,
I apologize… I did not see HDM’s email till a bit earlier today and have not been in a position where I could leave a long or detailed post. But I have a lot to share with you and will have time tomorrow to post it.. Sorry again..
Thanks Shawna, I am anxious to figure out the best food for Sprite.
Sorry for the delay… The absolute WORST thing you can feed sprite bar none is any form of kibble. Kibble is hard to digest and because of the lower quality of the protein it creates more BUN when compared to an equal amount of digested protein from another source.
AND, your vet is incorrect if he/she told you to feed low protein in the early stages of the disease unless there is significant protein in the urine. Testing has confirmed that lowering protein too low can actually increase all cause mortality. They have also proven that protein does not damage the kidneys. Because of this you don’t need to feed “low” protein until Sprite has advanced symptoms. Limiting protein even at later stages does not help the kidneys but it does help with symptoms which are caused by the increase of BUN etc in the blood. Limiting protein is not helpful however in the later stages of the disease limiting phosphorus is highly advisable. Phosphorus builds in the blood and CAN damage the kidneys. In the earlier stages of the disease phosphorus is often not detrimental.
For the record, my pup has had kd since birth and has been on HIGH protein raw (45 to 54% on a dry matter basis) since coming to me at nine weeks of age. She will be eight years old the end of June this year and is still doing well. The only time she shows symptoms such as vomiting is if I feed her kibble. The Honest Kitchen is a good food but I’d go with Love or Zeal and add extra good quality fats like coconut oil to increase calories and make her feel more satiated without extra protein/phosphorus. Canned (or better yet raw) tripe is another good option and can be fed with the HK or as a separate meal (pending you get one that is complete and balanced).
As noted, increasing fat keeps the calories up while lowering phosphorus per calorie consumed. This is very important in the later stages.
Other things to consider:
I HIGHLY recommend a product by Standard Process called Canine Renal Support. Audrey has been on it since I learned of her diagnosis. It helps to keep inflammation at bay.
Give Sprite access to all the water she wants but do make sure it is pure — reverse osmosis as an example. Adding toxins in via the water source only increases symptoms. Science has shown benefit to giving waters higher in calcium with low sodium. They didn’t identify actual names but Evian seems to fit the bill.
I HIGHLY recommend giving a HIGH quality probiotic and a specific type of prebiotic (known as nitrogen traps). The combination of these two products helps clear BUN etc from the blood sparing the kidneys from having to do the work. It also allows for even higher amounts of protein. I use Garden of Life’s Primal Defense (human product) and Fiber35 Sprinkle Fiber (human product).
There are other supplements that are known to be beneficial such as food grade activated charcoal, spirulina, burdock root, organic turmeric and more. I mix a combination of these and others with a digestive enzyme and some of the Sprinkle Fiber and add a bit to every meal.
The products you use in your home can be problematic too. When Audrey was diagnosed I looked at the CDC and material safety data sheets for product ingredients I used in my home. Many (if not most) of them were not kidney friendly so I got rid of them and use only ones that are not damaging to kidneys. Example — clorox has a chemical that can damage kidneys in animals. From the material safety data sheet “2-Butoxyethanol has been shown to cause red blood cell hemolysis in laboratory animals and secondary injury to the kidney and liver. However, humans appear to be resistant to this effect” Clorox is pretty toxic anyway so I don’t even have it in the house but if you choose to use it, might be wise not to use it to clean the floors as it can be absorbed through the skin. http://www.thecloroxcompany.com/downloads/msds/cloroxprofessionalproducts/409nqf.pdf
I know I’m forgetting some things… 🙁 Let me know if you have any questions. Also Mary Straus’ website discusses the data I’ve mentioned above plus much much more. Very valuable source of information. She lists kibbles but she fed her own KD dog raw and believes in raw. You don’t have to feed raw but I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY suggest avoiding going back to any kibble. http://www.dogaware.com/health/kidney.html
You and Sprite are in my prayers!!!!
Shawna, Bless you. Your information is so helpful. I am going to try the HK Love and your other suggestions. You are right. At first my Vet suggested low protein and even Hills KD. He realized that I would not feed kd and then as we talked more he did say that it wasn’t the % of protein but the quality of the protein. Sprite’s BUN did drop 2 points in three weeks on the HK Force. I am going to look for the Standard Process Canine Renal Support. I have been using Herbsmith probiotics. Again, I really appreciate the information you have given me. I will also check out the web sites.
Cathy and Sprite
🙂 Glad your vet discussed quality over percent!! If interested the reason quality is so important is — proteins digest down to amino acids. The amino acids are absorbed by the body. The better the quality of the protein, the more amino acids are used by the body for new cell growth etc. Poorer quality proteins are not used on a cellular level as well. If not used by the body they become waste material (or BUN) for the kidneys to have to filter. So the highest quality proteins are going to supply more of what the body needs on a cellular level while leaving less for kidneys to have to deal with. The higher the quality of protein, the more can be fed.
Heat and processing damages some amino acids (like lysine) and that is why kibbles have lower quality proteins even if using the very same protein source as used in a raw food. Since THK low heat dehydrates their proteins it is likely that very few, if any, amino acids are lost to heat. Egg is the gold standard of quality (or bioavailability). I rehydrate my HK (I use Preference with raw meats) with and egg and water. Adding the egg shell in as well will keep the calcium to phos in balance. There’s a lot of other little tips and tricks.. If you are interested in more info after reading Mary’s site, I can steer you in the direction of a few others.
Standard Process products “technically” are only supposed to be sold through health care providers. Those purchased online are not guaranteed by the company. Someone could sell really old product which in time will lose it’s therapeutic value as the products are made from foods and herbs. My holistic vet carries SP products as does several M.D.’s in my area (including mine) and many chiropractors also carry the product. IF you are interested in using but can not find a reliable source just let me know. I can get you in contact with my source at the company.
I’m familiar with Herbsmith (they make great products) but have not seen their probiotics.
Your explanation is really helpful Now I understand why kibble isn’t good. Thank you. Now I am going to get reading. You have really been helpful. I will keep you posted. Thank you again,
Cathy & Sprite
I hope it’s okay to jump in on this since I was going to ask about some senior foods for a 10 year old beagle with early renal issues or may not renal issues. She has had some elevator bun levels and creatine was elevated once. The odd thing her last 3 tests have come back normal. She has a history of being a heavy water and unless we get her first urine sample of the day, her USG is always low. First catches are always normal.
Anyway, I’m just trying to find a grain free senior food low in phosphorus. My vet is still a believer that low protein is good and she recommended finding foods low in phosphorus so if our Scooter does have a renal deficiency then the food would help.
I looked into blue buffalo freedom senior and it’s low in phosphorus but i’m worried the protein is too low. the other option was blue wilderness red meat senior food. Not sure if there are other recommendations? If you prefer i start another thread, just let me know.
I found Shawna’s posts to be most helpful. I am going to stay away from dry food. From everything I have learned so far, no matter how good the protein is when they start, the processing for dry food really takes away from the quality and quality protein is what we are looking for. I am going to use a dehydrated dog food; The Honest Kitchen. Another advantage is the moisture they get once you rehydrate the food. My two dogs absolutely love this food. They were hungry on the first formula I tried and now I have switched to the Embark formula, I add a couple of green beans to it and they seemed satisfied and happy. ( I had started with Force. Would like to use Love formula, but it is more expensive). I can’t say about any changes in BUN yet, but originally three weeks on Force and Sprite’s BUN dropped 3 points.
thanks cathy…I am sending you positive thoughts for Sprite :-). I’m not ready to make that kind of change yet. I have heard great things about Honest Kitchen but I know it’s expensive too. I think if there are real concerns of kidney disease, I’ll certainly check in to every possible option. Thank you and again good luck to Sprite!
My fur baby is a 15 1/2 year old JRT (China) that was diagnosed with kidney disease. My vet is recommending Royal Canin MP Modified as her diet and am wondering if anyone is familiar with this product and it’s pros and cons. Any info will be greatly appreciated.
Hi Lorraine B.,
The stage of the disease, and complicating factors, is the determining factor as to what types of diet are appropriate and not. Vets are often quick to recommend a prescription kidney diet when it is not really the best option. Example, Royal Canin states that the RC MP Modified food is designed for “late stage” kd.
“Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal LP Modified Dry Dog Food is a palatable, high energy, and highly digestible diet that has been formulated to aid in the management of late stage chronic kidney disease in adult dogs.” http://www.chewy.com/dog/royal-canin-veterinary-diet-renal-lp/dp/33956?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=f&utm_content=179&utm_term=&gclid=CJyTl_PZl74CFbTm7AodKyIA1w
And, in my opinion, the ingredients in the kibbled diet are HORRIFIC for any dog but really bad for a dog with kd. The goal when feeding a kd dog is to feed “high quality protein”. The proteins used in this food (corn gluten meal and wheat gluten) are anything but “high quality”.
The canned food is a bit better but still may be too low in protein for the early stages of the disease. In the earlier stages it is often not necessary (OR ADVISABLE) to lower protein. But it is important to feed high quality proteins and to potentially limit the amount of phosphorus.
My pup has had kidney disease for eight years (as of next month) and this is a food I would NEVER feed her for any reason.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by Shawna.
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