Took my Shih Tzu age 7 for physical and his blood test showed little high on protein for his kidneys. The Vet wants me to change his diet to a lower protein diet. He has done so well on the protein diet I hate to change him but don’t want to hurt him either. I have read many articles that state not to change them that there is not enough evidence to show that it damages the kidneys unless they have a kidney disease.
Has anyone experienced this situation and what did you do? Elyce B
What foods did your vet recommend? I have two seniors that have been doing well on Nutrisca dry as a base, both recently had senior workups, lab work came back normal.
One of them (peke) will turn 16 next month.
I have recently added Orijen, more for my youngest dog, Orijen has a senior kibble but I haven’t checked it out.
He hadn’t yet. Didn’t want to go into see him until I had more facts about the issue.
Thank you for letting me know what food you are using so I can suggest if he wants my dog on something that isn’t that great. Elyce B
Add water to the food, if you are not doing so already, and frequent bathroom breaks/opportunities to urinate. The old guys are vulnerable to develop bladder stones.
Hi Elyce M,
You are right to question this. There has been LOTS of science over the last 20 years that proves protein is not only not damaging to kidneys but the science has shown that protein does not further damage the kidneys of dogs that HAVE kidney disease. Protein does increase BUN in the blood and if BUN gets too high it makes puppy not feel well but it has no ill effects on the kidneys whatsoever. My favorite source of scientific information on this is “Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function” by Dr. Kenneth Bovee http://www.championpetfoods.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Myths_of_High_Protein.pdf
Something as simple as dehydration can cause elevated BUN but if creatinine is high on the blood work than that is an indicator of kidney disease. Elevated BUN AND creatinine won’t show up on blood work until the kidneys are about 75% damaged so an elevation of both should be looked at more closely by doing more testing – urine specific gravity as an example.
If your pup really is in the beginning stages of kidney failure than lowering protein isn’t necessary but feeding “high quality” protein can be very beneficial. It is also advised to feed a wet food over a kibble. It is also beneficial to look at foods that are lower in phosphorus than your average diet as phosphorus can begin to build up in the blood and once it does it CAN damage the kidneys further.
For what it’s worth, my puppy had kidney disease from birth and ate a HIGH protein raw diet (between 45 and 54% protein) her entire life. She lived to almost nine years of age and passed from complications not related to normal progression of kidney disease.
Seven years of age is not old for a Shih Tzu but they also now know that senior dogs require a diet higher in protein than their adult counterparts due to a decreased ability to digest. This is taken from Purina’s website
“Protein for senior dogs. Healthy senior dogs require increased dietary protein in order to maintain lean body mass. We formulate our senior dog foods to contain more dietary protein (compared to adult maintenance formulas) in order to ensure that your dog gets the appropriate levels of nutritious protein he needs.” https://www.purina.com/dogs/understanding-dog-food/is-a-high-protein-diet-best-for-my-dog
Most better quality diets already exceed the minimum suggested for seniors of 25% (minimum not suggested amount) but this is a science based paper discussing the increased needs of protein in senior dogs. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18656844
What type or brand would be closest to Science Diet XD. My dog has a meat allergy?
I forgot this is a Shar Pei, that never had any skin problems until 7 yrs old. TIA
You may find some helpful information here: http://skeptvet.com/Blog/
See: “More Nonsense from Holistic Vets about Commercial Therapeutic Diets”
Posted on July 20, 2016 by skeptvet
PS: Canine environmental allergies get worse with age, consider consulting a board certified veterinary dermatologist regarding “skin problems”.
Also, has he had a senior workup, labs, etc? If not, I would start there.
What meat I your dog allergic to? How do you know he has a meat allergy?
I have to idea which meat she is allergic too. When I had her on XD it was better. I started Natural Balance vegetarian limited ingredient. The itching is still there but the feet licking is better as are the bald spots. I may need to get her back on apoquel. many meds just don’t work but that one does. Cortisone does not nor does the seasonal drops for allergy. She has it year round.
Unfortunately there is no over the counter dog food that is like Prescription ZD (assuming it’s ZD not XD). There’s two main reasons for this — 1. the starch used is just starch not the whole food “corn starch” – very specific. 2. The protein “hydrolyzed chicken” used in the food has been “hydrolyzed” or broken down into amino acids. Chicken is often an allergy culprit but hydrolyzing process is what makes it non-allergenic.
It would be EXTREMELY rare (although likely not unheard of) to have a dog that is allergic to “meat” as it is specific proteins that cause allergies and proteins are in almost all foods. Therefore almost any food can cause an allergy or allergy type symptom. Lots of folks here on DFA have dogs that react to the protein in specific grains (wheat or corn as an example) but also to the protein in potatoes, peas and legumes.
The best thing to do, if you don’t want to feed prescription, is to do an elimination diet — or feed a food with only one protein and one starch. These over the counter limited ingredient diets are not hydrolyzed so your pup could still react if the specific protein (be it from the meat or the starch) is a trigger for him. If so, then try another limited ingredient diet with a different protein and starch. Some examples of limited ingredient over the counter diets are some like Natural Balance (which have many options to chose from) https://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/dog-formulas/dry/limited-ingredient-diets or Nature’s Variety also has a limited ingredient line (they have a few options) http://www.instinctpetfood.com/instinct-limited-ingredient-diets-kibble-for-dogs
Others can probably give you additional options for limited ingredient diets if you want to try that route.
Edit to include — below is a list of all the foods in the Natural Balance Vegetarian diet that include protein that could be a problem. “brown rice, oatmeal, cracked pearled barley, peas, potato “protein”, potatoes, tomatoes, flaxseed and possibly kelp. It takes time for the histamine etc to clear the body after experiencing an allergic reaction. It’s not uncommon to see symptoms months after the problem protein was removed but you should see steady improvements. Also consider that multiple foods can cause problems — I have one that reacts to beef, goat and barley as an example.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Shawna.
There are many meats out there. Which of these proteins have you fed?
Chicken, turkey, duck, beef, venison, fish, bison, goat, kangaroo?
Apoquel…..please google about that. There were recently some articles out there on the harm that drug does.
I have a dog who had yeast ears & was a paw licker (no itchiness). the only thing that worked for him was a raw diet with no produce.
I just had an ah ha moment, for myself. This same dog just had his first ear infection in something like 4 years. Only thing new is the greens mix I started adding (Shawna who posted after me knows what I made). Hmm…time to stop that for him.
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