i converted my 8 yr old papillon to raw food about 6 months ago.
However his recent blood test showed extremely high kidney BUN readings of 41mg/dl and low creatinine readings of 0.4mg/dl.
My vet has always been against raw feeding and instructed me to immediately switch to a low protein renal kibble diet.
However, after much calculation i realised my raw home made diet only has about 15% protein..
Here is the recipe i use for 28 days of food:
Raw chicken breast and minced 1878g (56%)
Raw beef minced 336g (10%)
Canned green tripe 390g (11.6%)
Chicken heart and liver 252g (7.5%)
Romaine lettuce, red bell pepper, carrot 504g (15%)
Topping of steamed pumpkin or sweet potato.
2 tspn ground egg shell
(No bones given as he has no teeth and refuses to try and chew bones)
As he is fed about 120g of food each day, i calculated his protein intake from above should be about 18g.
Am really confused as he is extremely picky and loves his raw food but his blood test results show such risk of kidney problems that i am afraid to continue with raw feeding too!
Is there something wrong with my recipe?
I’d say it is absolutely not caused by the raw you are feeding, but more than likely a genetic preponderance in your dog to have kidney issues. My one critique would be the quality of your protein. I’d choose something that was naturally low fat like rabbit. And I personally don’t care for chicken as a protein source, given the way it is processed in this country. Actually, beef as well…Lots of factors may contribute to his high BUN levels. I don’t think it’s the raw diet, but moreover your protein choices and possibly your dog’s predisposition to kidney problems.
I agree with Heather, raw feeding is the best you can do for your dog. Most vets don’t like raw feeding because it keeps dogs healthier usually and out of their offices.
Someone else hopefully can chime in and help you out and let you know what else you should be doing.
I can suggest taking a look at Steve Brown’s book “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” or “Real Food for Healthy Dog’s and Cats” by Dr. Karen Becker. Maybe those might help you out some…
I say maybe it is, maybe it’s not. More importantly, your vet says it is…or rather, your vet says your dog needs a specific diet right now to address the BUN/Creatinine results. Feeding a raw or homemade diet is the “best thing” for your dog only if it is supporting your dog’s wellness. Creating a nutritionally complete recipe plus providing the right supplements is tricky — especially when your trying to address kidney issues. There are many exceptional commercially prepared foods (look at 5 start rated reviewed foods here on this site) that might be better suited for your dog right now – could be raw, freeze-dried, canned or dry. The point is, it needs to specifically address the health problem. The other things I would look into & discuss with my vet would be:
– how did these test results compare to his prior bloodwork?
-did he fast before having the blood drawn?
-what did his other levels look like? Calcium? Phosphorus? Sodium:Potassium ratio?
– Is his BUN level in the “normal range for raw-fed dogs?
– was protein detected in the urine sample?
And I would ask my vet, “If I were to change his diet as you suggest, what do you expect we will see on the next test? How long do you think it will take to see a change?”
I feed raw. I’m an advocate of feeding raw. At the same time, I trust my vet and when he tells me there is an issue I tend to believe him.
The values for BUN are different in raw fed dogs. While your dog’s BUN does seem high, his Creatinine is low normal. Most conventional vets aren’t aware of the different values – I had to share the correct values with two of the vets at the clinic I go to. Here is a great article that explains three values that will be different:
http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/normal-blood-values-and-raw-fed-dogs/ At their site, they also have a series of free raw feeding videos that should help you keep him on track and you can search their articles for natural ways to address his BUN value.
Since he doesn’t have teeth, you can help supplement his calcium with whole raw eggs. Just crush the shell with the back of a spoon so that the shell is essentially little flat pieces, not totally pulverized. I would also try chicken backs and ribs. I would begin with cutting away the spine and just give him the soft smaller bones. Once his gums have toughened up a bit he might be able to gnaw the spine and neck in order to get his 10% bone.
A proper raw diet consists of 80% protein (heart is considered a protein, not an organ), 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% other organs – pancreas, spleen, testicles, kidneys… Except that you might be trying to feed a raw diet based on AAFCO guidelines for commercial food, I don’t know why you’re adding greens and veggies at this point. Are there other issues besides the elevated BUN? Have you been feeding greens and veggies for the entire six months? I would definitely add a digestive enzyme supplement to his diet, probiotics won’t hurt as well. Mercola makes supplements that I and many others have had good success with.
Dogs Naturally Magazine will be hosting their second weekend-long internet conference in the Fall. They have a Facebook page that, if you “Like”, will keep you up-to-date and let you know when you can sign up. I attended the first one at the end of January and will be signing up for this one as well. Additionally, you’ll then have access to a private group of like-minded owners, nutritionists and homeopaths who all respond to concerns just like yours with personal experience as well as professional opinion.
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