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  • #82252 Report Abuse

    So I’ve never posted here before but have read and looked around a lot. I have a fair amount of knowledge regarding canine health and have had dogs for 25 years. Right now I’m facing a sad situation. My 5 year old rescue American Staffordshire Terrier has kidney failure. I adopted him nearly 2 years ago from our local shelter without knowing he had health issues but honestly I would’ve taken him no matter what, you know how that it is. I fell in love on sight! Anyway, he’s always had a questionable USG and it was at 1.019 when I adopted him as I had baseline blood work and urine done right after getting him. It fluctuates between 1.014-1.019. Since it wasn’t super low all the time and his other blood work looked normal no one really knew but had suspicions, as he was a big water drinker, much more so than my previous dogs. Now I’ve had him almost two years and his creatinine is creeping up. His BUN is 23 and creatinine is 2.2, it was 1.7 a month ago and 1.4 when I got him so it was never really, really low as the high end of normal from our laboratory is 1.6. His BUN is fine so far, thankfully. He had an ultrasound for a UTI he had about 8 months or so ago. It showed a kidney that looked a little weird but nothing to write home about, needless to say he a urinalysis, culture and a couple of rounds of antibiotics to kick it and be sure that if it was a pylonephritis the antibiotics would kill all the little bacteria that may be hiding, this was a suspicion as his creatinine was creeping up. If you looked at him, you wouldn’t even know he had an issue. He’s beautiful with a gorgeous coat, good weight, eats like a champ, good energy for a big, lazy pittie 🙂

    Anyway, long story kind of short, here I sit broken hearted. He is a lovely animal with a ton of life ahead but I know how these things can go. He also has allergies so prescription diet isn’t the answer and you know it has some ingredients that I’m not thrilled about but the diets have their place and can be very important (this is solely my opinion that I don’t wish to debate at all nor pass judgement on anyone really as it’s not even an option.)

    I’m very fortunate have an amazing team of veterinary professionals whom I know both professionally and personally who I love and deeply respect in my corner which is worth it’s weight in gold.

    Here are my questions to you all, have any of you used supplements to support kidney function? He’s currently not taking any. Food? He eats dehydrated food, Brave by Honest Kitchen and really loves it. Have you worked with a Naturopath for kidney disease? I worked with a herbalist for one of my pitties many years ago who had mast cell cancer. Along with my vet, this may helped by dog live for 21 months instead of the 3 months we were given with him so I’ve seen how it can really help prolong a healthy, happy life. I have also worked with an acupuncturist for skeletal pain in a couple of my dogs. I’ve, happily, not had the experience working with a Naturopath for kidney disease until possibly now so frankly my experience in that arena is limited to the more traditional western side.

    It’s long but if you got to this point, thanks and I look forward to hearing about your experiences 🙂

    #82258 Report Abuse

    Hi Pittiemama,

    Hopefully I can help you here. My puppy had kidney disease right from birth. It is believed her kidneys just weren’t able to develop (she was the sixth puppy, the runt, for a 12 pound Chihuahua / Boston Terrier mix). The breeder had to had feed her, due to a collapsing trachea, raw goats milk and egg whites to keep her alive. She had symptoms (excessive drinking and urine) at just six weeks of age. She was officially diagnosed at one year and given a year to live. She lived to eight years and seven months old and then passed for reasons not directly related to kd.

    A little background on me, my father is a naturopath. I did consult with him when I got Audrey’s diagnosis but being raised by him, I was able to mostly formulate the plan of attack myself.

    Audrey’s numbers, when she was diagnosed, were right around the same as your babies — and she lived almost seven more very very healthy and happy years. It could happen for your baby too.

    The first thing I would suggest is to keep up on his dental health. You won’t want to use anesthesia for dental cleanings so RIGHT now start doing anything and everything you need to keep his teeth clean. It was actually bacteria likely from a dental infection that got into Audrey’s kidneys and ultimately took her life. Use fresh garlic in his meals. Use an enzyme supplement in his water, Dr. Melissa Shelton’s essential oil called Dog Breath is very effective and a drop can be added to his water dish or you can mix with water in a spray bottle and spray right on teeth. http://www.animaleo.info/dog-breath.html I would also recommend a product made by Green Pasture’s called Infused Coconut Oil. It’s high in vitamin K2 (which has been shown to have great benefit for teeth) and has other wonderful nutrients. All of my dogs get it but I found it when Audrey’s teeth were already needing some extra support. 🙁 http://www.greenpasture.org/public/Products/InfusedCoconutOil/index.cfm

    I HIGHLY recommend Standard Process Canine Renal Support. It is a food based supplement that “feeds” the kidneys but also has a product called a protomorphogen (which is the RNA/DNA of the kidney cell) that helps prevent inflammation to the kidneys. It is the one supplement she never went without. I also used their SP Canine Hepatic Support when I thought she needed a little liver support — helps with allergies too. I also used their Cataplex B and C as water soluble vitamins may need to be added due to the large amounts being urinated out.

    ONLY give filtered or other forms of “clean” water. I would avoid tap water at all cost. Lower sodium mineral waters with good amounts of calcium and magnesium have been shown to be beneficial for dogs with kd. I like Evian water because it is high in calcium bicarbonate. I didn’t give it all the time but made sure (at least in the beginning) to give it regularly — I got lax in the later years and I truly believe Audrey would still be with me if I had not. She was doing so well though and my life got busier..

    I HIGHLY recommend getting some Garden of Life Primal Defense probiotic and Garden of Life Acacia Fiber supplements as well. These are used as “nitrogen traps” and as BUN begins to build up the bacteria consuming the fiber will cause some of the nitrogen to be routed through the bowels freeing up the kidneys from having to deal with them. I gave probiotic foods (like green tripe, fermented veggies etc) frequently but when I noticed she was feeling a little lethargic, depressed, not feeling well etc I assumed nitrogen was building up and I’d give her the probiotics and prebiotic for several days. Always worked like a charm. Will be quite important as the disease progresses and he starts getting symptoms. This also allows for a higher protein diet. The protein doesn’t damage the kidneys but it does, due to BUN, add to symptoms. Oh, I forgot to mention. Audrey ate a HIGH protein raw diet up until the last six to eight weeks of her life. Audrey never had a problem with phosphorus but as your puppies disease progresses you may have to watch the amount of phosphorus in the foods you are feeding. The golden rule is to limit phosphorus but it’s obviously not always necessary. That said, phosphorus can damage the kidneys if it gets too high in the blood so either monitor it or feed the right amounts of phos for the stage your pup is at. Right now while phosphorus isn’t as big an issue, I like the Honest Kitchen Brave. To that I would add a raw egg a few times per week and give Answer’s raw goat milk regularly as well. Both raw eggs (if not whipped etc) and raw milk can easily increase the “master antioxidant” in the body called glutathione. This will obviously help out everything. Later, when phos needs to be more restricted, you may not be able to give the whole egg (as the yolk is higher in phos).

    Supplements —
    1. Organic Turmeric is good as it is anti-inflammatory but it also is anti-fibrotic (prevents scar tissue). Audrey didn’t tolerate turmeric well so she didn’t get it but in general it would be quite helpful for a dog with KD.
    2. Spirulina, chlorella and pumpkin seed oil are all high in chlorophyll and supplies lots of other nutrients. Dogs with KD can be at risk for anemia and chlorophyll is awesome for anemia.
    3. Burdock root is a prebiotic and of the herb world is considered to be the “blood cleaner”.
    4. Milk thistle helps spare glutathione and is a good detoxer.
    5. Distilled water (given once in a while) and food grade activated charcoal are good detoxers too.
    6. Copaiba essential oil is great for pains and inflammation plus more. A therapeutic grade, like Dr. Sheltons, is the only kind to use on pets. Can be given in food or rubbed into the skin over the kidneys as an example.
    7. Braggs brand apple cider vinegar can help with indigestion or tummy issues. Audrey didn’t need it often but when she did I would mix it 50/50 with water and syringe feed it. She hated it but within seconds would burp and feel better.
    8. Therapeutic grade peppermint oil, ginger extract or Dr. Shelton’s GI Joe essential oil work great for tummy issues as well. I got sick to my tummy and used the GI Joe to help. Kept me from vomiting and soothed my tummy.
    9. Learn about essential oils if you don’t already know. If you have a Facebook account, join AnimalEO’s page and sign up for Dr. Shelton’s Friday Fun Facts. I didn’t know about them early enough to be much use with Audrey (specifically Dr. Shelton’s oils) but I sure wish I had.

    DON’T do ANY more vaccinations – not even rabies if you can at all avoid. Audrey was legally exempted from having to get the rabies vaccine for life. She wasn’t protected either as she only got her first shot (at six months) before diagnosis was made. No heartworm, flea/tick or anything like that either.

    I know there’s things I’m forgetting but hopefully this is enough to give you a good jumping off point.. 🙂 Hugs to you and your baby boy!!!!

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    #82260 Report Abuse

    PS — did I mention that Staffies are my all time favorite breed. 🙂 Had one when I was growing up.

    #82264 Report Abuse

    Hi Shawna,

    Thanks so much! It sounds like you are a wealth of knowledge. How cool that your dad was a Naturopath. Growing up with it is almost like learning a second language from birth I bet. I have a lot to digest. Although I don’t work for a vet anymore, I was a vet tech by training and worked in a veterinary hospital for many years so learning about this kind of stuff is kind of what I live for but I wish it wasn’t because my dog was sick.

    I’m a huge pittie lover too and he’s our fourth. I’ve had a lot of dogs but bully breeds are also my favorite by a country mile! Funny thing our other dog is a Chug (Pug/Chi mix) and she thinks she’s the boss. She’s pretty adorable though.

    Due to his allergies, there are some things I won’t be able to do like the eggs or the tripe (I don’t think) but am going to look into some of the others. I had been researching myself and ran across Standard Process so I was glad to see that you have used it and think so highly of it. You never know. It looks like you can’t but it from the company but I think I saw it on Amazon. If you know of another seller that’s reputable, I’d appreciate it. I’d like to get him started on it. I looked at Chewy.com but no go. Also the probiotics, they are such an easy thing to start right away. I like the Honest Kitchen Brave as well and talked to my vet who said that we’ll use phosphorous binders if his phosphorous gets above 5.0. I’m thinking if it progresses (glass is 1/2 full) of trying to change to a food that’s a little lower in phosphorous which will be a challenge due to his allergies. So far what works is fish based and grain free and most of those are not low in phosphorous. It looked to me that if I want to stick with Honest Kitchen (which I do like) then the Keen (Turkey, potato and oatmeal) would be a little lower. It’s an option but again…it’s all about the allergies too. It is a tricky situation.

    It is heartening to hear your little girl lived so long after the diagnosis. Having worked in a vet hospital for so many years, I’ve seen a lot of kidney disease and one never knows how fast or how how slow it’s going to progress so I want to make it as slow as possible.

    Thanks again!!!

    #82269 Report Abuse

    I have nothing knowledge wise to offer, but I do wish you the best of luck and send prayers to your AmStaff. I have one too and they are just the best dogs ever! Shawna is our resident fountain of knowledge when it comes to KD pups and many other things!

    #82274 Report Abuse

    Thanks Pitlove! I appreciate all of the well wishes and love we get. He is a very special boy and I am determined to keep him with me into a ripe old age! Shawna has been very helpful.


    #82310 Report Abuse

    Hi Pittiemama, welcome to DFA!

    I’m very sorry to hear about your pups kidney issues 🙁

    I believe in exploring all options when it comes to the health of my furry family members. I research everything and then I research some more. I think that peer reviewed articles are very important because they are written by experts and reviewed by experts in whatever field the article or study comes from.

    A good place to search for canine kidney disease, or any medical issue you would like to research is “Google Scholar” and “Pubmed”.

    Anecdotal evidence can often be confusing. For instance, Shawna’s baby lived over 8 years on a holistic, raw diet with plenty of alternative treatments.

    And a friend of mine adopted an 8 week old lab who was diagnosed with kidney disease at 12 weeks old. She lived to be 9 years old on a low protein, prescription diet from the vet.

    I tried to talk him into feeding a less processed homemade or commercial diet that used fresh minimally processed whole foods but he stuck with his vet’s food. I can only imagine how long she would have lived on a fresh food, minimally processed diet designed for kidney patients.

    I did talk him into using freeze-dried kidney products and I suspect they helped. Seeing a holistic vet is something I would definitely look into. The more you know, the better you will be able to make an informed decision regarding the care of your pup.

    Naturopathy is a very controversial form of “medicine” and I hope you do your due diligence before going down that path. Make up your own mind based on your own research.

    Below are a few very critical quotes and links about Naturopathy and the original online, no attendance required, schools of natural healing. I wish you and your baby a long and healthy life 😉

    “The Biggest Quack School in Natural Medicine Closes”

    “Diploma Mill PoliceSM Clayton College of Natural Health (AL) Distance Learning Accreditation Report”

    “Clayton College of Natural Health: Be Wary of the School and Its Graduates”

    “A Close Look at Naturopathy”

    “Colorado, naturopathy, and “health freedom”: Devolving into a quack wonderland?”

    “Britt Deegan Hermes, a former naturopathic doctor and Bastyr grad, has a new blog: Naturopathic Diaries. It is a must-read! Britt reveals the pseudoscience and lack of clinical training behind naturopathic education.”

    #82312 Report Abuse

    Thanks for your input el doctor! Luckily I’m not easily influenced. I’m thankful to those who give advice while at the same time I do my own due diligence. I do, however, appreciate hearing other people’s experiences and how they got to where they are. Anecdotal evidence isn’t hard data numbers but it still carries weight and matters.

    I’m already planning on seeing a holistic vet in my area who I know personally through the vet field.

    I’m familiar with peer reviewed journals and have used them through my own college career.

    Though I’m still learning, I’ve dabbled in Naturopatic medicine with one of my dogs with cancer many years ago and was fortunate enough to have a very amazing Naturopathic Veterinarian who helped him.

    Again, thanks for your words! Best to you as well.

    #82412 Report Abuse

    Hi Pittiemama,

    So sorry for the delayed response… Although you can certainly buy Standard Process products on Amazon and other various websites, the company does not condone the selling of their product from those sites. SP is only legally sold through health care professionals. Anything you buy online could be close, or past, it’s expiration date, tampered with etc. Standard Process has a find a practitioner near you link on their website however if there truly is no place to purchase from locally (I would check with chiropractors and holistic vets), it can be recommended by professionals via phone consults. Once you have a recommendation you can then buy/ship direct from SP.

    For nitrogen trapping purposes the prebiotics MUST be utilized along with the probiotics. You may have got this but mentioned only probiotics so thought I’d emphasize just in case. The Merck Vet Manual has info on prebiotics (fermentable fiber). It reads “In addition, feeding moderately fermentable fiber can facilitate enteric dialysis and provide a nonrenal route of urea excretion.” http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/management_and_nutrition/nutrition_small_animals/nutrition_in_disease_management_in_small_animals.html There’s other sources too, but for a vet tech (very cool by the way) I imagine this would be a good source, at least to start. 🙂

    I did as much as I could to help prevent inflammation and damage to her kidneys. She had both of them and they looked good but were small in size. I wasn’t thinking straight on diagnosis and allowed her to be spayed the same day as diagnosis. I was later told by a vet here on DFA that I was lying about her because no vet would do an elective surgery on a dog with kidney disease. I asked him if he thought I should sue them or contact someone about it but he never replied. 🙂 Anyway, the vet who did the spay “opened her up a little more than necessary for the spay” as to get a look at the kidneys. Both there, a healthy color but smaller than should be.

    Like you, I research everything – even material presented by those I trust. I like knowing the information but by researching I can often learn the whys and hows. I was at a Standard Process seminar back in 2009 and learned the words and brief understanding of apoptosis and phagocytosis. As soon as I got home I started looking at research. 🙂

    I hope you quickly and easily find the best path for you and your little man!!!

    #82413 Report Abuse

    Thank you very much for your kind words, Pitlove!!!

    #82414 Report Abuse

    Thanks Shawna! I’ve made an appointment with a holistic vet I’ve known for many years. I also know some of the techs at the clinic which is cool. It’s nice having an in 🙂 I appreciate your input about Standard Process, I imagined it was something like that because I couldn’t seem to find it on more than one site. That can be a little sketch. I used the “Find the practice” on the site the other day but there was only one place somewhere near me which was not the clinic I’m using. I’ll ask her about it though and she’ll, I’m sure, have some other recommendations as well and may have some info on it. It’s a big world out there and although I’m fairly comfortable with my own research, I’m certainly not a vet and rely on their expertise. Again, thanks for the info and well wishes. My big headed lug is a love and I’m hoping he’ll live a long, healthy, happy life with me. Best to you!

    #82638 Report Abuse
    gina w

    Hi Shawna,
    I have been reading the posts and my dog recently had an acute renal injury which caused her to go into renal failure. She started vomiting and had diarrhea and became lethargic. When we took her to the vet we found she had pancreatitis and renal failure. We thought the pancreatitis came from an obstruction so during surgery there was no obstruction but an abscess on her pancreas with a necrotic area that was removed. It has been touch and go for the last month. We did all the post surgical care at home as I am a nurse and my daughter a vet tech. It seems one week kidney improve and next week worsen. She has been getting IV fluids since the initial assault on the kidneys. This past week we have seen improvement and will get more blood work done on Monday. The uremic smell has decrease and her hemoglobin and hematocrit has slightly improved. Creatinine is 5.0 BUN >130 Phos 11 these are all down except for the BUN which is up from 110. We are getting ready to finish week 5 since the surgery and she has returned to her bossy self. Faith is a 5 1/2 year old border collie. I just purchased all the items you recommended Standard Process, Garden of Life Primal Defense and sprinkle fiber. How much of the sprinkle would you give a 40 lb dog and the primal defense. We are going to keep her on IV until Monday Feb 8th when we get her new labs. Then we will continue with Sub Q fluid boluses until we have all labs normal. Her diet has improved and we are doing a raw diet with green tripe and adding plenty of water. Thank you in advance for giving me your dosage amounts. She is also on Aluminum hydroxide three times daily.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 5 months ago by gina w.
    #82670 Report Abuse

    Hi Gina W,

    Sorry for the delay, I missed this yesterday.

    So so sorry about your pup but so happy she is back to herself!!

    Audrey was nine pounds and I started her out with 1/4 of a primal defense tablet and then after a few weeks increased it to half a tablet and maintained that dosage. I gave a maintenance dose of the fiber at 1/8 teaspoon. I can’t remember for sure but I believe I started the fiber at 1/16 tsp for a week and then increased to 1/8. For a Border Collie I personally would work up to one full Primal Defense tab and work up to 1/4 to maybe even 1/2 tsp Sprinkle Fiber. Because you are feeding raw tripe regularly you may find you don’t need as much of the Primal to achieve the desired results. I would keep it on hand for those times when you might need a probiotic boost though.

    Because the aluminum hydroxide will impede digestion (if given with food at least) it might be helpful to also add a quality proteolytic enzyme.

    Five and half years old, way too young to be dealing with this!!!! 🙁

    Prayers for you and Faith!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #82727 Report Abuse
    gina w

    Hi Shawna,
    Thanks for getting back to me. What is a proteolytic enzyme, is that part of the supplements I already purchased? We had a set back yesterday my husband fed her only beef and nothing else so the uremic smell is back. This morning after some boluses and IV fluids through the night she is smelling much better.

    I think this is going to be a long haul, but I am hoping the kidneys are gonna come back, I have seen it happen it humans.

    #82740 Report Abuse

    Hi Gina,

    Proteolytic enzymes are protein digesting enzymes. For several reasons these may be beneficial for Faith. I’ll outline below —
    1. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach is produced when food is eaten. When the ph of the gut gets to the right level it activates pepsinogen into the protein digesting enzyme pepsin. Pepsin begins the breakdown of protein. If you are giving an acid blocker with the meal it is quite likely that the initial phase of protein digestion will not be adequate as pepsinogen may not be converted to pepsin.
    2. If that initial phase is not adequate it may create the need for the pancreas to produce more enzymes. Since Faith has had pancreas issues the organ may not be working optimally. “May” being the operative word here.
    3. If the protein in the food is not digested and absorbed it — a. won’t be available for the body and b. could be consumed by protein digesting bacteria in the digestive tract which will in turn create more ammonia which then becomes urea and eventually will increase BUN. Exactly what you aren’t wanting to happen.

    One of the benefits to raw tripe is it is already high in active enzymes and beneficial bacteria (it’s my understanding that gram negative bacteria primarily consume proteins and also create the ammonia that gets converted to urea). Between the beneficial bacteria in the tripe and the Primal Defense there hopefully and eventually, once on long enough, won’t be enough of the bad guys to dine on any undigested protein. Personally, I’d give the enzyme as a precaution though. This article is talking more about carbohydrates effect but this sentence clearly ties protein in as well. “These results suggest that gram-negative anaerobic bacteria make a major contribution to ammonia generated from peptides and amino acids in vivo, and that ammonia may be formed from bacterial cells in the colon.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7381915

    In summary — If the food is highly bioavailable (like tripe) and is properly digested more of the protein will be utilizable by the cells of the body leaving less for the bacteria to feed on. By giving tripe and a high quality probiotic you will help clear the gut out of any bacteria that will create higher amounts of ammonia / urea / elevated BUN. Raw beef has far less natural enzymes than tripe but has a relatively high bioavailability. It’s my guess that it is the lack of proper digestion, and gram negative bacteria in the colon, that caused the elevation in symptoms. Aside from the glaring fact that it’s not good to feed just meat —- my husband would have done the same thing. 🙂

    #82741 Report Abuse

    In a nutshell, uremia is a symptom of end stage kidney disease. I did the subq fluids every day for 2 years with a dog that had kidney damage due to Lyme disease. It is comparable to dialysis, if the dog was a human she would be on a kidney transplant waiting list.

    Just my opinion based on my experience. I know how difficult this is. They will have good days and bad days.

    PS: Of course every dog’s situation is unique, so find a good vet and listen to him.

    #82743 Report Abuse

    Oops, should have added this — any good quality enzyme supplement will have enzymes that digest protein – proteases as well as those that digest fats and carbs. Some animals can be intolerant to some of the foods the enzymes are produced from — my friend’s Frenchie is yeast intolerant so certain enzyme supplements produced from yeasts don’t work for him. You may have to do a little trial and error to see what works best but enzyme supplements I personally like include Enzymatica Digest Gold (human product) or the Mercola branded product simply called Healthy Pets Digestive Enzymes. Both of these have a wide variety of enzymes.

    #82745 Report Abuse

    From the “The American Journal of Kidney Diseases (AJKD)” AJKD Blog
    “Dr. Paul Phelan

    The complex relationship between kidney function and the microbial genome (microbiome) is explored in a recent review in AJKD. The human intestine is home to a vast number of bacterial species (estimated to be between 500-1000), which have evolved with us, leading to a symbiotic relationship existing between host and bacteria. The microbiome is involved in digestion of food and has immunomodulatory effects.

    There is emerging evidence that CKD may alter the microbiome with significantly more pathogenic bacteria being present. Reasons for this include a slower gut transit time, impaired protein assimilation, less dietary fiber, iron therapy, and antibiotic overuse. The review mentions mouse and human studies demonstrating some uremic toxins present only in CKD subjects with an intact colon. The generation of certain solutes such as protein-bound indoxyl sulphate and hippuric acid are dependent on gut microflora. Uremia leads to excess undigested protein in the distal intestine causing proliferation of proteolytic bacteria with generation of toxic metabolites, such as ammonia, phenols, amines, indoles, and thiols. These may lead to accelerated cardiovascular disease as well as progression of the underlying CKD.

    The review expands on these individual toxins and mentions the European Uremic Toxin Work Group, which is taking advantage of “omics” technology to expand our knowledge of both the number and function of uremic solutes. Lastly, exciting evidence is presented demonstrating how the microbiome may serve as a biomarker of injury as well as a potential therapeutic target in CKD. We first need to clarify if the dysregulated microbiome is a cause or consequence of CKD (or both). The potential to reduce concentrations of gut-derived uremic toxins via manipulation of the microbiome is explored. This may include the use of oral sorbents and administration of probiotics and prebiotics (non-digestible food ingredients that may selectively stimulate growth of particular bacteria). The authors also mention employing genetically engineered microbes that could remove uremic toxins including ammonia. Overall, the evidence base for these novel therapeutics is limited, but larger, randomized studies are planned. Watch this space.” http://ajkdblog.org/2016/01/04/the-gut-microbiome-ckd/

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    #82747 Report Abuse


    Read through the comments, other pet owners going through similar problems. Perhaps you will find something useful.

    PS: Regarding my dog with kidney damage, the main symptom of kidney disease is nausea, so she was on a prescription diet/bland.
    NO SUPPLEMENTS. and that worked, for as long as it did….
    I would only do what a veterinarian that has examined the dog recommends, but that is something I have learned, over the years.

    #82748 Report Abuse
    gina w

    Thank you for all the advice, She is smelling better today, We are just 2 days in with the pre and probiotics and the renal support. Does it matter when you give the supplements with food, prior to food, after ? I have been trying to give her 3 small meals but she is getting fussier by the day. Prior to all this happening she ate everything and anything hence probably why she got the pancreatitis. Big learning experience for us and my 4 other dogs aren’t allowed anything but their dog food now.
    A few years back my brother was septic and experienced acute tubular necrosis, he was in kidney failure for about 2-3 months and his kidney function returned. Have you ever heard of a dogs kidney function returning after an acute injury? That is my hope.
    Thank again Shawna for all your suggestions I will keep you posted.

    #82749 Report Abuse

    Yes absolutely Gina, dogs with acute KD can recover but not in every case. While in the acute phase, I misread and thought she was eventually diagnosed with chronic KD, it can be beneficial to feed lower protein. Of course follow your vet’s advice or your gut instincts if you feel it is prudent. Science Diet has two new canned products that are, from what I can tell, far superior to many other products. They are their stews. They can be fed on their own or mixed in with the green tripe if she won’t eat them alone. I definitely would continue the Standard Process Renal Support and other supplements you’ve started.

    My friend’s Maltese, Buster, developed acute kidney disease from chicken jerky treats. He survived but did develop CKD. That said, he has lived quite healthfully with the disease for many years now and is still doing well. If you are on Facebook I can link you up to her if interested.

    #82884 Report Abuse
    gina w

    Hi Shauna
    We started Faith on Hill’s KD stew earlier this week, it seems that the smell is decreasing significantly. She had one bad day with spitting up, not sure if from the pre and probiotics. She has really gotten fussy with her eating. You have to sit with her and get her interested by hand feeding then she will go on and start eating on her own. Gave her Zofran in case it was nausea causing the spitting up and she started eating more and no spitting up. She blew her last IV so we are giving her fluid boluses once daily.
    I noticed that Faith yawns a lot. Not sure if it is because of the anemia but it is really noticeable. Any ideas?
    Just want to thank you for all your suggestions. I will let you know her what her labs are after 2 weeks of the supplements.

    #82899 Report Abuse

    Yeah, I think there definitely could be a connection between the yawning and anemia. There are different supplements that can be used depending on what the cause of the anemia is.

    The cause is likely due to her kidneys BUT the antacid could be exacerbating it by impeding intrinsic factors action on B12. Standard Process has a human B12 supplement (that is suitable for dogs) that has porcine intrinsic factor right in the product. I would personally start my own on this if experiencing the same things. I would give it away from meals and the antacid being used. There is another form of B12 that I have had excellent results with but it is given intranasally and likely won’t be well tolerated. I’d try the Standard Process or a similar product.

    Inappropriate bacteria in the gut can utilize iron being consumed so if that was a potential factor, being on the probiotics will address that with continued use.

    Chlorophyll is considered a “blood builder”. It is chemically just like blood except magnesium replaces iron. Many holistic practitioners use it in cases of “blood loss”. Audrey became anemic and HIGH doses of Standard Process Chlorophyll Complex Perles given over a weeks period did the trick for her. The maintenance dose for humans is two perles per day. From memory I was giving Audrey six to eight per day. The first few times I gave it I had to coax her to take it but after that she was almost frantic to get them when I even grabbed the bottle. After she was back on track I started her on a maintenance dose (for financial reasons) of a high quality Chlorella supplement. I tried three different brands before I found one that really worked well for her.

    I found this, in my opinion, really cool article on supplements for renal disease that may be helpful. I haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing but here’s the section on “Kidney-associated anemia”.
    “Renal Disease in Small Animals: A Review of Conditions and Potential Nutrient and Botanical Interventions
    Susan Marie Pollen, DVM, CVA

    Kidney-associated anemia is characteristically normocytic, normochromic, and nonregenerative.18 Anemia may cause tachycardia, lassitude, and cold and exercise intolerance.17 Erythropoietin must be given. In addition, nutrients that benefit RBC production, including water-soluble vitamins B12 and folic acid, are especially important when vitamins are lost in isosthenuric urine. Also useful are eggs, raw beef liver, liquid chlorophyll, kelp,63 and supplements containing vitamin C for optimal iron absorption, vitamin E for antioxidant protection of RBCs, vitamin A, and iron and copper for hemoglobin synthesis. Supplementing branched-chain amino acids (valine, leucine, and isoleucine) and glutamine is also useful if nephrogenic anemia is accompanied by amino acid deficiency. 61” http://www.anaturalhealingcenter.com/documents/Thorne/articles/RenalDiseaseSmallAnimal.pdf

    Standard Process Chlorophyll Complex is fat soluble but worked like a charm. Not sure why the recommendation for “water soluble” but most chlorella supplements contain water soluble chlorophyll.

    Obviously the addition of animal proteins (eggs and liver) would need to be evaluated for the amount of protein and phosphorus they add. The Standard Process Renal Support supplement has many of these suggested nutrients without adding a significant amount of phosphorus.

    I truly hope all of your hard work and dedication shows wonderful results with the next lab work!!!

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 8 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    #82910 Report Abuse
    gina w

    What do you know about Epakitin? Can that be given with Aluminum hydroxate ?

    #82925 Report Abuse

    Epikitin is used primarily as a phosphate binder in chronic kidney disease. From what I’ve read, the main ingredient, chitosan, is the phosphate binder but is also a mild prebiotic (shown to work better than FOS but I haven’t seen studies as compared to acacia fiber).

    I have some concerns about epikitin – it has hydrolyzed soy protein – soy does not have a high bioavailability. Additionally, soy is high in glutamic acid and when freed by hydrolyzing, and used chronically, it can become an excitotoxin/neurotoxin in susceptible people/pets. There may not however be enough freed glutamic acid (and aspartic acids) in the product, at the recommended dose, to be problematic but it is still a concern for me. In my opinion, the hydrolyzed soy is added as a flavor enhancer and flavor enhancers, like MSG, have been scientifically shown to cause various disease states in those susceptible.

    I’m not sure if phosphorus builds up in acute kd so by feeding a diet already lower in phosphorus AND using a binder you may not supply enough for the body and create symptoms of low phosphorus. If you’ve had a CBC done and it shows high phosphorus than epikitin may be beneficial.

    Epikitin is often recommended with Azodyl (which is a probiotic formulated specifically for kd). I chose to use Primal Defense over Azodyl because PD has a wider variety of beneficial bacteria not just the ones for uremia. On the lower protein diet with the inclusion of Primal Defense I don’t know that Azodyl would benefit Faith but it could be something to look in to? I personally wouldn’t replace PD with it but use it in conjunction with.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 8 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    #82928 Report Abuse

    Please, folks. Find a veterinarian that you trust, have him examine your pet and make recommendations. Try to listen to him and go from there.
    Too much misinformation on the internet.

    PS: Dr. Google is not to be trusted http://skeptvet.com/Blog/?s=dr+google

    #82931 Report Abuse
    gina w

    Vet put my dog aluminum hydroxate and Epikitin, I just thought it was way to much. Being a nurse practitioner I understand pathophysiology on humans, animals are similar and use different drugs. Yes there is things on the internet unless evidence based you should read and research and ask questions of your vet. I personally like talking to people to see what other treatments are out there.

    #82936 Report Abuse
    Bev A

    Hi, Bitty has been on the Canine Renal Protection for 3 months now and I also started her on the Acacia Fiber and Probiotics at the same time. Her Creatinin is now normal and the BUN has come down but still nowhere near normal but it did drop. So I continue giving the supplements. The latest blood work however has me concerned and any suggestions for meds, foods, supplements, whatever would be greatly appreciated. Her Albumin is low. 2.1 and her globulin is high at 5.7. She is 14 but her eating habits have improved greatly over the past 3 months. I switched her to Science diet KD and to Solid Gold Tripe. A third one is Merricks Grandmas Pot Pie. Bitty is a picky eater so I give her whichever one she will eat at the time. She does have bad teeth, so I am concerned for that but we have pulled the majority of them. She doesn’t do well with anesthesia so we have decided not to pursue the surgery as we don’t think she would survive. Shawna, your advice was right on. I didn’t tell the vet what I had done till the test results were back. She was iffy on it when I first mentioned it but said that it was because she had not used that before. But she could see that Bitty is more perky and aware of what is going on around her and suggested I continue doing what I am doing. . She has always been very anxious and has to have tummy meds all the time and I suppose that probably has a lot to do with the blood work. She has maintained her weight of 4 pounds and even gained 1/4 pound in the past 3 months. Thanks for any advice you can give at this time.

    #82978 Report Abuse

    Hi Bev A,

    I’m soooooo glad to hear that Bitty is feeling better!!!

    Low albumin could be an indicator that she’s not getting enough protein and also a symptom of kidney failure. Inflammation is also a cause. High glubulin is caused by inflammation as well so that would be my guess as to the cause of both. Did your vet test for an infection? The teeth may have caused an infection. That’s what happened to Audrey. A food sensitivity can also cause this sort of inflammation. My best guess, if she doesn’t have an infection, is that one of the foods she is eating has an ingredient in it that she is reacting to. If you are feeding the kibbled KD then I would try one of the canned foods. If she is eating one of the canned foods then I would try another — they now have the original egg product but also have two stew products – one with beef and one with chicken. I would eliminate the other two foods for a few weeks at least unless she won’t eat without them. If you have a source for raw green tripe I would try mixing that in with the SD to entice her to eat.

    Although the supplements are of supreme quality, it could be something in them that she is reacting to as well. Did you notice any negative reactions shortly after they were started. Audrey, as an example, was allergic to beef bone. I was giving her Standard Process Catalyn (a multi vitamin) which had beef bone in it — before I knew she was allergic. I personally would also contact Standard Process and talk with one of their vet techs or the vet on staff. Additionally, if you have access to a good holistic vet it might not hurt to have a consult with him/her.

    If you think that the inflammation could be diet related and you cant figure it out with elimination, I would consider using a product made by Glacier Peak Holistics that can help identify sensitivities. Not everyone here on DFA agrees that the test is worth the $85.00 cost but myself and many friends have used it with great success.

    I’m very happy that Bitty is feeling better but bummed for you both that this has cropped up… 🙁

    Hugs to you and little Bitty, Bev!!!!!!

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    #83247 Report Abuse
    gina w

    Hi Shawna
    Just got the bloodwork back, so in the last 3 weeks her BUN dropped from >130 to 118, creatinine went up from 5.0 to 8.9 and phosphorus went up from 11 to >16, the past few days she hasn’t really been eating much other then the supplements. Spoke with the vet starting back on the aluminum hydroxate he doesn’t like the Epikitin so he is going to research another binder for the dog to get the phosphorus down. Other than not eating the last few days and periodically spitting up, she is running around and 75% of her old self. I have continued with the Hills KD adding a little tripe here and there. I was really hoping on better numbers. I also haven’t given her any SQ fluids in a week (stopped when the uremic smell went away). I am still going to try and help her as much as possible but I am coming to grips with the eventual outcome.
    Thank you for all your suggestions.

    #90770 Report Abuse
    Shannon W

    Hi Shawna,
    First of all, I am so so so sorry to hear about your journey with Audrey’s health issues, my heart breaks for both of you 🙁
    Secondly, this is a whole new experience for me but having just returned from the vet I am of course looking for related information. My 16.5 year old terrier Brownie (I know we are so lucky to have had her this long <3 ) stopped eating and was diagnosed with renal failure. She spent 4 days on fluids, antibiotics etc. and is home with aluminum hydroxide, antibiotics, an antacid (?) and phenobarb for seizures as well as subcutaneous fluids for the remainder of her time I suspect. That is ok, I would do anything for her…

    I am just beginning the research on Kidney failure and have read many of your posts so far but not all of them. In one of them you recommend the SP Canine Renal Support. I have looked at that as well as the SP Renafood tabs which people also recommend. I was wondering why you chose the Canine support as opposed to the Renafood if you don’t mind? The only other question I will bother you with now ( don’t want to wear out my welcome here 😉 is if you have had any experience using Rehmannia 8 which many holistic vets recommend… Right now we are getting through one day at a time but I would like to start her on supplements asap while I figure out her diet and other vitamins/mineral needs etc. In the next few weeks (cross your fingers and toes please) I will get her to a holistic vet in an attempt to get her on “a plan” that will be more beneficial for her. Thank you SO much for your response and know that you came here through a nightmare but you are making such a difference for the rest of us and our beloved fur babies.

    #92950 Report Abuse
    Mike K

    Hello. My 1.5 yr old Cavalier king charles was just found to have abnormally developed kidneys and our vet said the ultrasound showed that they were in bad shape (she said small cylinder like packets) . He has high BUN and 1015 specific gravity. I am devastated because he showed no signs besides drinking alot of water. I am wondering if anyone here can educate me on kidney transplant. I know the risks are high and only about 40% make it and the cost of care throughout his life would also be high. I am willing to do what I have to, no matter the costs. Where do I start my search for a transplant? Is it realistic to think this can save his life? I am in a panic and am grasping at any chance of beating this. Also we do not have any siblings to match organs with.

    #92951 Report Abuse

    I’d ask the Skept Vet, he’s a veterinarian, he does often answer questions. http://skeptvet.com/Blog/?s=kidney

    I would call the Veterinary schools around you. Is your vet a specialist? I would start there.


    #93762 Report Abuse
    Laura L

    I need advice for my 15+ yr old Affen. I’m new; please forgive me if I’m asking you to repeat advice given previously- I feel like time is of the essence, & I can’t process everything I’m researching all at once. Donald has heart murmur/ recent trip to heart dr/ received good report. She said discontinue enalapril or switch to benazepril. He also takes VetMedin; Lasix; Denamarin. He also has Cushings & was taking Vetoryl until last week.
    11/23 was first blood work in a while- I didn’t realize the signs of kidney disease earlier. We also moved recently & had to find new vet. 11/23: BUN 88/ CREA 2.6. SubQ fluids. Acupuncture 11/29 (for arthritis) & holistic vet gave me homemade food recipe, which I fed that Tues/Wed/Thurs. D smelled like ammonia after food. BUN went to >130; CREA 2.0. Then went ER vet for iv fluids (careful to watch heart condition.) He started canned kidney diet. On 12/03, BUN 97; CREA 1.7. SubQ fluids 3x / week & BUN & CREA decrease: 65 & 1.9; 57 & 1.7. I added Azodyl somewhere around this time. 12/15/16: heart dr says discontinue enalapril & clears D for teeth cleaning. Had urine protein test at this time/ it was good (like 2, on a scale to 5.) 12/22: BUN 37 & CREA 1.4. 1/06/17: BUN 41/ CREA 1.3 (I think at this pt we had moved to fluids 2x/ week.) 1/13/17: BUN: 49 CREA 1.3. (Note: D had acupuncture again.) The next week D vomited bile on Wed & Sun and wouldn’t eat. We stopped Vetoryl (I know NOW that it’s bad for filtration & bad with ace inhibitor & with diuretic.) Ate a little rice; broth; chicken but would vomit it. 1/18/17: BUN 90 CREA 1.8. 1/20/17: BUN 107 CREA 1.6. Back to ER vet for iv fluids. 01/21/17: BUN: 83 CREA 1.9. 1/23/17: BUN 70; CREA 2.3. He’s had phosphate binders during both ER trips. I’ve ordered a renal supplement, B vitamins, & omega 3s. What else can I do? Would you feed Darwins even though it has high phosphates? Doesn’t Darwins have a binder in it? Would you try homemade? – I’m hesitant since my only attempt sent his BUN off the charts. Do you think accupuncture could have helped cushings enough to cause an overdose effect since he was taking Vetoryl? Apologies for the long post- Would love any thoughts- it’s a hilly, scary road, & I need you, fellow travelers. Much love -le

    #93825 Report Abuse
    Laura L

    Also, does anyone feed Answers food? Can someone see if Shawna can help me….?? Thank you –

    #93865 Report Abuse
    gina w

    I followed all of Shawna’s advice, diet is most important. Unfortunately my little Faith was put down on April 4, 2016 after fighting for 3 months. IVF’s are very important and I was giving her SQ every day. Did your dog have any problems with breathing with the heart murmur. I don’t understand why on doggie Lasix? also stop giving the arthritis medication, I believe it is filtered through the kidneys and not the liver. You didn’t mention anything about Phosphorus do you know her levels ?

    #150129 Report Abuse
    Janice M

    Hi all I’m so sorry to hear everyone’s problems with their furry family members. I’m new here I just found out that my cookie has been diagnosed with renal failure as well. Her creatinine is around 2.0 and bun is 18. She has horrible teeth but was told the vet could not clean them due to not being able to put her under anesthesia. I’ve read shawnas posts so many times trying to get everything right. I am planning to do her dental cleaning without anesthesia at gentle dental I’m not sure if anyone’s heard of them or recommends them for my cookie. It’s such a heart breaking thing to find out but am glad I found others so I can hear their experience. I know this is an old thread but I hope someone will respond.

    #162933 Report Abuse
    Melanie B

    Hi. My dog Macy is 15 and was just diagnosed with CKD. She wasn’t eating as much as before the past month and a half and when I took her to get dental surgery, they told me her Creatine was 3.4 and her BUN was up. I put her on HSD Kidney Care and on 9/29 they did bloodwork and her Creatine was 5.9 and her liver enzymes are up now. She’s eating and drinking more than before the surgery. They told me to give her a bland diet and watch her. I refuse to do just that. I ordered Calcium Carbonate. Any advice on how much to give her or any other supplements or holistic supplements would be a huge help ASAP! Thanks!

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