Our 9+ year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Kelci, has been diagnosed with protein losing nephropathy and her Urine protein:creatinine ratio is pretty high at 3.3 (normal should be >.05). Her Blood Albumin level is also low. All other kidney values are within normal ranges, so she has not advanced to uremia. The vet has started her on enalapril and there has already been a significant improvement after just two weeks with the protein:creatinine ratio having dropped to .09. The problem is that the vet has prescribed a low protein diet and I’m not in agreement, especially since Kelci walks away from the yucky Hill’s KD, and this pup will typically eat anything. She will approve of a moderate protein diet, but I’m having a very difficult time sifting through all of the information. I’m more concerned about low phosphorous and sodium (her blood pressure is high). Can anyone recommend a high-quality commercial food that is readily available at the pet supplies that carry the better brands?
BTW, we have two other dogs in the house and they are eating and loving Taste of the Wild kibble. I don’t mind continuing them on that and feeding Kelci a special diet, I just need a recommendation quickly for Kelci.
Thanks in advance,
Sorry, I said normal protein:creatine should be > .05 and of course I meant < .05
I had a dog with protein losing enteropathy; is this the same thing? My dog lost a ton of weight; has yours?
InkedMarie – Not the same. As I understand it, with PLN the protein is lost through in the urine and with PLE it’s lost through the intestines. My dog hasn’t lost any weight yet.
OK – After searching through the forum I think I found the information I need here:
What an informative website! Just need to take the time to read and re-read to digest the information.
I’ll let Shawna, our resident expert on kidney disease, know that you could use her help.
Also have you ever considered a raw diet? Darwin’s has one formulated by Dr. Barbara Royal. They’re also happy to work with your vet on getting the best diet for your dog.
Ziwi Peak is low sodium, as are the turkey, lamb and beef versions of Just Food For Dogs (you cook the “food” and add their supplement which has been through AAFCO feeding trials). Not sure about phosphorus (my Bruno just has slightly high blood pressure), but they both have great customer service and I’m sure would give you the info.
I am so glad it’s not the same thing!
It seems counterintuitive, but lowering dietary protein lowers the amount lost in the urine. Protein normally isn’t damaging to a kidney but this may be the exception to that rule.
You may want to start by looking at what the protein level is in the diet you are currently using and decrease from there while monitoring UPC. A hint regarding UPC’s: ask your vet about collecting one sample a day for three days in a row then mixing them together and testing to get an average as UPC fluctuate.
Thanks Aimee – We did do the 3-day collection (3.2) after the initial single collection (3.3). Then again two weeks after starting enalapril (0.9) and reducing dietary protein. My biggest struggle now is to find a healthy diet she will eat. I’ve gotten a ton of great info from the DogAware.com site, and also found a fantastic compendium “Nutritional Management of Protein-Losing Nephropathy in Dogs” written by two nutritional vets. The vet article recommends 25%-50% reduction in protein from current diet and explains that it’s critical avoid excessive protein restriction. Phosphorous restriction is more critical. So based on what she was eating before, I’m looking for a diet that will provide max 5g/100kcal protein and max 150mg/100kcal phosphorous. She’s always loved her kibble and gobbled it down without hesitation. I’ve read posts here from Shawna that say kibble is BAD. I’m willing to switch to canned but it’s hard to find the nutritional info I need on either the label or on the manufacturer’s websites. I’m going to start writing to some of them to ask for the specific content that I’m trying to find.
You’ve found some good guidelines. Off the top of my head the only company that comes to mind that may have something to match those requirements in an OTC diet is Hills senior/mature diets. Early renal diets may also be an option Hills G/D, Royal Canin MP and Iams Renal Plus. Home cooking so you can tailor the diet to her needs would be excellent.
Shawna is very against dry diets. I understand her concern but don’t necessarily agree with it.
One of the top items on the list on my renal disease group on facebook is the canned Green Tripe by Sollid Gold. Has low Phosphorus and low Magnesium. Seems to be the top thing they recommend second only to making the diet at home. Start with finding a good support group. It will help you more than you will ever know.
Debra J HMember
If you really want top notch, Darwin’s raw food has some specialty diets now and has one for kidney issues. I do know this is a very serious condition. I too have Cavaliers and know of three Cavaliers who got protein losing enteropathy after eating tainted kibble. One was getting the Iams recalled and two others got it after being put on Science Diet ID.
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by Debra J H.
I don’t have recommendations for tasty food, but can offer a short synopsis of our experience. We supported our Yorkie for the last 6 of his 16 years. We were able to keep him otherwise healthy, happy and maintained a solid quality of life with this disease. It was found early and we managed it aggressively with meds, food, and supplements. Started with KD kibble to KD moist as he aged and condition progressed over the years. He ultimately hated all the KD moist foods and we worked with a vet nutritionist at NCSU to develop recipes made at home – she created formulas that had interchangeable ingredients in case he became bored/picky (as opposed to anorexic from uremia). The addition of Azodyl seemed to help early on. He was switched from enalapril to benazepril, as it is supposedly easier on the kidneys, in addition to other meds. In talking to a holistic vet, they usually give an herbal supplement with enalopril to help protect the kidneys (I can’t remember which one). As you mentioned, phosphorus was the biggest thing we watched for – egg whites only & other lower phosphorus proteins. Each dog is different, but you know your pup best. Watch for changes and address quickly. Best of luck with Kelci!
Brenda P–I just read through the information regarding kidney disease and this is exactly what I was looking for. My dog is currently going through tests regarding higher levels of protein in his urine. I am doing research hoping to find an acceptable alternative to the prescription or Science Diet foods my vet will recommend. She is adamant about Hills products saying that’s what she feeds her own dogs. I want to be as knowledgeable as possible when I discuss options with her. The resources you’ve provided are excellent and your experiences extremely helpful. Do you have any updates that might help me?
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