Chronic Kidney Failure in dogs, nutritional changes that need to be made depending on the severity of the kidney disease, but in general, pets with kidney disease should be fed diets reduced in phosphorus, protein, and sodium and supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil.
Your dog is lapping up water from his bowl in ever-increasing amounts and then scratching at the backdoor to go out much more often than usual. At the same time, he’s not scrambling to his food dish and agitating for dinner like he used to.
Increased thirst coinciding with increased urine production, as well as a decrease in appetite, may be signs of kidney disease. While dogs with kidney disease can’t be cured, their lives can be prolonged by carefully managing their diet.
Chronic kidney failure
As in humans, the kidneys do more than just produce urine. They remove waste from the blood and help to regulate potassium, sodium, and other nutrients as they preserve water. When one of these functions is compromised, the dog may be diagnosed with kidney disease.
While the term “kidney failure” may seem as if the kidneys are completely closed, the picture is not very bad. Chronic kidney failure, also called chronic kidney failure, means that the dog does not filter waste properly, but it can still urinate without a problem.
Aging is a risk factor for kidney disease, and some breeds, including English Spaniels, Bull Terrier, Dalmatians, Newfoundlands, Samoyeds, and German Shepherds, may be more likely to develop kidney problems.
Signs of the problem
Kidney disease can be difficult to detect by pet owners initially. While the dog exhibits symptoms of kidney failure, the kidneys may only be working at a quarter to a third of normal levels.
As kidney damage progresses, dogs often become dehydrated, causing them to drink copious amounts of water as the kidneys send increased blood flow to the kidneys in an attempt to filter waste. Even if your dog frequently requests out or accidents, it is important to let him drink as much as he needs.
Dogs with kidney disease may also be inactive and eat less food than they are used to. Lack of appetite may lead to weight loss, and you may vomit frequently. They may also have bad breath and ulcers in the mouth and their nose and gums may appear paler.
Causes of kidney failure
A number of diseases can also cause kidney disease. These include:
- Glomerular disease. Glomeruli are microscopic filtration units in the kidneys. Millions of glomeruli can be damaged, which leads to job loss. This can lead to inflammation, scarring, and high blood pressure in the blood flow to the kidneys.
- Pyelonephritis. This kidney infection reduces function.
- kidney stones. Called kidney stones formally, kidney stones can not only damage the kidneys but block the urethra.
- Amyloidosis. In this rare case, abnormal deposits of protein are made in the kidneys. The problem can be inherited in some breeds, including Char Peiss, Beagle, E. coli, and Walker hounds.
- Leptospirosis. This infectious disease is caused by bacteria found in soil or water. Your dog can come in contact with it while spraying in the creek or digging in the yard. While some dogs have a mild condition and recover, leptospirosis can lead to kidney failure.
Diagnosis of kidney disease
When your veterinarian suspects that kidney failure may be a cause of your dog’s illness, she will first perform a physical examination. One of the signs you’ll look for is dehydration, which can be verified by gently pressing the fur and skin between your fingers. It should settle into place if your dog is well hydrated. If he’s dehydrated, the skin will slowly settle into place.
The vet will also do a urinalysis and blood biochemistry in dogs with kidney disease. Urine testing can help give a picture of how the kidneys work. The first indication of kidney failure is low specific gravity in the urine.
This scale indicates the concentration of minerals that are excreted through the kidneys. When the kidneys filter less toxins out of the urine, specific gravity decreases. Low specific gravity indicates that about two thirds of the kidney’s functions have been compromised. The most important blood test in the diagnosis of chronic kidney failure measures two types of waste in the blood: Urea Nitrogen in the Blood (BUN) and Creatinine (CREA); if these kidneys are not secreted well enough, these numbers will rise.
Treatment of kidney disease
Giving the dog more fluid and electrolytes under the skin, called moisturizing under the skin, can help flush out toxins and keep them hydrated. This procedure is usually done several times a week, either at the veterinarian’s office or at home.
A needle is inserted between the dog’s shoulder blades, where there are a few neurons, and fluid from the drip injection bag under the skin and is absorbed by the body. Dogs with kidney failure often feel much better after treatment and may eat more and be less idle.
Dog kidney failure food
Nutrition is an essential component in managing a dog’s kidney failure. In general, dogs need less protein, phosphorous, and sodium but should increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
This diet will help reduce the toxins that your kidneys usually eliminate, as well as reduce fluid and mineral balance problems. While the diet for kidney failure cannot reverse the damage already done or treat your pet, it can extend its life and help it feel better. Feeding three to four small meals a day instead of one or two larger meals can spread the amount of waste the kidneys cause to filter throughout the day.
An important element in treating chronic kidney failure is ensuring adequate hydration. Dogs suffering from kidney disease should be given an unlimited supply of water. Feeding canned foods instead of dehydration can also help increase fluid intake.
Low protein diets
Reducing the amount of protein in your dog’s food can help reduce the work the kidneys have to do to analyze and excrete protein-generated waste. Eggs and meat are the most common sources of protein in dog food.
When the protein decomposes, nitrogen-related waste products are released. These include urea, uric acid, creatinine, and hypochloric acid, with urea being the most common. Less need for filtration helps maintain kidney function.
In a dog with kidney disease, look for foods that have 14 to 20 percent protein by dry weight. Dogs without special dietary restrictions need food that contains 18 to 25 percent of protein.
Low phosphorous foods for dogs
While veterinarians don’t know the exact cause, reducing the amount of phosphorous in the diet can slow the progression of kidney disease. The amount of protein in food is related to the amount of phosphorous so that phosphorous is reduced when protein is reduced in the diet.
Bones, egg yolk, dairy products, and organ meats are high in phosphorous, and while your dog can consume it, the amount should be limited. Dogs with chronic kidney failure should eat food that contains 0.2 to 0.5 percent phosphorous. They should not consume more than 7 to 18 mg of phosphorous per pound of weight per day to maintain a low phosphorous diet.
Some veterinarians also recommend reducing sodium levels as 60 percent or more of dogs with kidney failure also have high blood pressure. High blood pressure can reduce kidney function. Reducing sodium can lower blood pressure.
Increased fat and fatty acids
Most dogs with chronic kidney failure will lose weight as the disease progresses and their appetite decreases. This means that feeding your high-calorie dog and nutrient-rich foods can help him maintain weight.
One way to do this is to gradually increase the amount of fat in your diet. A little phosphorus is found in fats. Fatty meats like lamb and pork are one option, as are whole milk products. A little bacon might revive your dog’s interest in food and add additional calories.
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may slow the progression of kidney disease, and supplements can be a beneficial addition to dogs that follow a diet for kidney disease. Liquid fish oil capsules can be given. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in fish oil can help reduce inflammation as well as creatinine while reducing pressure on the kidneys.
Commercially prepared foods
There are a number of foods you can buy from a dog that reduces the attempt to balance protein, phosphorous, sodium, and fats in dog kidney failure food. However, it can be much more expensive than traditional commercial foods for healthy dogs and requires a prescription from a veterinarian.
Canned food options:
- Medicinal Diet from Hills K / D Kidney Care is available in a wide variety of flavors, including chicken broth, vegetables, beef and vegetables, and lamb. In addition to foods that are low in phosphorous and sodium, they also contain l-carnitine and omega-3 fatty acids to promote kidney health.
- The Purina Pro Plan combination of veterinary drugs NF Kidney Function Formula adds B-complex vitamins, which help protect the body and break down nutrients.
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support D is designed to be fragrant to tempt dogs with bad appetites to eat more.
- Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support is cereal-free, and its first ingredient is chicken.
Dry foods include:
- Hill K Kid Kidney Recipe Diet with Chicken and Lamb Flavors.
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support D contains three formulas, A, F, and S, with formula A being the lowest in protein.
- The Purina Pro Plan features a veterinary diet that works on kidney function NF with corn, yeast, and dried eggs.
- The Blue Buffalo Natural veterinary diet KS includes support for chicken kidneys, peas, and potatoes.
Homemade dog food nephrology
One way to control which ingredients a dog eats is to prepare its own food. This takes some commitment, as you’ll need to shop to get the ingredients and then prepare the food, rather than just opening the can or pour dry food into the bowl. The following suggested recipes can help ensure low-protein and phosphorous foods for dogs.
One diet requires a sample for a 40-pound dog 6 ounces of meat (such as chicken or beef), 6 ounces of grains and vegetables (such as potatoes and beets), one large egg plus egg whites, an ounce of liver or kidney meat per day, divided To two meals. A teaspoon of crushed eggshell should be added to each meal to add calcium and bind the phosphorous. Fish oil can be added (not cod liver oil).
A recipe for chicken dog food and potatoes that are low in protein, phosphorus, and sodium, but high in potassium, calls for a quarter of boiled chicken breasts, 3 cups of boiled potatoes in the skin, 2 tablespoons of chicken fat, 1 1/2 cups of calcium carbonate, and 1/2 multivitamin tablets and 1/2 mineral tablets. The recipe is suitable for a dog from 21 to 22 lbs and provides 689 calories, 18.9 grams of protein, and 26.8 grams of fat, plus 45 percent of phosphorous, 54 percent of sodium, and 301 percent of the daily potassium requirements for a healthy dog.