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Chronic Kidney Failure in Dogs User Group
Home Made Diet Seems To Be Working
About This Group:

A group for information and discussion and for emotional support for owners and companions of dogs with Chronic Kidney Failure. This is a complex and traumatic illness and affects about a third of all dogs over the age of 12yrs. While there is (as yet) no cure for this disease, there are things that can be done to improve and extend the quality of life for our best friends - and when all else fails, there are people that have traveled this path already that can offer empathy and support to grieving owners. If you wish to ask questions or talk about a particular dog, please head your thread with your dog's name, as this will help identify the discussion.

Founded by tonyb286 on June 3, 2014
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Home Made Diet Seems To Be Working

A Group member has recently told us his story of his dog diagnosed over three years ago. Yes, THREE years ago. Apart from some medications, IV fluids and an initial change to kidney specific diet - his dog wouldn't eat properly, so he did some research and devised his own homemade diet. He says he made a home made diet of rice; sweet potato/squash/carrots; egg white; chicken; animal lard. The ratios given were approximately 6:6:3:1:1.

This was the first time I had heard of animal lard being used, although we already know the advantages of high fat content foods for kidney failure dogs. After a little research, I found a website (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/483/2) that explained the full make-up of animal lard - and I was interested to note it contains no phosphorus and no protein, which could potentially make this a very nutritional and very good source of nurishment, as it doesn't affect the kidneys but provides energy. On its own, it would be no good at all, but mixed with other foods as above, I am convinced it could be very useful. There are a couple of things worth mentioning ...

First, lard has no vitamin or mineral content at all, so supplementation is essential.

Second, lard goes off very quickly - turning rancid - so it would be best stored frozen and then thawed and used as required.

Thans to Group Member, Fogghorn, for getting me started on this subject. Sometimes even small bits of information can be a blessing. I intend updating my article

http://www.infobarrel.com/How_Diet_Affects_Dogs_with_Chronic_Kidney_Disease

with this information as soon as I can.

Tony
10 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Tony,

Thank you for the credit and I hope it is helpful to others. I did want to mention there is one other thing I did that may have been significant. Koko was CKF due to large kidney stones. The Vet Specialist requested I catch one for analysis but that didn't go so well as I mentioned in my prior post.

However I did read up on the nature of kidney stone formation and realized that she was likely to have either struvites (requires alkaline environment) or uric acid stones (requires acidic environment)  I tested he urine with PH paper for 2 weeks and it was consistently acidic. Because of that I made the assumption she had uric acid stones and added calcium to her diet to neutralize the acid. The damage was already done to the kidneys but I wanted to prevent any further growth and hope thtat they didn't move and kill any more kidney.

So in her case I didn't and wouldn't have added egg yolk due to the sulphur content which is acidic. I really wish I had known about green tripe sooner and would have used it but I'd certainly have been testing ph after using as it is also acidic so perhaps a note of caution for it with pets that may have uric acid stones.

I also just the last few weeks found out that cous cous is actually lower in phosphorous then white rice (brown rice is a big no no...) Not a big difference but a nice alternative to the diet.

As for the animal lard, that was a bit hard to find. Luckily for me there was a local European butcher shop that renders their own meat and its a byproduct of production. One they would gave away for free if other purchases were made.
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1916673_tn?1417697282
Hi. Yes, cous cous is a form of semolina and very similar to pasta, so it is a useful alternative. You are right about brown rice. It is very hard for dogs to digest. I suspect one of the big problems with lard is finding a batch of it that hasn't been heavily process, such as might happen if it's intended for human consumtion. All such lard is bleached (to turn it white), but I am told there is relatively little used and it doesn't actually affect the end product that much. Maybe someone knows more about this already ... and that might save me researching too much more. Tony
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Avatar_m_tn
Pretty sure my lard source was using dry rendering as they also sold cracklings which is a by product of the dry rendering process. I was unable to find animal lard at the large supermarkets but if you were in an area that did  I suspect that would definitely be more processed then what I had found.

And if someone couldn't find lard, perhaps the fat trimmings at the supermarket might work almost as well. I had to do this once and they were happy to give it to me for free when they knew the purpose.

Just a thought but since struvite kidney stones are the most common type of stone and formed in alkaline environment. Is it possible that the major benefit of green tripe may be its acidic nature and use in neutralizing the environment so stones are no longer able to grow?

All animals kidneys have a small degree of deterioration over time, that's inevitable. However it seems to me that if the primary cause of damage being done is from stones and you can neutralize the stones growth environment and then reduce the phosphorous then it becomes possible to extend their quality of life for a longer period of time.
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1916673_tn?1417697282
It's difficult to know what might have come first, the deterioration of kidney function or the kidney stones, which may have lead to the loss of kidney function. Of course, not all dogs have kidney stones, even those with kidney failure, so it's certainly not a straightforward debate. You may be right about green tripe and acidic stones though ... green tripe is largely used for working dogs and greyhounds, so I might follow that up with the greyhound fraternity and see if they have any stats on it.

It's interesting you say all animals' kidneys deteriorate naturally over time. In fact, this is a very debatable subject too, because there is a group of scientists and biologists that firmly believe there is no rerason why any organ should deteriorate at all (in terms of anatomical design). What does cause problems is "life" and the various processed foods, annual vaccinations and medications, airborne chemicals, etc., that gradually cause trauma to organs such as the kidneys.

There is also some recent veterinarian papers that suggest bad dental hygiene in dogs is a major cause of kidney failure later in life, because the bacteria goers into the digestive tract and - eventually - has to be processed through the kidneys.

There are so many avenues to this disease and I guess several lifetimes wouldn't be enough for me or anyone else to investigate them all. We can only hope someone somewhere is getting paid to do it, and will eventually come up with some good answers.

Tony
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Avatar_m_tn
I used lard because after some searching it ended up being an easy source for me. However your thoughts have sent me back to read a bit more. It would seem tallow would be just as reasonable an option and actually a nice change in flavour for the dog.

There are quite a few websites that describe how to render your own tallow or lard and they freeze quite well. I also suspect just fat trimmings from the supermarket would work just fine as long as they were pretty clean of meat. Perhaps even better than lard as a lot of food molecules change with heat and the straight fat would be what is natural to dogs. I had to use beef fat trimmings for one month when I was out of the city and the market was happy to give them for free and Koko absolutely loved it. I went back to lard when I returned to the city as at that time I had 1.5 years of success and didn't want to mess with a good thing.

Overall though the most important part with a homemade diet is to ensure that they do get the animal fat as it is essential for carnivores to correctly absorb nutrients.
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9214378_tn?1408885184
This is remarkable that you sent this post. As of this morning I was researching bone marrow ( beef marrow bones ) vs. animal lard, which I was unsure of. Your insight, with Tony's has been fascinating. While on vacation, we picked up the beef marrow bones for Darbie. She actually enjoyed chewing the bone and pulling at the residual meat. I used about 1 tsp of tallow to mix in her meal...She was a happy camper:)

Again, I am so saddened for your loss, but thank you so much for your insight.

Fondly,
Lynne & Darbie  
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1916673_tn?1417697282
I am still upset about your loss, so I can only imagine how you must be feeling. I am so grateful however of you coming back to the forum and telling us more about the animal lard/tallow. People can become extremely frustrated and saddened when a dog with CKF stops eating - or when an owner really doesn't know what to feed for the best - and your input has really helped. Thank you again. I have now updated my article with your additional info, so more and more people (and their dogs) will get the benefit of it. Tony
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10627852_tn?1411545754
Thank you, Fogghorn, for sharing your experience and research with us.

I don't quite know what lard is. Would this be lard:

After I roast a chicken, I drain off the liquid in the roasting pan and put it in a glass container in the refrigerator. After a few hours, fat rises to the top and becomes dense, while under the fat is a more clear, gel-like substance.

I remove and discard all the thick, dense fat that rises to the top. Is that fat the same thing as lard?

Thanks again.

Kay
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1916673_tn?1417697282
Hi. There are several different types of lard, but the most common is from pork (pig fat). Rendered lard should be avoided, as it is bleached (for human consumption). Next time you are near a butcher or a big hyperstore that has a butcher, you can ask about how to extract lard from pork. It's a simple process and I would advise only using small amounts (see Foghorn's excellent advice). Tony
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10627852_tn?1411545754
Thank you, Tony.
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