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Chronic Kidney Failure in Dogs User Group
WELCOME one and all to the Chronic Kidney Failure in Dogs Group
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
84 members
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WELCOME one and all to the Chronic Kidney Failure in Dogs Group<img src='/RoR/images/blank.png' class='icon_img_ww push_pin_icon'>

I hope you will join this Group and become a valuable and active member. Through this Group, we can help each other with suggestions, advice, support and information about this dreadful disease and how best we can manage treatments for our best friends. As a starting point, please have a read of my article on diet at: http://www.infobarrel.com/How_Diet_Affects_Dogs_with_Chronic_Kidney_Disease

I have tried my very best to put as much useful information as possible in this piece, but if your questions and concerns are not answered in the piece, please start a thread and post your comments. To help track your thread, please head it with the name of your dog.
32 Comments
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Thanks for inviting me to join the group Tony...!  This is a much needed group, and you are the perfect person to be the administrator of this group. You are a blessing to so many people who come here to seek advice and support.  Best Wishes my dear friend..
Connie
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Thanks Connie. I'm hoping the Group gets a good foundation of members, because the collective source of support and information will prove invaluable. Like others, I am continually reading information and new research about canine CKF and this Group should be a good way of passing on these things and inviting the valued opinions of all interested parties.

Of course, you are the person who first supported me when BB was diagnosed ... so this Group has been made possible through your kind words, compassion and friendship. I'm sure I've said it many times, but here's an official THANK YOU to you.

Tony x
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8335135_tn?1397683000
Thank you for the invite.  Very happy this was created. The stories in this group will help all that are going through CKD with their furbaby.

I am forever grateful that I found this site by accident- really has helped me tremendously.

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Hi Tony!!!  I'M IN!!!!   Karla
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1916673_tn?1420236870
Yeaaahhh ... I feel happy! Thanks for joining. :)
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I still can't figure out how to join!!!
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Thank you for inviting me to this group! You, Connie and numerous others have supported me through the horrible loss of my Riley, and have helped me cope with my guilt and broken heart :( Thank you all for your love, kind words, helpful advice, and shared experiences. Hopefully, we can all get through it together!
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1916673_tn?1420236870
Hi. Thanks for joining. I'm hoping the family of friends here can help others going through what many of us have already gone through. Your support is greatly appreciated. Tony
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Bump ... !
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Not positive if I've joined (also having trouble bookmarking blog); but hope I'm in.  First time I've been back in a few weeks since I had to put Teagan to rest.  To be honest I hope to NEVER need to refresh myself on the terrible disease.  But, you all gave me such comfort when Teagan left me.  I hope to keep reading posts to keep up with you all.
Doris
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Hello Doris. I agree, it would be much better if this User Group wasn't needed, but as this dreadful disease affects one in every three dogs over the age of 12 yrs, I think it very much is needed - and people here are very supportive and kind hearted, despite their experiences and losses.

Thank you for joining us.

Tony
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Absolutely.  Great to have a source of information when we're not sure what to do to help our fur kids.  Have a great 4th all.
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Hi Doris. I was just checking the member list and find you didn't sign up. This is an open Group, so you don't need to be a member of it to join in discussions. It would of course be great if you did join though, as then you will receive the occasional updates from me and others into your Watch List.

MedHelp don't make joining as easy as I would like, but if you check the buttons at the top of the page (usually on the right hand side) you should see Join This Group. If so, just click on it.

Tony
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1916673_tn?1420236870
Hi Doris. I was just checking the member list and find you didn't sign up. This is an open Group, so you don't need to be a member of it to join in discussions. It would of course be great if you did join though, as then you will receive the occasional updates from me and others into your Watch List.

MedHelp don't make joining as easy as I would like, but if you check the buttons at the top of the page you should see a + sign. Click on it to join the Group.

Tony
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The + sign is in white and below the main MedHelp logo.

Tony
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Must be blind.  All I can see is the  "watch"icon which I've clicked .  Also can start a new group but not join your group.  When I get home in a couple days will try with my laptop.  Maybe I'm not seeing the join "+" option with my iPad.
Weird....
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1916673_tn?1420236870
Ha, well, I don't know if you know how you did it or not ... but you are now a member. Welcome to the User Group.
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Bump!
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Hi Tony, thanks for inviting me to join the group. Yes she is young to have this disease her brother was younger when he passed, I had a feeling something was wrong she had a few wet accidents at night she never had before I was taking her in to have her teeth cleaned & told the doctor I wanted her to have a blood test done, he called and asked me to come in that he couldn't clean her teeth. When I got there that's when he told me the bad news, he has been her Vet since day one.

By reading all the post from the others has helped me & given me support on what to feed her & other information I didn't know.

Peggy
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Peggy:

I just read your story about your baby.  I'm sorry you are going through this.  I truly believe the reason I had an additional 8 months with my baby is because I followed the advice on this blog.  Tony is amazing and will provide his feedback on food, exercise, etc.  You can read most in previous blogs and he has written some wonderful articles.

We are all here for you.  When I had to make that horrible decision just last week, I turned to the members here for support and understanding.

We will remain with you for support.

Regards,
Charlene
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I know you're in good hands if you should need any advice. Please make every effort to provide Tony with as much information you can.

We will be here:)

Fondly,

Lynne & Darbie
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1916673_tn?1420236870
Welcome Peggy. I'm pleased you have joined and I know you and your best friend will benefit from being here. Homework for Day One ... have a read of my article on diet and kidney disease through this link:

http://www.infobarrel.com/How_Diet_Affects_Dogs_with_Chronic_Kidney_Disease

It is a comprehensive account of how diet affects CKF dogs, what changes can be made to improve quality and longevity of life - and a few other important suggestions on management. Once you have read through it, you will probably have questions, so please ask for answers.

Also, at the same time, can you let us know what you are feeding now (be as comprehensive as possible and include all things, including treats). And when were the last blood panel tests done? Do you have the results? If yes, please report them in your post.

Finally, this is a dreadful disease. It can be unpredictable. Many dogs have their good days and their bad days, and while the good outweigh the bad, I think it's worth doing what we can to make them even better for our best friends (and the owners that love them so much).

I'm sure we can help you achieve the most precious thing in the world .... more time to share adventures and experiences and love with your dog.

You are now part of the 'family' here and I welcome you.

Tony
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Samantha is a nearly 18 year’s old bichon frise and was diagnosed with kidney failure on Oct 2.  She has good days and bad days.  Sam has been on daily IV fluids since Oct.  She takes zantac, vitamins, cranberry, denamarin and anti-phosphorous medicine twice daily.  She has lost considerable weight and lately has become disinterested in food.  I am supplementing her little intake of food with nutrical.  That's the bad news.  The good side is that she sleeps through the night has never had an accident in the house and does not appear to be in any pain though I am not really sure.  Like others I want her to just go to sleep when it’s time though I know that probably won't happen.  I am not sure how much longer she can live with such little food intake.  I take her to the vets for bloods on Thursday.  What should I ask?
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Hi. I'm sure you don't need me to say it, but at 18 yrs of age, she is a very elderly lady and you have done incredibly well to reach this stage with her. It strikes me you are doing pretty much all you can. at this point, though I would urge you to have a read of my article on CKF and diet, which you will find here (it may help with a few useful food ideas):

http://www.infobarrel.com/How_Diet_Affects_Dogs_with_Chronic_Kidney_Disease

Has your vet discussed IV Fluids with you? This will almost certainly help, as rehydration and flushing of toxins is of paramount importance. Blood count details can be very helpful in assessing the stage things are at and whether anything can be done to truly make a difference, so please post back with BUN, Creatinine and Phosphorus levels in particular.

Sadly, not many CKF dogs go peacefully in their sleep. They are more likely to suffer a massive heart attack, as organs start to shut down. It is a hugely difficult and traumatic decision whether and when to consider euthanasia, which only owners can make with guidance and advice from their vet. Let's assume we are not there yet with your fur baby and keep our fingers crossed for the blood results. Either way, we are here for you - and will be here for any questions you may have or any worries you might want to let us know about, as well as ongoing support today, tomorrow and for as long as you need it. You are not alone and you are now part of our expanding family of friends.

Stay strong. Tony
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I am so happy to have found a group that can help me navigate my beloved Bruno's diagnosis of CKF  I am devastated to think I will lose my sweet pup earlier than I ever imagined.  He is at stage 4, with Lyme disease the likely cause.  Would love more input on diet. I read Tony's article which was very informative. Bruno is on enalapril Pepcid and just finished doxycycline  for the Lymes .  Thanks for being a great resource  for dog owners facing this tough diagnosis!
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Hi and welcome to our family of friends. Is the Lymes now under control? How old is your dog? What are you currently feeding Bruno? When was his last blood tests undertaken and do you have the results for BUN, creatinine, phosphorus and calcium? And finally, did your vet take your dog's blood pressure?

Sorry for so many questions, but just so we have some background info to work on.

Tony
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Thank you so much for responding! Just having another resource is so reassuring!He has finished the course of antibiotics for the Lymes-vet said we will retest in 4 months .  He is mixed breed rescue dog-he will be 8 in August.  Blood levels:  BUN-83  creatinine 6.5  phosphorus 5.8  urine/protein ratio 4.1  this blood test was Mid-May. I am feeding him white rice (sometimes a little quinoa-he doesn't seem to like that much!) ground beef, and a bit of KD canned food from the vet.  He has lost 12 lbs (but he's very bushy so we didn't notice!) he looks like a small border collie.  Random vomiting is what brought us to the vet.  Vomits maybe 2-3 times a week now.  Has some diarrhea  that we gave him 2 courses of Metronidazole .  Per my readings here I have switched him to filtered water .  Bruno has been acting pretty frisky with some days where he just hides from us -I assume that's when he isn't feeling well. .  I adore this dog and am heartbroken thinking I may lose him sooner than later :(  Any tips/input are greatly appreciated Tony! Thanks so much! Amy
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Hi. Those blood levels are really not too bad ... I've seen much worse, so there's lots of good potential to work on. Is the ground beef human grade - i.e. what you would buy to cook for yourself? If not, then it probably has a lot of additives and beef is also traditionally high in phosphorus. It would certainly be better to alter the diet a little, paying as much attention as you can to high quality protein (versus low quality protein) and foods that are low in phosphorus. Tinned kd food is good, because although it has protein, it's usually high quality protein, and low in phosphorus. Salt is another issue, and I'm pleased you are using filtered water as that will prevent him getting too much via that source.

White rice is fine. I would switch occasionally to sweet potatoes, just to get extra carbohydrates in him. It's a bit of a myth that dogs don't actually need carbohydrates, because kd dogs need to get energy and nutrition from either fatty foods (so always keep the skin on if cooking chicken for him) or from carbohydrates. Protein is a dog's natural food, but low quality protein (as in most canned and dry dog foods) cannot be processed by the kidneys when they are damaged, so his just adds to the toxin build-up.

The goal now is to get BUN below 60 and creatinine to 4.5 or less. Currently, your dog is (I would say) in Stage 3 of kidney failure. The phosphorus is just within normal values, at the high end of normal, so that's great ... and it makes it a perfect time to add a phosphate binder. A binder will help keep the blood levels under control, but a binder can only be introduced when the phosphorus level is normal. Have you spoken to your vet about this?

Finally, I would consider adding (pure) salmon oil to the diet. This will help get him some omega-3 fatty acid in a nutritional way, which has lots of benefits in managing this disease.

You might also want to think about adding some probiotics (there are several specially formulated for dogs with kidney disease). It is debatable whether probiotics succeed, but there have been some positive feedback from owners. Others suggest the good bacteria cannot survive beyond the stomach, which makes it pointless ... but I'm not entirely convinced.

And ... Just in case you haven't read it, here's a link to my article on diet and kidney disease in dogs ...

http://www.infobarrel.com/How_Diet_Affects_Dogs_with_Chronic_Kidney_Disease

Tony
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Hi Tony!
It is human grade ground beef and I was doing some white meat chicken but after reading your article I will switch to dark meat with skin.  I have been giving him a 1000 mg fish oil capsule with his breakfast--better to just switch to straight oil--or break it open and sprinkle on his food? This is why this forum is invaluable--I would never have known to suggest to the vet to put him on a phosphorus binder but I can totally see the benefit of that! I will talk to the Vet on Monday and see if he can prescribe that (any name or is a generic ok?)
Bruno also really loves raw veggies--carrots, green beans--is it ok to include in his meals or just continue tossing them to him as treats? He still is into his Milk Bones and I'm not sure they are the "nutrient-dense" foods he should be eating right now.  Any other packaged treat suggestions? We are in the US (Chicago) --gathering you are in UK but not sure.  We have another dog-purebred Golden who is 12 with arthritis- and I never thought she might outlive Bruno! Bruno gets very stressed at groomers so have decided to just forgo that in order to make his life as stress-free as possible.  His hairy coat hides his weight loss anyhow.
Again--THANKS for your input!! Amy  
PS-Hasn't had his BP taken--due at Vet end of month for progress report.  I'll have it checked then.
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Hi Amy. Phosphorus binders need to be prescribed carefully. Your vet probably knows what to look for (should do, anyway). Basically there are a few types. The most common is Aluminium based. Magnesium based binders should be avoided in kidney disease. There are also calcium based binders, that should be only used when calcium is low in the blood, but never used when calcium levels are high.

Raw veg are good in small quantities, but do some research because some vegetables are very high in phosphorous. This is a link to the things to be wary of ... certainly the top 20 here should be avoided if possible:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-011121000000000000000.html?maxCount=191

Fish oil is fine, but salmon oil is the richest source of omega-3 and therefore the best you can get for Bruno. Always buy PURE salmon oil with nothing added to it. All fish oils are actually quite high in phosphorus, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. It's also a reason why very small amounts should only be given.

I'm not sure what's in Milk Bones? Is there a breakdown on the pack?

Tony
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Rocky....my old boy of 14 (turning 15 in November)

Ok, finally figured out where the button was on this page to join. I'm in!
Found the liquid salmon oil in small bottle with dropper, a couple of drops to Start him off in the morning and see how he does, begun giving him a little egg in the morning with his KD and feeding him three to 4 times a day his SD Hills KD canned, a vitamin and his MLM joint medication. He is bit more spry. Doctor visit in a week for his first blood test in over 2 years, opted not to have him vaccinated any more as vet suggested we not do it as his last rabies vaccine was last year and it was a 3 year span rabies vaccine.

Any suggestions for canine toothpaste, his breath is smelling mighty rank!
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Hi. Sounds like you have things under good control. I've never heard of salmon oil in a small bottle or needing a dropper. Are you sure this is PURE salmon oil? Can you see any ingredients on the bottle? Just checking to make sure there are no additives, colorants or other preservative chemicals.

I agree completely about no more vaccinations ... these would seriously and adversely affect the kidney disease.

As for toothpaste ... you need to know it may or may not be his teeth that's causing the odour. The bad breath smell is far more likely to be the toxins in the stomach causing the smell. However, poor dental hygeine is an indicating cause of kidney disease (if not the most common reason for it happening), so daily teeth brushing is recommended. There are lots of doggy toothpastes available and they are all equally okay to use. You could also try using things like Dentistix and/or Tropiclean FreshBreath which work to soften tartar and plaque making it easier to remove.

The blood results are going to be very important and will indicate how far the disease has gone. Do you or your vet have the prior results for comparison?

Tony
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