My lab, age 15, was recently diagnosed with elevated kidney values. My question is in connection with foods that are recommended for kidney health. She does not like the k/d food prescribed by the vet. I am seeing conflicting information regarding chicken....is chicken breast better than dark meat chicken. My vet says chicken breast is best, but the info I see on the web for home recipes are calling for dark meat chicken. I am also trying to figure out if rice cakes (unflavored) are good or bad. I also see that white rice is often recommended, but when I read the label I see that it is often enriched with ferros phosphate. I am in a constant state of thinking I'm giving her the wrong things. Is there a definitive good and bad food list?
Probably shouldn't give your dog any grains as grains are very hard for dogs and cats to process. And with already overworked kidneys it would probably cause more damage. I'm just going by what I have read and my own experiences. We lost lab to renal failure and I wish I knew then what I know now. It could have been avoided and he might still be here. I learned from it though and switched all my animals to a grain free kibble. And after learning that dry food is not good enough and dogs and cats, especially cats, require certain amounts of moisture in their food I have switched all 3 dogs and 2 cats to a homemade raw food using Dr Becker's Real Food for healthy dogs and cats recipes. You can read more about the issue
you are dealing with on dr Becker's site. www.mercolahealthy
Probably shouldn't give your dog any grains as grains are very hard for dogs and cats to process. And with already overworked kidneys it would probably cause more damage. I'm just going by what I have read and my own experiences. We lost lab to renal failure and I wish I knew then what I know now. It could have
been avoided and he might still be here. I learned from it though and switched all my animals to a grain free kibble. And after learning that dry food is not good enough and dogs and cats, especially cats, require certain amounts of moisture in their food I have switched all 3 dogs and 2 cats to a homemade raw food using Dr Becker's Real Food for healthy dogs and cats recipes. You can read more about the issue you are having on Dr. Becker's site, www.******************.com. Use the search.
you are dealing with on dr Becker's site. www.**************
Don't worry about being confused by all the information, contradictions, and mis-information "out there" about diets for kidney failure dogs. Because I certainly was!
My dog was diagnosed just over 2 weeks ago with early-stage kidney failure. Her Creatinine and urea were elevated (not terribly high, but some) though she had no blood phosphorus elevation,
My vet prescribed an ACE inhibitor, to help the blood-flow to her kidneys, an antibiotic month-long course, in case there was any sub-clinical infection which might be stressing the kidneys (though that he said, was a bit of a long shot, as her white blood cell count was absolutely normal, but worth giving a try.)
She was also prescribed Royal Canin Canine Renal diet.
Now I used to home-cook for her, plus I gave her a holistic very healthy dry food, so I was loath to use the Royal Canin, but I did give it to her, and oddly enough -she loves it! so that is very fortunate.
I didn't get a heck of a lot of other diet advice from my vet. His thought about it was that she shouldn't really be eating anything other than the Renal diet....but he mentioned "White freshwater fish" (can't find anything suitable in my local stores)....chicken BREAST, and egg WHITE, scrambled. He said these were "high-quality protein".
I asked -why not the yolk of egg too? He said it contains high phosphorus. And Phosphorus (contained in many foods, but quite high in fish, meats, egg yolks, etc) -is the thing that the kidneys cannot process in Renal Insufficiency.
So I did find out that there is one thing that neutralizes Phosphorus, and that is Calcium Carbonate.Calcium Carbonate can be obtained from TUMS, or from powdered eggshells. This can be then added to the food at a rate of 1/4 teaspoonful per pound of food.
I consulted a Veterinary Nutritionist. She told me that this is true, and that -if I wish- I can give her some chicken or fish, vegetables, or eggs, in addition to the diet food and sprinkle the powdered eggshell on it. She also said that I can give a little protein in moderation. That it is mainly the phosphorus which is the problem, even moreso than the protein.
However -she did say that the Veterinary Pescription diets were extremely good at stabilizing Kidney function. The ingredients might not sound so brilliant, but the diet food had marked results, and was balaced perfectly for a dog's needs with Renal Insufficiency (now she had no axe to grind. She wasn't selling me the stuff, nor did she work for Royal Canin!)
I then compiled a list of general foods and their natural phosphorus content, and decided to only give my dog foods from the "Low Phosphorus" kind. And to be cautious about proteins. (though not paranoid!) The list is quite long, so I can't include it here. But the link to the website I found it on is:
I would definitely look into your dog getting the medications if your vet thinks it is appropriate. My dog has been very good, seemed very fit and well since taking her medications. I do believe they gave her a boost.
It's also important to make sure your dog gets as much water to drink as he needs. Some early stage KF dogs drink a lot, and this can cause "accidents" in the house/bed etc. But don't restrict water. Make sure the food bowls and water bowls are kept very very clean, with no residue of detergents at all.
I wish you well. Although the problem isn't reversible,even with medication, the aim is to stabilize those kidneys at the function they have now for as long as possible. In some dogs, that CAN be years...so don't be too scared of this. I would also recommend regular blood tests (every month?) to see how progress is going.
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