I took my 6 year old yorkie to the vet last Monday to discuss diet and also to report a cough. The Dr. said she had a bit of fluid in her lungs and in her stomach. He gave her an antibiotic and 12.5 mg. lasix 2 times/day. I took her back on Thursday for him to listen to her breathing etc. He said her heart sounded great, but her lungs still had a little fluid in them and her tummy still contained fluid. He increased the lasix to 3 pills/day instead of 2. Since then she has been going to the potty much more and drinking more water also. And, the cough is better. She does not feel bad and has a healthy appetite and is not showing any other unusual symptoms other than the fluid and the occasional cough. We are going back today for him to take another look. I have read so much about fluid retention - I am worried sick! I am afraid of possible heart, kidney, or liver disease. Is there anything minor that could be causing this problem? What should I expect from the vet today?
Do you ever give her salt in her food? Does she get any seasoned table scraps or human food? Salt, even in small amounts, for dogs can cause fluid retention.
Of course there may be another clinical cause, but I was just thinking of a simple one.
Well, we went back to the vet yesterday. He said Sadie's lungs sounded good - fluid seems to be gone. She is still retaining fluid in her tummy though - not as much, but it is still evident. We are to continue the lasix and the Dr. also put her on special food - Iam's Veterinarian Renal Formula. He said that should help and he will do blood work in two weeks. Hmm.... I am wondering why he didn't just do the blood work yesterday? She seems to be doing fine and actually likes the new food. I am assuming, though the Dr. did not say , that he thinks the fluid retention is due to a renal problem. At first he was talking about CHF. Is there any other food that might be good for her for variation - like boiled chicken or rice - what about treats? What would be safe to give her if she is experiencing renal problems?
I am not so certain about what food is best for dogs with kidney problems. I know there have been many posts and threads here about that....you could check the archives?
Or you could ask one of the vets on the Ask a Vet Expert Forum. I am sure you would get good answers there, but there is a small charge for this service.
I visited the website you suggested - seems that chicken is great and they also gave me a few more foods to try.
Sadie has refused all of her usual foods as well as the renal formula perscribed by the vet. She loves the chicken though.
I called my local vet and talked to him also. He said to continue feeding the chicken, but to try to get her to eat the perscription food too. He said to call him tomorrow and we will set up an appt. if she does not seem better.
I am more worried now that she is not eating like usual - I am so afraid of kidney failure. I have read such sad stories.
She seemed fine until Monday night when she decided to get very picky about her eating. I thought the lasix might be causing that but don't know. Her tummy still seems like it is retaining fluid.
If anyone has any ideas for me I would appreciate it.
You should definately get her to eat the renal food from the vet. He most likley wanted to take blood in 2 weeks to let the meds and the food get into her system and begin to work, it will help him figure out what her problem is/was. As a yorkie owner, I know that they are generally very picky eaters if you introduced the chicken to her and now shes not eating even her normal food, its because she wants the chicken. You can mix in the renal food with the chicken and hopefully she will eat it. I had to change my yorkies food to an intestinal diet one time and he refused it, I left it out until he ate it and eventually he did. They arent going to starve themselves so sometimes you just have to be stern and make them deal with it. If he gave you hard food you can put some warm water on it to soften it and bring out the flavor, or they sell special "gravy" at the petstores you could put on it. but please, please, please listen to the vet for the most part. I used to work at a vet and can not tell you how many times i saw owners change the plan for treatment for their pets and it did not work out very well. good luck
Thank you! I appreciate your comment and advice.
I gave her the chicken after she stopped eating everything else - maybe she was just holding out for something better. She is stlill refusing everything but the chicken. I talked to the vet yesterday and he said to go ahead and give her the chicken, but try to get her to eat the renal food also (basically what you said). He wants me to let him know today if there has been any change. I feel better knowing that this might just be a trait of the Yorkie being picky - I know they can be quite stubborn at times. I have been so worried about her lack of appetite being tied to the lasix in some way- but, she is eating the chicken without coaxing so that sort of negates the reaction to the meds theory.
Thanks so much - it really helps to talk to others who share/have shared similar problems.
You need to make absolutely certain that you're dealing with chronic kidney failure and find out exactly how bad it is. IF that's the problem, it can be successfully managed with diet for many years. The idea is to preserve the function your dog current has because kidney cells don't regenerate. Once they're damaged and die, that's it. No new cells will grow.
The thing you need to avoid is phosphorus. It's deadly to already damaged kidneys. One way to get phosphorus out of the body is to add calcium supplements. Plain Tums tablets do a great job of this, but check with your vet on dosage.
You don't want to have your dog on the kidney diet long term. These prescription diets don't usually have enough protein requirements for good nutrition in dogs. Rather than avoid proteins, you want to feed your dog a more digestible form of protein that is low in phosphorus.
Here is a link to a fabulous site that explains kidney failure in dogs and provides incredible detail on diet an management. The author also helps explain lab values and what they mean. It was my bible when my dog was dying of kidney failure. Take the time to print it out and keep it in a binder - it runs about 45 to 50 pages.
The good news is that IF your dog is indeed in kidney failure, it looks like you've caught it early enough to manage it. :-)
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