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puppy kidney problems
what do i do?   i have a five and a half month old labradoodle; Barkley, he is the most wonderful puppy ever, recent blood tests have indicated kidney problems...  his BUN is 27, and his HCT is 37.35, i am not sure what that means, but the blood test the week before was not as bad, so it is getting worse.  Barkley had a urinalysis as well, but i have not recieved the results yet.  Barkley is scheduled for an ultra sound on friday.  i just feel like i am not getting good information from anywhere, no matter how much research i do, and as far as diet, he is on Natures Variety Instinct, which is protein.  i am also getting mixed reviews on high protein with dogs with kidney problems.  PLEASE HELP!!!!!!
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I'm so sorry that your puppy is having problems.  I don't want to scare you, but his age and the fact that he's growing quickly makes me think you might be dealing with a condition called "juvenile kidneys".  What happens with this condition is that even though the dog grows, his kidneys don't, and your dog is just the right age for a condition like this to really start to show up, because he's at that age when he starts to put on some size, and the small kidneys can't handle the growing body.

Don't panic, though, because it IS possible to maintain a dog with this condition for quite a while, and he can have some semblance of a normal life for quite a while if you are dlilgent and willing to put out extra effort.  Again, IF this is what you are dealing with, his diet will be the most important thing.   THE main goal is to keep protein as low as possible, because this minimizes the formation of uremic toxins, which are what make the patient feel ill in cases of renal disease.  You also want to restrict his phosphorus intake, because that will help you in managing hyperparathyroidism, which happens secondary to renal disease.

Twenty or even fifteen years ago it would have been a different story, but with the internet being everywhere like it is these days, access to Google makes it possible for you to have hundreds of home-cooking recipes for dogs and their owners in this situation.  The foods you can prepare are quite yummy, so you should have no problem getting your puppy to eat them should it be necessary for you to have to cook for him.  There ARE prescription diets available commercially, and you might rather go with one of those, however the people I have known who have maintained dogs with renal disease have felt that their pets enjoyed the home cooked foods much more than the prescription kibble.

Please let us know what the outcome of Barkley's ultrasound is.  He's a lucky puppy to have you behind him, that you are willing to do what is necessary diagnostically to get to the root of his problems.  Please, no matter what the outcome, don't give up easily.  As I said, dogs with renal disease most certainly CAN be successfully managed with careful diet and watchful owners, and it's obvious that Barkley has a watchful, loving owner.  While he may not, depending on the diagnosis, have a normal life expectancy, there is no reason that he can't have a few good years with good care.  Hang in there and good luck!  

Ghilly
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