Chronic Kidney Failure in Dogs Community
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603946 tn?1333945439

My Buddy

Buddy is my schnauzer golden baby 5 years old now. He was diagnosed with CRF a few years ago and we have hung on through vomiting, 6 days on IV at pet hospital, phosphate binders, EPAKITIN, ondansetron for nausea, famotidine for ulcers which I'm not sure he has yet, and not sure how I will know except when a human has ulcers they hate to eat bc of pain. This guy has a great appetite now, on Rx canned food, eats a few snacks a day, dental chews, a few bites of ham, hot dogs for treats. The other med he is on is Tramadol in case he is in pain. I cringe at the vet, every time I get to see doc in the exam room she says "oh yeh, this is your dog that was poisoned" well, my dog was not poisoned. We even had him checked for Lepto because we knew that we had no chemicals out he could have gotten to....breaks my heart every time she says that. We wracked our brains with the head vet/owner of the clinic and couldn't come up with any reason, so we've just decided to quit blaming and move on and just love this baby and concentrate on that.
  Here's some questions. I need advice.
He has some new symptoms.
1 Despite his good appetite, he is losing weight. What causes that? I could understand if he didn't eat......
2 his eyes are oozing brown gunk every day I wash it and it comes back. Is that dues to toxins building?
3 he is mainly white in coat color but his tummy and feet are turning reddish brown. Is that toxins?
4 he is beginning to drip after urniating, as if he can't feel the "valve shutoff"? (Just guessing that's his feeling). Never did this before. Not a problem really, just something I noticed.
5 ammonia breath/ does this indicate he is near the end?
6 very shaky, also lethargic and lays in bed a lot, but when he is outside he is almost prancing, tail up.. And wants to snuggle.
He takes two walks a day and loves it, then gets right back in crate for hours and hours.
He drinks fine, urinates normally, and his elimination is soft, but not diarrhea.

I've heard of sub q injections of fluids. My vet has never suggested it, should I suggest it? Is this going to lessen any of these symptoms or make him feel better? The bottom line is, I don't want him to hurt. Even if I knew that the ammonia smell on his breath indicated mouth ulcers for example, I believe I would ask doc to end his life gracefully sooner than later. We can't stand to think of him in pain. On the other hand, he has always been very emotional and vocal. I think if he were in pain he night moan. He did have a bout of hip pain or sciatica or something the vet couldn't find the exact cause for pain but Buddy would yelp even when we would walk close, as if to say "you made me move fast, and that hurt my hip" for that time he was on some cortisone packs and a few cortisone injections for severe allergies, (no allergies now, thank goodness) Deramaxx, then switched to Mobic. That's his history.
The vet did say that the short time he was on Mobic and Cortisone could have hurt his kidneys, looking back for causes of renal failure.
She does give me his bun and creatinine counts. I never write them down, but they worsen every time, she says.

10 Responses
1916673 tn?1420236870
Hi. Okay, there's quite a lot of information you posted, so let's take the most important things first and then we can discuss others later. I think you would benefit from reading my piece about kidney failure and diet. You can find it at this link:


It will answer at least some of your questions and give you a good 'grounding' on the disease and how it is affecting your dog. It also gives advice about looking at diet and devising some changes, which I think may be necessary in your case.

And just in case you might be feeding some human foods, take a look at this piece too, which tells you the everyday foods that are bad for dogs. It's a useful reference:


When did your dog have his last blood levels done? Get hold of a copy of them from your vet and post the results here. If the last test is more than 3 months ago, book in for a new test to be done. It's important to see what his levels are at now. They will give the best indication of any changes that may need undertaking.

If his levels are still abnormally high, then he should have IV fluids (your vet can teach you how to do this at home to save some costs) - and it would be good to talk to your vet about a phosphate binder too, providing the blood phosphate level allows one to be introduced. Look at nitrogen trapping in my article - I think it may also help right now.

I need to double-check a) that you are not feeding any human foods or animal treats that contain salt, phosphate or any chemicals or ingredients you don't recognise (E numbers for example). If you are, stop them immediately and get natural dog treats. The kd food is the exception, as this should have the right combination of minerals and vitamins, even if you don't recognise their names. I'm assuming this is a canned variety and not kibble?

Okay. That's probably enough for now. Get back to us once you have undertaken some of this.

Best wishes, Tony
Avatar universal
Hi babygirl,

I think you are making the most important step by just being here and considering the thoughts of others. Having been through it with a vet who stated "there is no hope, it's time to let her go" I'm thankful that I had seen a specialist before that vet and after him I did my own research as my dog with supposedly no hope lived 3+ more healthy happy years.

Veterinarian medicine is probably more complex than human. They have to train for many more species and the species cannot verbally communicate to assist in diagnosis. They deserve our respect but they there are gaps in their knowledge.

I'd recommend doing exactly  what you're doing, do your own research, seek the help of others (Tony is very sage) but question it all. If you can afford a trip to a specialist, that maybe of value as well but inform yourself as much as you can first, you'll get more out of the experience if you do. They're expensive but the wisdom of my specialist at least got me pointed in the right direction to do my own research. The major thing I learned is that I have to not passively except the vet's wisdom I need to be my pets advocate and do the learning myself. I know I'll be far better at this with my future four legged friends.
603946 tn?1333945439
I have him on a phosphate binder. It was in my post.
I've read your articles on diet.
We go to the vet Friday. Until then it would ease my mind to know what these new symptoms are caused by.
1916673 tn?1420236870
Hi. Sorry, it was a busy day and reading so much and responding so much sometimes means you miss something when replying. All the symptoms are associated with kidney failure. When the kidneys start to fail, symptoms are sometimes minor, but as time goes on, the lack of kidney function causes electrolyte, hormonal and tissue damage elsewhere - hence some of these symptoms. Because your dog is so young, the kidney damage could be caused by poisoning (it is the most common cause in younger dogs) or it could be genetic (though that would likely have triggered earlier than this). Poisoning does not have to be obvious or deliberate - for example, it could be from ANY household or garden chemical, even such things as pathcleaners; it could also be from a plant in your garden that your dog has chewed on; it could also be a result of the type of food being given (particularly dry foods) or a dog treat. There are so many possible causes, it is almost always hard to find a reason.

603946 tn?1333945439
we euthanized my sweet baby Buddy at 5 o'clock. He had seizures today and could barely walk. Did lift his head on the exam table to say goodbye to each of us.
I am heartbroken.
1916673 tn?1420236870
Hello. My PC has a problem, so typing from Tablet. Forgive abrupt and late reply. I am so sorry about Buddy. I know you must be heartbroken, but he isn't suffering anymore, so take comfort from it. My heart goes out to you.

Run free Buddy.

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