Hi. Yes, age makes a significant difference. The younger the dog with CKF, the more likely there's a genetic disorder as the primary cause - or another problem, that has occurred and brought about the kidney problem. Food can be a major cause - if it's low, quality or toxic or if there has been an acute case of poisoning in early life. Breeders very often deny problems with others in the litter or with the parent dogs ... they are actually protecting their financial asset and don't want any bad comments to reach the ears of others that may buy from them, and certainly don't want any law cases brought against them! This is one very good reason for getting all the right documents from a breeder, to find out about the health and any family ties between parent dogs before buying puppies from the litter.
Has the vet checked for high-blood-pressure? If not, get this done asap. How often is the vet checking blood levels? Has he performed xrays and/or scans of the kidneys to look for defects (genetic) or kidney/bladder stones?
You did mention about food early in your post. What food was this? Did you manage to get any information about what the breeder was feeding the pup before it left the mother and what age was the pup at that time?
The Pepcid clearly isn't working, so look to your vet for an alternative anti-nausea medication. It's trial and error much of the time, but once you find something that suits him, the change will be dramatic. The vomiting and nausea are entirely due to tox build-up and possibly also stomach ulceration - try also adding a desertspoon of chopped cooked cabbage to the diet, as this will help heal and prevent further ulceration.
A word about lettuce ... it is fine for dogs in small quantities, even though there is no nutritional gain from it. Excessive amounts can cause stomach upset and/or diarrhoea. The biggest problem is the source ... organic human grade lettuce should be mostly okay, but lettuce homegrown or from any other uncertain source may have been sprayed with pesticides, which washing may not remove, so be extremely cautious.
I would be tempted to stop the lettuce for a week or so, and see if there's any difference to Gucci's vomiting.
Do you have blood panel numbers for Gucci? BUN, creatinine, phosphorus and calcium would be useful to know. Post them if you have them.
Also, have you read my article on diet and CKF dogs? It's here if you want to have a read:
What are you feeding him now? Is it tinned, dry or homemade? What treats do you give him? Have you tried any supplements such as Azodyl, pure salmon oil or probiotics?
That's probably enough for now.
Thank you so much Tony for your response. The dry dog food we feed Gucci is Royal Canin K-9 Renal LP. He seems to eat it better then he has anything else we have tried to give him. Which is awesome because we have had a very hard time trying to find anything. We use to boil chicken with white rice an frozen peas, but he didn't care for that too long. Also, for the treats we give Gucci, they are Hills Prescription Diet Treats. And we spoil him with a cookie treat once a week, (which the vet said was ok for Gucci to have). As for what the breeder gave to him prior to us having him it is on clear. She did however mention that he was under weight and she was having a hard time getting him to eat anything. Though, in the contract she had written, we had 2 give Gucci these NuVet Plus wafers for the first 2 years. We stopped giving it to him after a year, we couldn't get him to eat it.
Gucci broke his back leg 2 years ago and had to take him into an emergency vet an that is when we found out about his renal kidney disease. At that time, they did take X-rays of his kidney, but has not had any since. As I can recall, one of his kidneys was bad already. I'm not sure if high-blood-pressure test was ever taken though.
We do get blood work done every 6 months to see how it is progressing. In November 2014 Gucci's BUN WAS 52 in May 2015 it went down to 28. And his CREA was 3.3 in November an 3.0000 in May. So the levels did go down some. The Phosphorus level was 3.8 in May and the Calcium was 11.6.
We haven't given Gucci the lettuce in a few weeks already as we thought that was the reason he was possibly puking. It's hard to get a hold of the Gucci's vet a lot because he is always busy an can't answer all the questions we have. So it makes it more difficult for us to try to help Gucci. I am very thankful I have found this site though!! Also, what would the supplements do to help him? The vet hasn't ever brought this possibility up, so little unclear what it may help. Thank you so much for your help Tony!! We appreciate it!!!
Hi. You're very welcome. Have a read of my piece on supplements for kidney failure in dogs. I have to be honest, most supplements are totally unsuitable or, more accurately, they do nothing except separate money from pet owners. Others are useful, particularly salmon oil, some probiotics and maybe Azodyl (the latter has had some good responses from CKF dog owners). You can read it at my website under the Articles button at the top of the website:
I forgot to mention we do give him a drop in his treats for his kidneys. Its called, Pet Well Being Kidney Support Gold. I'm not sure if this is a supplement or not.
Hi. The collection of herbal-based medicinal ingredients have no proven reliable studies to back-up the claims, but some of them are known to have an anti-oxidant effect. It does seem extremely expensive, considering the manufacturers haven't provided any scientific evidence to prove it works on kidney failure dogs. That said, who knows, maybe it does something, maybe it doesn't. You should certainly be aware of the potential to overdose, so always give it in accordance with the dosing instructions.