My dog was diagnosed this week with very early-stage renal failure. I know some about some things, but I know very little about renal failure, how to cope, what foods to give.....etc
So I am on a steep learning-curve myself.
My dog is fortunate in that she is right now super fit and well, you would not guess there was anything wrong with her. Her only symptom is she is drinking more than twice as much water as before, and she has bed "accidents", quite easily dealt with by plastic sheeting under a cotton sheet, and dog-diapers with pads.
She is also fortunate that this was caught at a very early stage.
Kidney failure cannot be reversed. The kidney -unlike the liver- has no powers of regeneration. But the disease can be treated, and the aim is to hold back the worsening of symptoms for as long as possible through medication and diet. It's about management -not cure. The ideal is to plateau out at the level of kidney function the dog has when first diagnosed.
So of course, this is going to vary from dog to dog, and depending on what stage the disease is at when it is first discovered. It depends on how instructions are followed re. diet....it depends on the dog's general fitness.
I have such a lot to learn myself about this. And my answer is probably not what you are looking for at all for your survey. I can report back if you wish, with info. about my dog as she progresses.
Bearing all this in mind, the thing to do is keep vigilant, but live day to day. And listen to professional advice.
My dog was diagnosed in November of 2010. He is still here and has a good quality of life. Daily IV fluids given by me at home and pills have provided him with more than one extra year. His levels were off the charts when first diagnosed, weight lose was what made us notice something wasn't right. After 4 months of meds and IV his levels were reduced and brought way down. They are back up again now and it's just a matter of time. But with a good vet, money, and a lot of your own time, you can definately give your pet a fighting chance and more time with you.
My Dog was diagnosed at then mid November 2011. He was in seemingly good health but had occasional lack of appetite and lower energy level so we took him to the vet. They did a routine exam and said everything looks fine but ran the bloodwork. His levels were at 130 and 10, i believe more than twice normal levels. He was immediately put on IV fluids for 3 days in hospital. Levels went down to half those levels in a few days. The vet said at those improved levels some dogs could live months or years. We brought him home and did twice daily under skin fluids plus standard recommended meds and kidney diet. We then took him to a kidney specialist who was trying to determine at what stage of Kidney disease he was at. Got his levels down a little more a week little later, things were looking promising and his energy levels were increasing dramatically. Less than a week later, he completely stopped eating. Took him to specialist after 2 days of not eating. The specialist thought it was nausea causing him not to eat. So we checked him in . Next day he was worse, the next day the vet said he had 3 weeks to live. The following day they said he might not last the weekend. The following day they said it was not humane to keep him going and he was put to sleep. Entire time from first diagnosis to his passing was about 3 weeks. My conclusions: 1) This is a absolutely devastating disease, 2) The best that modern medicine has to treat this with is not very good 3) Vets really dont know what causes this and how long your dog has, every dog is different. The only promising treatment i could find is stem cell therapy and that is in experimental stages.
My MinPin was just diagnosed with kidney disease and was doing poorly. After being in the hospital 3 days with fluids, etc. she has perked up. She is now home and I am doing fluids 2-3 times a week (on first week). She's ok but is not eating very well if at all. She is not drinking much at all either. She will eat people food in small portions but not her diet dog food. I have spent @ $1,000.00 so far on her treatment and not sure how much more I can spend. I feel awful. I love her but I don't want her to suffer. I don't know what to do.
Has your vet suggested any type of anti-nausea medicine? Do you know what her levels were - specifically BUN and creatinine? Depending on what her levels are and what the vet is telling you, you might consider getting her to eat anything. Try ground meat, pasta, chicken, even bacon to get her to eat. Since she's smaller, can you give her water via a plastic syringe? Daisy was never good at taking pills so I'd have to crush them up, mix them with water then shoot them in her mouth. Not a fun process, I ended up getting wet more often, but it was an option.
Unfortunately, as you probably already know, this disease is irreversible. Since she was diagnosed, I am sure there were signs leading up to this and usually that means 75% of their kidneys aren't working. If you can't afford it, then think about your sweet girl. You'll know when it's time.
I have a 15 year old Maltese who was diagnosed with early disease in 2009. I was instructed by his vet to cook ground beef, white rice/ white bread and 1 tums for his meals. At the time his BUN was 55 and Creatine was 1.4
At around 2011 his BUN was 26 and Creatine remained the same. On April 7, 2014 he went into severe kidney failure. He was hospitalized and at the time of the blood work his BUN was 157 and I believe his Creatine was 2.4 He was hospitalized for three days, flushed out all the toxins, and had IV’s. Since then he has been on the RS recovery kidney diet, and now is on the KD diet and drinks plenty of water. He has gained weight and is pretty active. Just had blood work done and his BUN is 23 and Creatine is 1.1
The vet said all is normal. He will continue to be on the KD Diet. My vet said she has never in all her years seen a dog especially a senior dog bounce back. He eats 4 small meals of KD everyday and is pretty much hydrated. I am just taking it one day at time with my little man and being realistic especially since he is 15 years old. He has a recheck next month and I can report back with what his blood work shows.
Hugs to all.
Typo * kidney disease in early 2009
My two-year old lab, Betty, was just started on a diet for kidney disease. He creatinine was 1.5 mg/dL when she was 9-mo old. This past March, her level was 1.6, and this week she has gone up to 1.8 with elevated BUN of 28 mg/dL. She is so young. Will my time with her be cut short? Is/will she suffer(ing)?
I too found out in February that our 13 yr old shitz-a-poo Shammy has kidney disease. We have done everything we could between meds, iv fluids and keeping her happy and comfortable. She hasn't really eaten in the past few days and my heart is breaking everyday. My vet feels that doing bloodwork at this time is pointless since we are doing everything we possibly could. This is the hardest thing I've ever been through. I too would spend every dime I have to help her. When she was 10, she had back surgery costing 9K. I wish this deadly disease was curable because I feel her life is being sadly cut short. I sympathize with you and know exactly what you're going through. My only comfort is knowing that she will soon be in a better place where I hope she will be waiting for me.
My mixed breed was diagnosed February 2013 pre-renal failure, initially only in urine, and after a couple of months it presented in the blood as well. This past Wednesday, May 14, her phosphorous rose to 16. This Friday, May 16, she was breathing heavy, drooling crazy, spitting out any food I gave her, barely drinking, and at 12 years of age, was recommended we put her down. With over a year from diagnosis, I agreed, although it broke my heart. I was told with kidney disease, its rare to even get them to live a year. She was on benazopril, lisinopril, phosphorous binder, aspirin, fish oil, NF kidney food (when she felt like eating, which wasn't often as she hated this food…she still had an appetite up until the very end, just not for this food).
We were told she would basically hold steady and then there would be a sudden drop, and that was basically how it happened. I think I misunderstood that this was a manageable disease once we figured out the magic equation of meds, and that we would have more time, but I am grateful for what we did have with her. Until this past week, you wouldn't have known even one day she was sick. She always had energy, always had a pep to her step, and always with a smile to her face. I didn't want her to suffer, and as she was barely drinking, and wasn't eating at all, even with the options for aggressive fluids for the weekend, with the potential for a turnaround, it would have returned to the same behavior and her feeling horribly all over again, and to what end should be put her through this cycle of feeling sick? I still can't believe she's not here, but she put up the good fight, and she fought a most fierce battle. Best of luck with your dog.
I'm sorry about the loss of your sweet pup. It is so heartbreaking to watch them decline but you did the right thing. You helped her for more than a year and you are right, most people don't get that long out of a dog with kidney disease. Daisy had about 13 months too.
The disease is manageable if treated early, but it is not curable. I think that's where we all get confused. We'd love to save our sweet doggies but once we learn of their disease it's often too late.
Daisy had a sudden drop in January and spent 4 nights in the doggy ER. Once I brought her home, she was never the same. Every day we had to administer SUBQ fluids at home, weekly blood work, vet visits, etc. Three weeks after she came home, she stopped eating, the vomiting started again and she was losing quality of life. I knew when I saw her on Friday that she wouldn't make it through the weekend. I spent all night holding her, trying to calm her down and just remind her how much she changed my life. Saturday morning wasn't much better, she still hadn't eaten and was barely drinking. She just kinda stumbled around until she lost her balance. It was the hardest decision of my life but I knew I wouldn't let her suffer. I called the vet and she and her daughter met me at the office. It was just my family and the vet. It was very comforting.
I hope you find peace in your decision. It won't happen overnight, but I truly believe dogs 'visit' in our dreams to show us they're okay wherever they are. Daisy comes to me every once in a while, when she knows I need a little push to get out of bed, take the next step, etc. The good thing about a dogs love is that it never leaves you. Their paw prints are always on our heart :)
I want to share our experience with our 13 year old Shih-Tzu who was diagnosed with renal failure, two months into it at this date.
Her numbers as everyone has experienced were way high at the time of diagnosed, BUN 92 and Creatine was 3.9 (+/-). After her first fluid treatment in the animal hospital the numbers came down but still had issues trying to get her to eat the KD or any of the other kidney diet foods which is why I’m responding to this. We switched vets just trying to get some help from someone, anyone!
One day while watching my wife mush up the can food and trying to force feed poor Buttons we came up with the idea of using the blender and adding RO filtered water to the mix and forcing the food through a syringe, bingo, that worked but it really stinks! We were told that Buttons maybe had a month or two to live but after a week of this and giving sub-q fluids daily we have a new puppy and her BUN numbers were cut in half, creatine came down to 2.6.
Someone said on this tread that they take it one day at a time, us too but for now we have a barking playful dog again. BTW, she has been spoiled her whole life and now is no exception. She will eat on her own but prefers for my wife to feed her like a baby, go figure.
There’s much more to her story but limited space. My email if anyone wishes to write back is; joseph.***@****