Bumping this to the top ... six members so far, let's see if we can't get into double figures. I hope you will join this Group and become a valuable and active member. Through this Group, we can help each other with suggestions, advice, support and information about this dreadful disease and how best we can manage treatments for our best friends. Click here to go straight to the User Group page: http://www.medhelp.org/groups/chronic_kidney_failure_in_dogs
I just found out today my dog's labs were elevated. Creatintine is 2.8 and Bun level is 77.
They started my love on Azodyl and a prescription k/d diet. Recheck in a month. ( Which will be next Tuesday July 22)
I am in shock as I just found out bringing her in for a senior check up and had blood drawn for a dental. Now vet is telling me right now a dental would be risky.
I hope I can help others and get support. I love my dog like my own child. It is breaking my heart.
She is 14 vet said her heart and basic exam was excellent for her age. She is spunky and eats well but I do see her sleep more. Which could be age related.
After getting the results they starting her on the Azodyl twice a day and a prescription diet. I am not crazy about the food but she eats it well. I do add safe vegetable and have made treats from the dog food baked in the oven. She shows no signs, she goes potty outside, she drinks, she eats, but the vet is concerned she is high risk for a dental which she needs badly. She is Shih Tzu and has had her teeth done every two years since about the age of 9.
I want her to have the dental but with the vet telling me it is risky I am torn. I am trying a holistic treatment for her teeth which is not helping. It works great on my younger dog who has pearly whites. But she needs a good cleaning and I fear I am between rock and hard place. Do I do the dental and risk her life or let it be? I know the bacteria from dental decay is not good for her either.
I am also interested in some home made cooking diets. I am sorry this is so long. I keep reading and still have so many questions. I will let everyone know if her levels do go down next week.
Hi. I would have to be completely honest and say, given her age and her kidney failure, and given that she has had (presumably) good dental care up to two years ago - I would forget about the dental work. It is true that according to some sources, bad dental hygiene is a major contributor to kidney failure. However, once a dog is in kidney failure, stress can be even more damaging. And that's without the high risk that anaesthetic will introduce. You are indeed torn between a rock and a hard place, I know, but right now I would concentrate on the highest priority - which is to keep her blood levels as close to normal as possible.
Others will hopefully add their opinions, comments and suggestions.
Thanks for replying. All feedback is helpful. I am bringing her next Tuesday for repeat lab work and hoping it has gone down. I will go from there. The last visit I had a new vet in office as my regular vet was on vacation.
I did request him for this visit. I feel more comfortable with him. I am leaning toward not doing the dental work. The vet did say she would be high risk.
If I can keep her happy, eating, playing, and doing what dogs do in life, I think that would be the best.
Does anyone have suggestions on diet to entice her more? She will eat the prescription diet but has her good and bad days. At 10 lbs the vet doesn't want her to lose more weight. I will bring that up at vet visit also.
Hi again. Did you read my article on diet and kidney failure? If not, you can find it here:
There are several ideas about diet ... and more will undoubtedly come from others that may have tried other variations.
Thanks I am reading it now.
Hi. I just read your discussion about having dental work done for your dog with kidney disease. I am going through similar issues except mine has developed a gum infection. He just finished his round of antibiotics but his lymph nodes are still swollen. Im afraid he might need teeth extractions because he seems very uncomfortable.
Through Adozyl and a low protein and phosphorous I have been able to keep his creatine and BUN normal (He's @ Stage 2 and 15 yo with a heart murmur)
The vet told me that it was risky. However, I feel that maybe I should go ahead and do it since it seems his quality of life has diminished. I want him to be comfortable more than anything...I am scared and torn.
I was wondering what your decision was. Did you have it done?
I just joined! I loved your responses, Tony, on other CKF threads, so when I saw that you had your own user group I went there ASAP. My Sippie is a mixed rat terrier who was found on the streets and then had languished for months in an Oxford, MS, USA, shelter when we found each other about ten years ago. Her first name is Miss :-). Sippie recently and suddenly entered Stage 4 of her kidney disease. I am watching and waiting to see when the time comes that it is better to put her down than to keep her alive and suffering.
I believe I posted on the wrong spot. I'll repost this on what I think is the right one. Apologies.
Hi there. I have a min pin (Maxine) or Max, she will be 13 and has been diagnosed with stage four renal kidney failure. She has been going downhill since Monday where she wouldn't eat and then finally wouldn't drink. She had diarrhea and frequent urination. We had camped on the weekend prior and coming home on the Monday I took her into our vet as she has a couple of growths on her and the one she had been licking and it had seemed to grow in size, red, angry looking. We had blood work done and it was then she was diagnosed with the kidney failure. They said her kidneys had already shut down 75%. She is very tired and any little bit of walking has her heartbeat elevated. They said her red blood cell count at that time was 26 percent. We took her home with some canned K/D. She ate the recommended three quarters of the can but Tuesday wouldn't eat or drink anything and the runs and throwing up started. She is very tired and just wants to sleep. Thirds day morning we took her back to the vet and they put her on the fluid IV to try and flush her systems and get fluids into her. We picked her up yesterday morning after being on IV for two days. She wouldn't eat the K/d dry food, but the vet had said she ate a bit of it on Friday. She drank quite a bit of water on Saturday and I fed her wet little Caesars food. She loved it. Today I'm having a hard time getting her to drink but she will continue to eat the little Caesars. She had no BM yesterday but today I got her outside and she has the runs. She continues to just lay in her kennel. She is very tired. Last night she wanted to lay beside me on the couch. We've been carrying her to go to the bathroom and hand feeding her. Any effort for her to walk causes her heartbeat to speed up. She is also shivering so I keep blankets covering her. She has always loved to be under blankets. I realize that we will eventually have to make a decision. I don't think she is in pain but she is not feeling good. She looks at me with her eyes I'm not sure if it is the look or not. It's almost the look that yes she loves me but she isn't feeling very good. The vet gave her an anti nausea injection yesterday and said it will last for 24 hours. They did blood work yesterday and her red blood cell count is now 15 percent which is way worse than what was originally thought. The vet was worried about the diarrhea and thinking that she may have cancer as well which could be attributed with the two growths she has. One on her hind leg and the other on her front chest. We now just noticed another one between her two nails on her back paw. My question is regarding fluids. Do we keep taking her in to get the fluid Iv or is our poor girl simply had enough and just try and make her as comfortable as we can? I was looking through family photos yesterday as a talented person we know is doing a pencil sketch of our girl. Every family outing she has been with us and every life event. It's so hard to deal with this. We love her so much and don't want to let her go and don't want her to suffer. I love how this coommunity all comes together and is so supportive. Could really use some kind words right now. Thank you so much.
Hi. Everything you have said about symptoms are connected with the kidney disease. The lumps could be cancerous, but I have to say they may not be, because old dogs get lumps just like old humans. Sometimes they are cancerous, sometimes not. In a way, these are secondary to the kidney disease, which needs to be the priority for now.
I am always surprised when vets put dogs with CKF on dry dog food. This really is not good. Canned kd food has less additives, colorants, blah, blah, but more importantly, it's 80% water - so this kind of food is another way of getting fluids in your Max. She needs fluids more than anything right now, to help flush the toxins out. But importantly. she needs the right fluids. You should be doing Sub-Q fluids at home. Talk to your vet about this. This will reduce the stress on Max, meaning she won't need to keep going to the vet. Stress needs to be avoided, as it will make the kidney disease deteriorate.
About the fluids ... your vet should be adding various things to the fluids, even if you do it at home. The additives will depend on Max's latest blood results. If there are deficiencies in some minerals and electrolytes, your vet needs to prescribe additives to the fluid (they can be injected into the bags you get). Just make sure your vet does this, as it will help Max.
Next, one anti-nausea injection won't do the job. You need to get your vet to prescribe a suitable anti-nausea medication to give every day. This is urgent, because without it, Max will continue to refuse food.
Food is important right now, but the right food is equally important. Caesar is not kd food. It is high in the wrong things, like phosphorus, which will further damage the kidneys. I totally understand you are trying anything, and if she eats it, then that's good, because it gets nourishment in her. But while it might seem like an answer for today, it isn't a good resolve for tomorrow or the day after. The other thing about food is to try and feed much smaller amounts, maybe five times a day. Smaller amounts of food will upset the stomach less and have a chance of staying in her digestive tract long enough to get some benefit from it - smaller amounts of food spread out over a day also reduce the amount of toxin by-products produced, so the kidneys don't have to work as hard.
On diet, please read my article, the link is here:
This article will help you understand what's happening and gives some suggestions to try regarding diet changes.
There are some supplements you might try too. This is a link to my article on that subject. There are a whole range of things, some I consider are useful, others not so much:
Max almost certainly has nonregenerative anemia and your vet needs to treat this, otherwise the red blood count will continue to fall. This is urgent.
Also, has your vet checked Max's blood pressure. Dogs with CKF often have high blood pressure, which also causes the kidney disease to worsen fast ... so if her blood pressure is high, this needs treating too.
That's probably enough for now. Let me know how things progress and if you get your vet to take more of a pro-active role in diagnosing other symptoms and treating them.
I've put this as a second post underneath my initial post above, because it's quite important. Treating low red blood cells count in canine kidney disease is tricky. Sometimes it works well and gives a dog's internal systems extra time to correct the problem themselves, and other times it fails and makes things worse. I tend to believe, it is a worthy risk given the fatal alternative, but that's just me. The corrective medicines are sold as Epogen, Betapoietin or Eporel, these compounds encourage your pet to produce red blood cells and so combat the anemia. Because these compounds were engineered for humans , dogs eventually cease responding to them. But they often do raise the pets PVC for a time. There is a danger in giving this product. When the pet's immune system decides to attack human erythropoetin as a foreign protein, it not only destroys the human erythropoetin that was given - it also destroys the pets natural erythropoetin. So it can make the anemia even worse. It should only be used as a last ditch effort.
Whether you want to encourage your vet to try this is really a decision only you can make. The alternative is to hope the kidney disease is improved enough and quickly enough to resolve the red blood cell count, but that seems unlikely, from the symptoms you have described. Max is on a downward spiral ... and intervention is the only potential remedy, in my opinion. The kind of intervention is a very hard decision to make.
Thank you Tony for the info. Max will drink a little water today and is still urinating. She refuses to eat the K/D this includes canned, dry and I even tried hand feeding her the dry that I had soaked in water. Even tried chicken broth mixed in. She does love watermelon though, she always has. So maybe I will try some of that. I'm thinking that while she loved the Ceasar's yesterday that could be what gave her the diahrea. She vomited yesterday too. Today she is still sleeping a lot, but she did get out of her kennel to walk to the water bowl. I continue to carry her outside to go to the bathroom as we have a lot of stairs and it is too much exersion on her little heart. I will get a copy of the blood work values. Last night she walked from the kitchen into the living room and wanted me to pick her up to lay beside me on the couch. I covered her up in her favorite blanket and she slept there all night. I will keep you updated. Thank you so much. There is so much info and not entirely sure what to do. Food and hydration are so important at this critical stage and the anti-nausea for sure. I'm not ready to give up with her, she is my baby. :(
Sadly, Ruby Tuesday lost the battle and I had to help her out of this life on Friday. She refused all food and water for 5 days and in spite of a daily Ringers subcut bolus AND Ambrotose, she did not get any better. When she stopped wagging her tail and barely managed to walk over to me, I knew I had to say goodbye. My heart is broken.........:-(
Hi. Yes, sorry for all the info ... I didn't want to overload you, but there's important stuff there - the anti-nausea is crucial now, as it will help get Max eating again. Let me know how things go.
Hi. So sorry to hear about Ruby. Sometimes, no matter what we do, it's not enough. Goodbyes are so hard, I know. You did all you could. My sincere condolences. If Ruby could say it, she would say a huge thank you for loving her, caring for her and enriching her life with adventures.
Run free Ruby Tuesday.
So sorry for your loss. We are going through this right now and it is so hard to accept an illness that is terminal. ((((Hugs)))) Hoping you find comfort in knowing that Ruby is now in doggy heaven playing with all the other happy dogs. I know its no consolation, but friends on community and off have had so much faith and encouragement and have been so loving and kind and tell us to remember her and all the good times. Truly man's (& woman's) best friend. Bless you.
Hi Tony, I got the lab results, don't quite understand what they mean, but there are a lot of figures with astericks beside them so I'm sure its not good. I'll post here two readings one from June 8, 2015 and one from June 13, 2015. I went to the vet and both are busy but will get back to me shortly on what Max can eat her anemia and some anti-nauseau meds. She ate the watermelon! She is drinking water and has not thrown up or had the runs (so far) today. She even walked out onto the deck (a short distance) and enjoyed a bit of sun. She is in her kennel now and lays a foot away from me while I type at the kitchen table. Here are her lab results:
June 8, 2015
ALB 23 25-44 G/L
ALP 28 20-150 U/L
ALT 59 10-118 U/L
AMY 1296 200-1200 U/L
TBIL 5 2-10 UMOL/L
BUN 42.9 2.5-8.9 MMOL/L
CA 2.25 2.15 - 2.95 mmol/l
PHOS 2.43 0.95-2.13 MMOL/L
CRE 319 27-124 UMOL/L
GLU 7.3 3.3-6.1 MMOL/L
NA+ 138 138-160 MMOL/L
K+ 4.7 3.7-5.8 MMOL/L
TP 46 54-82 G/L
GLOB 23 23-52 G/L
QC OK HEM 0 LIP 0 ICT 0
JUNE 13/2015 (After receiving fluids IV for two days)
QC OK HEM 0 LIP 0 ICT 0
Also a couple more figures.... I'm thinking this one is her red blood cell count. June 8 it was 26.0 and June 13 it was 14.8 (HCT). They circled this as well: WBC June 8 it was 16.4 and June 13 it was 30.7.
Hi. Thank you for typing that little lot ... must have been a pain to do. Let me take a look at the relevant figures and get back to you. At first glance, the kidney levels don't look dreadful and not nearly as bad as I was first thinking. I've certainly seen much worse. But, I realise the kidney levels are only part of the story ... the white cell count and red cell count are more relevant here, I think. It's late now in the UK, so I may have to get back to you tomorrow, hope that's okay.