7588673 tn?1392302734

Kidney failure at 2 years old?

My beloved standard poodle Bender was a completely healthy dog 6 months ago.  He ran, jumped, barked, and ate his food with gusto.  Shortly after my 34  year old husband at the time died my dog started not putting weight off and on, on his rear leg and lost interest in play.  I at first thought he was just depressed and that his leg was falling asleep on him since he always put it down shortly after getting up. I took him to the vet when the problem didn't go away.  He took xrays, did blood work (which was perfect), and didn't really see anything and said to let him rest and put him on inflammitories for 2 months.  When I took him back he had all but stopped eating and had lost a lot of weight.  They called in a specialist to re-xray him but once again found nothing.

That's when he referred us to another clinic for a second opinion, the first thing they did was do a more blood work, and they discovered renal failurel.   His BUN was in the 90's.  They did and ultra sound and both of his kidneys were nice and fat, but had a ring around them.  We tested for addisons, lepto, and auto immune disorders all which came back negative.  We put in him doggy hospital for a 4 days and they gave him fluids and got the number down into the 40's.  He came home over the weekend and thats when real worry set in...he was didn't want to eat and was very lethargic.  So I took him back that Monday and his BUN was once again in the 90's.

The vet immediately suggesting putting him down, I however wasn't ready for that.  Yes my dog was feeling bad, but he hasn't even once vommitted, and he is still happy and loves to play.  So I was sent home with fluid bags to give him under the skin.  He is still not enthusiastic about his food and lethargic, but he is so young I don't want to give up on my boy.  

I have ordered some homeopathic aids to help remove toxins from his system, I have changed him from the vet suggest boiled chicken to raw food using egg shells for calcium to help bind the phosphorus.   I have also started hot/cold hydro therapy.  I know I am working hard, but I know my dog would do the same thing for me.  If the time comes I will have the strength to put him down, as watching my husband suffer in his final days with cancer really put things into perspective on suffering  for me.  

I had read (and CRYED) about all of the kidney failure posts on this forum.  We are still missing what caused the Kidney failure (I suspect the anti-inflamitory drugs) and what cause his leg to go up in the first place.  Any advice and of course words of comfort would be greatly appreciated.

Bender is my baby, he is the child my husband and I never got to have, he means so much to me.  He is the best dog, obedient, friendly, and when he feels good playful.  It's hard for me to imagine my life with out him, I feel like I am truly losing everything at this point.
17 Responses
7588673 tn?1392302734
it is driving me crazy that I misspelled cried....
974371 tn?1424653129
So sorry.  Such a young dog to have kidney issues but possible.

Karla is more experienced with the kidney issues and diets.  There are plenty of discussions on these forums.

After seeing more than one Vet, I think I would try a Vet teaching university, if you have one within travel distance.  For me, that is UC Davis, which I have taken animals to a few times over the years.  They can do much more testing and deal with issues local Vets can't.

Hope you can find an answer soon!

Don't worry about spelling errors.  I use an iPad, which has a mind if it's own.  
974371 tn?1424653129
Not sure of the distances but see there is one  in Gainsville, one in Miami Shores and one in Miami Dade?  
Look up Universities if Veterinary Medicine  for Orlando.
Sorry, I am not familiar with the area but there may be something within travel distance for you.
7378022 tn?1390751481
I just wanted to say I am so sorry for the loss of your husband, especially at such a young age, and the health problem you are now facing with Bender... Prayer going out to you both.
462827 tn?1333168952
Hello, In such a young dog, 3 things need to be ruled out: You've already covered Lepto....You need to rule out a Kidney Infection (Hard to diagnose) AND a complete Tick Disease Panel including Ehrlichiosis.....

What was his regular food (Including treats) before ALL this happened??? Just curious.......Karla
7588673 tn?1392302734

Bender is still with us I took him to his regular vet and we are administering fluids under the skin twice a day.  It is thought that the kidney failure is a result of Immune Mediated Poly Arthritus.  Benders kidney values are down a bun of 110 to 70.  

We had a hiccup of GI bleed but once that was sorted out he was eating everything he could get his muzzle on for a few weeks, he ran and played, and for a moment it was like old times.

Then on Friday he took a dive he is clearly feeling bad, he seems to be in pain from the arthritus but the vet wants to hold off on putting him on prednisone which is the drug of choice for this disorder.  He isn't eating well but I do cook him meat he will eat 2 times a day but not nearly enough.  I have him some gel and liquid supplements to help keeps some weight on him.  I have him on pepcid ac 1-2 times a day and also ordered some azodyl.

As far as food goes his regular food was Blue Wilderness for the first year then we switched to Taste of the Wild.  His treats were freeze dried chicken livers, home made dog biscuits, and some organic stuff from time to time.  This dog has eaten top notch quality foods from day one.  Nothing from China ever!
441382 tn?1452810569
Have you been in touch with Bender's breeder?  At two years of age, I really think that there might be something congenital going on.  It makes me wonder if this breeder has ever experienced renal failure in any of the dogs that she uses for breeding, or if any of the puppies from any of her previous litters have been diagnosed with this?  I would try to get him into a good vet shool hospital that is a reasonable driving distance from you.  It could be something that can be surgically corrected, perhaps a congenital malformation of a tube or duct?  WELL worth looking into.  It's just mysterious that he was absolutely fine for two years and then BANG! out of nowhere, renal failure at such a young age.  There is something more here than meets the eye (structurally speaking), I would be willing to bet.

7781741 tn?1394137708
You don't have any house plants that might be toxic to Bender, do you? I was going to suggest getting some shark or bovine cartilage as a joint supplement for him, but after doing some reading on renal failure, it would be a bad idea to do so. One of the effects of cartilage based supplements is the prevention of new blood vessel development (Which is why some cancer patients use this). However, one of the causes of renal failure can be poor blood circulation to the kidneys... but, another is high blood pressure...

Have you considered taking him to a massage therapist? I know that sounds funny, but if poor circulation or even high blood pressure is involved, massage therapy is a very well proven benefactor when it comes to both of those. It's something you could probably learn at home if you can't afford it or can't find a CMT. If that's something you would be willing to try, you can inbox me and I'll give you the major "don'ts" of massage. It will take a lot of studying canine anatomy...

And I'm in agreement with Ghilly. See if you can get in touch with Bender's breeder. They should have more insight if it's a genetic disorder. Also, do a google search for that type of problem in your area. You might try switching to filtered water and see if that helps- if he's not already spoiled enough for one of those little water fountains, that is. :)
7781741 tn?1394137708
If cancer is a possibility, ignore the massage therapy idea. Massage therapy stimulates cell growth and repair, so active cancer cells are only aided by massage therapy. I would talk to your vet about it before going with that rout.
675347 tn?1365460645
I totally support your hard work and efforts to do whatever you can for him, and to help him medically. As long as he has quality of life, he is not ready to go yet!

Has your vet considered ACE inhibitors (Benazepril...usually called 'Benazecare' tablets)? These can sometimes be very helpful with early stages of renal failure, as they improve blood flow to the kidneys. You would need to speak to your vet about this possibility. It may or may not be appropriate, but worth asking.
462827 tn?1333168952
I'm still suspicious of Tick Disease....Specifically Ehrlichiosis.....This disease does everything you described.....

I could not find one article or statement online or in any of my books that relates Immune Mediated Poly Arthritis w/Kidney  Failure......None!

However, many Tick Diseases connect Signs of Arthritis along with Kidney Failure.....

If a Tick Borne Panel has not been run---I'd have that done....

Also agree with Ginger on the Benazepril (This makes a difference) & with Gilly on the breeder question.......Please, let us know how you both are.....I'm thinking about you.......Thanks, Karla
7746659 tn?1393919637
Hi I'm no expert on this neigher do I have any advice for you. I just want to say I'm sorry for the loss of ur husband. I complety understand you love for your
Baby and hope he gets beter. Sending good vibes your way...
Avatar universal
I just lost my beagle buddy to kidney failure on February 22.  It is a horrible disease and I kept her healthy for 13 months after diagnosis.

Have you tried the ground meat/rice/egg/bread/Tums diet?  I had fed Daisy that since August and she loved it.  

The problem with CRF (chronic renal failure/disease) is that it's a roller coaster ride.  You need to make sure that Bender has more good days than bad.  One day you will think you've taken leaps in the treatment only to be pushed right back the next day.  

My heart breaks for you.  Your vet should NEVER tell you when it's time.  I trust that you know your dog the best and you will not make him suffer.  Daisy spent 4 days in a hospital in January, had to give her sub-q fluids every day for 3 weeks until I knew it was her time.  Listen to him, they really do tell you when they've had enough.  

While it is not curable, CRF is manageable.  With special diets, and extra loving, you can expect a lot of time out of Bender.  I agree with the benzapril medicine - daisy was on Enalapril for a year.  It helped control her blood pressure.  Also, don't try to get Bender's levels down to 'normal'.. your vet should treat the pet not the numbers.  Get the creatinine tested and phosphorus.  Daisy's creatinine was about 2.6 for the last 13 months, spiking up to 4.0 - 6.6 (her highest) only a few times.  

I can tell you this, the end stages of CRF are the worst.  It's so tough watching our beloved pets go through it, but trust me, you will know when it's his time.  Just love him enough and promise you won't make him suffer.  If you need advice, please message me.  

7588673 tn?1392302734
I have contacted his breeder it was one of the first things I did, and she said none of the other dogs she produced has had any problems, I believe her in this statement.  

There are no house plants to be eaten, and we did have a full tick panel run on him, all of which came back negative.  I have also had tests run for cancer as well as an ultra sound of the kidneys which show nice fat kidneys, but there was a black ring about them.  Auto immune disorders like the poly arthritus cause cells in the body to attack normal cells and misplace protien which is the hypothesis on what has happened to bender.

I am still giving him the subq liquids at home, and have started him on the prednisone for the immune mediated poly arthritus.  Man has that made a difference, its almost like I have my old dog back.  He is happy and while not running dirt paths into the grass, is playful again.  Last check up his BUN was in the 70's, sorry I have forgotten the CRE level but it was down from where it was as well.   He is also eating again..I mean real eating not just with super tempting foods, he eats his dog food. I have yet to put him on a kidney diet, his vet wanted to wait and get some meat on him first he was super underweight, but its gaining pounds rapidly on his rapid recovery food.

I have also been giving him azodyl which is a supplement that helps break down toxins in the digestive system.  I do cold/hot therepy over the kidney area as well.  I am also giving him some herbal tincures to aid with removing toxins from his body (which he really hates).

Overall we have had a good 2 weeks which has been the longest period of good time since this all started and I am extremely grateful for it..   I am also grateful for the support and advice given here it really does help, thanks so much.
Avatar universal
Glad to hear he's feeling better :)  What are you feeding him?  If your vet is worried about him gaining weight, you could add a little pasta to his food... it's higher in calories and bland enough that it won't make his levels go up or down.  I highly recommend the kidney food or homemade diet.  
7781741 tn?1394137708
Just be sure it's gluten free, whatever you give him. Dogs can't digest wheat or corn... Or ham. (which, neither can we... On those last two for sure)
I wonder what the possibilities of a birth defect would be... Have you Looked into a surgery option?
What about a transplant? Millions of shelter dogs get put down in a month... Surely one of them could have a blood type match and be in good enough health to save your boy...

And I realize how terrible that sounded... But I think it makes more sense than shelter dogs dying without being remembered for something. Is that something your vet could do?
that's what they do for humans, after all.
7781741 tn?1394137708
Hot cold compresses are considered part of lymphatic drainage. You should do a quick Google search on that. It could help him tremendously!
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