Dogs Community
10.3k Members
1943833 tn?1349280189

TJ's update

He is 15 weeks old today. :(

Here are the levels Friday vs last night (after 24 hours IV, antibiotics, & subQ treatments Saturday & Sunday)

BUN >130 now 76
Creat > 6.1 now 3.2
Phosphorus > 16.1 now 9.2
Calcium 9.7 now 12.5
Glucose 104 now 500 (i don't understand this one)

Specific gravity was 1.010, now 1.015
Urine also shows +1 for blood & proteins, high WBC low HGB

Vet is not optimistic. He cautioned me against being happy about the appearance of these numbers going down. And said he'd give him only a few days before getting very sick again. Said it was just a matter of when we were ready to let him go. I said as long as he's not showing signs of discomfort, and he's still up for a 10 minute football game with the kids, running & playing like a non sick puppy, I won't be ready. Vet said then don't worry about the numbers, just enjoy him while you have him. :(  I'm picking up the phos blockers tonite, and going to learn how to do the subQ tomorrow. I'm happy his numbers are down, and hopeful I can keep them down. I may have not gotten my miracle, but I'm not done praying for one.
19 Responses
1832268 tn?1326819610
Thanks for the update on TJ.
You may not have gotten your Miracle yet, but TJ certainly has gotten his, and it is you..!  He sure has been blessed to find someone like you.

Please check out the following website....
They have an awesome section on kidney disease that I am sure you will find helpful.

Thanks for being here for TJ.....
I'm hoping you get that miracle....
My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

1832268 tn?1326819610
To Ask a Vet,
Look to the right side of the screen...You will see the Box called Related Forums...Click on Experts...Now click on Animal health-General.
You will be sent to another page.
When you get there, Look on the right side of the screen again, You will see the Aqua Box that says MedHelp Health Answers.
Copy, or type in your question, and then submit.
Hopefully the vet will answer your question within a few days.
1943833 tn?1349280189
Thanks Connie. I did what you said, and it posted it here on this forum :( I can't figure out how to delete it, and now I feel like I'm flooding the forum with my story/questions lol Ugh. Sorry!

I will definitely check out that link. Thank you! I am blessed to have TJ in my life..he is such a sweet, gentle loving baby.
1832268 tn?1326819610
Yes, I see. I'm not sure why you are not able to post the question with Ask a Vet. Maybe one of the community leaders will read this post, and be able to help get the question posted.
I don't know If I gave you the wrong directions, if you missed something, or if posters are just not able to submit a question to the vet at this time...?
Don't worry about "flooding the forum" with your questions. We are all dog lovers here, and we certainly understand the urgency of TJ's situation.
If you have time to look at the dogaware website before you leave for the vet, please do so.
When you Ask the vet about the possibility Diabetes, be sure to also ask about Cushings disease, Thyroid Disease, or Addisons Disease. Boxers are more prone to these types of diseases. (I have 2 Boxers of my own)
Have him explain the increase in calcium..( I assume he put TJ on aluminum based Phosphorus binders because of this)
Also Question the blood and protein in his urine.
I can't help but wonder if TJ has some type of adrenal issues.
If you can find out what might be causing the kidney failure, and correct it, then you would be able to slow the progression of the disease.
Of course it is always possible that TJ's kidneys are not formed right, and that is why they are not functioning well.
Keep me up dated....good luck at the vets, and ASK ASK ASK....!
Be sure to get copies of all TJ's lab work everytime it is done.
Give TJ a hug from me...!  One for you too..!
1943833 tn?1349280189
Connie, thanks for the hugs! we appreciate them, for sure!

I do have copies of the blood work, and plan on asking about all of those things. I'm afraid I'm grasping at straws, because none of those things match up perfectly to his blood levels, but it's always possible. I'm also digesting the info on that dogaware site, thank you!  

I will say he is the most energetic, playful & rambunctious last night & this morning. More so then ever...which is so crazy to me. After everything he's been through in the last week, he is now being the crazy puppy we thought he should be..lol  And he is SOOOOO hungry, poor guy! I gotta ask the vet about upping his food intake too.

Thank you for the support..it's wonderful!
1943833 tn?1349280189
I had a lengthy conversation with the vet this morning. His feelings are that it's definitely not Addison's (based on some of the lab work I misinterpreted.) He is also fairly confident it isn't diabetes. He says urine glucose is much different then blood glucose, and that glucose in urine is a kidney disease symptom as well as diabetes, but if I'd like to, we can rule diabetes out with a simple test next week. I think we will, just for my peace of mind. The calcium he couldn't explain but didn't feel it was super serious, since it's just barely high. He said it could be just one of those things that "normal" to TJ is on the higher end of the range. I have heard calcium dumps into blood because of kidney failure too, but either way it's not high enough to be concerned with I guess. Yes, he put TJ on the aluminum based binder...which by the way, TJ has quickly learned means he gets to eat soon..lol We give him his pill, and he'll go lay down & just STARE at his bowl LOL
I was encouraged by this particular vet's cautiously optimistic response to TJ's numbers coming down so much Friday to Monday. Made me feel a little less like I was fighting to not euthanize a puppy while everyone was behind me planning the funeral, ya know? :( And he is willing to listen to every theory I have, every question I have and answer them 3x if he needs to, so I understand. And, he's encouraging my research instead of being upset about it.
He also referred me to a nutritional specialist who I'm now in email contact with, and will provide a nutritional plan with supplements, homemade foods if I choose, etc, once I can afford the fee (probably next week). He said in the meantime to get TJ off the Science Hill K/D, and put him on the Purina version instead because he is a puppy & the K/D has an imbalanced calcium to phosphorus ratio and has been shown to cause bone problems in puppies.
TJ held his pee all night, which was soooo nice. Now if I can just get him to go outside when he needs to go :/ Energy wise, he is off the charts. He ran/played/pounced for hours last night...never woulda guessed he is a sick puppy. It makes my heart so happy to see him enjoying life right now.
1832268 tn?1326819610
It sounds like you have found a wonderful Vet. It is so nice to know that he is working with you, and understands how very much TJ means to you.
Yes....definitely get TJ checked for diabetes. You will feel so much better, if you know that you have ruled it out.
I am so happy that TJ is acting like a crazy boxer....!
Did you learn how to do the Sub-Q"s...?  Keeping him hydrated is very important. The more dehydrated he starts to become, the sicker and more tired he will feel.  Speaking of keeping him hydrated, when it comes to his water bowl, it is usually recommended that dogs with renal insufficiency be given distilled water to drink. Distilled water is easiest on the kidneys, as there is nothing in the water that the kidneys need to filter.
Keep up with the research...you won't be sorry that you did. The more knowledge you have, the better questions you will be able to ask. Dig through the dogaware website, there are so many things on there about Kidney disease....Treatments, diet, supplements..etc.  There is also another website called K9 kidney...you will have to google that one....I never joined, so I'm not really sure what kind of information they have.

I have been having trouble with my Hughes Net internet service for the past couple of days.  I usually try to log on at least once a day, so if you don't hear from me, it is because I am having internet issues...!
Please keep me updated, I will certainly answer when I can.

Keep up the good work...!  TJ is in good hands.


1943833 tn?1349280189
I've already signed up for the k9 Kidney group..pending approval. I didn't know that about the water, thanks!
I've made it my mission to come up with a diet plan this weekend when I have more time to devote to figure out all the numbers. I really want to be able to avoid spending the $180 on getting it figured out for me, if I can do it myself. I'm pretty up on nutrition anyway, so I just gotta figure out the canine spin. We'll see how it goes.
He was pretty tired & quiet this morning, which was worrisome. I gave him sub-q for the first time, and I kinda panicked & stopped it halfway through. It wasn't spreading out, just balling up under the skin, and although I only watched it done once, I just wasn't confident I wasn't going to explode him. Saying that now makes me laugh, but my hands were shaking, and he was looking at me like umm mom, really? LOL So I just stopped. I may have to go in to the vet & have them observe me do it so I'm more confident. :(
1832268 tn?1326819610
Pending Approval....?  Well, that's interesting!
I wonder why a person needs approval to join....?  Be sure to let me know what it is all about.
Now, as far as the Sub-Q's go....Yes, you should definitely have the Vet, or a Vet Tech, observe you doing it. The sooner the better. If you can get to the Vet tomorrow...great...!  If not, you can look at a few videos on YouTube.
I know YouTube has several, but it is not quite the same as having the vet there, and observing that you are doing it correctly.
It really isn't difficult, and I am sure you will become a "Pro" in no time. ;)
I am working this weekend. I am doing a 24 hour shift, so most likely, I will not be able to get back to you until Sunday night or Monday morning.
I hope all goes well for you and TJ.
I will be thinking of you both.
1943833 tn?1349280189
Yea, I guess you have to have a paid email to be approved as well. I don't, so I'm not sure I'll even get to see what's in the group, since it's private. A little frustrating, because I"m not sure why the privacy surrounding a canine health issue? Sigh.
Sub-q fluids went well yesterday. I was doing it right, so that's comforting. He is such a good boy, sitting very still for the most part. Still makes me anxious, doing it, but I"m sure I'll get used to it.
His activity level is still good. Very high Saturday, a bit lower yesterday, but we were all lounging all day so maybe he was just chillaxin' because we were. He isn't drinking as much on his own since yesterday, which has me a bit worried. But no other signs of a decline. Still eating like he is starving (we have him on the SD K/D. wet & dry mixed right now), pooping normal, peeing constantly.
We are working on training him to ring a bell when he needs to go out. He's got the "ring bell, get a treat" down...had that concept down in an hour LOL but hasn't consistently rang when he needs to pee. The accidents in the house are verrrry frustrating, but we'll get there. He's learned "speak", and we're also working on sitting & waiting to be allowed to eat. He tends to bum rush the bowl as soon as it hits the floor, and I really want him to learn to wait calmly til I say he can eat. It's hard because he is so eager to eat.  
Part of me says teaching him these things is silly, but the other part of me says I'm not going to just sit & wait for him to die, yk? Emotionally, I need to focus on my smart, funny puppy..not my sick & getting sicker puppy.
1832268 tn?1326819610
Hi TJ's Mom....
I am glad to read that your weekend went well, as did your SubQ's...!
It must be rewarding for you to see TJ acting like a puppy.
I don't think you are being silly by trying to teach him things. I am sure he loves the challenge, and thrives on the attention...! ( Boxers are such people dogs ! )  If all you do is think about his sickness, it will really get you down, and you will make poor decisions regarding his well being. I think you really need to find a balance, which it sounds like you are doing.

I taught my dogs to ring bells to get out. I had too, because boxers are reluctant to bark.  The typically only bark if they think they are alerting you to possible dangers...for instance, things in your yard that "don't belong there"...like strangers, wildlife, or in my case...."In-Laws !"
Boxers are perfect family dogs...they love their family, they love kids, and they are very protective of family and home.  Be sure, that everytime he rings the bells, you say out, and you put him out. Even if it is just for a few seconds...then when he comes back in, you can give him his treat. Kidney friendly treats of course.
Now as far as the K9 kidney group....I can certainly see your frustration.
Why are they making it so difficult for people to join....?  Why do you need a Paid email...?????  It doesn't make much sense...afterall, wouldn't you think they would want to help as many people and dogs as possible...regardless of paid or free emails...????  Hmmm, I don't understand that either.
About a month ago, I started a Kidney Support Group on this Forum, but...then decided to not do it, and dissolved the group. ( fortunately before anyone else joined..! )  The need is certainly here, because there are so many dogs and owners that are going through this. But, because there are so many...I just would not be able to dedicate the time to answer and support everyone....and it can become very emotionally draining.  I see you have been responding to other members questions.....Thank-you
It is so nice to see that everyone gets some kind of reply. Even if you don't have any advice, it's nice to offer support.
Thanks for the update...!  I will check back in with you, when I am able...Off to work I go...!

Hugs to you both...
1943833 tn?1349280189
Connie, do you have any idea what treats *are* kidney friendly? The ones I'm using right now are "all natural", just beef liver, whole wheat flour, egg yolk, parsley & baking powder. I'd love to make my own, but haven't found a recipe. I was thinking maybe small apple chunks? I meant to try that tonite..must remember in the morning. Also, I think I'll throw some water into his food to get him some fluids. He's really not drinking much.
He had only one accident today. I got reports all day from the kids while I was at work that he was ringing the bell to go out. I made sure everyone knows to reward him, and make him go outside, even if it's just for a second or two. I'm also rewarding every single pee outside. I'm hoping this will encourage less peeing inside..lol
I'm a little curious why the vet didn't schedule or even ask for a recheck soon. They mentioned I could bring him in for a BP check, and that diabetes test, but I've talked to them 2x since, and no mention. Maybe they are waiting for me, I don't know. I have to go pick up more food tomorrow so I'll ask. Speaking of food, I'm overwhelmed with the diet thing. I really want to get him on home cooking, but am having very little progress in figuring out *what* to feed him, how much, if I should add calcium or not (because he's a little high already), what supplements, etc. I don't want to make him sicker. It's so confusing. And frustrating that there is very little info on puppy kidney diets. Do people not even try? Sigh.

Thank you for continuing to check on us. It's very appreciated. :)
1943833 tn?1349280189
It hit me last night while giving him his sub-q. He's such a good boy, so happy right now, so very sweet & obedient & smart. And sits so nicely while I'm doing it. And I can't save him.  I just went to my room & bawled. Didn't want him to see me cry. This really *****.
1832268 tn?1326819610
Good Morning TJ's Mom....
I did a google search on ....Canine Kidney Friendly Treats.
I did'nt spend much time checking out the web results, but I did find a few that offer free recipes.  Have you checked out diet options on the Dogaware site, and have you been accepted into the K9 kidney group yet....?
I will check some of my old posts, to find out what others have given their dogs for treats.  TwoBits Loved Sweet Potatoes....just peel them chop them into squares then bake or steam them.  
I do have a Dr. Pitcairn's book, which has a recipe for dogs with kidney disease....I will post that recipe later, if it is something you would like.

Caring for a dog in kidney failure can become quite overwhelming....as you already know...it is emotionally draining, and we feel very stressed. We want to do as much as we can for them, and we feel as though, we don't have enough time to learn everything, and do everything we would like to for them.  When it come to the dogs diet, I think most people will opt to give whatever is commercially available, because they know it is approved for dogs in kidney failure,so it alleviates some of the owners stress.

I'm so sorry that you had a bad night....I feel so terrible that you and TJ have to go through this. My heart truly aches for both of you.
I will say, TJ could not be in better hands.....nobody could love him more than you. Some advice I would like to offer.....If TJ is having a good day, don't waste too much of that "Good Day" on the computer. Share most of the "Good Day" with him.  You can always spend your time on the computer when he is sleeping.  
You are doing a wonderful job with TJ.....don't doubt yourself.

Thinking of you both, Connie
1943833 tn?1349280189
Yes, I finally got approved for the K9 kidney group. I'm not sure if it was the literal begging, or if they just don't enforce the "must have a paid email to join" rule. Either way, I just finished uploading his blood work results, etc, and have yet to dive into the huge amount of info they have there.
I have looked at the dogaware sample diet. My only concern is that it isn't "puppy" oriented enough. Maybe I'm just too hung up on small, unimportant details, I don't know.
I gave him teeny pieces of fresh apple last night for his training treats. He loved it. He's doing really good with stay.
I do most of my internet stuff at work, and yes, I won't waste a good day with him on the computer..no way! But he does snuggle on my lap to sleep sometimes and I do a little reading then. :)
Thank you for your encouragement!
1832268 tn?1326819610
Hi Jenn...
How have things been going the past few days...?
Have you had any luck with finding recipes?  I have tried searching some of my old posts, but, I have so many, that I haven't had any luck finding what I was looking for.
There is a recipe for homemade treats for dogs with special needs, on the dogaware site.
It is in the general diet section on the site ...not in the kidney section.

I hope you and TJ  have a good weekend...!  
Thinking of you both...
1943833 tn?1349280189
Hi Connie,

The weekend was pretty good. He's doing really well, all things considered.
His diet hasn't changed at all. I'm still scared to make the changes I guess. I really want to, but am terrified of screwing it up. Giving him sub-q still puts me into a mini anxiety attack. For treats, I'm just giving him teeny pieces of chicken or apples (but only a few times a day)

For 2 days, he's been eating as much grass as he can sneak, and this morning, his poop was black. I've read this can be a sign of ulcers, so I have a call in to the vet. I'm guessing we'll be going back for a recheck of blood work soon as well.

Un-kidney function related, he is doing pretty well with training. We still have a few accidents a day, (ugh), but he's got "stay", "down" & we're working on "settle" now. He plays so rough..lol
1832268 tn?1326819610
Hi Jenn,
It's been a few days since your post, and I've just been wondering how things are going. The sub-q's will get easier. Does anyone in your family help you when you do a sub-q...or does TJ just sit still for you...?  
Did you get TJ to the vet this week...?  You, are right, the black stools could be a sign of ulcers. Blood in the stool will turn it black.

I'm glad to read that your training is going well. Now, as far as the accidents go, well...because of his kidneys, you should expect to have a few accidents. Poor fella, I'm sure he tries to get outside, but he may not have much of a warning that he needs to go. I sure hope you have a lot of linoleum in your house..! :0)
Good luck with the "settle" command.. LOL...!  Boxers are such clowns...!  They are happy and wiggly...and just want to go go go....!

I hope you and TJ are doing well.
Please give me an update when you have a chance.

1943833 tn?1349280189
Hi Connie :)
Sorry I've not been back to update recently!
T.J. is doing well. He's 19 weeks, 40 lbs, and very happy.
We've got him on an omega 3 supplement, as well as a b complex. I just started  his home cooked diet yesterday...took forever to tweak it til I felt comfortable with it! I still have more work to do on variations, but at least have one recipe I'm comfortable with.
I can give him his sub-q's, with help or without. He sits very well for it. The black stool has only been intermittent, so vet said to just keep an eye on it.

Everything else has been going very well. We'll go back in a week or 2 for updated bloodwork to see if the numbers reflect how well I think he's doing.
Have an Answer?
Top Dogs Answerers
675347 tn?1365464245
United Kingdom
974371 tn?1424656729
Central Valley, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Members of our Pet Communities share their Halloween pet photos.
Like to travel but hate to leave your pooch at home? Dr. Carol Osborne talks tips on how (and where!) to take a trip with your pampered pet
Ooh and aah your way through these too-cute photos of MedHelp members' best friends
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child