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Old 01-25-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
merlib
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Kidney Failure in Dogs

We have a mix-breed dog (oreo) that was diagnosed with kidney failure about 2 1/2 months ago. At first the only thing we noticed was she sometimes would not get outside before she had to pee. Then, while we were at WDW at the kennel she started not wanting to eat. Now, the symptoms have progressed to the point that we she often doesn't make it outside in time, and we are actually diapering her at night and during the day when we are at work. That we can deal with. The real hard part is that now she is hardly eating anything.

My husband has bought all sorts of special food and she will eat it once or twice and then refuse it. Then on the vets recommendation, we tried cooking up chicken and adding rice. That worked for about a week. Then we tried beef, etc, etc. It seems like she'll eat something new maybe once or twice and then refuses it too. He has even given her raw hamburger (did a lot or research on the 'net and found that some have had success with this).

He is so frustrated and doesn't know what to do next. Does anyone have any ideas for us? If you have had a dog go thru this, is there any advice as to how much longer she might have? We know the day is going to come where we need to let her go, but when she does eat she is very spunky and looks like she has lots of life left!

All advice accepted
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlib View Post
We have a mix-breed dog (oreo) that was diagnosed with kidney failure about 2 1/2 months ago. At first the only thing we noticed was she sometimes would not get outside before she had to pee. Then, while we were at WDW at the kennel she started not wanting to eat. Now, the symptoms have progressed to the point that we she often doesn't make it outside in time, and we are actually diapering her at night and during the day when we are at work. That we can deal with. The real hard part is that now she is hardly eating anything.

My husband has bought all sorts of special food and she will eat it once or twice and then refuse it. Then on the vets recommendation, we tried cooking up chicken and adding rice. That worked for about a week. Then we tried beef, etc, etc. It seems like she'll eat something new maybe once or twice and then refuses it too. He has even given her raw hamburger (did a lot or research on the 'net and found that some have had success with this).

He is so frustrated and doesn't know what to do next. Does anyone have any ideas for us? If you have had a dog go thru this, is there any advice as to how much longer she might have? We know the day is going to come where we need to let her go, but when she does eat she is very spunky and looks like she has lots of life left!

All advice accepted
First of all, let me say how sorry I am for you and your beloved pet.

Our black lab developed kidney failure from tainted dog food several years ago. When he was first diagnosed, our vet simply told us this - you will know when the time is right to let go.

We went through the special food, home-cooked food, did everything the vet told us to do or try. He went from a very active, healthy-sized dog to one we didn't recognize in less than a year. He was still eating and drinking, but not with gusto and enthusiasm like he had been before, and the vet said he would only continue to lose weight and eat less and less.

In the end, the vet was right, we knew when to let him go and we did not want to see him suffer any more than he already had. From diagnosis to having him put to sleep - 9 very short months.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:22 PM   #3
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I have had two elderly dogs develop kidney failure. It can either be "acute" where it comes on suddenly and advances rapidly or chronic and can last a long time.

My first dog had it for several months and it advanced quickly. She was 14 years old and got very sick at the end.

My other dog was about 13 and had the same thing but it went on for about 2 years.

In a more chronic form you can do subcutaneous IV fluids. My vet showed me how to do it. I did it 2-3 times a week and it made such a HUGE difference in my dog's comfort. Appetite came back and you could see a renewed well-being. Has your vet discussed this with you? It does involve purchasing IV fluid bags (Ringer's solution) from the vet as well as IV needles. These go right under the skin and not in a vein. It is not difficult at all.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearcatsFan View Post
First of all, let me say how sorry I am for you and your beloved pet.

Our black lab developed kidney failure from tainted dog food several years ago. When he was first diagnosed, our vet simply told us this - you will know when the time is right to let go.

We went through the special food, home-cooked food, did everything the vet told us to do or try. He went from a very active, healthy-sized dog to one we didn't recognize in less than a year. He was still eating and drinking, but not with gusto and enthusiasm like he had been before, and the vet said he would only continue to lose weight and eat less and less.

In the end, the vet was right, we knew when to let him go and we did not want to see him suffer any more than he already had. From diagnosis to having him put to sleep - 9 very short months.
Op, I am sorry you are dealing with this. I have no advice but I do have a comment on he tainted dog food.

There was just a recall of a bunch of dog treats for this very reason. I believe they are Del Monte and Nestle Purina sold under several different names including Milo's Kitchen, Wagging Train and Canyon Ranch Creek.

Its terrible that so many dogs have been hurt by tainted food.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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I actually have just gone through this...My pug Miracle was diagnosed with Stage 3 Renal Failure in April 2012. What prompted her diagnoses was 3 days of not eating anything, tons of drinking, and lots of leaking of the bladder. After 3 days in the vet hospital, we brought her home with steroids to stimulate her to eat, antacid to help her stomach(this is why she was not eating, kidney failure causes acid buildup) and SubQ fluids.

We would give her SubQ fluids daily at first, then a few times a week. This helped her SOOOOO much. She bounced back and did so well. The Rx diet went out the door pretty much right away, as she hated it. We basically fed her whatever she would eat. When she would refuse food, we would give her the Zantac and Prednisone for a few days, and she would be OK. She did great until the end of Sept...then nothing I could do would get her to eat. She refused EVERYTHING. At one point, I was force feeding her baby food, just to get something in her stomach to see if it would stimulate her hunger. Sadly it did not, and we sent Miracle over the bridge Oct 2, 2012. We knew she was done at this point.

So my advice to you....SubQ fluids...did your vet even mention this? Its super easy, and helps the dog get the needed hydration they lose due to bad kidneys. Also, Zantac...helps with the stomach acid, which makes them not want to eat. Also FRESH water...not tap...is you have water filter, use it...the kidneys have issues with the chemicals in the tap water.

If you want to talk, feel free to PM me...
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:39 PM   #6
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Subq fluids are a big key. They help flush the system. We gave 200ml subq fluids twice a day to my beagle for 8 weeks. It helped her perk up for a while.
There is a yahoo group that I found very helpful about other ideas of what to try. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/K9KIDNEYS/

Also PHosphorous binders such as Aluminum hydroxide is very important. I found much information and help on the site linked above. Good Luck
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:06 PM   #7
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We went through this with our dog, a 13 year old MinPin. We did the subq fluid, pepcid and switched her to a raw diet (we are being raw diet fans). She became fearful of us with the subq and we ditched it pretty quick.

She did take the pepcid well and the raw food was huge for her, she would actually eat it and held it down. She did live about 4 more months, but we knew the right time to make the decision.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:07 PM   #8
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I just want to say I am sorry you are all going through this. Pets are part of our families and we hate to see them hurt, sick or worse. (((hugs)))
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:09 AM   #9
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thanks

First of all, thanks to everyone for their thoughtful suggestions. We have already been doing the steroids and another pill to help her with her appetite. She is about 15 years old, so we knew her time with us would be over soon, but it is hard when you've never had a pet with type of disease before.

Last night she seemed to eat well, and did so again this morning so for the moment we are ok. I am sharing all of your comments with my DH and will pick up some pepcid to see if adding that to the mix will help.

We travel up to Boston today to spend time with our DD and will be discussing as a family, when will be the right time to let her go. Oreo is "my dog" as she snuggles with me all the time -- it will be hard to say goodbye, but we will do so when she reaches a point that she is suffering.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:36 AM   #10
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I am so sorry you are going through all of this with your dog. We lost our sweet Randy 2 years ago with kidney cancer. We know how devastating all of the little things surrounding this disease can be.

At the end - our sweetie couldn't stop his desire to go outside. He must have had some type of pains that made him feel he had to urinate - because he constantly asked to go out. It was heartbreaking watching him. It was annoying dealing with a dog who wanted to go out all of the time, but each time we got up to let him out or to take him out -- we just kept reminding ourselves what HE must have been going through.

We finally had to end his suffering because he just couldn't stop "going out to the bathroom" at all. When it gets this far, just remember the wonderful life she had & the love she has shown to you. Let that love remain forever. I thanked our Randy for giving us such a great life. Memories are fantastic from the sweetest little buddy we ever had!
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:25 PM   #11
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We lost our beloved cocker spaniel, Max, to kidney failure. His was from Deramaxx. He had blood work done in June and all was fine. He had started to become a bit more finicky with eating but at 16 we thought it was age related. He ate but not the full amount and he days he didn't want "handouts" from us. But being a senior dog we didn't think much about it. Again June's blood work was good. In august, he seemed to be in more pain from arthritis and took him to the vets. By this point he also was totally skipping meals but again thought it to be age related. The vet took more blood (August) and we were told he was in kidney failure. He stayed at the vets with meds and an IV and after 4 days was back to his old self and eating....special canned food. We were told to keep to the canned food with no handouts and especially no chicken it was high in protein. He came home Thursday as a whole new dog. By friday his appetite was already going back down. Sunday refusing all food. The vet said to try chicken and it was refused. He also started peeing anywhere. Sunday we took him to the ER vet and more blood was taken. She said it was bad...what did we want to do. Max still had some spunk which gave us hope. The vet said to think about it as he could always be put down but one the needle was given it was too late. Monday came and max vomited the water he drank and he kept drinking as he was thirsty. We took up the water and back to the vets that night. He said it was our choice but he thought he could pull him through. We were prepared to put him down but the vet gave us hope. Tuesday was a good day at the vets with sub Q fluids. We got the call Wednesday it was time to put him down. He was hardly moving and so sad looking. It was by far the hardest thing to do but we said our goodbyes. In hindsight, I would have put him down that Monday. It's been 1.5 years and we are still heartbroken.

((((HUGS)))) it is a very difficult road

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Old 01-26-2013, 08:22 PM   #12
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Monday came and max vomited the water he drank and he kept drinking as he was thirsty.
That happened to our dog, she was okay, for being so ill, but I went to take her outside and as we walked outside, she got sick, it was just solid water, like everything she had drank for the whole day. Her body was just shutting down, I broke down so hard then, it was so sad.
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