Kidney Failure in dogs
What is renal failure in dogs:
Kidney disease, also referred to as renal failure, is most common in older dogs but can be caused even in younger dogs for a number of reasons.
Kidneys are the critical organs that eliminate toxins and regulate Ph balance, blood pressure, blood volume, sugar, and water composition in the blood. They are also instrumental in producing certain hormones and red blood cells. Most importantly they process waste. Improperly functioning kidneys can lead to a host of diseases when unfiltered waste is not processed and removed by the kidneys.
Common symptoms of kidney failure in dogs are:
- Excessive thirst and urination
- Uncharacteristic accidental urination in inappropriate places in otherwise well trained dogs
- Interrupted stream while urinating
- Bad breath with a strong ammonia odor
- Hunched posture in advanced cases
- Loss of muscle mass
- Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or other gastrointestinal issues
- Obvious discomfort and pain.
- High phosphorous levels, anemia and high blood pressure (revealed by tests)
What Causes Kidney Problems in dogs:
Dogs prone to kidney disease may be predisposed by congenital or inherited disease, old age, improper diet or trauma from consumption of toxins and medications, urinary tract infections, Lyme disease, auto-immune disease, leptospirosis and cancer.
Your veterinarian will most likely run a battery of tests to determine the exact condition of your dog’s kidneys. These can include common blood tests like complete blood count or CBC, and a serum profile. Diseased kidneys will have high levels of blood urea nitrogen, phosphorous, creatinine and potassium and electrolytes due to the kidney’s worsening ability to filter wastes in the blood and pass them in urine.
Conventional treatments: Fluid therapy may be used to treat dehydration, and potassium may be used to even electrolyte levels in the system, and a diet low in protein. Canned dog food may be recommended by your Vet to increase liquid consumption to prevent dehydration, however processed food can put an even harder strain on the kidneys.
Natural Remedies & Treatment Options:
Fortunately there are alternative, more natural treatments that are more affordable than traditional veterinary medicines and treatments, and often much more effective. Herbal formulas and preparations can be specially formulated for your dog’s specific needs. They also don’t require costly trips to the vet clinic and expensive prescriptions.
Commonly recommended Herbs for Kidney Failure:
Parsley: Aids with digestion, fluid retention and helps with kidney stones. This herb is highly recommended for Kidney Problems and is found in Tripsy by NHV Naturals.
Marshmallow: An anti-inflammatory that controls bacterial infections and soothes and softens irritated tissues also found in Tripsy by NHV Naturals .
Milk Thistle: A powerful antioxidant that promotes cellular repair and regeneration and removes toxins from the body.
Turmeric: An ayurvedic herb that aids in circulation which is dramatically effected with kidney failure.
With diet, the goal is to avoid having the kidney's deteriorate any further. This is done by a diet that reduces the load on the kidneys. Often a low protein diet is mentioned to reduce the strain but what is more important is high quality protein that the body can use and without much waste to break down. The diet below is taken from Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats and has been successfully used by countless dog owners.
1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) regular-fat hamburger
2 tbl cold-pressed safflower, soy or corn oil
600 mg.'s calcium
1/8 tsp iodized salt
2 tbls parsley, finely grated carrot or other veggie
1/2 -1 clove garlic minced
Dog Vitamins: (as recommended on label for a medium sized dog) 20 mg.-level B complex, 5,000 IU vitamins A, 1, 000 mg. Vitamin C (or 1/4 tsp sodium ascorbate)
Mix all ingredients and serve raw if dog will accept it. Otherwise, mix all but the vitamins and bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes and cool, then mix in vitamins. Be sure to provide plenty of filtered water at all times.
Yield: Generally feed as much as your dog will eat but as a guideline this recipe should feed a 10 lb toy for 3 days or a 40 lb dog for a day. By tripling it you can feed a 60 lb dog for 3 days.
Note: If your dog isn't eating well, force-feed vitamins separately using these daily levels: toys/ small dogs 10 mg Vitamin B complex & 250 mg Vitamin C; medium sized dog per the recipe/ large and giant dogs 50 mg Vitamin B complex and 2000 mg Vitamin C.