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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there. I've never posted here before but I need help. I hope I'm not a bit too with background information but I'm not sure what might be helpful to know so I'll probably type too much. I also have anxiety which is worse than usual so anyway I apologize if this gets too rambling.

Lucy is 13 years old, almost 14. She's fairly small. A mix of chihuahua, pomeranian, and rat terrier is what I was told. I've had her on Iam's soon after we got her. She belonged to my father and we took her in after he passed so she's been on Iam's for roughly 7 years. I think dad fed her kibbles & bits or something. I just remember it was something I had heard wasn't very good so I tried switching it to something I figured at the time was better. Generally she absolutely loves food. She usually always wants to eat (Dad overindulged her on people food unfortunately) but I've measured out food for her and give her only treats for going outside and then just a little. She'll try as hard as she can to sneak things if she can though. I have to be extremely careful with keeping people and cat food out of her reach.

I tried switching her Iam's once a couple years ago to a higher quality food and even though I switched it slowly she got diarrhea and so I switched it back. I wasn't sure if she might be allergic to something that could have caused it or not. The vet recommended at the time a canned bland science diet food for when she had episodes but that seemed to make things even worse so I stopped that and got paranoid about trying to switch anymore after that.

So the problem present day is that she started having seizures. The vet did blood work and her values on her kidney and liver are really bad. She said either of those could be causing the seizures. She said that the kidneys are probably at 10% function. She wants Lucy on a diet that's low protein and low sodium. She said that the treats I give her are still okay since they're under 15%. The treats are peanut buddy biscuits from walmart. They only have four ingredients and don't seem to cause issues. I break them into small pieces and give her only a little piece after she does a #2 outside.

They gave me some free samples of a science diet kibble that's for kidney issues. The first few days went fine. I was very slowly increasing the amounts. I took extra time since she's had issues with switching foods before. She didn't seem to have any reaction to it thankfully. But now suddenly Lucy doesn't want to eat it. This is the dog that would eat anything. She is also getting two medications. Phenobarbital for the seizures and also an antibiotic because her white blood cell count is also high. At first I could just put everything in her bowl together and she'd just eat no problems. I don't know if she's feeling sick from the antibiotic or if there's something she doesn't like about the food. I'm getting a bit low on the sample bags now and I'll have to do something about it soon. The vet's office is closed today so I can't ask for advice until tomorrow but I figured I should just try to get some advice today. I managed to get her to take her pills by taking a piece of the dog treat and ground it up a bit and sprinkled it over her pills.

What I need to try to find out is if anyone could give advice on if I should try to switch from the science diet to another food and if so what would some good options be? Again it needs to be low sodium and low protein. I also need advice about what to do with getting her to take her pills if I have further trouble with this. I've always been terrible at pilling animals so that doesn't help.

I don't know if there's any coming back from this and that I have to accept that she's probably not going to be around too much longer. The vet said that her condition was guarded but can she really live with only 10% function? I kinda wonder if the vet was trying to both prepare me for things to come but at the same time didn't really want to hit me hard with it either. I need to talk to the vet tomorrow and possibly bring her in again because she's been kinda swaying while walking. The vet also mentioned that she has anemia as well to top things off so I'm not sure if that could also be a factor or if she's getting maybe dizzy from the phenobarbital.

I apologize very much for the length of this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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With a sick elderly dog, you need real information from your Vet, not guesses from us. I would guess your Vet will have some solid recommendations for diet and specific food requirements for her, possibly prescription food. Wish you the best with your sick baby.
 

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I agree that only a vet can give you the solid answers you need but I understand where youre coming from.


Many of us will have had to face the time when we know that goodbye is not too far ahead and we will do anything and search heaven and earth to find a way to keep that moment at bay.


There are a multitude of things you can do to extend life but there will come a time when you have to ask yourself 'who am I doing this for'? The dog because he or she will recover or gain a quality of life they used to enjoy or are we simply doing it to save ourselves the heartbreak ?




I hope you and Lucy work it out..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree. t's something that I keep thinking about. When would be the right time? I honestly though just don't know what point we're really at. Like she still gets excited about things but she can't communicate to me her wishes like another human can.

I'm still really heartbroken over my cat that died a couple years ago. We thought he had asthma and we kept treating him for it but it turns out there was a tumor in his throat. The vet was giving him the occasional corticosteroid shot (I think that's what it was anyway) as treatment. He had a sudden horrible episode of not being able to breath and when I took him to the vet a different one than usual thought about the possibility of a tumor. I don't blame the other vet though. He'd seen a couple other vets that thought it was asthma, too. Stil I don't know if I was being naive or just telling myself that we just needed the right treatment or what. He kept seeming to get better though after each shot. The vet suggested that maybe the shot had been shrinking the tumor a bit it was still growing and got to the point where it just couldn't help anymore. He was the first animal I ever had to be the one to make the decision on. Anyway, I'm sorry. I know this is a dog forum and the food section at that. It's just the point of where do we call it at is something that haunts me. How does one judge it? I know it's with the help of a vet at the end but it's up to us to bring the animal in when we think it's probably time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well the vet says that Lucy's anemia is getting better. The swaying while walking and the sleeping is because of the phenobarbital which got lowered to one pill a day to see if that works instead. The antibiotic is probably also giving her nausea.

I kinda got mixed signals on what to do regarding food. On one hand the vet was wondering about at this point to just let her eat what she wants if it comes down to it but also stressed how important it is to try to get her to eat food for kidney health.

I was able to mix in some of the wet version of science diet with the kibble and Lucy did eat. But then she's been throwing up a bit this morning. It's frustrating. The vet said I could use an over the counter medicine to help with her nausea but I haven't been able to find the right dosage yet. I'll have to try to find it online if I can't find it locally. She also said I could try the kidney diets for I think it was Eukanuba and Royal Canine. Feeling uncertain of whether to try to keep with the science diet for now with adding the wet food or if I want to go for one of these other kibbles that Lucy might like more, but would I possibly cause her even more stomach upset?

I'm just hoping that if this gets sorted that she'll have some quality of life for a little while longer. She still gets excited seeing her cat friends but I think she's also feeling miserable from the antibiotic. I've been having a difficult time with her taking it. The phenobarbital isn't an issue with that at least. I'll call the vet today to ask what to do regarding the antibiotic. I've had it a couple times where I thought I had successfully pilled her only to find the pill later. I watched a youtube video on it and am still having trouble.
 

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It's good she likes the wet version - adding that in was actually going to be my suggestion. You can also, as your vet suggested, try Royal Canin brand diet food and see if she likes that better.

I'm sorry she's going through this. I had a dog with kidney failure and then I had another with liver failure so I know how rough it can be. We had a really bad vet with our first dog so he didn't live very long; with our second (the one with liver failure) we had an amazing vet and I really do think it added years to her life.

I hope your little pup starts to feel better.
 

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Hi I work in a holistic pet store that works on healing animals from the inside out. It sounds like you go to a traditional vet, I would recommend trying to reach to some holistic vets for advice.

i am not a doctor or a vet in any shape or form but I do tons of research almost daily unless my personal life gets in the way.

I’ve worked with tons of customers who’s dogs have liver and or kidney disease. Also, you can try talking to a local pet store as well about the products they have in store.
With liver and kidney disease, it’s important for the dog to have high moisture content and to receive that protein in an easily digestible way. The easier form of food to digest is a raw based diet. I would look into brands that have lots of meat content (and don’t worry about the protein since the dogs can easily digest it and the protein gets used up).

The next best thing is a freeze dried diet. And don’t worry about the protein in here either because the dogs will use enzymes to break this down as well. Also the gaurenteed analysis will show the protein and fat content as really high, this is because it’s freeze dried and missing all the moisture. (Add the moisture back in with bone broth or water).

If not raw or freeze dried, try dehydrated food. In a dehydrated food you must add water. This will give your dog the moisture and while also having an easier food for your dog to digest. My neighbors dog has pancreatitis and they give their dog The Honest Kitchens Turkey grain free dehydrated formula. It’s been working great for them so far! Before their vet had them on science diet and before that royal canin (neither worked for her dog).

I highly encourage getting off kibble completely, it expands in dogs stomachs and sits in there for up to 12 hours. A diet that is fresher (raw or freeze dried) and has more meat content (than plant based material like kibble) will go through the digestive system in much less time. This will also provide much less inflammation.

For a dog with any disease I would stay away from inflaming foods like chicken, goat, lamb, etc... (Chinese medicine in warming proteins). I would also too stay away from grains that can inflame the dogs body even more.
 
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