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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering trying a raw diet for my dogs. (Though I have to admit that I'm very worried that the bones will hurt them somehow!) My question however is about my 8 year old with kidney problems. I know that meat is high in phosphorous but I'm wondering if the bones would be high enough in calcium to offset this? I haven't been able to find anything specifically about this online. I will talk to my vet of course but I would like to be prepared to have an intelligent discussion. If anyone has any info about this: personal experience, links or whatever, I'd love to hear it!
 

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I'm considering trying a raw diet for my dogs. (Though I have to admit that I'm very worried that the bones will hurt them somehow!) My question however is about my 8 year old with kidney problems. I know that meat is high in phosphorous but I'm wondering if the bones would be high enough in calcium to offset this? I haven't been able to find anything specifically about this online. I will talk to my vet of course but I would like to be prepared to have an intelligent discussion. If anyone has any info about this: personal experience, links or whatever, I'd love to hear it!
IMO just because your dog does have a medical set back I think asking your vet is the only way to go. Or ask your vet to recommend you to a vet who specializes in raw feeding. I am afraid if someone on here gives you an idea of what to do and your vet does not agree with this sort of practice that you may give up and just give your dog what others give theirs. Better to just find an expert vet who can give your dog the proper diet
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for the very good advice! I hadn't thought of talking to a vet who specializes in feeding raw. Any idea how I could locate one? Maybe a holistic vet but I'm not even sure how to find one. Don't get me wrong, my vet is a great guy and a very good vet but he is sort of traditional. I would absolutely talk to him. I'd just like to be able to tell him something about raw feeding and kidney problems he might not be aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Sorry just saw that you said to ask my vet, Pawz. I would probably rather find someone on my own if I can. So any ideas would be appreciated. If I can't find someone, I will ask him. Still interested in personal experience or urls related to raw feeding and kidney issues if anyone has them. I'm looking for info but only as info. I would definitely clear it with a medical professional. Thanks again! Barbara
 

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Understandable. I would suggest searching around online or in the phone book for maybe holistic vets, or even just call around and ask if the vets located there specialize in raw diet feeding. I know here where I am there is a local guy who makes a raw diet and sells it, maybe you could research local raw dealers (stay away from large chains) and ask them questions, ask if they have research they can share with you, etc. Its gonna take some time so GL :) Im sure youll find something somewhere
 

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I'm really concerned about changing a diet on a dog who has renal issues. Like really concerned!! High protein from a raw diet could be way too much to process, and putting the dog at risk for salmonella and other food bourne illness (don't believe the websites that dogs can't get these parasites/illnesses-they can and their are studies that prove it) when the dog already has renal problems-well I think your asking for BIG health problems... Why is it you want to change diet?

What is the diagnosis, cause, prognosis and treatment for the renal problems? Did the vet suggest this diet change?

I definitely didn't catch your reason to switch to raw-so that's why I'm asking-it may be a good thing-I'm concerned about it though. I would definitely see a veterinary nutritionist. Your vet can refer you to one. If you don't balance the raw diet completely -you can be in big trouble so you do need professional help. And Ca-P levels need to be balanced as well.
 

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High protein from a raw diet could be way too much to process, and putting the dog at risk for salmonella and other food bourne illness
Mikey could you provide adequate links to studies showing this? It seems to be a big controversial subject and true hard facts are always good to read.
 

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no to sound rude, but what mikey said about that being hard on the kidneys is just common sense. kidney's process protien. i have kidney problems myself and if I were to eat steak every day I'd have WAY too much phosphorus and be using too much of my body's precious water sources to be digesting that much meat. I am always in trouble for drinking too much milk, too...

I think Mikey has a very excellent point. While it's not impossible, if you are just doing it to switch to raw I wouldn't. Put the dog on the best kibble you can afford and keep water flowing for the little pup!

essentially, in lay man's terms, your body can't process protein with kidney problems, you begin to spill protien in your urine (which is usually what gives vets an idea dogs even HAVE kidney problems). Then, as the body becomes less and less able to filter out protein, by products in our blood, and other toxins that aren't needed the creatine level will rise more and more... which increases the severity of kidney disease.
 

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no to sound rude, but what mikey said about that being hard on the kidneys is just common sense
Sorry I do not agree...i do not have kidney issues, nor have any of my dogs, so I do not know what renal disease does and I would not think to pay attention to protein levels unless told. Maybe the OP was not told by her vet to watch protein levels in the dogs diet.
 

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Sorry, I knew phrasing it that way would end up being taken incorrectly, I apologize! lol I meant, that it would be common sense for someone dealing with renal diseases, if their vet was worth their weight in salt they have been told. Proteins should be watched in ALL dogs to PREVENT kidney disease, as well. My corgi who passed away of renal failure had the three things every one needs to watch to prevent renal disease that caused it:
1. her teeth were TERRIBLE (I was 10 when we got her, it wasn't until she was way too old to put through a dental cleaning i learned how negligent my parents were being not taking proper dental care of their dogs.)
2. she ate too much sugar and carbs, resulting in diabetes and obesity- her food was GARBAGE and she ate horse grain with molasses in it daily cause she was not monitored.
3. when they did change her food like I urged them, she already had kidney problems, and they went for a high protein food which made it all worse.

Kidney problems shouldn't be as prevalent as it is in canines, it's truly heart breaking. We need better laws on what we feed dogs, and people need to be more educated....
 

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I re-read your other post, it looks like you edited right after I posted, your info is amazing! I know what you mean now by common sense, after reading the info you provided anatomy class came back to me lol...if my vet diagnosed my dog with renal I would assume I would know what that means and what it does so it does seem as if the OP was told something about it. Thanks for the info on what this does btw! Its great to learn something new.

Now to the OP, did your vet recommend a diet or specific food? I guess if protein is the issue there must be food out there the vet recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi thanks for all the great advice!

Yes low protein is the official medical stance to kidney failure / insufficiency but I have done some reading that says that phosphorous is the real culprit and that this can be offset by increased calcium. That's why I'm wondering if the meaty bones might ultimately be better for him because they're high in calcium. I don't feel that I know enough about this however, or have the answers that's why I was curious about what others might know.

I was also wondering if others in a similar situation had good results with a raw diet for dogs with kidney disease or might know of any resources. I'm not switching just to switch or making any decisions here, just looking for info to discuss with my vet.

I have found a holistic vet only an hour from where I live and am going to hopefully arrange a consult (she is calling me back today) so thanks pawz for that advice! As well as the specific raw diet advice. I will look into it.

My vet put Sammy on the Science Diet Kidney Diet but I'm not convinced that commercial diets are necessarily the best way to go. I did try a homemade diet with alterations made to keep protein, phosphorous, calcium etc within specific ranges (my vet reviewed it and gave it his okay) but Sammy's BUN and Creatinine levels remained high so I went back to the KD. Even with the KD however his levels are creeping up even higher and I'm looking for anything at this point that might give us some kind of options.

Don't get me wrong, my vet is great but like many MDs I'm not sure that nutrition is really his forte. Thanks again for the great advice. I'm still open to what others might think! So please chime in if you have any thoughts!

I will keep everyone posted on how things go with the new vet. keeping my fingers crossed that she will see him! This would probably just be a consult and I would hope that she would work together with my vet. We'll see how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just saw the questions about Sammy's specific condition. 2 years ago he was in renal failure. His BUN was over 100 and the vet was giving him weeks to months to live. I put him on the KD at that point and started SQ fluids. We also got Bella in the hopes that a friend might perk him up (she was 2). Did it ever! It was love at first sight and I really do credit her with his turn around. Not saying the medical stuff didn't help of course :) His levels dropped dramatically and have stayed within a moderately elevated range with ups and down that were mostly controlled by adjusting the fluids he is getting. For the last 6 months however his levels have been rising. The vet says it's the progression of the disease and is pretty much out of options. On the weekend we had to cut our walk short (it was hot) and yesterday he was beat after a mile even though the whether wasn't bad. He would still be considered to have renal insufficiency at this point. We think it is likely that tainted dog food caused all of this because we did have dog food with the tainted lot number but are not sure how much he had as it was canned food and the cans we used were gone when we found out about it. This was when I didn't know any better than to give my dogs Alpo. My female eats Solid Gold Wolf King but I am thinking about possibly switching her to raw.
 

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if your dog is ill, he will likely have great difficulty with DETOX if you switch him to raw...detox is the period of transition from kibble to raw where basically your dog looks and feel like crap....detox can include, vomiting, diarhea, bad skin coat, lethargy etc....since you can't do a gradual switch to raw, it may REALLY upset their system...this is som'thing that alot of RAW sites will skim over, or not mention at all...I tried to switch to raw TWICE and it made all my dogs sick for weeks, one to the point of needing to go to the E vet and get fluids she had vomited up so much...

not trying to scare you, but many dogs do not just "switch to raw" with kittens and rainbows...som' do....it can be a process that is not pretty, so make sure you have a good carpet cleaner.


started my dog on a raw diet and it vomited. Why?


Some dogs, when starting on a raw diet, will experience occasional vomiting of small pieces of bone. This is normal in the first few days, as their systems must learn to accommodate the digestion of bone.

Some dogs will also go through a period of “detoxification”. The nutrients provided by the fresh foods allow the body to rebuild healthy systems. The stronger, healthier system begins ridding itself of various toxins that have accumulated in the body. Signs of detoxification may include slightly loose, mucous-covered stools, slightly goopy eyes, draining ears, minor rashes or increased itchiness. Many dogs will not experience any of these signs, and those that do will normally complete “detox” within a week or two. Dogs that have been on steroids, antibiotics, or other long-term drugs, may experience prolonged detoxification periods. You should always consult with a veterinarian if you believe your dog is manifesting severe problems connected to the diet change.
from

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Criosphynx I didn't know that detox could be that extreme. I don't think my pup could go through anything like that.

I heard back from the holistic vet (thanks again pawz). She supports everything my vet is doing (food, fluids, etc). But also told me there are some nutriceuticals (food or food products) that help to reduce BUN and creatinine. She also uses Chinese and western herbs and acupuncture to treat renal insufficiency.

We have a consult with her for next Monday. She will work with my current vet. Thanks to everyone who responded!
 
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