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Hi folks,
I'm looking for some advice to support my 13 year old Italian Greyhound. She was diagnosed with kidney disease seven months ago. She also has a congestive heart failure. Poor baby, she's had a number of illnesses and ailments throughout her life, but she has somehow always managed to hang in and bounce back.

We have been feeding renal support food (Hills and Royal Canin, depending on her mood) and giving her fluids (Ringers solution) twice a week for the kidney disease. We know the fluids can put stress on the heart, and so we've been trying to find the right balance between the two problems.

For seven months she has done quite well with this support plan.

Now she's not doing so well. She has started to refuse to eat in the mornings (but seems to feel better in the afternoons). She is less active (again, mainly in the mornings). She has that strange metallic smell on her breath (in the mornings).

If I was to base my feelings on her afternoon/evening behaviour I'd say she's totally fine. She's active, hungry, and plays with the other dogs.

In the mornings, she is a dishrag. Lifeless, lethargic, disinterested in food, and just heartbreakingly not herself.

I think I need to increase fluids (with the understanding that this stresses her heart) to keep her hydrated. What else can I do, if anything, to slow the progression? I know I'm fighting a losing battle and I won't keep her alive if she is suffering. Is there anything I can do to make her more comfortable? To keep her feeling more like herself? To prevent her from being in pain?

I am taking her to the vet on Friday to get a new blood panel to look at her numbers.

Thanks for any suggestions for my girl. I love her so much.
 

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Helllo and sorry to hear about the kidney disease.
First I would see if there is a Yahoo group or similar for support and advice
Next I would consider home cooking
Third this site has some useful health and diet info
DogAware.com: Health Problems in Dogs

My old dog had both failing kidneys and a failing liver and it was quite a balancing act.
Good luck.
 
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