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I have a 11 year old german spitz. She was perfectly normal until a month ago when her hind legs started giving away. The vet diagnosed her with pelvic inflammatory disease and put her on antibiotic. she didn't improve after that and her fore legs started giving away too. The vet suggested we give her a steroid - betenosol. We gave her only one tablet after which we decided to go for a second opinion. This vet diagnosed her to have Congestive heart failure. After a series of x rays, and ecg's we immediately started treating her with enalpril, lasilactone and co enzyme q 10. Her BUN levels were high and so were her creatine.
We put her on IV and antibiotic for 3 days and later continues her heart medication. During teh echo she was diagnosed to have left ventricular failure and very small stones in her kidney. The vet diagnosed her to have kidney failure as a result of ocngestive heart failure.
A week after starting enalpril we got her blood work repeated. Although her BUN is high, her creatine is in the normal range (1.4).
She is steadily imporving and is a lot more active although her energy levels are'nt what they used to be. She is passing urine and stools every day.
Her appetite and water intake have returned to normal after starting her on medication which is a relief. Her legs are still wobbley and slip on our marble floor. Occasionally her left hind leg quivers. I wonder why? Her legs just dont seem to be as strong anymore?!

The vet has asked us to change her diet to Rayal Canine - Early Cardiac. This has been the biggest challenge so far. Pepsi had eaten boiled chicken cooked with rice, a little bit of unsalted butter and a pinch of turmeric for the past ten years every evening. In addition she drinks a cup of milk in the morning and has a pet tab supplement. She has always been a picky eater and it was impossible to introduce her to commercial diets even as a puppy so we continued making home cooked boneless chicken for her. I have started to introduce early cardiac into her diet by mixing 10 gms with her usual meal. She blatantly refuses to eat the new food and nibbles the rest of her chicken and rice. I am sick worried as chicken is high in phosphorus and she eats nothing but chicken and rice. I will continue to add the new food to her regular meals but it does'nt look like she is going to take to it at all. In addition I have started adding 2ml fish oil and half a teaspoon calcium carbonate to her diet which she seems to enjoy. She doesnt always eat all the rice but she sure does manage to pick the chicken pieces. If I ground the chicken too much she doesnt eat at all. She is a very stubborn dog when it comes to her diet and I am very scared that her diet will prevent her from improving.
I have also tried adding gravy to the new food but she still detests it. I know its only been a day since I started but I feel so disheartened. She seems to be responding to the medication very well but her diet is hard to change. I dont want to starve her at this crucial time either. I added a little bit of water and heated the new food and hid it in her regular meal which has'nt worked either. Today I read on a website that dry food shouldnt be heated or soaked as it looses its nutritional value.
I feel so helpless right now. I just wish she would take to the new prescribed diet and feel so guilty for not making more effort when she was a puppy. Please please help. I am willing to do anything to make sure she recovers and is with us for a few more years. Im 8 months pregnant now and would be totally devastated if anything happens to her. Please please help!
 

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I think you answered your own question in a way. You just started to change the diet, with a dog, who, for a very long time has been used to eating the much more delicious home cooked stuff. This type of refusal to eat is very typical and you will never change it in 1 day. It will take time. Also, is the vet prescribed food soft or kibbles? If it's soft then why not smother it all around? If it's hard, perhaps the best thing to do would be to crush the hard kibbles and sprinkle on her favorite food, and gradually build up from there (and only add in a little at a time, buidling up to her full reccommended amount). I guarantee, that especially with an older dog, just like with older humans, diet change for those stubborn 'ol people/dogs will take a long time. Don't be disheartened, you're doing the right thing!

Happy holidays!
 

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I am so sorry to hear that your little dog is so ill. It is so important if one is going to feed a home made diet to do some research.

A home made diet without the proper mineral balance can be very bad, and can cause all sorts of issues if fed over the long term.

ALL meat contains phosphorus. This is why it is so important to have the balancing minerals which are found in bone to go along with it.

When we consider a healthy diet for a dog we need only look to mother nature to tell us what they need. A rabbit or a chicken is the perfect diet for a dog. They do not come in a boneless form!

I would urge you to consider putting your little dog on a balanced raw or home made diet. You can find good supplements to make sure you are getting everything right from a company called Nature's Farmacy.

I would strongly urge you to get their KA Calcium supplement and use it in appropriate amounts to balance the phosphorus in the chicken. All meats have some phosphorus, however, the organ meats are the highest.

Good luck, hope she continues to do well for you.
 

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Thanks so much!! Im trying not to loose heart and spent about 8 hrs on the internet trying to find more encouraging ways of switching her diet gradually. Im adding ground egg shell as its a good source of calcium carbonate. The other calcium supplements I bought are overloaded with Vit D/sodium and its freaking me out as her kidneys maynot be able to process high amounts of Vitamin D now. She loves to take her pet tabs plus supplement but it has 0.8% phosphorus which is roughly 800 mg!!! I cut it down giving her only half a tablet today.
Im so scared to let her go hungry as she is on plenty of medication.

Day 2 did'nt go well at all. She spat out all the early cardiac food mixed with her rice and only picked the chicken pieces. didnt even nibble on the rice today.
I can tell she is hungry as she was hanging around the table during dinner looking for table scrap - tore my heart to watch her helplessly.
My mum thinks Im torturing her by trying commercial diets and ruining her other wise organic meal but RC's early cardiac seems to be the safest and best commercial cardiac diet out there. Iv read about so many happy owners swear by it time and again!
I also read that boiling chicken for 30 minutes substantially reduces the amount of phosphorus and protein content? Have any of you read more about this?
Im scared to heat her new dog food would destriy teh taurine present in it. Soaking has'nt helped either :confused:. Hope day 3 will be better.:eek:
 

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I want to start by saying that I'm not a vet-so just sharing opinions here :) and also a big Welcome! And also some prayers and {{Healing Vibes}} for your pup.

Occasionally her left hind leg quivers. I wonder why? Her legs just dont seem to be as strong anymore?!
I'm guessing-with the illness-she's not exercising as usual right? If you've ever worn a cast or know someone who did-you know it doesn't take much dis-use to cause muscles to weaken and disappear. I'd wager that's what is going on-and as she feels better and can do more-they may come back.

The vet has asked us to change her diet to Rayal Canine - Early Cardiac. This has been the biggest challenge so far. Pepsi had eaten boiled chicken cooked with rice, a little bit of unsalted butter and a pinch of turmeric for the past ten years every evening. In addition she drinks a cup of milk in the morning and has a pet tab supplement. She has always been a picky eater and it was impossible to introduce her to commercial diets even as a puppy so we continued making home cooked boneless chicken for her. I have started to introduce early cardiac into her diet by mixing 10 gms with her usual meal. She blatantly refuses to eat the new food and nibbles the rest of her chicken and rice. I am sick worried as chicken is high in phosphorus and she eats nothing but chicken and rice. I will continue to add the new food to her regular meals but it does'nt look like she is going to take to it at all. In addition I have started adding 2ml fish oil and half a teaspoon calcium carbonate to her diet which she seems to enjoy. She doesnt always eat all the rice but she sure does manage to pick the chicken pieces. If I ground the chicken too much she doesnt eat at all. She is a very stubborn dog when it comes to her diet and I am very scared that her diet will prevent her from improving.
I'd talk to your vet asap about this-just give a call. If there is a really really GOOD reason for feeding the food-then see if you can mix in beef (or lamb or duck or salmon or other yummy stinky meats your dog may not turn her nose up at) in with it. If the food is recommended but not needed-well I'd feed what she likes and is used to. Also you say your worried about the potassium in chicken-so I'd try other meats. Dogs all seem to LOVE lamb and duck. (Turkey is a fav too, but that can make stool very loose so that would need to be in small amounts).

At any rate-two things I think are pertinent
1) talk to your vet about diet-a 100% home made diet is a big endeavor-and liek your seeing-too much of certain things could not be good-so you worrying about potassium-well may not be something to worry about and it may be something to worry about. Check with the vet :)
2) She's 11 and I think the major here-so long as the diet isn't undermining what your doing with treatment-is that she's eating and happy to eat her food. It's about quality of life too-and a bit extra potassium (or vit D or whatever) if it's not going to cause a problem then-let her eat what she knows and loves right :)


Keep us posted :) :) :) I hope all is well soon :)
 

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Try adding a little ganulated garlic powder (just a pinch) and heating the food slightly....makes it more tempting and you may have better luck getting her to eat.
 
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