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Kidney Problems in Dogs

Kidneys & diet support

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Kidney Disease & Kidney Failure

Acute kidney failure is an abrupt decline in function that occurs over a period of days. Dogs can develop acute kidney problems as a result of ingesting toxins, including antifreeze, certain medications, tainted foods, etc. Other reasons for this type of kidney failure include decreased blood flow or oxygen delivery to the kidneys, infections and urinary obstruction.
 While some kidney problems have an immediate cause that can be treated, chronic kidney disease shows up over a period of time and its causes are harder to determine. This condition develops slowly and affects mostly older dogs. It is often caused by underlying illness and congenital and hereditary conditions.

Signs of Kidney Problems 
• Change in water consumption
• Change in volume of urine produced
• Depression and listlessness
• Loss or decreased appetite
• Chemical odor of breath
• Vomiting
• Weight loss
• Blood in urine
• Mouth ulcers
• Pale gums
• Stumbling, acting drunk
If your dog shows any of the above symptoms, please take her to see your veterinarian immediately.
Issues:
phosphate retention, too much poor Q protein load, dehydration
The foods your pet consumes are very high in phosphorus. Failing kidneys have difficulty excreting sufficient phosphorus into the urine. As the ratio of phosphorus to calcium in the blood becomes abnormal, the pet's bones will weaken.

Needs
high quality proteins to ensure controlled reduction of non-essential amino acids so that there can be a decrease in nitrogenous wastes.
clean foods
reduce toxin load
decreased sodium for blood pressure management
increase B vits
increase hydration
anti- inflammation
vit D (calcitrol)
fermentable fiber to rid toxins
potassium
vit C

When developing a diet for your dog with kidney failure, the goal is to reduce phosphorus by feeding moderate to high fat, moderate amounts of high quality protein,and low phosphorus carbohydrates to provide calories.

Dogs with kidney problems often do better when fed several small meals throughout the day rather than just one or two large meals.
Food Choices

Proteins & Fats

Fatty Meats -- use the highest fat hamburger you can get. Lamb is especially high in fat. Pork is also high fat. Dark meat chicken and turkey has more fat than white meat, although poultry is still a low fat meat, so it's best to include the skin if you feed chicken or turkey. Beef has less phosphorus than chicken. Lamb and turkey are in between.
Use whole milk yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, etc. -- since these foods are high in phosphorus, they should be fed in moderation, but use the kind with the most fat when they are fed. Try goat's milk yogurt for flavor if your dog doesn't like the regular kind.
Egg Yolks are high in fat, but also very high in phosphorus, so should be fed in moderation.
Fat can also be added in the form of chicken fat, butter (use unsalted if your dog has high blood pressure). Be very careful about adding pure fat to the diet -- start with very small amounts and stop immediately if you see signs of problems.
In general, vegetable oils are not recommended as a source of fat. They are high in omega-6 essential fatty acids, which are inflammatory, and are not a good source of nutrition for dogs. Omega-6 fatty acids have been found to be harmful to dogs with kidney disease. Instead of vegetables oils, use Fish Oil, such as Salmon Oil or EPA oil (NOT cod liver oil). While Flax seed oil has more omega-3 fatty acids than most plant oils, it is also high in omega-6 and so is not recommended. Olive oil is probably OK to use in small amounts, as it is mostly omega-9, which as far as I know does not affect kidney function.

Fibers: useful fibers are low in sodium, high in potassium, have non soluble cellulose, vitamin C & B like: red bell peppers, apples, cauliflower, cabbage, blueberrries
Note that celery, parsley and dandelion greens are diuretics, which may not be desirable for dogs with kidney disease. 
Cabbage is good for ulcers, which are common with kidney disease. Information on the phosphorus content may be found in the Table of Nutritional Values. Other vegetables, with phosphorus amounts (mg/100 grams) in parentheses, include:, beets carrots (44), cauliflower (44), collard greens (10),endive (28), green beans (19-38), green peppers (19),kale (56), parsnip (71), pumpkin (44), red cabbage (42), romaine lettuce (45), acorn squash (27), butternut squash (27), crookneck squash (32), spaghetti squash (14), tomato (24), watercress (60), zucchini (32).
Fruits: You can also feed fruits, including apple (7), banana (20), cantaloupe (17), cranberries (9), cucumber (20), mango (11), peach (12), pear (11), pineapple (7). Bananas and pumpkin are high in potassium. 

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