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Ask the Vet About Kidney Disease in Dogs and Cats

Kidney Disease in Dogs and Cats
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Treatment
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About Kidney Disease in Dogs and Cats
MichaelDym, V.M.D.
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
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As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Showing 1 - 15 of 31
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Showing 1 - 15 of 31
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Date: Dec 4, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: CHF & Kidney Disease

Question:I have a 12 year-old Maltese (12 pounds) with CHF and now possibly Kidney Failure. All bloodwork was normal in January 2017. In May she was diagnosed with a heart murmur and put on: Enalapril 5mg tablet 1x day Salix 12.5mg 1 tablet 2x day In October, an xray was done and we learned she has Dialated Cardiomyopathy (the vet said CHF stage 2). She had fluid in her lungs at the time of her 10/3 visit and the vet increased her enalapril. Her current medication is: Enalapril 5mg tablet 2x day Salix 12.5mg 1 tablet 2x day Torbutrol 1mg- tablet (for tracheal collapse) Her food is: a day amount of H/D prescription diet a days amount of Halo small dogs can food I took her into the vet last week for a growth on her toe. The vet said she didnt hear any fluid in her lungs at that time. She went in today for surgery to remove the tumor on her toe. When they called to give me an update on the surgery, I was told her bloodwork was good. I asked if I could have a copy (and just a lost a dog that had kidney disease) I noticed her BUN was at 36.4 and her Creatinine was at 3.0. I asked about it and was told it could be possibly due to the dehydration (withheld water/food since about 8:30pm the night before). Bloodwork was performed about 14 hours since she had anything to drink. She said to keep an eye on her drinking and peeing and if it increases to let her know. She already does drink a lot and pee a lot, but I do not know what is normal. My questions are: Could not having anything to drink caused this steep increase in the levels? Since the vet didnt hear fluid in her lungs and she is not having any real coughing at the moment, I am thinking I may want to stop the Salix until I go back into the vet in a few weeks to get the stitches out and get another test run. I like my vet, but she isnt one to answer questions via email/phone. And I feel when I am there, she answers my questions, but sometimes I am still left confused. I do not know a better vet in my area as everyone around here seems to go to her. I am concerned the wait and see approach while continuing on the diurectic may do more harm than good over the next two weeks. Could Salix 12.5 mg 2x a day cause the Creatine increase that much? And could this be temporary if the Salix is stopped? Also do you have any other suggestions of supplements that may be helpful for a dog with CHF & possible Kidney Failure? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

Answer:Definitely don't take her off of the Sasix without consulting your veterinarian. It is perfectly ok to call her office and ask someone on her staff to ask her if cutting her Sasix and Enalapril (it affects kidneys as well) back might be a good idea - Even this may make her heart failure worse so ask your veterinarian first (it will depend on a lot of things like how hydrated they feel like they got her with IV fluids, what her normal values run, when she last had coughing issues, how bad they were, etc etc). Your question about whether dehydration alone can cause values that high is a good one because that creatinine is pretty high but it is possible so unfortunately, it is wait and see. If she had surgery on Monday and feels fine and is eating and drinking normally by Friday, it should be ok to recheck her then or Saturday so when you call, maybe ask if you can recheck her before the weekend.

Date: Nov 26, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Eating more food than normal?

Question:Hi there, my 11 year old golden retriever was recently diagnosed with kidney disease. She has, of course, been experiencing the symptoms of weight loss and disinterest in food. But now she's suddenly way more interested and eating anything in sight, whether it's food or not. Is this cause for concern? Should we try to feed her more?

Answer:That's odd, but good - as long as nothing else is going on. It's like with people, they will have good days and bad days. If it was really dramatic, you may want your veterinarian to recheck her and be sure she doesn't have something else going on (like Diabetes, etc). Some medications can make them hungry (prednisone, etc) and sometimes we will put our kidney failure patients on appetite stimulants so be sure it's not due to any medications she is on.

Date: Nov 22, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Best food for kidney problrms

Question:Dog food that will not upset her stomach, she won't eat in the morning, vet give her Galliprant pills for pain.

Answer:The prescription diets are ideal (Hills, Royal Canin, Purina, Blue Buffalo) because they are low in protein (and other things like phosphorus). There are many different kinds/flavors/textures because dogs with kidney problems often don't feel like eating.

Date: Oct 16, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: emergency care

Question:If a cat is dehydrated with CKD, is it normal to inject Cerenia, Convenia, Dexamethasone, and Famotidine to treat the condition? My cat just showed signs of drinking a lot of water and was moving slow and brought her to the ER for care. 30 hours later she died. Before we brought her to the vet she ate fine and everything seemed somewhat ok ,but she started drinking alot of water and had a little mis step. I don't want to accuse anyone, but it seems that her form of treatment caused her death

Answer:None of those medications (in an appropriate dosage) is very potent or harmful. Cerenia is for nausea, vomiting or inappetance. Convenia is an antibiotic. Dexamethsone is an anti-inflammatory (weak steroid). Famotidine is an antacid like pepcid. If she was dehydrated, did they give her fluids? Even this would depend on a lot of things - did they diagnose the kidney disease or have you been maintaining her at home - did they run blood work on her - what were all of her values (with low potassium, anemia? etc they may have opted not to). I am sorry for your loss.

Date: Oct 8, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Flea Ned and kidney disease

Question:Can my 2 year old dog getadvantage II drops on back if he has kidney disease

Answer:Good question - it should be fine but it may depend on the severity of his kidney disease. The active ingredient is pretty benign but it is ideal to call the 1-800 number on the box and speak to one of the Bayer veterinarians to know for sure.

Date: Sep 27, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Acute vs Chronic

Question:It is possible that a 12 year old dachshund whose BUN and Creatinine were within normal values 8 months ago would be in chronic renal failure, or is acute renal failure more likely now with elevated markers? Overnight onset of diarrhea with blood and vomiting. Prior to this, eating, drinking, etc. as normal as ever. Thank you for your response.

Answer:8 month is a long time in a dog's life, so it could be chronic. I would really have to see the rest of his blood work to help - is his potassium high or low? is his albumin low? is he anemic? etc. A few parameters like that can help but, unfortunately, it is kind of "wait and see" with what kind of trajectory his kidney failure will take.

Date: Sep 2, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Cat health

Question:Hi, I have a 13 year black cat. Lately Ive noticed hes been drinking a lot of water and peeing in the litter box a lot. Sometime hell even just lay next to the water bowl. All my research tells me he has kidney problems. He has lost some weight Recently Ive changed his diet. more expensive food like hills.and dry cat food for urinary tract infections. Again its just a guess from researching. I usually feed him dry and can food. He also vomit white foamy liquid which Im assuming its hair balls. This happens like 3-4 tines a week but its brief. Since changing his food to keep more to improving his kidney. He has show more improvement. Is it a bad idea to give him both dry and can food? I started that to help him gain weight. He does still drink a lot of water and I add additives in the water for his teeth. For his vomit, Ive use some gel laxative for hairballs. He has vomit less since. Max is 13, sleeps a lot and lost 3 sisters last year. Hes never gone outside and also never got his shots. But he seems pretty healthy. Any other recommendations you could recommend me as in food product? I know he needs to se a vet to confirm but he wont leave the apt so its like impossible. Been trying different foods. Mixing dry some cheaper brand with expensive brands.

Answer:It is hard for me to advise you because he may not have kidney disease - a few other things will cause drinking a lot and vomiting like Diabetes and hyperthyroidism, so you really need for your veterinarian to run some quick blood work so you will know exactly how to treat him. Food formulated of "urinary tract health" does not help kidney failure patients - it is formulated for cats that have lower urinary tract problems with crystals and FLUTD so this type of food wouldn't help his problem (and may make it worse). In general, canned food is better just because it gives him more water.

Date: Aug 28, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Best medicine for kidney

Question:Hi , I have a st.bernard and he is just found with kidney disease with high keratine of .10 and he is prescribed to eat Renel plus tablets. Please suggest if it is the best medicine for him? Also he got tick bite last week on his eyes and today he got 105 fever. Please provide best opinion to avoid his frequent fever. Thanks

Answer:With his high fever, he almost certainly needs some antibiotics but you really need to run some more tests on him to try to determine what antibiotic would be best. If it is a tick born disease, doxycycline (or a similar antibiotic in that family) would be ideal. If it is leptospirosis, intravenous penicillin and then doxycycline is usually what we use in the United States. It could be many other types of infection as well, so running more tests is still ideal.

Date: Aug 15, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: proper use of omeprazole

Question:I have a 16 yr. old cat who was diagnosed with CKD about 6 months ago. I give him Azodyl twice a day. He frequently vomits first thing in the morning, often frothy and white, but sometimes it is tinged with blood. I was advised by his veterinarian to give him 1/4 of an omeprazole tablet each day, until he 'feels better'. His stomach often settles down after 3 or 4 days but in a week or 2 it starts all over again. Can he be given omeprazole on an as needed basis indefinitely? I've read that it should be given daily for 6 or 8 weeks, and that it then cannot be repeated for 4 months. When I mentioned this to the doctor, she said sometimes there are no happy answers. I would like to hear your advice on using omeprazole.

Answer:Your veterinarian is definitely the best one to answer this question, mainly because s/he knows how bad his kidney disease is based on his blood work and history. No good studies have been done on chronic omeprazole dosing in cats so we basically don't know. With my patients in kidney failure, it becomes a quality of life issue - if it makes him feel better, I would give it to my own cat.

Date: Aug 10, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Drug dispensing error & effects

Question:A 14 year old cat is taking 5mg of Tapazole BID. The pharmacy dispensed Zaroxalyn 5mg in a dispensing error. The cat was given 14 tablets total before error was found. The cat was taken to vet & blood work reveals fatty liver, renal function low, possible uti, & severe dehydration. The vet cannot say whether the medication caused this or if the disease was already there. Last blood work done in 2013 showed some probability of kidney disease & liver problems. Poison control says Zaroxalyn is not harmful to animals, although it does decrease fluids. Is there any information available to confirm it is not harmful to animals? Thank you

Answer:Maybe try asking an animal poison control specialist like: ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435 or Pet Poison Hotline: 855-764-7661

Date: Aug 1, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: hates prescription dog food

Question:Help I need some food recipe for my dog with kidney problems right now, I've tried all prescription food and decided to make it myself being she likes real food anyways, any suggestions? She is on subcutaneous fluids and I just need a good recipe

Answer:It is so hard to balance a homemade diet correctly, you ideally need to work with a veterinary nutritionist, so I really lean toward the prescription diets with kidney disease. You have probably tried Hill's Scinece Diet K/D and maybe Purina NF, but Blue Buffalo just came out with one called KS Kidney Support that one of my patients really liked. Royal Canin also has a prescription diet for dogs with kidney problems - it's called "Renal Support". Hopefully you haven't tried one or 2 of those.

Date: Jul 27, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Diet

Question:Idexx smda 17 Creatinine 1.9 Bun. 45 Hello I have Caitlin terrier 14 years old Still active started drinking lots of water should we change diet? When should we worry about her kidneys?

Answer:I would love to see a urinalysis with that blood work, but if he is normally hydrated, all of those values are slightly elevated, so with the "drinking lots of water", it does seem like a good time to get him on a prescription kidney diet. {This is also assuming that the rest of his bloodwork was normal (normal blood sugar, normal alk phos, etc)}

Date: Jul 11, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: 18 y/o kitty with kidney disease

Question:My cat has kidney disease and stopped eating and started vomiting last week. I took her to the vet, who said that her kidneys had gotten worse, and I now give her daily injections of water and various electrolytes, but I think her back leg weakness may have gotten worse, too. They slide forward and to the sides when she's eating and tend to be flat on the ground rather than on just the toes. She doesn't leave her bed as much, so I figure she's tired and maybe that's making her muscles worse. She only eats the softest of chicken baby food now that she eats again (stopped eating 7 days ago, started eating 4 days ago), so perhaps she's not getting enough nutrients and I need to wait until she eats regular cat food again. She also hasn't had a bowel movement since she stopped eating, so I started mixing in pumpkin puree with her food 2 days ago since pure chicken isn't exactly high in fiber. Was this a good move and is there something more I should do? Also, she spends all her time in her bed, which is in a different room than I'm usually in (I currently live alone). Should I move her to a more active area of the house so we can interact more?

Answer:HI Jack. I would probably put her on a potassium gel supplement from your vet known as Renal K gel or it also comes in powder or tablets. Many cats who are on daily subq fluids like this under the skin will become depleted of potassium in their bodies, even if blood levels in normal range. I also put on kidney failure cats on injectable B complex and B12 shots once to twice weekly which can also help with energy and neurological function. Ask your vet about the prescription medications cerenia(for any nausea and helps with abdominal pain) as well as the drug mirtazipine, which helps stimulate appetite and can be helpful in some of these cats. I would keep her in areas of house that she is comfortable in, whether near you or somewhere else. Sounds like you are doing everything possible in advanced situation with scarred and aged kidneys in 18 year old cat

Date: Jul 9, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Intravenous fluid treatment

Question:Abby just turned 13 years old. No symptoms of appetite loss/urination has not increased/diarrhea/vomiting/bad breath/lethargy. No change in cat's daily routine. The vet advises changing over to special food for kidney disease which of course I wish to do. She is not dehydrated. I pinched her skin between her shoulder blades and the skin snapped right back. The vet wants to start intravenous fluid once a week. Is this necessary at this early stage? I should add that I am the sole caretaker for my mother who has lymphoma and alzheimer's disease. This would be very difficult for me to do presently. We love our cat and I do not want to seem uncaring which is certainly not true. Please advise. Thank you.

Answer:I would definitely start her on the prescription diet. As far as weekly intravenous fluids, I think you mean subcutaneous fluids. Whether asymptomatic cats need subcutaneous fluid therapy is kind of debatable and depends on many things - her physical exam, how bad her blood work is, etc = things your veterinarian has access to but I don't, so follow their advice over mine, for sure. I can tell you that I tend to not start asymptomatic cats with only mild elevations in their blood work immediately until I see how they are doing on the food. Don't rely on skin turgor as a good test of dehydration - cats have to be VERY dehydrated for their skin to stay tented when you pinch it.

Date: Jun 10, 2017
Category: Kidney Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic:  puppy died from kidnepy disease

Question:Hi Sadly my 11week old puppy died from kidney disease. All other pups (so far) are healthy from the litter he came from. He was fine/active on Thursday, Friday alittle tired, Friday not alittle diarrhea. By Sat nite he was at the vet severe diarrhea/not eating. The vet gave him meds. Nothing worked. By Monday my puppy had lost alot of weight and was in hospital but nothing could be done. He was diagnosed with 'congenital renal failure'. He may of picked up a gastro bug/ecoli infection and this caused all this too. Just so heartbroken in space few days my puppy was gone. Is it common for a 11week old puppy to have kidney disease? Or is it our fault as owners our puppy picked up a bug? He had got his first shots/microchipped/well fed and loved and we are just in shock by it all.

Answer:I'm so sorry for your loss. No, to die of congenital kidney disease is not common, thank goodness. No, it's not your fault that the puppy may have picked up a bug. Viruses, like parvo virus, are very aggressive and can live in the environment for many months, sometimes years in the right conditions. If you get another dog, consider getting an older dog that has been vaccinated - maybe one that's been at the shelter and already had all of it's vaccines (initial ones and boosters).


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