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Ask the Vet About Kidney Disease in Dogs and Cats

Dr. MichaelDym
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While efforts are made to answer all questions as quickly as possible, if an immediate answer is required or if your pet is in need of urgent or emergency care, contact your pet's veterinarian immediately.

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Showing 1 - 15 of 81
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01
DateJan 12, 2022
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet TypeCat
TopicHomemade cat food for renal disease
vet-qa-signature
Question:

Do you have a good recipe for homemade cat food for renal disease?

Answer:

I really don't and I would need to see your cat's records (bloodwork, history, etc.) to determine the severity of renal disease to even start formulating one. It is too hard to balance homemade diets and get the percentage of protein correct for a cat with kidney issues so working with a veterinary nutritionist (often found at your local veterinary school) is ideal.

02
DateJan 1, 2022
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet TypeCat
TopicRenalK Plus
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Question:

Do I give my 10 lb. A: cat 1/2 scoop twice a day, or B: 1 full scoop twice a day?

Answer:

It depends on your cat's potassium level - your veterinarian will have that in the last bloodwork so consult them for the best advice. In general though, here are the instructions: "Give 1 level scoop per 10 lbs of body weight given orally twice daily. Powder may be sprinkled or mixed at mealtime. Adjust amount based on veterinary recommendations."

03
DateDec 10, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet TypeCat
TopicFluids
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Question:

Should a cat be receing fluids while she has fluids in her lungs.

Answer:

I would need to know a LOT more about your cat's case to really advise you about this, but if she is dehydrated, yes, fluids may still be indicated.

04
DateDec 1, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet TypeCat
TopicMeds for Cat CDK
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Question:

My 18-year-old cat, Triskit, has been diagnosed with kidney disease. I need help in getting her to eat more. Vet gave her B-12, Hills Science Diet CDK canned food plus subcutaneous fluids. What else can help her?

Answer:

This is always a problem with our kidney failure patients. There are other prescription foods, made by different companies (Royal Canin, Purina/ProPlan, Blue Buffalo) that your veterinarian may be able to order for you that she may like the taste better.

05
DateNov 17, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet TypeDog
TopicPain meds
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Question:

Hi Doctor, My 14 year old chihuahua has kidney disease. BUN 121. Creatinine 7.3. Phosphorus too high to read on VetScan machine. She’s on 150mL of subq fluids every other day and 4mg of Ondansetron every 12 hours. Is there anything she can have for pain even a supplement? I’ve asked her vet team and they said she’s on palliative care and didn’t have a direct answer but didn’t tell me she couldn’t have anything either. I’m just wondering if you’ve heard or experienced any pet in end stage renal disease have any luck with something for pain. Thank you.

Answer:

I'm sorry that you are going through this with her - I know it's hard. Since many pain meds are metabolized by the kidneys, it's hard to use them with our end stage kidney patients, but you don't want them to be uncomfortable either, so I usually stay away from NSAIDs and use opioids.

06
DateOct 14, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet TypeCat
TopicFood for kidney disease
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Question:

Im looking to adopt a cat with kidney disease. How often will he need to go in to get a prescription for his food?

Answer:

It really depends on the severity of the kidney disease and how often his veterinarian needs to recheck him, so consult his veterinarian for the most accurate advice. Annual (once-a-year) visits with bloodwork are usually a minimum, then that veterinarian can approve the prescription for a full year, but this varies by state and individual veterinarian.

07
DateOct 5, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet TypeCat
TopicKidney disease/Blood clots
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Question:

I have read that cats with kidney disease are vulnerable to blood clots that can cause massive strokes. Is there an anticoagulant that can be administered that can help deal with the clots without causing additional damage to the kidneys?

Answer:

No, we do not start kidney disease patients on anticoagulants. Keeping the kidney disease patients well hydrated (with things like fluid therapy, canned prescription kidney food, water fountains, etc.) is what decreases the risk of strokes in them.

08
DateAug 3, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet TypeDog
TopicDenamarin
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Question:

Since I am unable to buy Denamarin what would you suggest as a substitute. My pet is a 16 year old cocker spaniel weighing around 28 lbs.

Answer:

You categorized this question under kidney disease and Denamarin is for liver disease so consult your veterinarian for the best advice. This product has some of the components that Denamarin does: https://www.1800petmeds.com/Denosyl-prod10434.html

09
DateJul 16, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet Typenull
TopicAlternative treatment
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Question:

My daughter’s vet prescribed Benzapril for her dog’s kidney failure and it gave her diarrhea. The vet said there’s nothing else they can give her. Is there an alternative treatment out there for this?

Answer:

Treating kidney failure is tough - there is usually no direct treatment, but here is a link to our article about some helpful support treatment options: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/kidney-disease-treatment-dog-cat-31.html

010
DateJul 10, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet Typenull
TopicKidney Diet
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Question:

Hello, I wanted to ask for your vet recommendation on switching my dog from hills prescription kidney diet (hills k/d) over to another kidney diet food brand. He is not very happy after being on it for 7-8 months now. So what brand would be best for transitioning. He wants table food but I do not give him any as he has kidney issues. Thank you!

Answer:

Purina makes a good kidney diet called NF : https://www.proplanvetdirect.com/dry-nf-kidney-function and then Royal Canin makes another good one: https://www.royalcanin.com/us/dogs/products/renal

011
DateJun 2, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet Typenull
Topicconstipation
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Question:

My almost 14 year old cat has kidney disease (level 3) and seems to be constipated. I feed her only wet food (K/d kidney diet) but I don't think she is drinking enough. Is there something I can give her?

Answer:

Ask your veterinarian whether subcutaneous fluids might be right for her.

012
DateMay 18, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet Typenull
TopicDiet needed
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Question:

Hello Dr. Dym, I have a male maine coon that is 8 years old and has CKD. My vet prescribed a Hills KD. He's been eating it for a few months, but really doesn't like it and he's hungry all the time. It's awful. Is there a diet or brand or additive you can recommend? Kind regards, Debbie

Answer:

This is often a problem with our little carnivores because he needs low protein, which is what K/D is. I don't know of a low protein additive. I would recommend calling Hill's and speaking directly with them - they are very helpful. There are a couple other really good low protein prescription diets, made by Purina and Royal Canin, but switching around can potentially make him pickier, so that's not always the greatest idea.

013
DateApr 30, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet Typenull
TopicCat health
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Question:

She has uncontrollable poop and urine. Drinks water like crazy. Loosing weight where you can see her boney body. Ii think her kidneys are going. She's 17 years old.

Answer:

It may be her kidneys, but it may be diabetes as well as other things - all of these are treated differently, so see your veterinarian for some blood work to see exactly what is going on.

014
DateApr 28, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet Typenull
Topickidney problems
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Question:

The vet said my 13 year old dog' s habit of drinking excess amounts of water is akidney problem. He recommends Royal Canin renal support food, which he sells. Is there a homemade diet that is good for a dog.? $1.00 a can per day is expensive. He also get the dry food. Thank you, Millicent Gustafson

Answer:

If he has been diagnosed with kidney disease from blood work, the prescription diets work best. Threre are a few other companies that make them but they are all expensive: Science Diet K/D and Purina ProPlan NF Kidney Diet are the other 2.

015
DateApr 10, 2021
CategoryKidney Disease
Pet Typenull
TopicFood
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Question:

I try to feed my cat renal food, I have tried them all in order to get him to eat it, I have to mix a little bit of regular cat food in with it. What should I purchase? Is cat food for cats with urinary health issues ok? Most foods say high protein and I’m not sure he should be eating that. Any recommendations? Thank you.

Answer:

He needs lower protein. The foods "for cats with urinary issues" are for cats that have crystals, not for kidney failure cats. There are many companies that make good, prescription diets for kidney failure: Hills Science Diet, Purina, Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo. They are all more expensive than regular food because a lot of research has gone into them so they really help cats with kidney failure.

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