For every loving dog owner to hear that his/her four paws friend has kidney disease will be like a thunderbolt from a clear sky. At first, you will be extremely upset, feel helpless and depressed. And this is an absolutely normal reaction for those, who believe that they are going to lose their friend. However, you should never give in to despair. Even despite the fact that canine kidney disease is an irreversible process, there are always some things you can do to prolong and improve the life of your little buddy. In the long run, what could be more pleasant to every owner than knowing that his/her pet will live out its days being absolutely happy?
Unfortunately, it is a very sad fact that kidney diseases in dogs of all breeds and sizes are not a rare phenomenon. Frankly speaking, kidney diseases in dogs along with cancer are the most widespread diseases that kill old dogs. But in most cases, their occurrence is closely connected with the way and conditions of dog-keeping and that means that every owner is able to delay or even prevent this disease. As the saying goes, prevention is better than a cure. And it is especially important when it comes to kidneys since these organs are very difficult to treat.
Kidneys are organs located in the abdominal cavity, beneath the first three lumbar vertebrae. Kidneys are involved in the hormone synthesis, they filter the blood and removed toxins, poisons and water excess from the body, as well as take part in the intermediate metabolic process and perform a great many of other vital functions. Unfortunately, the kidneys do not regenerate. It means that damaged tissues can never be restored and without proper treatment they will be destroyed rapidly, and, as the symptoms of kidney diseases in dogs manifest too late, near 75% of their functions will be lost by the time the disease can be properly diagnosed.
Luckily, you are working with holistic veterinarians, because in such situation they could be more helpful that traditional vets. Usually when it comes to traditional veterinary medicine, the doctors will prescribe your doggy the great many of various pills and other medications. Of course, there are no doubts that these medications are helpful, however, no need to dwell exceptionally on it. A high-quality holistic vet would also offer you to try acupuncture, various nutrition supplements, as well explain which food is the best dog food for kidney disease, etc.
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Symptoms of kidney disease in dogs:
Note that the swelling and accumulation of toxins in the kidney tissues and blood influences the whole body. In other words, if a dog has a kidney disease, soon it will affect your dog’s wellbeing. Therefore, if you notice the following signs of sickness, you should promptly call the veterinarian:
- Strange urine odor (sour, sharp, rotten smell);
- Any change in urine volume – notable increase or decrease;
- Changes in urination frequency – more or less that it was usually;
- Unusual color of urine (too dark, red, brown, cloudy, turbid with sediment, etc.). If your dog has kidney stones it is more likely that its urine will be bloody. Also, your dog will urinate in small amounts;
- Changes in behavior. For example, you dog starts urinating in the house while it has never done this before;
- Thirst, poor appetite, fever, weight loss;
- Heavy ammonia-smelling breath;
- Mouth ulcers;
- Repeated vomiting or diarrhea;
- Strange gait;
- Dry hair coat;
- Whining while urinating;
- For male dogs: peeing in a “girlish” way;
To make a correct diagnosis and then prescribe the appropriate treatment, your vet will have to perform various examinations. And the first task he/she will be going to do is to determine whether the kidney disease is chronic or acute and what caused the disease. The kidney disease can be congenital, provoked due to some shock, poisoning, blockage, trauma or caused by another disease (e.g. diabetes, leptospirosis, Lyme’s or Addison’s disease, etc.). In addition, it is useful to find out, whether your dog has been hit on the kidney area (under the belly, on the croup or side closer to the groin), because such blows can lead to the serious consequences in future. Therefore, after any trauma, even a minor one, it is important to show your pet to a vet. Mind, even a small hit can be enough to become the cause of renal impairment, which will become apparent after months or even years.
Here some options of natural treatment that can be offered to your attention by a holistic vet to help fight the kidney disease in dogs:
- Your pooch should be always provided with access to clean, fresh and filtered water. Always remember that! To take water away from dog suffering from kidney disease literary means to commit a crime against it. By doing this you will simply destroy that precious “kidney health” that is left. Dogs have to drink water to get rid of toxins accumulated in the body and in order to prevent dehydration.
- If your dog prefers eating dry kibble food, it is sure would be great to add water to it. In such a simple but effective way you will kill two birds with one stone – increase amount of water consumed by your dog per day and prevent dehydration. As we have already written above, it is essential for your doggy’s kidneys to maintain proper hydration.
- Holistic vets usually prescribe Omega-3 fatty acids, which are able to slow down the progression of renal disease and as well effectively combat kidney inflammatory processes.
- Use fiber to help the blood get rid of toxins.
- COQ10. It was proved by recent studies that it is very helpful for those suffering from kidney diseases.
- Vitamin B complex by itself unable to do wonders and totally cure your dog. However, it is helpful when used in a complex with other treatments and is especially efficient in stimulating pet’s appetite. And that’s what matters.
- Probiotics help to remove waste and reduce kidney inflammation. In particular, they are effective at decreasing creatinine and BUN levels.
- Renafood – high-quality dog food vitamin and herbal supplements created specially to support and improve kidney function. By the way, there is also Renafood for humans.
- Astragalus, dandelion leaf, burdock, marshmallow and other herbs could be recommended by your holistic vet to detoxify your pet’s kidneys.
- Acupuncture is an efficient procedure that helps to improve blood flow to the kidneys.
- Special phosphate binders for dogs may become irreplaceable in the cases when the level of phosphorus is getting too high.
- Low phosphorus dog food. A number of studies have shown that reduction of the amount of phosphorus in the dog’s food slows the progression of kidney diseases, although this mechanism is still unclear. It can be assumed that this effect is closely connected with one or more consequences of phosphorus level reduction, which is caused by the weakening of the kidney function. That is why it is very important to put your dog on a low phosphorus diet to be sure that its kidneys disease won’t progress.
- Sub-Q or IV fluids may be prescribed to remove toxins from the body.
- Acid blockers will reduce an acidity level and thus help your dog to eat.
Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, kidney diseases cannot be completely cured. The disease continues progressing or takes chronic form. Visiting a holistic vet too late often becomes the reason of the worsened condition. A holistic vet which will always determine what treatments would be the best for your doggie. If you still do not have a holistic vet, check out the AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association) to find one!
Below you will find the list of great websites that offer you valuable information (personal experience, tips, useful examples, etc.) concerning treatment of dog kidney diseases: