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Guest shanesmom

Kidney Failure And Back End Weakness

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Guest shanesmom

Elton very suddenly went from a very healthy senior greyhound to being quite ill in a matter of days. He started having liquid diarrhea and lost weight super fast so I took him to the vet who did lots of tests and said his kidneys are failing. He has been taking azodyl, pepcid and flagyl since Wednesday and the diarrhea is cleared up although his poop is still soft and he has been happy again and eating better. We live upstairs and the only way up is one flight of stairs. Today when I brought him back in from just a quick potty break, his back end went out going up the stairs. He's a very big boy but in my panic I had strength I did not even know I had and I managed to lift him the rest of the way up the stairs. It's a good thing I always come up the stairs behind him or he would have fallen all the way down. He is now shaky when walking but seems like his back end is working again. I will call the vet tomorrow but thought maybe someone here knew if the back end weakness comes from his kidney problems. He has always been thin but is very skinny now and it's happening really fast. He will be 11 in November.

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Guest Elaine

One of the ways to confirm kidney disease is that the breath usually smells really, really bad .... like ammonia. Weight loss happens. Did you get any lab values for the kidneys? Kidney failure seems to come on quickly, but that really isn't the case as the dog can manage quite well with diseased kidneys until they lose something like 70% of their function. Then, everything seems to cascade. What's good news is that he's eating. Because of the retained waste products, normally, one of the first things a kidney dog does is stop eating.

 

Back end weakness is not normally connected to kidney issues but to problems with either the spine or the neck such as a compressed disc, stenosis, pinched nerves, etc. All of this is based upon my experience.

 

Do you know Kathy Johnson (Feathered Gems Jewelry)? She is very knowledgeable about kidney issues. If you know her, I recommend you talk to her about Elton.

 

Elaine @ DM Greyhounds

http://www.dmgreyhounds.net

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Guest FreddyGirl

So sorry to hear you and Elton are going through this Ingrid.

 

{{{{hugs}}}}

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Guest shanesmom

Thank you Nancy.

 

Elaine - thank you for your response. It has come on super fast. There was blood work and urine tests to diagnose this. I did not have the biopsy done though. It was an option. Treatment would have been the same with or without the biopsy which was over a thousand dollars and to my understanding from the vet it would have only shown the extent of failure but not changed the treatment or outcome.

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Guest peacehound

I am sorry to see this, I enjoy seeing Elton at different events. My last dog had kidney failure and she also could not walk up and down stairs, her back end was shaky and sometimes she would lift up her leg and tuck it. She would fall when trying to go potty. I am not sure if it was related to her failing kidneys but when the vet put her on Novox she responded wonderfully and the issue went away for several months and came back right before she passed. She lived with kidney disease for four years, only the last couple months was real rough..I believe we changed her diet when first diagnosed and it helped. Good luck with Elton, I will keep you both in my thoughts.

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Guest shanesmom

I am sorry to see this, I enjoy seeing Elton at different events. My last dog had kidney failure and she also could not walk up and down stairs, her back end was shaky and sometimes she would lift up her leg and tuck it. She would fall when trying to go potty. I am not sure if it was related to her failing kidneys but when the vet put her on Novox she responded wonderfully and the issue went away for several months and came back right before she passed. She lived with kidney disease for four years, only the last couple months was real rough..I believe we changed her diet when first diagnosed and it helped. Good luck with Elton, I will keep you both in my thoughts.

 

 

Thank you for your post. Reading that your girl lived four years with kidney disease gives me hope that I was not feeling when he almost fell down the stairs. I'm sorry you had to go through this too. I will ask the vet about the Novox. I'm surprised he did not change Elton's diet. I was reading online that there are certain foods made for kidney disease and I will ask about that too.

 

 

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Sorry to hear about Elton's diagnosis. Do you have his actual bloodwork numbers? Kidney failure might cause weakness if there are abnormalities in electrolytes (usually sodium, potassium, or calcium), but that's not very common in dogs.

 

The weight loss is a bit of a concern. How long had he not been eating well and having diarrhea? Is his appetite back to normal now, or just better than before? Any protein in his urine? Did your vet check his blood pressure? If he is losing protein in his urine, that could be contributing to weight loss, and adding a medication like enalapril or benazepril might help.

 

I would definitely talk to your vet about starting him on a prescription food like k/d or NF. Restricting phosphorus intake is very important with kidney disease, and going with one of the prescription diets is the most effective way to do this. I had an IG with kidney disease, and he did well on k/d. I lost him about 9 months later, but to a combination of other health-related problems, not the kidney failure itself.

 

Elton might be having trouble with his back end due to arthritis or a neurologic issue. Your vet should be able to tell by doing an exam. Pain medication and anti-inflammatories might help, but you have to be especially careful using medications with kidney disease. Novox is essentially a generic Rimadyl, and NSAIDs should be avoided as much as possible as they can make the kidneys worse. If you need meds for pain, tramadol and gabapentin might be better choices. If he has arthritis, I'd also try to rely more on supplements like glucosamine/chondroitin products or Adequan. Dasuquin is a glucosamine product that also helps with pain/inflammation, where most other joint supplements don't.


Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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Guest shanesmom

Jennifer, thank you for all the information. I am taking notes to be better educated when I talk with the vet. He is eating good. At first it looked like he just lost a few pounds and I thought it was just because it was summer then he got the diarrhea and his weight plummeted really fast. Like in less than a week because I took him to the vet quickly when the diarrhea got bad. He has always been lean so losing any weight makes him look skinny. Just took him out for his last potty break with my son who is stronger than I am in case he had trouble with the stairs but he was fine this time. Just slower than usual but I think he was a little scared from last time. He does get Cosequin as a joint supplement too. I have been researching as much as I can and am really surprised by what I have read that the vet did not suggest a change in diet. He currently eats ProPlan chicken and rice.

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No advice, Ingrid. Just thinking good thoughts for your sweet Elton.


4894718087_9910a46faa_d.jpg

Tricia with Holly Oaks Holly and Hopper the terrier mix 
Always missing Murray MaldivesBee Wiseman, and River, our perfect hounds gone too soon
Walls turned sideways are bridges. -Angela Davis

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My first thought was that perhaps he has developed a UTI. I would get another urine sample to the vets for a urinalysis.

 

Yes there is a correlation between some renal diseases and hind end weakness. This is a problem frequently reported in dogs with renal insufficiency. The exact cause is often unknown. Some have lost a lot of muscle mass through the course of their illness. Some appear to have an all over weakness in connection with the anemia often caused by CRF. Some owners have found it related to the super low protein/low phos renal diets & adding protein significantly improves the problem. (The trick there is to get the best quality protein with the lowest phosphorus level. Usually adding egg whites is the best option.) Anorexia can of course contribute.

 

Finally though is the simple fact that the kidneys effect the nervous system. There is a type of neuropathy associated with renal insufficiency/failure, sometimes called uremic neuropathy. (Link to more info.) My dog's regular vet as well as Dr. Clemmons, a vet neurologist at UFL, believed Daniel's late onset, slowly degenerative polyneuropathy was directly related to his renal insufficiency. (Dan was born with one kidney & one adrenal gland. He was already showing signs of neuro probs by age 3 & had proteinuria then as well.) His internist felt it could well be related. Dr. Kent at UGA disagreed feeling it was the root cause of Dan's LMND. (LMND=lower motor neuron disease, in Dan's case also classified as a polyneuropathy) He admitted CRF complicated & could contribute to his LMND.

 

The only way you could positively diagnose this as motor neuron damage is through neurological testing which involves anesthesia. I don't recommend that. Better just to do the basics & leave it at that. Get an exam to look for other, more common & treatable causes of hind end weakness such as UTI, back/spine problems, arthritis in hip or hind legs, etc. If he is eating decently & still getting moderate, gentle exercise then there isn't much else to be done for muscle loss though you could try contacting a veterinary physiotherapist for possible at home exercises. If he is anemic you can try adjusting diet & adding supplements to help improve that. (Though with CRF the battle against anemia is constant & you're not going to win the war.)

 

I would suggest you join the YahooGroups K9KidneyDiet & K9Kidneys. You will learn a great deal about the disease & ways to support your dog to have the best possible chance at continuing good quality of life for as long as possible. Though you cannot cure it, you certainly can treat it. As mentioned, my dog was already starting down this road as early as 3 yo when the first signs of nephritis were seen. He was not officially diagnosed with CRF until age 7 yo. He was with me & still walking short distances unaided at age 9.5 yo. Daniel died with renal failure but not because of it.

 

Wishing you all the best. I've gone through this with 2 different pets. It's a lot of work but worth it to keep your pet happy & comfortable in spite of his illness.

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Guest sireltonsmom

Elton very suddenly went from a very healthy senior greyhound to being quite ill in a matter of days. He started having liquid diarrhea and lost weight super fast so I took him to the vet who did lots of tests and said his kidneys are failing. He has been taking azodyl, pepcid and flagyl since Wednesday and the diarrhea is cleared up although his poop is still soft and he has been happy again and eating better. We live upstairs and the only way up is one flight of stairs. Today when I brought him back in from just a quick potty break, his back end went out going up the stairs. He's a very big boy but in my panic I had strength I did not even know I had and I managed to lift him the rest of the way up the stairs. It's a good thing I always come up the stairs behind him or he would have fallen all the way down. He is now shaky when walking but seems like his back end is working again. I will call the vet tomorrow but thought maybe someone here knew if the back end weakness comes from his kidney problems. He has always been thin but is very skinny now and it's happening really fast. He will be 11 in November.

 

Elton very suddenly went from a very healthy senior greyhound to being quite ill in a matter of days. He started having liquid diarrhea and lost weight super fast so I took him to the vet who did lots of tests and said his kidneys are failing. He has been taking azodyl, pepcid and flagyl since Wednesday and the diarrhea is cleared up although his poop is still soft and he has been happy again and eating better. We live upstairs and the only way up is one flight of stairs. Today when I brought him back in from just a quick potty break, his back end went out going up the stairs. He's a very big boy but in my panic I had strength I did not even know I had and I managed to lift him the rest of the way up the stairs. It's a good thing I always come up the stairs behind him or he would have fallen all the way down. He is now shaky when walking but seems like his back end is working again. I will call the vet tomorrow but thought maybe someone here knew if the back end weakness comes from his kidney problems. He has always been thin but is very skinny now and it's happening really fast. He will be 11 in November.

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Guest sireltonsmom

I'm new to this forum also. My Sir Elton (isn't that a coincidence!) is 12.8 yrs old and has progressively weaker and shaky back legs. The vet says his kidneys and organs are ok so not sure what causes this. I do have him on glucosamine. I've ordered a special harness that fits behind the last rib that has a handle (kind of like a suitcase would be). If you think that would be helpful, you can contact Carol Becker at God's Greyts http://www.etsy.com/listing/60361972/greyhound-assistance-harness. It might be helpful going forward - especially since you live upstairs. I hope he gets well quickly and, as another aid, we use Tylan (put it in a capsule available at health stores) to help with the big D. Take care. Ginny

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Hi Ingrid - I am so sorry to read about Elton. While this may not be much consolation, perhaps you would be interested to read about my 12+ yr old female Holly who was just dx'd with elevated kidney values. She also has mild-to-moderate laryngeal paralysis and probable lumbosacral stenosis - for which she receives acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments.

 

Sorry will try to be fairly concise here: about ten days ago just after breakfast, out of the blue and within the course of one hour, she vomited rather forcefully three times. She appeared extremely ill, had loss of coordination, was standing in a hunched over position and drooling.

 

Long story, but I ended up taking her to the ER to rule out bloat (even though I didn't think that was the problem). Had the chiropractor come to the house to adjust her (her neck was out of whack). I also wondered whether she had had a little stroke??

 

The following day, I took her to her regular vet for annual wellness blood work. Next day, the vet called to say some of her kidney values (sorry, the numbers are at home) were elevated but she was still concentrating her urine -- he said she had protein losing neuropathy. Vet suggested I may want to consider hospitalizing her for 1-2 days so they could administer fluids and monitor her kidney values.

 

I pondered and decided to take her to the hospital. They did an abdominal ultrasound which revealed unremarkable age-appropriate kidneys but also a "very angry" ulcerated area in her duodenum -- which was most likely the cause of her vomiting. From what I have read, ulcers can be related to kidney issues (or in her case, stress or Metacam usage). She also has lost about six pounds this year. BTW, no one even mentioned the word "biopsy?"

 

The ER didn't think an overnight stay was warranted but we will be recheck her kidney values this week. The biggest challenge was getting her to eat. The ER vet dispensed Prilosec and Carafate for the ulcer, Tramadol, Amoxicillin; the regular vet had given her an anti-nausea med. Not sure what contributed to what but Holly didn't want to eat and she certainly had no interest in taking all those pills. Five days later, I stopped the meds as the pill administration process was simply adding to her stress level.

 

I recalled recently reading someone's post on GT about Manuka Honey. Ran out and purchased a jar and tons of canned dog food (Holly had no interest in kibble last week). The honey has been a lifesaver! I give her a teaspoon about 20 minutes before meals and she has been eating and has not vomited! A big deal. In her case, the honey coats the stomach and has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties - which hopefully will help calm the ulcer. I am also researching home-cooked recipes (low-sodium and low-phosphorus; other natural treatments (licorice, slippery elm, etc.). Last week was a little intense, so hopefully now I can focus on her diet.

 

Holly has not had diarrhea. Her stools are a bit soft now but I would attribute that to the meds or a change in diet.

 

Due to Holly's age and other medical issues, I have decided to go as "natural" as I can with her. Keep her stress level down (she is a sensitive girl), not over-medicate, feed her a healthy diet, and give her the best quality of life that I can.

 

Good luck to you and your boy Elton. I hope you can help him so that he will have a great quality of life for the rest of his days. :)

Edited by IndyandHollyluv

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Guest IrskasMom

Ohhhh Ingrid , I am so sorry to hear about Elton . I don't realy know anything about Kidney Failure or the other . Please give him many Hugs from me and :dogcookie and Ingrid ,you got my Prayers :hope:hope:hope Just tell Elton , I want to see him in Dewey :getwell

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Guest 2dogs4cats

kudzu is correct. There is a correlation. I have been dealing with kidney failure with my 14 year old. The things that most conventional vets don't tell you about that have helped her tremendously are Rehmannia, Calcium or binder, and Vitamin E. If it's just weakness and not pain (as in arthritis or back injury/degeneration), the weakness can either be from the toxins that are building up in the blood or nerve degeneration or both. Depending on the blood values, he may need a phos binder or a reduced phosphorus diet or both. My Ella started out with the weakness and then sort of a "drunken" walk. The vet put her on high doses of Vitamin E and it was a huge improvement. I used capsules at first, but now use the liquid and it seems to work even better. It's tough as there is no cure and what works for one dog may not work for another. With this disease, it seems the holistic vets have more of a handle on how to manage it.

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Since it came on fast, I'd treat with a good antibiotic just because.

 

NSAIDs can destroy kidneys. If he is on them, he needs to be off them.

 

Acupuncture will help and you have certified vets around, along with chiropractic (and you have some certified ones around too)

 

Sending prayers.


Diane & The Senior Gang

Burpdog Biscuits

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Guest shanesmom

I just can't thank everyone enough for all the responses. He is not on NSAIDS. He is on Flagyl. I believe that is an antibiotic. His back end is working good today. He's just a little slower than usual so we're taking it easy. I just received information from another greyhound mom local to me about a chiropractor that she goes to very close to me. I am going to look into that.

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Ingrid, I'm late seeing this. I hate hearing Elton is having these problems. I hope you can find something to help him. I seem to remember reading about hind end weakness and kidney problems. I'll see if I can find where I read this. In the meantime lots of healing thoughts being sent to Elton.

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Guest Swifthounds

I would definitely talk to your vet about starting him on a prescription food like k/d or NF. Restricting phosphorus intake is very important with kidney disease, and going with one of the prescription diets is the most effective way to do this. I had an IG with kidney disease, and he did well on k/d. I lost him about 9 months later, but to a combination of other health-related problems, not the kidney failure itself.

 

I would never say that commercial kidney diets are effective, let alone the most effective, but diet changes can really help effectively manage kidney issues. As others have suggested, the yahoo group K9kidneys is a wonderful group. They offer great assistance in raw or homemade diets for renal dogs. If you absolutely must use a commercial diet, go with something in canned form S sry matter is harder on kidneys, even id low phos.

 

In addition to other suggestions, the back end weakness can result simply from the weight loss. Between impaired kidney function and the big D dumping food out hastily, his body likely isn't getting enough usable protein to hold muscle. Worse, the body will then use the muscle as fuel before it uses fat.

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...go with something in canned form S sry matter is harder on kidneys, even id low phos.

Clarification please. Is "S sry matter" really "as dry matter"?

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I would definitely talk to your vet about starting him on a prescription food like k/d or NF. Restricting phosphorus intake is very important with kidney disease, and going with one of the prescription diets is the most effective way to do this. I had an IG with kidney disease, and he did well on k/d. I lost him about 9 months later, but to a combination of other health-related problems, not the kidney failure itself.

I would never say that commercial kidney diets are effective, let alone the most effective, but diet changes can really help effectively manage kidney issues.

Hmm...you don't believe that commercial kidney diets are effective at restricting phosphorus intake? I'm not saying that the commercial diets are the only way to go, but for many owners (me included) who do not have the time or desire to research and home-prepare food, the commercial kidney diets can be quite effective. They are backed by scientific research to extend survival compared to commercial maintenance foods.

 

I'm not familiar with the guidelines typically used by those who home cook or feed raw to renal failure dogs. How do they keep track of phosphorus content in the foods being fed? Without knowing how this is done, I should take back my comment about prescription diets being the most effective way to restrict phosphorus intake. With a prescription diet, I know exactly how much phosphorus is in each cup of food. Do people who home cook/feed raw usually know exactly how much phosphorus is in each meal?

 

If you absolutely must use a commercial diet, go with something in canned form S sry matter is harder on kidneys, even id low phos.

Definitely agree with this. With my iggy, I fed him canned k/d only after he was diagnosed.


Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

gtsig3.jpg

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We maintained a serious-renal-insufficiency dog for *years* on canned K/D. She was lively and fit for her age, lived a long life, and died of something unrelated to her kidney disease.

I'm not familiar with the guidelines typically used by those who home cook or feed raw to renal failure dogs.

 

The "popular" online information gives remarkably poor advice, mostly ignoring things like protein and assuming you can feed any amount of phosphorus as long as you also feed calcium, among other things. Really astonishing. Part of the "carbs are bad" and "substantiated science is worse" fad, as far as I can tell.

 

How do they keep track of phosphorus content in the foods being fed? ... With a prescription diet, I know exactly how much phosphorus is in each cup of food. Do people who home cook/feed raw usually know exactly how much phosphorus is in each meal?

 

Using USDA and other tables, you *don't* really know because food values vary. You can estimate, though. When home-prepping for a kidney dog, I track blood and urine values at fairly frequent intervals (3 to 6 months depending on severity and stability); if something is awry I'll adjust diet and check again in a few weeks. But I imagine that is more expensive than some people want.

 

 

 

 


Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Greyhound Gang has info which can help.

 

Greyhound Gang

LEARN

Medical

Medical - Kidney

 

Everything is related in the body, and every being is individual.

 

Kidney

In greyhounds, a low BUN and CREAT are normal. A very low, are not.

For info on understanding greyhound blood levels vs other dogs, go to Greyhound Gang, Medical, Blood.

 

You can also purchase these medical articles, written by Dr. Stack for other vets at Greyhound Gang. Give it to your vet. Dr. Stack the Deck for Greyt Health.

You can also read all her articles in our medical section. And at a web site of her articles - Greyt Health.

 

A natural diet, with correct foods, is MUCH better than the commercial kibbles. The info on Gang's web site has links and more about correct diets.

 

Back End Weakness

Joint supplements will help. Ten is not that old, and if there are stairs, you may want to sleep downstairs with your hound until they are feeling better. The stress of doing stairs - emotionally and physically - might be too much while he is not feeling well.

 

with joint supplements - Giving ALL of them - high quality - at 1500 mgs a day of each - DAILY - is the best to affect a change. Glucosamine, MSM, Chondroitin, Vitamin C. More info at Gang's site under Overview and Q&A.

 

Flagyl is not, in my opinion, the best way to handle diarrhea. Slippery Elm, made into a gel like substance, will help, naturally. Info on Gang's siteon how to make it and give it.

 

I hope you find some relief for your hound soon.

happy to answer any questions.


Claudia & Greyhound Gang
100% Helps Hounds

GIG Bound!

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