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Increased Appetite On A Kidney Diet?


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This seems contrary to everything I've researched. Diana was diagnosed with kidney disease. We tried to feed her the prescription food from her vet for a week. She ate nothing. I went to homecooked (very closely regulated) from info from GT and research. At her 3 week checkup after diagnosis she'd lost 3 lbs.

 

2-ish months after diagnosis, she's still a bit lean, hasn't lost any more weight, but eating like a horse! We're feeding her 3 times per day now, instead of the 2 she has done for years. Her energy level has gone up to where she was 2 years ago. She's the boisterous girl she used to be!

 

She looks fabulous. Why is she so hungry though? Is it the dramatic change in protein? We always fed high-protein, no grain food. Now she's eating a lot of grains (pasta, rice, sweet potatoes) and very little protein.

 

I'll feed her all she wants. Kidney disease is a no-win game. So as long as I can keep her healthy, happy, and eating - I will. I've read that kidney disease causes loss of appetite, and wasting. Apparently - we're not there yet. The girl is eating - so I'm just going to keep feeding her as much appropriate food as she'll eat.

 

Any suggestions? Thoughts?

 

BTW - I'm not blind or uninformed. I know that at some point her kidneys will end this game.

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Agree with tbhounds. I know the exact opposite thing happened when Jonelle ( a non-kidney disease grey) tired of her food and I switched her to a much higher protein food without changing the quantity. She was leaving food in the bowl. She was not losing weight but I was worried because she NEVER left other food in the bowl. She was just filling up faster on the higher protein food. I cut back the quantity a little on the new food and she was fine.

 

Miss Magic was our kidney disease girl. As I recall, her appetite stayed about the same with her. However, her food to begin with was never super high protein so the switch was not that dramatic.

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Could be that she's just feeling a lot better! Bullitt had more energy once we found a food combination that he liked and he felt better. If you're using rice, it seems to digest faster and makes them hungrier.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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As long as she is happy to eat it, I think it is a win for both of you. I had to laugh at the line about the rice making them hungrier, because whenever I eat fried rice, or any rice-intense Chinese food, I know I am starving in half the time I would be even marginally hungry on anything else!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've bumped up her protein a bit. Some of the research I've read states that in mid-kidney disease it's the phosphates, more than the protein that is the worry. She's still eating well. I haven't had her weighed recently, but her spines are smoothing out a bit.

 

I know the poor girl is wanting more food because tonight when I was cooking up her grub (I cook almost a week's worth at a time), she was pacing about, so I decided to throw some rice (leftover from Chinese takeout) and canned NEO in her dish to tide her over until I got done cooking. I put the rice in her dish, and turned to grab the canned food to put in - and she was scarfing up plain white rice!!! WHAT! Diana would NEVER eat plain white rice! We're now looking at feeding her 4x per day. If she'll eat it - we'll feed her. I won't have her hungry.

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My bet is that the cause of increase appetite is a combo of items. If she had elevate serum BUN &/or phosphorous levels then decreasing those can indeed perk up their appetite. How many calories per day was she eating before starting the kidney diet? How many cal/day after switching to kidney diet? Could a reduction in calories be part of it?

 

I've bumped up her protein a bit. Some of the research I've read states that in mid-kidney disease it's the phosphates, more than the protein that is the worry. She's still eating well. I haven't had her weighed recently, but her spines are smoothing out a bit.

 

I know the poor girl is wanting more food because tonight when I was cooking up her grub (I cook almost a week's worth at a time), she was pacing about, so I decided to throw some rice (leftover from Chinese takeout) and canned NEO in her dish to tide her over until I got done cooking. I put the rice in her dish, and turned to grab the canned food to put in - and she was scarfing up plain white rice!!! WHAT! Diana would NEVER eat plain white rice! We're now looking at feeding her 4x per day. If she'll eat it - we'll feed her. I won't have her hungry.

 

My experience with kidney diets is likely outdated, like 7-8 years ago, but my memory jives with what your info. Excess phosphorus can damage kidneys. Protein doesn't necessarily damage kidneys but the byproducts of protein metabolization (probably not wording that quite right) can build up in their system & make them feel like crud. So the key is to make sure the protein you give is of the best quality possible in an effort to provide necessary protein while producing the absolute minimal of harmful byproducts. You also want to feed the minimum amount protein needed but not so little as to deprive the body. It's hard to balance as the body's need for protein isn't reduced with kidney disease & I think older dogs actually need more protein than younger. As kidney function declines it may be necessary to reduce protein in an effort to minimize the metabolites. (Again, may not be wording that correctly.) So, as you say, in mid stage kidney disease you usually feed a reduced protein diet as opposed to the low protein.

 

Each dog & situation is different, of course. So be mindful of the numbers, in relation to both diet & bloodwork, but pay even more attention to your dog. She appears to feel better so you're doing something right, but she's acting hungry & looking leaner so your switch to more calories via more feedings sounds like a good idea. Is the added protein good or not? Only you, your dog & your vet can determine that. Though I say your dog's vote counts twice. :D

 

PS It doesn't help that most protein comes with so much phosphorus attached. Grrr... wish my dog had liked egg whites but he apparently took after me. :lol

Edited by kudzu
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My bet is that the cause of increase appetite is a combo of items. If she had elevate serum BUN &/or phosphorous levels then decreasing those can indeed perk up their appetite. How many calories per day was she eating before starting the kidney diet? How many cal/day after switching to kidney diet? Could a reduction in calories be part of it?

 

 

My experience with kidney diets is likely outdated, like 7-8 years ago, but my memory jives with what your info. Excess phosphorus can damage kidneys. Protein doesn't necessarily damage kidneys but the byproducts of protein metabolization (probably not wording that quite right) can build up in their system & make them feel like crud. So the key is to make sure the protein you give is of the best quality possible in an effort to provide necessary protein while producing the absolute minimal of harmful byproducts. You also want to feed the minimum amount protein needed but not so little as to deprive the body. It's hard to balance as the body's need for protein isn't reduced with kidney disease & I think older dogs actually need more protein than younger. As kidney function declines it may be necessary to reduce protein in an effort to minimize the metabolites. (Again, may not be wording that correctly.) So, as you say, in mid stage kidney disease you usually feed a reduced protein diet as opposed to the low protein.

 

Each dog & situation is different, of course. So be mindful of the numbers, in relation to both diet & bloodwork, but pay even more attention to your dog. She appears to feel better so you're doing something right, but she's acting hungry & looking leaner so your switch to more calories via more feedings sounds like a good idea. Is the added protein good or not? Only you, your dog & your vet can determine that. Though I say your dog's vote counts twice. :D

 

PS It doesn't help that most protein comes with so much phosphorus attached. Grrr... wish my dog had liked egg whites but he apparently took after me. :lol

Luckily Diana LOVES her eggwhites! And double-lucky - my friend has chickens that produce way too many eggs so we have an unlimited free supply!

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