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Home Cooked Diet For Kidney Disease


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Guest Quessie

Hello everyone! My 8-year-old greyhound's Ollie's kidney functions showed up slightly elevated and he got put on Royal Canin renal diet.

 

We were considering home cooked anyway due to the HIGH cost of the prescription food, but when he lost interest in it two days it we decided we definitely needed to try that route. I read a ton on renal diets and I think I sort of have something together. Here's the recipe I've been using so far:

 

1 lb meat (either 73% beef or skin-on chicken thighs)

1/2 lb veggies (a mix of carrots, peas, and green beans)

2 cups orange starch (sweet potato, pumpkin, or squash)

1 cup starch (rice, potato, or pasta)

2 cups water (to cook the rice)

2 egg whites

The egg shells crushed

1 tablespoon butter

 

I just chunked them all into a crockpot on high for three hours until cooked and mushy.

 

He finally ate after a whole day of nothing! He seemed to love it!

 

I'm still kind of confused on ratios and serving sizes. Right now I'm doing half a cup of home cooked and two scoops of prescription kibble twice a day with a scoop of wet food as a snack.

 

So I have a couple questions for you guys! This was my biggest resource figuring out his diet and I'm hoping all you experts can give me your experience!

 

First, looking at the recipe, do you see any big issues? Too little of one thing, too much of another? I'm hoping to eventually go all home cooked but I'm supplementing the dry to cover all the nutrient bases for now. Any edits you guys think I should make?

 

Second, how do I figure out how much to feed him? On the prescription kibble he was on about 3 and a half cups a day, but that seems like a ton of the home cooked.

 

Third, since the homecooked meals are soft does anyone have suggestions for something crunchy and teeth cleaning? Since his kidney problems prevent nice meaty bones and pigs ears, I've been adding fresh baby carrots but he doesn't seem to love them.

 

Fourth, I was tempted to cook the thighs in the crockpot with the bones in and then scooped them out at the last minute for easy removal and added broth nutrients. I know bones are a big no-no for kidney issues. But would cooking the bones leech the phosphorus into his food?

 

Fifth, and final question I swear! For kidney compromised dogs, how much do you worry about treats? I know bones and meat jerky are big nos, but with him being so off feed I'm tempted to give in and treat with some old favorites like peanut butter and cheese. Since it's such a small part of his diet would it be a big deal?

 

Thanks guys! Any help or ideas you could give would be hugely appreciated!

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What is "slightly elevated"? Greyhound values are not the same as normal dogs and if your vet is somehow living under a rock and doesn't know it, your dog might have been put on prescription food for no reason.

 

It would help if you could post the results, esp. for creatinine and BUN.

 

My George never once had a blood test come back with "normal" values. My former vet kept running test after test. Finally I emailed his results to Dr. Couto, who wrote back, "Please stop running unnecessary tests on this dog. His blood values are well within range for a greyhound." I gave it to my vet, she sort of turned white, gulped, and said, "Oh, he's the absolute expert on greyhounds, so...." and that was that. No more silly tests!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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From my perspective - too much protein for a kidney dog. Did you get the recipe from a veterinary nutritionist?

 

One of my dogs that had slight kidney issues had a diet formulated by Dr Remillard when she was at Angel and the proportions were like this for 1 meal (70 to 90 pound dog) --

 

1/4 cup meat/chicken (88% or better and no skin on chicken), 1/4 cup veggies, 2 cups (to 2 1/2 cups) rice along with vitamin supplements.

 

My dogs get oatmeal added in for breakfast and they also get treats during the day like yogurt with applesauce, toast with peanut butter..

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Guest Quessie

What is "slightly elevated"? Greyhound values are not the same as normal dogs and if your vet is somehow living under a rock and doesn't know it, your dog might have been put on prescription food for no reason.

 

It would help if you could post the results, esp. for creatinine and BUN.

 

My George never once had a blood test come back with "normal" values. My former vet kept running test after test. Finally I emailed his results to Dr. Couto, who wrote back, "Please stop running unnecessary tests on this dog. His blood values are well within range for a greyhound." I gave it to my vet, she sort of turned white, gulped, and said, "Oh, he's the absolute expert on greyhounds, so...." and that was that. No more silly tests!

I'd be happy to post them and I can put up pictures of the test pages if needed!

 

He said his levels were elevated compared to his test results a year earlier. His BUN was 11 in 2015 and is 16 in 2016. His creatinine is 1.9 as opposed to 1.4 a year prior. It's literally one point over the normal range but it is higher than it was before.

 

I suspect the rise is due to my niece and nephew who live with use sneaking him far more table scraps than I approve of, but the vet said even if that was the cause and I cut out all table scraps (and I have) that the number would not go down to normal again.

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I'd be happy to post them and I can put up pictures of the test pages if needed!

 

He said his levels were elevated compared to his test results a year earlier. His BUN was 11 in 2015 and is 16 in 2016. His creatinine is 1.9 as opposed to 1.4 a year prior. It's literally one point over the normal range but it is higher than it was before.

 

I suspect the rise is due to my niece and nephew who live with use sneaking him far more table scraps than I approve of, but the vet said even if that was the cause and I cut out all table scraps (and I have) that the number would not go down to normal again.

 

 

Also get a urinalysis - make sure it is a first morning specimen so it is concentrated. The Specific gravity is what you want to look at - it should be over 1.030. The protein should be negative.

 

 

edited to add --- if the specific gravity is under 1.030 and above 1.020, then your dog might not be able to concentrate the urine effectively and in this case, lowering the protein in the diet can be helpful. Typically, dogs that fall into this category will drink more water, the more protein they get as the water helps to remove the waste products from the protein breakdown.

 

My dog Larry had this (slightly high creat with lowered specific gravity) in addition to severe allergies to chicken and noodles and he did fine on a reduced protein diet (homemade).

Edited by MaryJane
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Guest Quessie

 

 

Also get a urinalysis - make sure it is a first morning specimen so it is concentrated. The Specific gravity is what you want to look at - it should be over 1.030. The protein should be negative.

 

 

edited to add --- if the specific gravity is under 1.030 and above 1.020, then your dog might not be able to concentrate the urine effectively and in this case, lowering the protein in the diet can be helpful. Typically, dogs that fall into this category will drink more water, the more protein they get as the water helps to remove the waste products from the protein breakdown.

 

My dog Larry had this (slightly high creat with lowered specific gravity) in addition to severe allergies to chicken and noodles and he did fine on a reduced protein diet (homemade).

 

Thank you! This is great advice! I know he ordered a urinalysis, now I'll make sure to get a copy of the results so I can take a look.

 

I'll be going over the diet with his vet, but now I'm concerned it's too high protein. I'm hoping continuing to mix it with his prescription will smooth over any failings my home cooked food has.

 

Would you mind sharing the recipe you used for Larry? I'm trying to find as many as I can.

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Guest Quessie

From my perspective - too much protein for a kidney dog. Did you get the recipe from a veterinary nutritionist?

 

One of my dogs that had slight kidney issues had a diet formulated by Dr Remillard when she was at Angel and the proportions were like this for 1 meal (70 to 90 pound dog) --

 

1/4 cup meat/chicken (88% or better and no skin on chicken), 1/4 cup veggies, 2 cups (to 2 1/2 cups) rice along with vitamin supplements.

 

My dogs get oatmeal added in for breakfast and they also get treats during the day like yogurt with applesauce, toast with peanut butter..

 

Oh no! I see. The diet isn't from the vet, I've cobbled it together from several sites.

 

The main base was http://eatswritesshoots.com/2014/06/16/recipe-for-low-phosphorus-dog-food-caring-for-a-dog-with-chronic-renal-failure/and I double-checked it against DogAware's guidelines.

 

Do you think I was wildly off? It's a pound of meat per half pound veggies and two pounds starch. Plus the eggs. Maybe I should mix it with some more rice. Right now I'm adding it to his prescription in a 1 to 2 cup ratio, so it's more of a topping to get him to eat.

How did you decide how much protein in what ratio? I'm having a bear of a time figuring out the ratios, but I thought I had found something worthwhile...

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Go back and search on my posts and you should see a few where I specify the amounts - if you cannot find them, I list them again.

 

The meat in my recipes it is less than 1/8 of the total - in yours, it's about 1/3 so way TOO much and that is not including the eggs you are adding in. Ditch the eggs for now and decrease the meat to 1/3 of what you are giving now.

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I would get a urinalysis before I did anything drastically. A fair number of greyhounds are perfectly normal at that number. Has he been showing signs of kidney problems? I could be wrong but I thought the "newer" research on kidney diets was:

 

-feed high quality/higher biological value protein (meats, eggs, etc.)...unless the dog is in final stages then reducing protein drastically is not necessary

-it is more important to keep phosphorus levels down.

 

I would definitely wait on the urine test though, I am surprised the vet would order you on prescription food without doing the urine test first. Greyhounds are known for running high creatinine. Teague had similar numbers and my vet did the same as yours until we ran the urine test to show that things were fine.

 

 

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Guest Quessie

I would get a urinalysis before I did anything drastically. A fair number of greyhounds are perfectly normal at that number. Has he been showing signs of kidney problems? I could be wrong but I thought the "newer" research on kidney diets was:

 

-feed high quality/higher biological value protein (meats, eggs, etc.)...unless the dog is in final stages then reducing protein drastically is not necessary

-it is more important to keep phosphorus levels down.

 

I would definitely wait on the urine test though, I am surprised the vet would order you on prescription food without doing the urine test first. Greyhounds are known for running high creatinine. Teague had similar numbers and my vet did the same as yours until we ran the urine test to show that things were fine.

 

 

 

Thank you so much! We're waiting on a urinalysis but this thread has definately shown me I need a copy for myself to check the data.

 

His values /are/ higher than his last values but we thought it might be all the table scraps I found out my niece has been sneaking him. I'm really not sure how many symptoms of kidney issues he has. He was really lethargic and not eating well, which prompted the bloodwork and the diagnosis, but then a week later we found out he had Horner's syndrome which, paired with one already blind eye, had made him totally blind over the course of a couple of days. So needless to say we're really not sure if the symptoms were from a kidney issue or the beginning of the /huge/ behavior changes from the sudden blindness. We're just really trying to be proactive while his numbers are still good in case it is anything.

 

I was under the impression of that research as well! I read a lot of diets and it seems like instead of really, really low protein, we wanted better proteins with low phosphorus.

 

Do you think there's any harm in this new food (which seems to be on the high protein end of a renal diet) until the urinalysis comes back in? With his blindness, at least the hot, home cooked food is getting him eating.

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I wanted to add that the amount of protein that you are giving is not going to hurt for a few days, I would be personally be more concerned that you are using the 73% hamburger which is pretty fatty which is why I was suggesting cutting your mixture with more rice. Too much fat in a dog's diet can cause problems with pancreatitis.

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Just popping in-your dogs renal values most likely increased due to the fact you mentioned he wasn't eating-he may have been dehydrated.

I wouldn't change his diet until you run the urinalysis and repeat bloods. Really was premature for this vet to suggest to place him on a renal diet so quickly.

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK, I lost a dog in January to kidney failure. Hers was pretty advanced when it was diagnosed, so if you're at early stage, others can offer you more info.

 

In my experience. From my research. Make your meat as low-phosphorous, and as high-fat as possible. The cheapest ground beef available. Chicken thighs. Fat is your FRIEND!!!

Your recipe looks fine to me. Be prepared to switch it up. Lack of appetite is HUGE for kidney dogs. They waste away. Do anything you can to temp appetite. Peanut putter. Yogurt. Bananas, etc.

 

Keep the meat as low as possible, but in my experience, they won't eat without it. Crockpot different mixtures, and freeze them in 1 c baggies and switch them up to provide variety to temp the appetite.

As far as how much to feed -as much as you possibly can. 5 or 6 times per day is completely reasonable. Diana did better with 6 1/2 c to 1 c meals per day. And she'd still only eat a bit of some of them. You CAN NOT over-feed a dog with kidney issues.

 

What are you doing for water? Most well or city water has minerals in it that a kidney-compromised dog can't filter. I'd suggest buying distilled.

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Just popping in-your dogs renal values most likely increased due to the fact you mentioned he wasn't eating-he may have been dehydrated.

I wouldn't change his diet until you run the urinalysis and repeat bloods. Really was premature for this vet to suggest to place him on a renal diet so quickly.

Agree with this and Redhead's comments above.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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