There are two types of kidney failure; acute and chronic. Acute kidney failure (KF) can be brought on by ingestion of toxins such as anti freeze or rat poison. Chronic is often a result of old age or a dog that was born with malformed or unhealthy kidneys.
In 2003 I took my 14 ½ year old, Abbey, to the vet for her yearly check up where full blood work was done to check all organ function. Unfortunately her BUN, Creatinine and Phosphorous levels were all elevated and a urinalysis indicated hi specific gravity, all of which indicate kidney failure (KF). I knew she had not ingested anything and that we were dealing with chronic rather than acute KF.
She needed a low phosphorous food and natural supplements to try and bring her back to normal range or at least keep her from getting worse. She was put on the proper food, after much research, with added fresh cooked chop meat or eggs in each meal. Added to that were dried crushed egg shells to help bind the phosphorous in the added protein. She was given CoQ10, EPA/DHA fish oil, vit. E to help support her kidneys. She was monitored through blood work and urinalysis on a regular basis.
Abbey did wonderful for the next year and a half with no outward signs of the disease. On her last blood work she had become anemic and I knew it was time to let her go. She also had arthritis to deal with and I knew she had been thru enough. I made the difficult decision to put her to sleep one week after her 16th birthday.
There is a lot of info on KF here: http://www.dogaware.com/kidney.html
Please note the importance of enough “quality” protein for KF – not low protein. See info here:
I want to point out the importance of doing full blood work yearly on senior dogs. My vet back than did not feel it was necessary in 2003 since Abbey had perfect blood work the year before. I disagreed and had it done anyway. If I had not done this I would never have know because there were no outward signs and she would have suffered from her KF and I most likely would not have had that last year and a half with her.
Amberfield’s Dare Me Not (Abbey)
9/13/89 – 9/19/05
CH Dickendall Ruffy x CH Amberfield’s Surfer Girl
You were the light of my life.
We endured so much together.
Noone will ever replace you.
I will miss you always as you live on in my heart.