From the Desk of Dr. Marc Smith...
A Question for the Doctor:
My Dog Has Elevated Renal Values, Protein in Her Urine, and Allergies. What Should I Feed Her?
(Dr. Marc Smith's replies are listed in red.)
My dog, Blue, is a 10year old blue pit/rot mix. She was eating Hill's Science Diet in 2007, and became sick during the recalls for melamine. Although her specific brand was not formally recalled, many other Hill's/SD products were, and she became unexplainably ill but got better after switching her food. She also has allergies, and most recently suffered from pancreatitis--possibly from an over ingestion of my boyfriend's dog's Rimadyl.
In the last two years, since pancreatitis, my current vet has noted elevated renal values and protein in her urine and recommended she eat Hill's Prescription Diet K/D for mild elevation/prevention. A senior wellness lab report was done last week, and again I was told her renal values are elevated and there was protein in her urine; even after being on the K/D diet for almost two years. I believe the kidney values were 2.1, but I only received a quick phone call and wrote down as much as I could. I have requested a copy of the results and will forward them if received.
My concerns are:
Hills Dog Food Recall Problems Causing Renal and Allergy Problem
I do not trust Hill's brand after 2007 recalls, and wonder if that could have contributed to issues with her kidneys.
I don't think so. To my knowledge, Hills Prescription Diets were not involved in any of the recalls. Sounds like to me you have protein-losing nephropathy, a disease in which protein leaks through the kidney barrier, or possibly bladder issues or both.
Protein Quality for Elevated Renal Values and Allergies
I have always tried to feed her well, from switching off the Science Diet to grain-free premium alternatives (for allergies), and also a homemade BARF diet for a little while which was just too time-consuming for my schedule. Thus, I am concerned about the ingredients in Hill's K/D being fillers with little value, GMO's, and containing carcinogenic preservatives--I should note that she is constantly hungry, although she is at a healthy weight.--I don't know if that is female/breed-related, or because she is not getting what she needs from the K/D diet.
Overall her weight and well-being have been good on the K/D diet, however, I am wondering if there is a more natural, possibly grain-free, alternative available from a company that has not been affiliated with poisoning animals unintentionally. I understand that a low protein diet takes the stress off the kidneys; however, from my research, it appears that phosphorous may be more important than protein percentage, as well as the quality of protein versus the content. My recommendation for you would be the Pet-Tao Blaze diet canned. This diet is my and my friend dR> Casey Damron's diet, and we know what is used in the diet. The meat sources are all muscle meat with no fillers, preservatives, or GMOs.
Concerning the quality of protein, meat-based proteins are better period than plant-based for dogs. Low protein is a relative not absolute term. Many dogs in my practice do poorly on a low protein diet for renal insufficiency and act and feel better on a muscle protein-based diet. Depending on the size of your dog, I think a combination of the two may work best. The reason I say this is because of your dog's weight. Canned foods of natural origin contain more water than the typical canned diet. More water means fewer calories and fewer calories mean weight loss. So, since your dog's weight is normal, I would combine the two, or you could go to all canned and then consider combining the two if weight loss occurs.
Alternative Replacement for Hills K/D for Elevated Renal Values and Allergies
I have spent the last several weeks endlessly searching for any guidance because my Vet is solid in their "preventative recommendation" of Hill's K/D--which they also sell in the house--and I came across your site. I treat my body in a holistic manner, and I'm wondering if it's appropriate for my dog as well. Obviously, I don't want to do anything to harm my dog or fix something that isn't broken. I feel, regardless of the science behind the K/D diet, the food is still chemically processed and contains carcinogenic Ethoxyquin. Am I wrong to worry about that, or are there any alternatives you can recommend?
No! You are Not wrong but processed foods, although many dogs appear to do well, are not my first choice. Don't get me wrong, in some circumstances, I do use and recommend some of the prescription diets; however, they are not generally my first choice. Most canned diets do not need typical preservatives. One other suggestion for you might be Eastern herbals and a phosphorous binder like Epikatin if needed. Your concerns are valid! And, there is tons of misinformation circling. If you need more help, just let me know!!
Thank you in advance for any feedback!
More Powerful Tools for Your Dog's Kidney Challenges
There are many quick and easy changes you can make at home to help you give your dog an edge on easing urinary tract challenges.
- Learn more about dog urinary tract challenges.
- Provide bladder support. PET | TAO's Soothe Bladder is a blend of Eastern herbs and Western supplements working together to soothe your dog's bladder and urinary tract.
- Consider a Cooling Diet. PET | TAO's Chill cools inflammation caused by infection. Make sure to discuss any dietary changes with your holistic vet.
- Try PET | TAO Freeze Dried Beef Kidney Treats. According to TCVM, the kidney controls kidney, bladder, and urinary tract functions. As few as 5-6 treats per day can make a huge difference in your dog’s urinary tract and bladder health!
- Learn more about TCVM Herbal Remedies. Chinese medicine offers many amazing natural solutions for canine bladder and urinary health challenges. Some good examples are:
Powerful Tools for Overcoming Dog Allergy Challenges
There are many quick and easy changes you can make at home to help you give your dog an edge on easing allergy challenges.
- Learn more about dog allergies.
- Switch to a Limited Ingredient Diet. PET | TAO's Limited Ingredient Diet is naturally low in foods that stimulate an allergic response.
- Supplement with medicinal mushrooms. PET | TAO's Complement Immune Mushroom Blend eases inflammatory response and eases allergy symptoms.
- Try digestive enzymes and probiotics. PET | TAO's Harmonize Gi boosts gut health and combats food allergens.
- Feed Freeze Dried Lung Treats. According to TCVM, Lung is on the same meridian as the skin. Therefore, lung treats help both breathing and skin allergies. Lung treats support lung and skin similar to a glandular supplement in a "like treats like" fashion.
- Learn more about TCVM Herbal Remedies. Chinese medicine offers many amazing natural solutions for dog allergies Some good examples are: