From the Clinic 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 the 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:
1. I do not trust the Hill’s brand after the 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 a protein losing nephropathy, a disease in which protein leaks through kidney barrier, or possibly bladder issues or both.
2. 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 who has not been affiliated with poisoning animals unintentionally. I understand that a low protein diet takes 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 verses the content. My recommendation for you would be the Pet-Tao Blaze diet canned. This diet is me 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 GMO’s.
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 dogs weight. Canned foods of natural origin contain more water than the typical canned diet. More water means less calories and less calories means 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.
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 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 the 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!