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Old 02-07-2013, 11:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Kidney issues in a 10 month old GSD

We have a 10 month old GSD that has had no kindey/health problems other than a UTI when she was 8 weeks old. Recently the breeder we purchased her from informed us that one of her siblings went into kidney failure and had to be put asleep recently. "Luna" had her well check up today and we asked the vet if this should concern us. The vet did routine blood work and said that one of her kidney functioning levels was abnormal and the other was "normal" but on the high end and that she was somwhat concerned. I just obtained a urine sample to drop off to them and we went ahead and purchased the renal health prescription dog food for her.

We are very worried at this point and are awaiting the results of the urine test. Does anyone have any experience with kindey problems in a GSD as young as 10 months? She has not had any recalled treats or food that could have caused this. The vet said it could be a genetic thing. If so, where do we go from here and what does this mean as far as her future health? thank you very much any advice or suggestions is greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Which one was high? What's her CREA? her BUN? Did they check calcium and phosphorus levels? She should have had a CHEM17 done to show all those values. The urine will show if there is protein in it. If that is the case, her kidneys could be "leaking" protein which is a sign of potential kidney issues.

This is a good page
https://www.facebook.com/CRFDogs?ref=ts&fref=ts
With many good recipes for home cooked meals and recommended supplements.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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They said her BUN was high and the creatine was "normal" but at the very high end of normal and that typically if it was just the BUN it could be she is slightly dehydrated, but since the other was close to abnormal thats why they were concerned. The vet did not mention anything about the CHEM17, so I will call back and ask specifically about her other levels.

I did drop off the urine sample and they did not say anything about protein, but she said it was concentrated, but not as much as she would have liked for a healthy 10 month old. The vet suggestion was to put her on a renal diet and repeat blood work in 6 months unless she starts showing any symptoms or acting out of character. We are just worried now and wondering if we should seek a second opinion.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What do you feed her normally? Did she eat just prior to the BW? Or was it fasting?

Just so you know...a dog on a RAW diet will have higher BUN or CREA values. It wouldn't be a huge leap to say a dog on a high quality, grain free kibble with high meat protein levels may also.

A Chem17 will run about $100. But it will give you concrete answers on her phosphorus and calcium levels. I would want the whole thing done so I know what I'm comparing in 6 months and I would make sure it's fasting BW.

Check out that facebook page I listed above. ( the admin is a RN for patients with kidney issues as well as having a CRF dog) and I'll contact a friend to direct her to your thread.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Can you scan in and post the blood results? Did you get a copy of it? And a copy of the UA?
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for the response. No, I did not get copies of the BW/UA, but I will go down in the morning and get copies. I do not think they ran the CHEM17....the vet only did the "organ function testing" as it was described to me, but my wife is an RN and said she will speak with them in the morning about getting it done. The food that she has been eating is purina pro plan (large breed puppy) chicken or lamb flavor. The vet just started her on Hills k/d renal health food.

Again, thank you so much for the advice. She is our first GSD and puppy we have had in a long time. My wife is looking at the FB page as we speak and we will upload the results tomorrow.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The Hills/SD Renal Health is the LAST thing she should be eating. It has low (and crappy) protein and is full of fillers. It will not protect her kidneys AT ALL.

Here are the first 6 ingredients:

Brewers Rice, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor


Do your research. There are some excellent threads on this board about dealing with kidney issues that list various supplements you can use. I would switch her off of the Purina Pro Plan and put her on a raw diet or a homemade diet or at least a kibble with higher quality protein.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I talked to UConn, who had a boy with CRF, and she will post when she has time. We both agreed that the prescription renal kibbles are not the best choice, primarily because you have a young pup that still has CREA levels within normal range and that kibble is very low in high quality protein. When Banshee's (my senior dog) CRF was found, the vet recommended a home cooked diet.

The facebook link I gave you has many recipes on it. There is alot of good info in Banshee's thread as well. Lots of links, suggested supplements. The one that UConn highly suggested was
Renal Essentials For Dogs - Kidney health support for dogs, vitamins, supplements

Banshee's thread
Chronic Renal Failure in Senior

You'll have more answers once the bloodwork is run. My vet does a Chem17 on Banshee so he has all the levels. You will read outdated information in places that the dogs shouldn't have alot of protein (thus the kibble diets) but that is incorrect. What they need is lower phosphorus with high quality protein and you supplement their calcium. There is a situation where they can have high calcium but I don't know anything about that. Which is another reason teh Chem17 is so important.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks, Michelle, for posting what we discussed

I agree with all that Michelle and Ruth said. Your pup is still growing -- she needs high quality protein. I worry about the impact that a protein-restricted diet might have on her. Thankfully, her creatinine is still within the normal range. Given what you said, I think she will benefit from adding a few holistic kidney support supplements. Cannot recommend the Vetri-science one enough! Omega-3s also help a lot -- like a good quality salmon oil. Supplements with parsley and uva-ursi are also good. Please post the full blood work results when you can. That will help us read into the situation a bit better.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i would talk to the breeder and find out if they knew more about the kidney problem in the litter mate. are there any other pups in the litter that are not doing well. i would consider this step 1.
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