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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-19-2014 08:53 AM
Momto2GSDs Research will be key for your friend before feeding her Fur Baby a vegan diet.

Information from Mary Strauss:
Articles and Studies Following are links to a series of articles and studies on the roles of protein and phosphorus in the diet of dogs with kidney disease, supporting the idea that reducing protein in the diet does not slow the progression of kidney disease nor prolong life, and is unnecessary unless it is needed to relieve symptoms of uremia (very high creatinine and BUN), or if your dog has significant proteinuria (protein in the urine, in which case moderate but not severe protein restriction is indicated). I have provided excerpts from these articles, but I would encourage you to read them in their entirety if you are dealing with a dog with kidney disease, as many of them contain a great deal more information than I will show here.
More Study Results from the Nutrition Symposium by Ken Tudor, DVM (6/27/13)
The double-blind, randomized study compared actual kidney function, creatinine (a blood marker for kidney function), body condition and survival time of dogs fed a low protein diet (16%) and those fed a normal diet (22.5% protein). Both diets had the same restricted phosphorus content. What they found was no significant difference in kidney function, blood creatinine levels or survival time between the two groups. As expected the body condition scores were greater for the normal protein group as they maintained more muscle mass. The main determinant of survival time was the level of kidney dysfunction at the time of diagnosis, not the diet.
What is interesting is that the low protein diet in this study was 2-3 percent greater than most of the veterinary diets formulated for kidney disease. That means that muscle loss would be expected to be even greater for pets being fed veterinary kidney diets. The maintenance of muscle mass has implications for maintaining an active lifestyle. Since quantity of life is no different it would make sense to feed kidney patients a normal protein diet to maintain their quality of life. This study also suggests that phosphorus control is more important than dietary protein in kidney patients.
Dogs with kidney problems by Dr. Lucy Pinkston, D.V.M.
"Because by-products of protein digestion are the main toxins that need to be excreted by the kidneys, an obvious assumption might be that all one needs to do is to cut out the protein and the kidneys wouldn't have any more hard work to do. . . . There is significant evidence, however, that the daily protein requirements actually increase slightly for dogs in chronic renal failure. Therefore, severely restricting the protein for such a dog is likely to result in protein malnutrition, in spite of the fact that the levels of blood urea nitrogen, or BUN (the primary by-product of protein metabolism) would be correspondingly lower." This article contains a great deal more useful information in easy to read format.
Are High Protein Diets Harmful to a Dog's Kidneys? from the Veterinary Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.
"The myth that high-protein diets are harmful to kidneys probably started because, in the past, patients with kidney disease were commonly placed on low-protein (and thus low-nitrogen) diets. Now we often put them on a diet that is not necessarily very low in protein but contains protein that is more digestible so there are fewer nitrogen by-products."
The Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function by Kenneth C. Bovee, DVM, MMedSc
"Morris subsequently developed, produced, and sold a low-protein diet, KD, for dogs with renal failure. He and others were influenced by the erroneous work hypertrophy concept for urea excretion advanced by Addis. While experimental or clinical data were never published to support the value of this or other diets, the concept was broadly accepted without challenge in the veterinary literature." This article talks about the history of protein restriction, and about 10 recent experimental studies that have failed to provide evidence of the benefit of reduced dietary protein to influence the course of renal failure.
Also see Influence of Dietary Protein on Renal Function in Dogs by the same author, which concludes, "These results do not support the hypothesis that feeding a high protein diet had a significant adverse effect on renal function or morphology."
Nutrition and Renal Function from the Purina Research Report
"Dietary Protein and Renal Function: Results of multiple studies indicated that there were no adverse effects of the high protein diets." This report also includes information on metabolic acidosis and on the beneficial effects of omega-3 essential fatty acids in patients with chronic renal failure. The complete reports on each of the three studies mentioned in this report are available online, as follows: Effects of Dietary Lipids on Renal Function in Dogs and Cats; Effects of Dietary Protein Intake on Renal Functions; and Acid-Base, Electrolytes, and Renal Failure.

Your friend may want to consider soaking dry kibble in water (about 15/20 minutes) before feeding so that the dry kibble does not pull moisture from the system. Store any leftovers in the frig until next meal. Do not leave out.

Suggestion's to help dog's with kidney problems: Health: Medical Treatment for Dogs with Kidney Disease

Hope this info helps.
08-18-2014 10:54 PM

Originally Posted by nezzz View Post
Kidney disease can come in many flavours, but typically to manage it you either go for dialysis if it is 100% kidney failure, or if it isn't too severe, you manage diet by cutting down on sodium or proteins which cause the kidneys to work hard. It makes sense why the vet wanted the dog on a vegetarian diet to cut down on protein and uric acid but perhaps a different approach would be to give lesser meat to the dog.
This is so true. My niece is 8 and had problems with her kidneys. I know it's not the same as a dogs body, but I remember her pediatrician saying she needs to be in low sodium and low protein diet. Her stupid mom still feeding her pork, cup o noodle soup, pizza. Ughhhh. But I digress, yes a low protein low sodium diet may help the dog if it is not complete kidney failure like nezzz said.
08-18-2014 10:37 PM
nezzz Kidney disease can come in many flavours, but typically to manage it you either go for dialysis if it is 100% kidney failure, or if it isn't too severe, you manage diet by cutting down on sodium or proteins which cause the kidneys to work hard. It makes sense why the vet wanted the dog on a vegetarian diet to cut down on protein and uric acid but perhaps a different approach would be to give lesser meat to the dog.
08-16-2014 05:35 PM
eddie1976E Thank you all. The dog is losing weight because it is not eating the current vegitarian kibble. I'm not sure which kibble it is. I will pass on the information. I would be seeking a second opinion and seeing a nutritionist.
08-16-2014 04:15 PM
BARBIElovesSAILOR Also, could the dog be losing weight because of its ailment? It may have nothing to do with being fed a vegetarian diet, or it may? Maybe you can get some more information...
08-16-2014 04:14 PM

Either way, I'm kind of a questioning type of person so I would tell your friend to get a second opinion and find out if the dog specifically needs a vegetarian diet for the kidney problems? I have not heard of this before but I'm not a vet. Maybe it's not the meat, maybe there are other things the dog needs to omit to have a healthy body, but if it's meat, and that's what a few different vets tell the owner, then yes, there are several vegetarian dog foods. The one I posted a pic of is one that is easily accessible at petco, however there are many more that I'm guessing can be purchased on amazon. Such as evo
08-16-2014 04:06 PM
lalachka maybe I don't understand something. can dogs live on vegetarian diets? barbie is saying they can. how?
then again some kibble brands have almost no meat in them and dogs are still alive on it. so I guess I'm wrong.
08-16-2014 04:00 PM
llombardo I would think as in humans with kidney problems different veggies might cause more issues. I would also consult with someone to see what the dog needs or should have.
08-16-2014 03:57 PM
onyx'girl For a dog with kidney issues, I'd be consulting a nutritionist that specializes in renal problems. I wouldn't put the dog on a vegetarian kibble.
Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog Food | Review and Rating
08-16-2014 03:49 PM

Here it is
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