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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know @onyx'girl had some success with a home-cooked diet, but in an apartment we don't have (I don't think; apartment size fridge) the space to do homecooked for one of the dogs. Hmm...

Neb had his annual today - he's 14.5 - Toby looked at his report card and said 'So he's old'. Heh. I told Toby with Luc, and I say it now, old age is not a health condition (talk to me in 30-40 years I guess if I make it that far). Luc lived to 15.5 and I have every expectation Neb will make it longer. I've had him since he was six weeks old, he'd better! I can't imagine not having him around.

Neb's regained some of the weight he lost and his weight is stable - I'm happy with where he is, 38.3lbs. He's hovered within a few lbs of that for years - Toby and the vet seem to be Team Forty Pounds but as he's got arthritis and the vet gave him a BCS of 3 I think we'll hang onto things as they are.

Running a geriatric panel and urine - should have the results tomorrow. His late May/early June bloodwork indicate stage 1 renal disease on the (Iris I think it is) scale.

I forget the one value that has changed a bit over the years (edit: creatinine - still stage 1 on Iris), but the one most of interest kidney-wise is the SDMA. His was 16 a few months ago (14 being the high end of normal), it was 15 the year before and in 2019 the vet told me today was 8, so things are picking up.

Otherwise, his check went well - his heart is good (I guess? 96bpm, he's no Xerxes the Attack Beagle, but then he's twice his age), but it and his lungs sounded good. Teeth are worn - but then he grew up raw fed and IS 14.5. He is fine eating kibble. Well - it went well, except - he hadn't pooped this morning, I took him out at home before leaving (what with his kidneys and urine and all) and once we got there and he still hadn't pooped. So as she was doing the anal glands and prostate check...well...he pooped. She said not to worry (I was mortified; it was about to get worse), went to throw it out, change gloves, round 2. Took 4 tries to be able to do the prostate check and even that made him poop. Vets don't get paid enough!!!!! But they are lovely, I think we were in the vet itself for around an hour and they didn't rush at all, super thorough, super lovely as always. I adore our vet!

Back to my question though - even if his bloodwork is unchanged, he currently eats Acana (Agis is a bit of a picky pants) rotating through various formulations, all around 35% protein.

This is higher than he should have with his kidneys. We are thinking he'll have to eat a different food than Agis and Xerxes.

I will talk to the vet tomorrow about options with diet, including home-cooked, but does anyone have suggestions for quality kibble with protein in the range of 15-20%?

Bonus points for not breaking the bank (hence kibble instead of wet, though I know extra moisture is good - open to dehydrated, but that's costly too IME - we try to add water to his kibble currently though I am awful at remembering) as we are currently very to the poor side of things (we have hopes things will look up, doing some financial stuff that I hope pans out, but in the meantime, today was $475 which didn't help).
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh and we stopped in the spring NSAIDs for arthritis - gabapentin obviously didn't help either (what with not being made for that sort of pain and all). He gets 1000mg (or whatever) of wild salmon oil 2x/day. He is taking CBD to see if that helps with the arthritis - jury very much out on that, he's approaching what the vet has seen as the helpful max dose in a recent study. Dunno. He chased a squirrel last week, I suppose.
 

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I'm pretty sure for kidney disease, there are more factors than just low protein. They probably need to change phosphorus levels along with sodium. You probably need to go with a prescription diet. Hopefully, the conversation with the vet helps and they have some good recommendations.
 

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I can’t comment on special diets for kidneys or other health conditions. However we recently put Athena on an “old age/reduced activity” food that we soak in water for her and she is doing very well on it. She is 8 but a very old 8- she is so grey, has had 3 major surgeries in her lifetime, thyroid disorder, bad bad byb genetics. Sounds like Neb despite his kidney stuff is doing quite well. I wonder if an old dog specific kibble would be ok?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks @Hopps and @Zeppy

You're right about low sodium and phosphorous. I'm not sure if he needs a prescription specific diet yet or not - that's generally done in stage 2 - though I am of a mind to do it now just to keep him out of higher stages for as long as possible.

Definitely going to talk to the vet and let them guide me, was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts/successes with food that might be an option I could raise :)

I would lean towards Hills Prescription as I've used it in the past. Not sure if it's the best of not.

Zeppy, poor Athena! We've avoided senior specific foods as they're generally also to help keep weight down and if anything Neb needs his weight stable...he lost weight for awhile. Low calorie food wouldn't be his friend. But I will ask the vet about that too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh my goodness! I have SUCH good news!!!!!!!! Beyond thrilled!!!!!

His SDMA has dropped to TEN! TEN! Well within normal! ALL his kidney values are normal again! I am THRILLED!

His bloodwork all looks great, except his blood sugar was a bit low (this has been off and on for years) and his one thyroid test was low - so they're adding some other thyroid tests on as is cheaper to do now rather than a separate test later. And because our vet is lovely they're letting us pay for the extra tests next month even though they're being run now.

(That's what years of a relationship and bringing them goodies every so often will do I guess)

We will still look into finding a lower protein food (she said try to be aware of min vs. max, if they provide a range - I'm going to call or email Acana) but it does not appear we need to have him on a kidney-specific food. Phosphorus etc. was all fine.

Urine does remain very dilute, but the sample was also very quiet and we've measured how much he drinks before and it's reasonable.

YAY! Go Nebbers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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Good job Neb! Take credit for loving and caring for him. It's amazing that he is still doing well at his age and that is a credit to your care. Not all dogs are blessed with the genetics to take them that far, but he certainly wouldn't have done that without a devoted owner regardless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good job Neb! Take credit for loving and caring for him. It's amazing that he is still doing well at his age and that is a credit to your care. Not all dogs are blessed with the genetics to take them that far, but he certainly wouldn't have done that without a devoted owner regardless.
Aww thanks! We've been lucky he has done so well. Trucking along. I am hoping he's with us for years to come though am trying to realistic as well.

(He's certainly given us some scares over the years, but has come out okay!)
 
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My vet gave me a recipe to make at home. I would cook up a large batch and freeze some. It was economical and also healthy for the dog. That was two major moves ago so I no longer have the recipe. There's a book with a title something like Feed your best friend better that would likely have some suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks @middleofnowhere - I'll see if I can find that online.

@Zeppy oh he had a celebratory walkie! To the subway to meet Toby after work! :love:
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yay I’m so happy for you guys! That’s so awesome!
Thanks so much! I am thrilled (as you could probably tell). Will update how his bloodwork tomorrow looks!

@Zeppy I thought of you tonight on our mid-evening walk to the big park - we were doing the trails, and he was tearing around with Agis (not quite as fluidly, but his hips are stiff).

Defying age, that's our Nebbers!
 
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Thanks so much! I am thrilled (as you could probably tell). Will update how his bloodwork tomorrow looks!

@Zeppy I thought of you tonight on our mid-evening walk to the big park - we were doing the trails, and he was tearing around with Agis (not quite as fluidly, but his hips are stiff).

Defying age, that's our Nebbers!
Love it! He’s feeling good 😊 💕
 

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I have all the info. Out of town at a conference right now but will get it to you next week.

Protein is not an issue. Phosphorus is. And it's a balance if phosphorus and calcium
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have all the info. Out of town at a conference right now but will get it to you next week.

Protein is not an issue. Phosphorus is. And it's a balance if phosphorus and calcium
Thanks Jax! I appreciate that.

His kidneys seem fine now, based on the bloodwork results, which is amazing and completely unexpected! Talked to our vet this morning (after getting info from Acana) who said try to keep protein in high 20% rather than 35% (Acana said they vary +/- 3% of their figures). Our vet doesn't want him on low protein at all because she wants to keep his muscle mass up and healthy (or as healthy as it can be in a dog his age).

His other thyroid tests came back, he is hypothyroid, so we're starting him on meds for that.
 
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