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I was just reading reviews on EVO dog food and several people blamed their dogs kidney problems/bad blood work results to the high protein, then they changed and everything went back to normal. Is this just a coincidence? We feed our dogs the best food we can afford (in my case Orijen Senior), are we risking the health of our dogs by feeding high protein foods? I have read the Orijen white paper, and read a bunch of stuff on how dogs need higher protein than most commercial foods contain. Any thoughts on this? I feel like I should stop feeding high protein food b/c I don't want to risk causing her issues. Last year we did blood work on her to have her tooth extracted, so I will do another in the summer to compare her numbers.
 

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I heard this as well Eddie but I also heard the other side of the story. Maybe a raw feeder can give us an idea on how much protein a raw feeder eats? It has to be just as high if not more you would think?
 

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When you feed a higher protein diet, you will see slightly higher blood protein and creat. This is not a bad thing and absolutely not a reason to change the diet. You only need to be worried if the results are way off.

Feeding higher protein will not cause any renal problems. If your dog already has renal problems, then you would want to switch to a lower high-quality protein to reduce the phosphorus.
 

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I feed an almost exclusively meat diet due to extensive allergies and I also run regular blood work. Creatinine stays pretty low (only spiked at one time when I fed a canned food), and total protein is also in the middle of the range. His BUN will spike some from the higher protein - the creatinine should not.

Interesting to note, it was EVO canned that spiked both of my dogs' BUN and creat. levels. My GSD recovered from it slowly when I removed the canned food from the diet, my girl never completely recovered, probably because she also had heart disease.

So, if folks are saying that this occured with EVO, and resolved when their dogs were taken off of EVO, I would suspect it is with the formulation of that diet and the individual dogs, not high protein in general.

Here is some info in general about protein and kidneys:
Kidney Health and Disease - GermanShepherdHome.net
 

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I was just reading reviews on EVO dog food and several people blamed their dogs kidney problems/bad blood work results to the high protein, then they changed and everything went back to normal. Is this just a coincidence? We feed our dogs the best food we can afford (in my case Orijen Senior), are we risking the health of our dogs by feeding high protein foods? I have read the Orijen white paper, and read a bunch of stuff on how dogs need higher protein than most commercial foods contain. Any thoughts on this? I feel like I should stop feeding high protein food b/c I don't want to risk causing her issues. Last year we did blood work on her to have her tooth extracted, so I will do another in the summer to compare her numbers.
First let me comment on the Orijen White Paper, it is ridiculous document made up of research by others and often taken out of context, like the comment from David Kronfeld who actually helped formulate Annamaet Ultra at Penn

Diets like EVO are marketed as substitutes for raw feeding, ie feed raw the easy way. Well the problem with this is that a dog can consume much more protein on EVO than raw. Raw muscle meat and organ meat is lets say 10-12% protein, that is quite a bit lower than EVO right? Even gram comparisons show that much more protein will be consumed on a kibble like EVO. Is it bad? I am not sure but I know it is not required. These diets also contain very high levels of ash, which in my opinion should be avoided. Orijen Senior is not that high at 7-8% but the lower the better. EVO is very high.

Unless an adult dog is exposed to very high levels of work-related stress, there is no way 40% protein is going to be assimilated. Sled dog foods usually max out at 30 - 32% and when mixed with raw meat, extra fat and cooked grains, that drops considerably. Sled dog racers usually don't even supplement a 30-32% kibble.

A normal, active GSD or other companion animal will be just fine on a diet between 25-30% protein assuming a Meat Meal is the primary protein.
 

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I do not know of any studies that show that high protein intake damages kidneys. Has anyone seen this? I don't know of it in human medicine either.

My dog with impaired kidney function can not rid herself of the metabolic wastes from proteins, so she gets a low protein diet.

The dogs here with good kidney function have not shown abnormal bloodwork when eating a high protein diet.

I think challenging the kidneys with a high protein diet might be more diagnostic of an issue that is subclinical rather than a "cause" of the problem.
 

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My 12 yr old GSD has been on Orijen adult for the past 3+ years. She's done fantastic on it during this time and we do regular bloodwork. The only time we had an issue with bloodwork was the last time we ran it, and they believed it was just done too close to her feeding. When we re-did the bloodwork w/ enough time b/w feeding and testing, everything came back normal. Maybe some of the other test problems out there are due to the same issue of poor timing on blood tests?

However, all that being said, my dog has been on the new formula of Orijen for about 3 weeks now and her normally 24-7 solid stools have declined a little. I'm having the vet run a fecal test to rule out other possiblities, but if it comes back neg, the new improved higher meat content formula may not be working for my dog. Still just a stool issue though - I would guess her bloodwork would remain the same.
 

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That is a good point as to the consideration of the timing of the blood test.

I wonder if the stool is not the result of the food change. Always good to rule out other issues though.
 

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I do not know of any studies that show that high protein intake damages kidneys. Has anyone seen this? I don't know of it in human medicine either.

My dog with impaired kidney function can not rid herself of the metabolic wastes from proteins, so she gets a low protein diet.

The dogs here with good kidney function have not shown abnormal bloodwork when eating a high protein diet.

I think challenging the kidneys with a high protein diet might be more diagnostic of an issue that is subclinical rather than a "cause" of the problem.
High protein diets do not harm NORMAL kidneys at any age. However, the high ash content that goes along with these diets might as the dog ages. When we say high protein it means high protein kibbles because raw feeding in my mind is not high protein, all protein is a better way to put it.
 

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....and read a bunch of stuff on how dogs need higher protein than most commercial foods contain. Any thoughts on this?....
I absolutely agree with this. Having fed dogs a high amount of cooked protein for the majority of their lives, there is no comparison on how well they do with that, compared with if I add any grains or starches to make up more of their meal. My dogs do so well that when I take them to the vet and they are sick, the vets try to tell me that they aren't really sick because they look too good :rolleyes2:

However, when you talk about *processed* food that is high in protein, that is different because of the altered state of the food, AND the companies have their own "mix" of nutrients which may or may not be right for the dog.

Mika140, yes, some things on the blood test can be higher if a meal was consumed earlier, like BUN and glucose, though I don't remember what other things....if I have a scheduled blood test, I always fast so that I can compare numbers in my spreadsheet at home. Sometimes of course that's not possible, when they suddenly get sick and need bloodwork :(
 

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what is ash with respect to kibble?
Ash is anything that does not burn, so it is generally mineral content, the best sources of meat meal and meat by-product meal are called "low ash" grades but even if these are used more meat means more ash and more ash for some dogs is a problem.

Ironically, some of the lowest ash meals are actually the high-grade by-product meals, which in many cases are far better for the dogs than the lower grade meat meals. These contain mostly organ meat and are really good sources of protein. Many people have a phobia about chicken or poultry by-product meals because they think that it is feathers, beaks and feet but this is not really the case. The grades used in pet food are almost always low ash, high grade varieties. It is sad this is portrayed this way on the internet. Nutritionists don't want to fight this battle anymore.

Since no companion animal needs 40% protein, I think its best to stay away from these.
 

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A raw diet is actually moderate protein, not high protein, due to the water content in the raw food.

Dr. Dodds has an article on the effect of feeding a raw diet and the fact that the "Normal" levels for kidney and liver levels may need to be slightly adjusted because they tend to be higher in rawfed dogs. She doesn't say this is a bad thing; simply that the levels are different.
 
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