Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kidney Disease in Cats and Dogs Part II--Holistic Care

Holistic Alternatives for Cats and Dogs with Kidney Disease
Cats and dogs with kidney disease can greatly benefit from holistic care. Diet, nutritional supplements and acupuncture can help increase longevity and overall quality of life. Kidney disease is very common in older cats especially, but can be seen in dogs and cats of all ages. Owners need to be mindful not only of the kidney disease but of the other complications that can arise such as anemia, pancreatitis and high blood pressure and make adjustments to diets accordingly. Pets with kidney disease need a diet that is higher in carbohydrates, lower in phosphorous but rich in enzymes and Omega 3 fatty acids. There are prescription diets available from your veterinarian but many pets don’t want to eat the foods and start to lose weight. Ideally, using a well constructed homemade diet in combination with some commercial foods is your best bet. This provides variety to reduce pickiness and plenty of nutrients to keep your pet energized. Homemade diets are tricky though and can even be harmful if they are not constructed appropriately. Each pet will have different health conditions and taste preferences and what may work for one pet may be dangerous for another. For example, pets with kidney disease need a diet that is higher in carbohydrates and if possible, higher in fats. On the Internet, you may see “kidney diets” that are high in both omega and animal fats. Depending upon the diet, this might work for pets that can tolerate fats. However, pets with elevated pancreatic enzymes could become very ill from this diet and it would not be advisable. Thus, we recommend that you always check with a veterinary professional before using a homemade kidney diet.

There are several supplements that can help your pet with kidney disease. These supplements are available in different forms for your convenience. For example, we offer Purrfect Pet CoQ10 as well as Oxicell SE which is a topical cream that contains CoQ10. Kidney Terrain provides critical vitamins and nutrients to the kidneys while Renelix helps the body to flush out toxins that accumulate in the kidneys and urinary tract. It is also important to use Kidney Health -- Protein Support For Pets which has an enzyme that helps to break down protein, enhancing digestion and reducing the workload on the kidneys.We understand that having your pet diagnosed with kidney disease can be devastating and we are here to help. Using both conventional and holistic veterinary medicine can greatly enhance your pet’s prognosis. Early detection is key as well as maintaining proper hygiene for your pet (e.g. regular teeth cleanings can help your pet’s kidneys). We hope that by following these guidelines as well as getting regular laboratory testing, that you and your pet can enjoy a long and healthy life together.
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