Friday, March 20, 2009

Canine Kidney Disease and Inappetance

Inappetance, particularly in the morning for an older dog may be an early sign that something is wrong. While there can be many causes of a dog not eating, this symptom, along with excess water drinking and frequent urination, is often a sign of canine kidney disease. First and foremost, take your pet to the veterinarian for a blood test--don't try to diagnose your dog yourself! Once you find out about your dog's condition and if canine kidney disease is diagnosed, it is important to make some dietary changes quickly. One pattern that we see frequently is where dogs may not feel like eating all day and then at night, eat too much. This perpetuates the cycle where excess phosphorous builds up in the blood during the night and then the pet will not want to eat in the morning. Purozyme, a proteolytic enzyme formula, given to your dog at bedtime can greatly help. In addition, it is important that the dog be put on a a low phosphorous, reduced protein diet. The dog needs some variety along with a reduced protein/phosphorous diet so that over time, the dog will be more inclined to eat in the morning too. You may need to find certain "comfort foods" such as dog biscuits that the dog really likes and offer them in the morning to get the dog started eating in the morning. Dogs can build up a lot of stomach acid too which can make them feel nauseated. This will affect their appetite too. Unfortunately, when pets have canine kidney disease, they can become very picky eaters. What they might have loved yesterday, they refuse to eat today and most of the time, they only want to eat what is not good for them---protein. Frantic pet owners have a tendency to give their dogs what they want and start giving them more and more protein---just exacerbating the symptoms as the phosphorous builds up in their blood stream. Ask Ariel can help you formulate a homemade diet and give you a number of tips to help with this inappetance issue. Canine kidney disease is tough and if detected early, can be managed but you need an expert veterinary nutritionist or holistic veterinarian to help you ensure you are feeding the appropriate diet.