This forum is great - I was going to post and ask if there was a "COTH type forum for dog owners" but I guess this will do!
I have a 14 year old Aussie recently diagnosed with a liver disorder. His enzymes are way out of whack, and my new vet had me switch to a prescription "renal health" diet.
Due to food allergies, for the last 10 years my dog has been eating a prescription diet of limited ingredients (potato and duck) and doing just fine with no itchiness. I'm concerned now that the renal health diet is NOT limited ingredients - seems to be corn high on the list - and I can't tell what's renally healthy about it, other than it's lower in protein.
Does anyone know of a lower protein limited ingredient diet, that isn't prescription? I am also considering cooking for him, and including a multivitamin. Has anyone switched to cooking for their dogs instead of buying commercial food? How much of a hassle is it?
A friend of mine cooked for her dogs.
They ate what she ate. However, she being severely allergic to a great many things, health conscious of things like high blood pressure etc eats exceptionally healthy herself. Things like brown rice and low salt etc...
I am somewhat puzzled: Your dog has liver problems but the vet put him on renal diet?
I do understand that it's not the same, but Dalmatians are prone to kidney and bladder stones due to an abnormality in metabolism. The Dalmatian club has somewhere on the website a list of foods to avoid. maybe a peek can help you out there.
There are a lot of recipes out there you can throw together while you cook for yourself and the family. and since (hopefully) the ingredients are just as high grade, if you mix it up it should not matter much.
My 12 year old Jack Russell was recently diagnosed with hepatitus, and I think my vet was disappointed that it wasn't cancer (which she thought it would be, given how high her liver levels were and the degree of jaundice).
Siren has no food allergies, but got very picky once diagnosed (she had always been a good eater). Some days she would eat the a/d food; other days she turned up her nose at it. Some days her kibble was all she'd eat (like tonight) other days she'd eat this wet food, but not that. Some days all she'd eat was roast beef.
Blue Buffalo is an excellent food, if you want to go natural. Siren thought it was too stinky :) My girlfriend went the RAW way over 5 years ago and cured her dog of seizures, he was also found to be gluten intolerant and he's doing great for 13.
Good luck with your Aussie.
My sister uses a food called EVO for her cairn terrier who has lots of allergies and she has been happy with it. I currently use a brand called Merrick for my mini aussie pup. I have to go to the pet food store this weekend and will try to remember to inquire about different foods of low protein/limited ingredients. I am lucky that this one pet food store near me is very good about giving you samples, carrying a large number of specialty foods or will order if it is something they don't routinely carry.
I cook for my JRT, it's not a hassle at all, he eats what we eat most nights. We (read I since I am the cook;) ) eat pretty healthy.
Most nights its 4oz of lean protein, I'm on 93/7 ground turkey at the moment, sweet potato, and a green veg. I do burgers with the turkey, baked on a cooling rack over a baking dish. I steam and mash the SP with pepper and cinnamon, touch of butter, and steam the green veg.
I cook his breakfast TB at the same time, he's on his spring diet (he gets a little winter fluff), so he doesn't get lunch, but in a month or so I'll do his lunch TB as well.
Breakfast is just a TB, lunch would be a TB and handful of chopped raw broccoli slaw. I eat broccoli slaw mixed with tuna for lunch. I would give him the tuna, but fish makes him gassy:D.
He also gets a multi vitamin, brewer's yeast and fish oil.
The "Whole Dog Journal" magazine has lots to offer regarding quality commercial dog foods, how to make your own as well as health issues and related appropriate diets. Some of the articles are available online, I believe. I think not too long ago they had an extensive article on vet - "prescription" diets as well as the whole high-fat/low-fat controversy.
OnlyNaturalPet.com carries good dog/cat foods and also has online resources regarding various diets - commercial, raw, homemade etc.
I do a rotation of HK, raw, some kibble and homemade - my dogs(10 and 12) eat everything and latest blood work was excellent.
Did the vet explain why a renal disease food for elevated liver enzymes? Has the dog been tested for anything else? I can think of several things off the top of my head that could cause an elevation. Just wondering?
I've learned to question all vets and doctors.
I would suggest ABADY.
Call them and you will end up talking to Dr.Abady or his wife directly. Some of the best dogfood and "perscription" dog food on the market. The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation has been using Abady exclusively for 30 years. It's one of the longest long term studies of any single dog food brand ever done.
Why don't you consult a nutritionist? http://www.acvn.org/
Thanks for all the replies! I will check out the links - really appreciate it!
Honestly, I don't know why the vet put him on the k/d food. It may have been the lowest protein diet she had, I'll have to ask her. That seemed to be her main concern with his previous prescription diet.
Marty is actually a miracle dog - he was lost for 17 days in February when I was away - he ran off chasing the UPS man when my b/f took him outside. When we found him he was at the bottom of a ravine, too weak to stand up and likely would have died soon.
At the emergency clinic where he was stabilized, they were concerned at his liver enzyme levels, but my regular vet blew it off, for some reason (and is no longer my vet!). A month into his recovery from being lost, he had a grand mal seizure while taking a nap. Hope he never has another one - it was just awful to see, poor sweet Marty!
Took him to a new vet after the seizure - found his liver levels now even higher (ALT is 277 and AlkPhos is 1215). She did a bile acid test and an ultrasound of his abdomen - no masses, but can't rule out cancer. According to new vet, he may have injested some toxin while he was lost, or it might be something like Cushings.
So, poor man is on antibiotics, Denosyl and milk thistle with the suggestion to put him on this k/d food. He's doing remarkably well now, there are just so many unknowns. I'm seriously considering just cooking for him, unless I can find something limited ingredients and low protein that won't make him itchy.
Have you seen a specialist yet? I highly recommend it!! My 6 yr. dobe was diagnosed with liver dz. I didn't see a specialist until his liver values were not improving, this was about 6-8 months of just checking his blood work. I finally brought him to a boarded internal med Dr and it was too late to really help him too much. He passed almost a year after he was diagnosed.:no: I should have brought him earlier and he could have been on the medications from the start. He also had IBD so needed a special diet. ( fish only) and the specialist never changed his diet. He said it wouldn't help his liver that much but it would negatively effect his IBD. There are many diets that are for liver problems.
Thanks SuperD, I didn't consider a specialist - still reeling from the regular vet bills. Do you mean a specialist in liver issues particularly? Sorry to hear about your dobe, did you ever find the cause of his liver problems?