on January 15, 2016
Posted in Cats
Keeping Your Kidney Disease Patients Eating
I am frequently asked about diet recommendations for cats and dogs with kidney disease in hopes of preventing Kidney Anorexia. Usually, this is because these pets are not eating their regular diet. It is very important to keep these animals eating
Here are the top reasons why dogs and cats with kidney disease do not eat.
- Dehydration Kidney patients can not conserve water, so they drink a lot, lose a lot of water and become dehydrated. My clients are frequently puzzled that a pet who drinks a lot is still dehydrated but this is part of the disease. They can not drink enough to maintain their hydration. Chronic dehydration makes them feel sick and so they do not want to eat.
- Uremia Elevated levels of urea and creatinine (ammonia toxins) build up in the pet and this makes the pet feel ill and leads to gastric ulcers.
- Gastric ulcers These can cause vomiting, nausea and pain and are a result of elevated ammonia levels. Animals with ulcers do not want to eat.
- A low number of red blood cells ( anemia). This can cause the pet to feel weak and suppresses appetite.
- Elevated blood pressure We know in humans this causes headaches and dizziness. If your pet feels this way, he or she may not want to eat.
- Side effects of medication Some of the medications that are given for kidney problems may cause your pet to anorexic.
- Infections Sometimes pets with kidney disease also have infections and this can suppress the appetite.
- Food aversion This can occur from offering too many different foods.
If your pet has kidney disease be sure you are on top of these possible problems. Your veterinarian can help you to know if your pet is dehydrated and how to correct it with subcutaneous fluids. Medication can correct or prevent uremia and gastric ulcers.
Anemia can also be helped with medication and vitamins. Elevated blood pressures and infections also need to be treated. Kidney support herbal formulae that contain Rehmannia are useful for some cases of kidney disease. Kidney Support Gold is one such supplement. Appetite stimulants such as Mirtazapine ( a pharmaceutical) or Four Gentlemen( a Chinese Herb) can be life savers for anorexic pets. B vitamins given by injection or orally are helpful to stimulate appetite. Phosphate binders and meds that decrease uremia (such as Azodyl, Epatikin, and Renal Advanced powder) are great for these pets. Acupuncture also works well with these pets.
If your pet is not eating because of kidney disease, be sure to check the things on this list and check with your veterinarian.
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan