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Old 05-17-2006, 02:23 PM   #1
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Default Possible Kidney Problem - Need Advice

Spencer is almost 18 months old.

He has been drinking excessively since I got him.

I estimate he drinks 4-5 cups of water a day. That's 40 ounces. The vet said an average, normal amount is about 1 ounce per pound. He is 18 lbs.

Last year we did a urine test. Protein good, sugar good, density good. That was after 18 hours without water as per the vet.

Today, we did another urine test. Sugar good, but had slightly elevated protein, and there was not enough of sample to do specific gravity.

I have to collect more urine and schedule blood tests for kindney and liver function. This time, vet did not say to fast him, but only to get the first AM urine, which I did yesterday.

I think I should fast him, at least for 12 hours.

I'm very worried that he has some kind of kidney disfunction. Any parents who have experience with this, in any way, need advice on testing, what to ask, what to feed if low protein diet is suggested.

We want to test him very thoroughly.

Thank you.
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:34 PM   #2
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The specific gravity test (shows urine concentration) is important to help the vet interpret the protein finding. They really shouldn't have any protein in their urine at all. You've ruled out diabetes. The feeding of protein has nothing to do with finding protein in the urine. If it is determined to be a liver problem, then you will probably be advised to give a low protein diet because it is easier for the liver to metabolize. I think your vet will be able to pinpoint the cause of the excessive thirst by the tests he is running.

Don't really understand why you feel you should fast him - follow the vet's instructions and never withhold water from a dog you suspect might have kidney failure.
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:51 PM   #3
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Default Thank you, Lacy's Mom

Thanks so much for your reply.

Last year, the vet did spec. gravity unfasted, and the urine was extremely dilute. He ordered urine test again, this time fasting for 18 hours. The spec. gravity was normal then.

He said he could not test spec. gravity on such dilute urine.

My husband agrees with you, that his urine should be tested as is.

Perhaps I will give both kinds of samples to the vet, see what the differences are after testing.

You sound very knowledgable, and I was wondering how you feel about commercial low protein, low phosphorous foods. Do you have any opinion about preparing this special diet, only if needed, by home cooking?

Thanks very much
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:24 PM   #4
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A dog with kidney disease will have very low specific gravity or unconcentrated urine. The most important test to show the general health of kidneys is the BUN and creatinine levels. If these are elevated than your vet will probably recommend a low phosphorus and low sodium diet. Since commercial foods use sodium as a preservative you will probably need to go to a homemade diet to get these levels down, low protein used to be recommended, but now they feel it is more harmful than helpful (except with liver problems).

Here's a great site to study up on kidney disease and it does tell you about commercially prepared foods that are low in phos. and sodium.
http://www.dogaware.com/kidney.html

Last edited by Lacy's Mom; 05-17-2006 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:44 PM   #5
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I was reading the link myself. If he is diagnosed with kidney disease, make sure you find out if he has high blood pressure. If not, it sounds like you don't have to worry about the sodium content at this time, only the phosphorous.

And, find out the BUN and creatinine levels so you can determine which stage he is in.

Last edited by Lacy's Mom; 05-17-2006 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 05-17-2006, 06:42 PM   #6
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First let me say how sorry I am to hear that your dog is sick. I know first hand how disheartening it can be to watch a dog who is sick and feel you cannot help because they cannot tell you how they feel. I bought a Shih Tzu puppy for my daughter as a graduation present last September. After we brought her home we noticed that she drank ALOT of water. Way more than 1 ounce per pound of her body weight. She also seemed to urinate alot. Which would go along with drinking so much water. Her urine was never yellow but always clear. We spent over 2 months on antibiotics because the vet tested her urine and there was some bacteria so they felt she had an infection. 3 medications later and we had a full kidney blood panel done. Her BUN, creatinine, and urea levels were all elevated. After a few other tests we found out our puppy was born with a full blown case of renal dysplasia. She literally has no kidney function as their kidneys are very small and basically do not function to clean the toxins out of her body. We were told she would not see her first birthday and that we could put her on special diet foods but it would not help her to any huge extent. We feed our other dogs very good dog food and missing link to help them digest all the nutrients to their fullest extent. I am happy to report that although she is dying she is still with us. We love her every day as if it were her last. She has the most wonderful spirit and I know God sent her to us because he knew we would care for her until she passes on to rainbow bridge. I do a load of laundry a day because of her need to urinate alot she has accidents. I wouldn't have it any other way. She is not suffering we are told and will not allow her too. I do not know that this is what is wrong with your puppy. Just sharing a similar story. I hope that you find out what is wrong and are able to correct it with medication or diet. Good luck and God bless your baby. I will pray for you.
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Old 05-19-2006, 11:11 AM   #7
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Have you received any test results back on Spencer?
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Old 05-20-2006, 07:30 AM   #8
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Default Blood Work Results Are In and It's Great News!

Hi All,

Vet called this morning and I received a belated Mother's Day Gift!

All values were perfect!

The excess water drinking is behavioral.

Vet said to measure out water amount given over a 24 hr. period, and he will advise if I should restrict intake and how much. He said this extra drinking should not cause kidney damage in the future, but he would like to check blood and urine about once a year.

No protein found in second urine test.

Thanks for your concern and support. I learned a lot.

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Old 05-20-2006, 12:13 PM   #9
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Glad the tests all came back good. There are so many things that polydipsia (excessive drinking) is a symptom of I would continue to watch him for other signs that may lead to a different diagnosis.

I found this on psychogenic polydipsia (behavorial reasons). I read other things that said when you do decide to restrict the water intake only reduce by 10% a week.

Psychogenic polydipsia - The over-consumption of water may constitute a behavioral or medical disorder; diagnostic testing must be performed to ensure that the condition is not a result of a medical problem. Dogs with psychogenic polydipsia tend to be young animals which may be attempting to seek attention from their owners. The owner attention comes when the animal frequently requests to be walked or let outside to urinate. Increased exercise, attention, and restriction of water are usually effective treatments.
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