Canine Renal Failure Dog

We just had a 4 year old female (spayed) lab mix diagnosed with renal failure. It came on quickly but we are still not sure if it’s acute or chronic. Lepto has been ruled out.

We took her back to the sanctuary today to continue treatment. Current treatment is IV fluids, naxel (ceftiofur sodium) injection 1x day, prilosec 1x day.

This is our veterinarians treatment protocol that assuming she makes the weekend, will be evaluated Monday. I’d like to try to get a little more creative since the current prognosis is guarded at best.

Anybody got any thoughts ?

Blood Work

  • RBC   ……….  3.52 M/µL
  • HCT   ……….  28.1 %
  • HGB   ………. 9.6 g/dL
  • MCV  ………. 80.0 fL
  • BUN………      >130 mg/dL
  • CREA………       9.8 mg/dL
  • Phos………      >16.1 mg/dL
  • AMYL……       >2500 U/L
  • Na ………..       143 mmol/L
  • CI………….      126 mmol/L

The Spirit Dog


25 Responses

  1. Ah….Georjana,

    I’m so sorry about your little baby. I’m hopeful that you can find a little bit of solace, in knowing that she is now young again, pain free and playing happily in heaven.


  2. Seiko passed on a week or so ago. When I was poking scrambled eggs down her throat and telling her I wanted her to live forever, she would look at me with those brown eyes and tell me that she didn’t want to go on. The weekend before she passed the whites of her eyes began to yellow. She had an IV therapy on then next Tuesday and spent the night there. Wed when we went in her little eyes were yellow as mustard. She was ready to go. We were there when the vet administered the fatal drugs, and it was terribly hard to lose her. I still miss her and cry daily. She was two months short of her 16th birthday.

    I want to say how much it meant to me to have this blog and others to ask questions and fiind comfort. I received a card from my Church stating that several people had put in prayer requests for Seiko – that card was so uplifting. Please keep up your work, you are a great resource for many who are seeking advice and comfort.

  3. Hello Georjana,

    I’m so sorry about your little girl, we’ve never had a dog with Addisons so I don’t know much about it. Our little girl Blackie was so bad that we had to put her on blood pressure meds getting towards the end. When she was still with us she would eat then not eat, which was what her normal thing was.

    My prayers are with Seiko and you.



  4. Seiko is not eating still. She has had IV fluids at vet Friday. She has a new med for vomiting. So now she is quiet, will get up and walk around, go outside, drink water. Actually, when I try to feed her, she will want outside to rest under a cedar in the back yard. It is getting colder, but I think she likes the peace. I guess I’ll poke all those pills down her this morning, and hope she will eat. The vet will test her for Addisons some time next week. If I can’t get her to eat, then it doesn’t rreally matter what is causing the diesease.

  5. Update on Seiko – she is not eating anything. Cooked, canned, dry. For a while she would eat dry kibble if I tossed it at her like a game – one at a time. She is throwing up her meds. All that we are doing – numbers just are getting worse. I think I will get the Vet to test her for Addison Disease. What is your feelings on Addison Disease? If it is not that, then I guess I will have to start to prepare myself for her end of life.

  6. Thank you – so do you mix the meat/rice mixture with the canned food? or dry? The vet has Seiko on a couple of meds (I don’t have them with me – she is at the vet now on IV fluid therapy). But I also give her 2 Pepcid Complete tabs a day. He said that “complete” means it has Tums like ingredients in it, which is also a phosphate binder. Do you gage the amount of protein in your mix of home cooked ingredient and canned food?
    Seiko has been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. Her numbers seem to be getting worse the more we treat her. She could use prayers, and I need all the advice I can get.

  7. Hello Georjana,

    Thanks for the link it may help some people. For one of our RF dogs, we mixed cooked chop chuck and rice with the KD formula diet with some success, you may want to check with your vet about phosphate binders if your not already using them.

    Good luck

    Alan Papszycki

  8. I too have a 15 year old Blue Heeler with – well if you can get the vet to be specific – the last he said was Kidney Damage. So she has been at the vet for several days on IV. She is not eating. I am very worried. I get little info from the vet – but probabaly a large vet bill. Which, I’d be happ to pay if I didn’t feel that I’m in the dark about the entire thing. So I have reverted to the internet to find information. Below is a great resource for me. I’d like adice on getting her to eat too. What about a combnined prescription canned food and home cooked diet?

    Renal Disease/Urology

    Sheri Ross, DVM
    University of Minnesota

  9. Hi Karen,

    Sorry to hear about your little guy, I’m guessing your vets checked for lepto. See :

    Yea, the KD diets are kind of bland so ask your vet if there’s anything relatively safe to add to it, to make it taste better for Goldie.
    Be careful with the Spots Stew, that’s not a prescription diet for renal dogs.

    Good Luck

  10. Isn’t this just the pits. My 10 yr old corgi , Goldie, went for her physical a week and a half ago – did blood work to prep for teeth cleaning. Called 3 days later to be advised she was in renal failure. OMG Have been doing 350 ml sub q at home + antibiotics. Some days good – some days, down. Blood recheck yesterday. negatives on Bun and crea have dropped but still high. Protein – still high. Am continuing the sub q another couple weeks then retest. Did check for Lyme yesterday. Negative Doesn’t like the prescription diet.
    Anyone try the Spots Stew which has low protein. Thanks

  11. Hello Max,

    We lost that little girl the post was about, she was in end stage kidney failure and her bloods were just, well you’ve seen them. Oddly enough at about the same time of Little Blackies diagnosis, we received a 14 year old American Eskimo dog mix (Rosie), with late stage kidney disease that a couple had been managing for the last three years.

    Rosie usually has a pretty good appetite, but the other two foods we use for her are (mixed with the KD diet is cooked ground chop chuck with sushi rice and on occasion first stage baby food beef or chicken) . We haven’t had to experiment to much with Rosie’s diet, so I don’t know how helpful this is to you.

    Although, many years ago we had a toy Poodle with mitral valve problems I can’t remember if there were any special foods that went along with Busters management of the disease.

    Good luck with your little guy.

  12. Hello,

    Our 13 1/2 year old cockapoo has MVD and now has developed kidney problems due to the meds he has been taking for the past 1/2. We’re trying to get his BUN of 118 down. He doesn’t like the Prescription K-D food our vet recommened. Any suggestions?

  13. Hi Map
    Even though we have dealt with many dogs with a wide variety of health related problems over the years, this little girl ‘Blackie’ is our first dog to be diagnosed with CRF. I’m definitely not the best person to ask advice of in this area. Talk to your vet about this and didn’t they show you how to do Sub-Q fluids just in case ( Administering sub-Q fluids is real easy to do, it won’t take you long at all to get the hang of it). How was his blood work compared to the very bad numbers for our little girl ?

    But I will tell you this, you CAN NOT get upset with him if he doesn’t eat or drink, by getting mad at him even if it’s just in frustration on your part, will make him much less likely to eat or drink. Water is much more important for sustaining life than food is, depending on the animals size they can go weeks without eating but will last only a couple of days without water.

    If he’s not drinking again ask your vet to show you how to sub-Q him, or you can try to at least use a syringe type thing to give him some water. It will take a very long time for your dog to get the required fluids using even a large syringe.

    This page will show you what I’m talking about. Needles and Syringes.asp
    If neither of these links work go to and search under ‘surgical’

    Sub-Q means underneath the skin.

    Thanks for asking about our little girl, she’s still deep in the woods but she still gets happy, eats although not as well as I would like. She’s on a couple of additional meds, phosphate binders and blood pressure medicine. As long as she continues to get happy and show a will to live, we will help her. If things change, well, we’ll cross that bridge when the time comes.

  14. Our 6 year old Beagle – Buster has just come back from the vet hospital after IV’s and meds
    He ate at first but now he will not eat anything and takes little water. I was thinking teh same as you – just get him to eat and drink. Any suggestions???
    How is your doggy doing?

  15. One more thing, and this is the beauty about research. I have found many contradictory studies in regards to high or low protein diets. Do you have any thoughts or experiences with this, I’m looking for all the advice I can get.


  16. Hello M,

    At first we just wanted to her to eat, now that she’s eating a couple of days ago we switched her to raw. We will be running bloods on her once every week to see if what we are trying is helping at all.

  17. Be very careful, your dog needs a special diet in which the food ingredients are low in protein, low in phosphorus, and not acidified.

  18. Hello Michele,

    Well her spirits are good and after a couple days of only picking at her food, she ate three cans (one of each) of mighty dog, little cesar and alpo. I offered her some of the raw meat we get, but didn’t touch it until I tried cooking it. Which is odd considering they always eat it raw.

    If she starts eating more consistently, then I’ll worry about putting her on a more appropriate diet.

    Thank you


  19. Sorry to hear about your girl. How is she doing as of now?? Hope she has improved since your original post…. Michele

  20. Thank you Lonnie,

    Happy to see you back.


  21. Thank you Rafaela,

    I wish the best for your girl also.


  22. Hello,
    My dog is going through similar issues. Her levels are about the same as your dog… we’ve been giving her antibiotics and fluids daily. Her spirits are high despite her levels. Good luck with your dog!

  23. I will keep her in my prayers.

  24. Al, please check your regular email…I forwarded something from my friend.

  25. Sorry to hear about her…I sent your post to a vet tech friend of mine who will contact you directly if she has something to add….

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