Tiny chihuahua Pnut lays in the sun since I learned about feeding a dog with kidney disease so she could get healthy and enjoy life again

Feeding a dog with kidney disease

Full Diary Part 8

[Continued from Full Diary Part 7]

When feeding a dog with kidney disease you must consider nutrients in the foods you select.

When feeding each individual dog with kidney disease,  it’s possible they’ll respond to nutrients differently so you just have to pay attention and figure it out for them.  I looked at my other foods and saw that pumpkin was higher in iron than sweet potato and pumpkin was what I gave in the afternoon, often a small amount depending on how much tripe she ate for her lunch and if she had napped a long time.  So now she is certain to get a very healthy amount of pumpkin first thing.

I also started mixing Stauffer’s Animal crackers into all treats because they are high in iron with NO phosphorus, which is nice because it makes her treats thicker/less runny, and I turn it into a dry powder in the Baby Bullet.

One other change I have made in trying to get more iron in her system, is to not overdo the calcium I give her since it blocks the absorption of iron.  I used to give it really generously because it was so good at taking care of phosphorus but most foods I give her aren’t really high in phosphorus, except when I add banana, so no need to give too much and block any iron available.

Well, after 3 weeks of reduced calcium I feel she might be a little off, so maybe too much phosphorus is getting through since I reduced the calcium, so now that I’ve given her iron – high concentration in molasses for all of January, then two days of pumpkin seeds high in iron before I realized they are also high in phosphorus, then tofu but it also is also pretty high in phosphorus – but as iron builds up and is not flushed out by water, I’ll increase the calcium/D3 I give her now, to find the right balance as I’ll still continue the increased honey and mixing in Stauffer’s animal crackers so more iron will still be introduced daily to add to that her body has stored when I tried the molasses.

I also exchanged raspberries for blueberries because they are also high in iron.  That is her last treat of the day, around midnight, mixed into the pureed cabbage, and also add honey now, so she’s getting the cabbage to heal her stomach and extra iron in raspberries and honey.

I had also upped her salmon oil to 7 drops so I backed it back down to 5, but her poops are brown and nice and firm so I doubt 7 was bad for her.  I’ll just keep and eye on her – but it’s been cooler weather and with her luxating patella in both back legs, more salmon oil still may be better.  I’ll just see how it goes.

And a few months ago, I started feeding her the soft parts of gently-dried tripe treats (formerly freeze-dried), from Evangers [91] and she LOVES them as a treat-reward for pee or poopies on her wee-pad so that is really good.  And with the increased iron, she is SO much more active, and now sits under my husband’s stool as we eat dinner, relentlessly staring at my husband because she knows he’ll give her two gently-dried tripe treats during his meal.

It’s been nagging me that I stopped feeding blueberries with her cabbage switching instead to raspberries to get more iron in her and blueberries were supposed to be so good for healing the pancreas and hers would often get sore and the pancreas is so essential in releasing enzymes that aid in food digestion and neutralizing acids[92]  And she had seemed a little more sensitive lately, so maybe that was part of it as well as my reducing the calcium/D3 which binds phosphorus but also iron.  Again, now that I think her iron is built up, I increased the calcium/D3 again and wanted to revisit if I should somehow get blueberries in her again.  And reading how healing it is to the pancreas, I realized I made a mistake when I stopped giving them to her, so did a nutrient comparison of the fruits I was giving:  mango, banana, pineapple, and raspberry and I re-acquainted myself with how much phosphorus there is in bananas without being offset by calcium and in looking at the other nutrients felt raspberries would be a wiser substitution for banana, so that is what I’ll start doing – today. And since blueberries are supposed to aid in digestion and neutralizing acids, I think rather than give it to her with cabbage which is healing to the stomach anyway, I’ll switch it out with mango first thing in the morning so she starts her day with the enzymes and neutralizing effect. She will now be getting 4 vegetables and 4 fruits in these combinations:  10am pumpkin/blueberry; (1pm – raw tripe); 4pm parsnip/pineapple and sweet potato/mango – not mixed together but separate, fed in sequence one after the other; (8pm raw tripe); 11:30pm cabbage/raspberry.

But WAIT – I just read that fruits should be fed separate of meals so the body can absorb the nutrients without competing enzymes,[93] so I guess I should start the day with the combination of fruits, and the afternoon treats can be the sweet potatoes and pumpkin with brie.  So now I’m thinking I will feed:  10 am: pineapple/mango and blueberries/raspberries, each combination mixed but fed separately in sequence; 1 pm raw tripe; 4 – 5 pm sweet potato/pumpkin/brie; 8 pm raw tripe; 11:30 pm cabbage.  I give a really healthy amount of brie because of the B-12 so important to help combat anemia.[94]  Note the aforementioned link 94 does not factor in a kidney diseased dog so only key in on the importance of B-12 (not adding phosphorus.)  I re-read that parsnips is a bit high in phosphorus so revisited why I was feeding them and realized they had come from a book I had Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats that advised feeding them for crisis management – which she is not in – so stopped them just to reduce some phosphorus.

So I fed her fruits only that afternoon planning to switch to my new schedule the next day with the fruits first thing in the morning, and for the first time her appetite was up so that she ate her tripe by herself at her 8pm dinner!  Totally shocked.  Then fed her only cabbage at 11:30pm before bed which again I’m happy about since it is to heal the stomach and I was always wondering if she had an ulcer prior with gastrointestinal bleeding which contributed to her anemia.

So this morning she got her fruit first thing and I have read even more about the theory behind this and it just seems to me to be a bit of common sense after all that I have learned about nutrition interaction thus far.

It’s a little over two weeks since I stopped feeding parsnips (thinking I would cut back on some phosphorus) and I’ve come to learn, that was A BIG MISTAKE.  She started walking poorly again (like after molasses) with her hind area hunched; drinking more water and having accidents – the most ever – almost one a day.  I just had to think it’s related to the parsnips because that is the only change I’ve made (although I just remembered I stopped bananas too) and her kidneys have not gotten worse it seems, i.e. changed, for 15 months since I’ve started these diet changes so why now?  So I looked up the health benefits of parsnips for the kidneys on the Internet and read that they are indeed supposed to be highly beneficial to the kidneys in addition to being recommended for anemia which has been my most recent condition to counter but even more important, the article stated:  Carbohydrates are the only fuel source for many vital organs, including the brain, central nervous system and kidneys.  So, I realize her major fruit/veggie diet is really good for her but adding parsnips needs to be included as I have read more than one article that indicated they specifically fight kidney disease and anemia:  The plant is recommended for treating kidney diseases, for controlling obesity and cellulite. To those suffering from anemia or asthenia, the natural consumption of parsnip is recommended as food.[97]  Parsnip root is also recommended for individuals who suffer from kidney disease…  They also contain more fiber than potatoes which I am a believer in providing as it again, is supposed to allow toxins to be pulled from the body and eliminated in her stool rather than through the kidney.  So I gave her parsnips in addition to her cabbage at bedtime that night and will give them every afternoon with the pumpkin/sweet potato treats – parsnips fed separately with some calcium as a phosphorus binder added and honey (surprisingly very high in carbohydrates), and I’ll give them at bedtime again keeping up this twice a day schedule until I see some improvement, which hopefully comes if I am right in my latest diagnosis.

Re-visited withdrawing banana earlier as well but feel I made the right choice as I read: Bananas contain a large amount of an insoluble carbohydrate called “resistant starch. Another: Bananas contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, but have an especially high amount of insoluble fiber. Since I am keen on providing soluble, fermentable fiber to help carry toxins out of her body through the stool rather than the kidney, I’ll still withhold it.  NOPE-change that back.  Just read that B6 is important to make red blood cells and bananas are LOADED with B6 so am going to mix them with afternoon parsnips/honey which will make them easier to go down.

Feeding a dog with canine kidney disease

Back to normal, going everywhere and even looking for little tasty bits to eat!

And I’m thrilled to report just 4 days after reintroducing parsnips, she is back to normal – No accidents, greater appetite, and BIG pees which means she is holding it until she has to go and then goes to her wee wee pad like she knows to do.

Ok, now I have been working again at food combining (I’ve already separated fruits from veggies and meats, but didn’t know when to feed Brie or banana.  There are so many opposing viewpoints on the Internet I really am not sure what to do – I’ll just separate meat/fruits/dairy/veggies and watch her. [102]  And try to keep to the digestion times I read about.

HUGE SUCCESS!  With parsnips re-introduced, upped Nettle to 3 times daily;  put on tight food combining and digestion times: fruits 45 min; protein/tripe 4 hours; veggies 1 hr; protein/Brie cheese 4 hours and reintroduced honey but ONLY in combination WITH salmon oil now given twice daily (which are the directions on the salmon bottle anyway) with veggies and then cabbage before bed as salmon oil has been seen to help with peptic ulcers.  Again, I had read that carbohydrates are the ONLY fuel for the kidneys and raw honey on nutritiondata.com show its carbohydrate content at a whopping 93%!  I guess I should have stipulated I only buy raw local honey which is supposed to be so far superior to any commercial honey.

Also upped her Ubiquinol dose to 3 drops on morning fruit and afternoon veggie treats.

She is WONDERFUL.  Like her old self again.  Truly amazing!  Coming to the rear of the kitchen where I put the food in the bowls, and then running when I call her name (and everyone elses) to her spot so I can set it down and watch her eat.  Fourth day in a row now!  Is it the parsnips back in her system?  The honey when off set with salmon oil?  A 3rd serving of nettle daily?  No evidence of gastrointestinal bleeding since I’ve been giving cabbage before bed and now with the double whammy of salmon oil too?  I can’t really know.  Probably a little bit of all of them but I’m sure the number one cause for improvement is food combining techniques and waiting to introduce something else after ample digestion time has passed.  I’ve read so much more than when I started, three paragraphs up, and the difference is amazing.  Makes me watch how my husband and I are eating now.

Think I’ve made a mistake adding nettle to last treat of the night.  Now that she is feeling so good, last night she was wired after eating cabbage/salmon oil/honey/nettle seeds – and nettle I know is supposed to supply a boost of energy and I am using green seeds, kept tightly sealed in a glass jar.  I just read that taking just a small amount of the fresh green seeds can keep you awake at night since they can have an overstimulating effect. [104]

I’ve also just learned how important it is to remove stress as much as possible.  My husband and I took a trip to Miami a week ago Sunday and were gone from 11am to 5:30 pm.  The next morning Pnut would not eat her tripe and not even later in the day and the couple of days following her stools were an entirely different color and somewhat loose and gelatinous.  By Thursday she was starting to eat a little of her tripe again and by Sunday morning she was standing underfoot while I made their breakfast’s and ran to her bowl with me as I delivered it and tackled with great energy her generous saucer of tripe so I think the separation stressed her a great deal.

My veterinarian doctor has surprised me that she is versed in nutrition as well, offering her agreement to the benefit of food combining and not having foods fight with each other to be utilized by the body.  And in my last conversation with her that I had upped Pnut’s nettle seeds and her appetite for tripe was so great that I thought I must limit what she eats so as to not get too much protein, she remarked that we are “in uncharted territory and must proceed based on anecdotal evidence.”  That spoke volumes to me of how she is receiving my feeding and vitamins/minerals/herbs provided to Pnut and I finally felt validated in her eyes for my efforts.  [Continued Full Diary Part 9]