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Kidney Failure (hand hold)(9 Posts)
This might be a long post so apologies in advance. My DDog is an 8 year old Cavalier and was diagnosed with kidney failure just over a year ago following a seizure when we were out for a walk. She’s been on blood pressure tablets and a special diet since then. She’s had regular checks ups, bloods and urine tests and despite all her levels deteriorating, has been doing really well.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed she was starting to lose weight - she’s now lost 2kg (was only 9kg to start with), has had diarrhoea, lost her appetite and is more sleepy than usual, but is still wagging her tail, enjoying short walks and going for rides in the car.
We went back to the vet and they took more bloods/urine samples which show her kidneys have significantly eteriorated which I was fully expecting. The vet has warned us that her kidneys are struggling and she has high potassium putting her heart at risk.
She’s started on some supplements for phosphates and the vet has given us the option for her to have fluids for 24 hours to flush her kidneys out which we’d decided we were going to do today. This morning however, she’s a little brighter, has eaten some of her food which I mixed with chicken and was happy to go for a short walk. She is very timid and hates going to the vet so I’m not sure how I feel about leaving her there for 24 hours (eg the stress it would cause her vs the benefit).
I’m not sure what I’m hoping for from this thread - maybe if anyone has had experience of this with their dog, how long they lived for once things started to go downhill which they seem to be for our DDog? I’m absolutely heartbroken - I haven’t really told the DC how poorly she is as I think I’m in denial. I can’t imagine life without her.
She might be on a binder that lowers her phosphate and potassium levels as they both increase in kidney failure, this could be why she is brighter at the moment.
I can understand your reluctance to take her back when things have seemingly improved, would fluids benefit a chronic kidney condition ? I don't know, I'm not a vet, perhaps discuss this with your vet, he/she'd be the best one, also, to judge how long you may have, as it would depend on how much the function has deteriorated, and they have access to the blood results which indicate this. Kidney function is individual, so deterioration timing is individual too.
I'd guess this is why nobody has replied yet, it would not be a choice for anyone to call and is between you and your vet.
You are the best judge, likewise, of how and when to tell the DC, but it is a hard burden to keep to yourself, perhaps other family members could support you while telling them.
I empathise, they become your family, love mine to bits after just 2 years, it's a very hard situation to be in.
So sorry you are in this position, I have no expertise at all re your dogs situation but I have a dog who is extremely attached to me and my worse fear is having to leave her for any length of time alone at the vets, I avoid this unless absolutely necessary. If my dog had a chronic illness I would want to know how long she had left (if they can make a reasonable estimate) if I was told it would only increase her life expectancy by a few weeks I would not put her through the trauma of staying alone without me at the vets, if it was months that would be different. If it was a case of only weeks or days I would ask the vet if they could make her as comfortable at home as possible until the time came to make the final decision. This is what I would do obviously you may feel differently, so sorry you are going through this, it’s hideous.
I'm a vet. Honestly I think that your dog is likely to be on borrowed time. The weight loss and dullness are ominous. Your vet will give you a better idea by going through the test results with you. Fluid is the mainstay of endstage renal disease management and her response is potentially a good prognostic indicator. I understand your hesitation in leaving her in hospital although to be honest for most animals it's rather like leaving a clingy toddler at a creche and they are genuinely okay once you've left. You could talk to your vet about just bringing her in for a full day as opposed to a day and a night, or giving subcutaneous fluids which doesn't take long. Chronic renal failure is rarely overtly painful but does make one feel sick and dull so I would just try the suggested treatment and keep a sharp eye on quality of life.
Thank you so much for all your responses. Our vet is lovely and has run through her blood results with us. They have steadily deteriorated since her diagnosis and I know that prognosis isn’t good at all based on her most recent results.
Apologies if my OP seemed to be asking others to make a choice for me opentooffers. Rather, I wondered whether anyone had been in a similar situation. Sorry if this is unclear.
Thank you for the reassurance regarding leaving her villainous. I am going to take her over in the morning for the 24 hours of fluids. Even if it just makes her a bit less nauseaus for a while it will be worth it.
Thanks again all x
I have several patients, elderly dogs in renal failure, who come in every few days for a subcutaneous fluid infusion on an outpatient basis. It keeps them cheerful and perky and buys them some good quality time. However it is all response-dependent. You might be lucky. I hope so.
I think you'd still better think about talking to the kids though. And I don't know how old your DC are, but I never use the phrase "put to sleep" when talking to young children in case it scares or confuses them.
Thanks very much villainous. The DC are teenagers and are aware of her diagnosis - they’ve noticed that she’s not quite herself over the past week or so.
I’ve had a conversation with them this afternoon and told them that she’s going to the vets for the day tomorrow. I really don’t know what to say in terms of prognosis because Im not sure myself.
Fingers crossed the fluids perk her up a bit.
I lost my 14 year old to kidney failure in April, he’d been diagnosed fourteen months.
All throughout that time, he done very well. I changed him onto a wet kidney-friendly diet and kept him well hydrated (all food served like soup and cucumber slices as treats).
He has always a hog through his whole life, ate anything and everything, even with the KD.
Then one Friday he was finicky, ate his food but not with the usual gusto. The Saturday he picked the chicken out and faffed around for a while before eating the rest, Sunday he would only eat if hand fed the chicken. Monday morning we done repeat bloods (I had them done every six weeks). Everything has crashed. Potassium high, phosphorus high when it’d always been high end of normal, creatinine and BUN sky rocketed. I took him through the McDonalds drive-thru, he scoffed a Big Mac (6kg dog!) and a thick shake, and then I took him back to be put to sleep.
For him to be even the slightest bit fussy with his food meant he felt DREADFUL. You will never beat KD, there becomes a point when they just can’t fight it anymore, and it’ll always get them in the end. My vet offered the 24 hours fluid but I didn’t accept, knowing it would only be a very temporary short term fix and that there was no getting better. He’d fought it as long as he could.
I am so so sorry you’re going through this. Know that I am thinking of you.
Thank you so much for your kind words Eifla. I’m so sorry for your loss. It really is heartbreaking to watch your lovely dog deteriorate.
Our DDog seems to have picked up a bit. She’s a bit more lively and is eating her food again so I’m hoping for a reprieve, even if it’s for a short time.