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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  35 years of veterinary practice in small animal medicine
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greyhound requiring teeth removed but has a kidney defect.

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greyhound requiring teeth removed but has a kidney defect. The vet has prescribed Royal Canin diet food which the dog rejects (after purchasing a large bag!). Is there a food which I could mix with this and would not damage kidneys?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob.
I'm very sorry to read of the quandary in which you find yourself with Henry. I'm not sure about the situation there in the U.K., but here in the U.S. Royal Canin backs their foods with a money-back guarantee. This holds regardless of the amount of food left in the bag, so there's no down-side to trying to "dress it up" a bit to see if you can get him to eat it. Try adding warm beef or chicken broth to the food just before feeding. Put the food down for twenty minutes first thing in the morning, if he won't eat, take it up and refrigerate it. Before trying again around noon, if you're home, otherwise, when you first get home in the evening adding more broth and warming it all in the microwave. Warm foods are much more palatable to dogs as their smell is amplified.
Repeat this routine for three days, he will not starve himself to death, I promise! Hopefully he'll start to eat the food and his renal values will be lowered to the point that the anesthetic risk will be significantly reduced, and the dental work can be done. That would be my goal, as Henry's veterinarian.
If Henry refuses to eat anything after three days, he may be feeling too poorly to eat because of the kidney or dental problems, and a return trip to the veterinarian is advised. There are medical aids to appetite stimulation available, or he may need treatment for pain from his teeth or toxicity due to kidney malfunction. Take the partial bag of food with you, hopefully you'll at least get a refund or a substitution of a different food, more acceptable to Henry.
I don't know the severity of his renal failure, so I can't second guess your veterinarian's advice not to anesthetize Henry, but it's my practice philosophy that if there a good chance of pulling a patient with serious dental disease through the anesthesia, I recommend doing the needed work to try to provide a much higher quality of life, in spite of the risks involved. As long as you understand the risk/benefit ratio, my advice would be to proceed. We can use anesthetic protocols that, in many cases, offer a patient like Henry (again, depending on the severity of his renal condition) a good chance of making it through the procedure and living out their remaining years pain-free. Living with painful infected teeth is not pleasant, and I believe the risk of completing the needed dental work is often worth it in many cases.
If you have further questions, please let me know.
Kind regards, *****
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you for your comments - very much appreciated. I certainly shall try the chicken broth, one of his favourite flavours. I was not sure if this would add to the kidney damage. He already has had two teeth removed since I adopted him three years ago but, when he had a blood test two months ago as part of his yearly checkup, the kidney condition was mentioned. A few weeks later I had him back as I was aware of a recurrence of his tooth/gum problem - to be told that it was a chance to take if he was anesthetised, hence the introduction to the renal food which I am told is forever. He was also prescribed Tramadol to alleviate the pain, which I administer morning and night. I always made a point of giving him a variety of dog food, and cooked chicken as a treat. I'm not surprised he is not finding the boring food to his taste.


 


Thanks again for your advice and I hope it does the trick.


 


Sincerely,


Margaret

Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 3 years ago.
Hello again, Margaret. If Henry absolutely refuses to go along with the new food, I would suggest purchasing one or more recipes from an excellent site online, www.balanceit.com This site is dedicated to providing recipes for homemade balanced diets for all sorts of medical conditions. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find something he'll eat there. If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know.
Warm regards, *****
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