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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22468
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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hi i have a 11yr westie bonnie she always been a healthy dog

Customer Question

hi i have a 11yr westie bonnie she always been a healthy dog but last sunday started being sick and over the next two days got worse vomiting every half hour and dirrorea i took her to the vets tuesday evening they took bloods next day which the vet said were off the scale in ten min and she had chronic kidney failure they had her on fluids since and repeated the bloods which are still off the scale in ten min they dont know what caused the kidneys to fail they did a scan to check for cancerous tumours which there arent ant they say there nothing more they can do i really want to save her is there any treatment available
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Poor Bonnie!

In elderly dogs, kidney disease is often a chronic issue that lingers undetected (perhaps only giving hints via their being progressively more thirsty or urinating more dilute urine the before) until it gets to a critical point. If no tumor was found and Bonnie didn't eat something kidney toxic (ie plants, raisins, grapes, antifreeze, etc); then a slow chronic progressive dysfunction of her aging kidneys is likely our culprit here.

Now the key at the moment isn't so much the numbers on her blood test (since she should have been high well before she showed signs of being unwell) but how does Bonnie feel after a few days of flushing out the building kidney toxins (which is likely what was inducing nausea). If she is still vomiting and feeling poorly, then her overall prognosis will be poor here (especially as kidney dialysis is not an option in the UK). But if she is feeling better, then there may be some supportive care you can use to keep her kidneys working the best they can and keep her comfortable at home.

In regards ***** ***** support, since kidney disease can only be supported and not cured, we tend to first focus on keeping their diet low in protein, phosphorus, and sodium to reduce the work load on the kidneys. There are a range of diets on the market to help with this (ie Hill's K/D, Royal Canin Renal diet (LINK) or Purina NF (LINK), etc).

Further to reducing the kidneys' workload via diet, we often will use ACE inhibitors (ie Fortekor) to support the kidney's ability to function and we can use phosphate binders to remove any phosphorus that might be building up in the blood. As well, if she has severe kidney issues, then your vet may be able to instruct you on how to give sterile fluids under the skin to help continually flush toxins and support her kidneys in that way. To read more about giving fluids you can read a good outline HERE and watch a video of how to administer fluids at home HERE.

Overall, kidney disease in the elderly dog is not something we can cure. Instead, it is a case of managing them to help the kidneys filter the best they can while using supplemental treatments to reduce those problem metabolites that will build up. In regards ***** ***** usefulness of treatment here with your lass, it will depend not so much on her blood values but instead how well she has responded to the IV fluids. If flushing out has stopped her vomiting and she is feeling better, then she may be a candidate for the above treatments. But if she still feels very poorly despite those kidney toxins being at an all time low in her blood, then we would have to appreciate that her prognosis may be poor and she wouldn't respond to these treatments.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


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