Kidney Disease in dogs and cats treatment options, recommended remedies and helpful information has been provided by certified Master Herbalist Philip Reich and certified Canine Nutritionist Maria Reich. Philip and Maria specialize in medical herbalism and nutrition for animals with conditions like kidney Disease. They approach this situation in a holistic manner with the main priority being the health and safety of your animal.
Kidneys contain functional units called nephrons that play important roles in the body such as filtering out nitrogenous waste products, regulating levels of various chemicals in the blood, maintaining proper water balance, regulating blood pressure and stimulating red blood cell production. As an animal ages the function of nephrons decreases. This can occur more quickly with poor diet, exposure to toxins or contracting an infection. Kidney disease is diagnosed when blood tests show that the kidneys are not working properly indicated by the presence of waste products like nitrogen or creatinine in the blood or larger than normal amounts of protein in urine.
Symptoms of Kidney Disease
In our experience the most common cause of kidney disease in our domestic animals is processed pet foods. These foods are very low in moisture and can keep animals in a constant state of dehydration. The rise in popularity of freeze-dried diets that are extremely low in moisture is a major concern to us. These foods do not rehydrate well and even though the water is present it will pass quickly thru the animal unlike the moisture found in foods. This can be especially damaging to cats who should obtain the majority of their moisture intake from the food they ingest. This is why we often recommned raw pet foods or at least a whole food diet higher in moisture and quality nutrition. Other causes of kidney disease can be found below:
Since the veterinary community does not have a lot in its tool box for this condition, the suggested treatment is usually a prescription, low-protein diet supplied by the vet. Unfortunately, being familiar with these diets, we, along with others with more current understanding of nutrition (outside of the large pet food manufacturers), find these to be a very poor choice. Dogs and cats placed on these diets will begin to suffer from weakness, muscle loss, more frequent infections and decline in heart function (the heart being a muscle) due to the insufficient protein and nutrition found in these foods. Current, more natural, efforts in dealing with kidney disease instead focus on raw food mixes or home prepared diets with high-quality protein, higher moisture content, much better nutrition and none of the additives found in commercial pet foods.
As the condition advances, or in cases of acute kidney disease resulting from infection or ingestion of a toxin, treatment usually consists of fluid therapy and perhaps even dialysis. In acute emergencies smaller, lower-protein meals can be helpful in the short term to relieve nausea and place less stress on kidneys struggling to recover.
The goal of our Kidney Disease Protocol is to support the kidneys by providing easily assimilated nutrients that feed the kidneys while increasing blood flow that contains important oxygen and nourishment.* This will help to maintain, and possibly even increase, existing kidney function. As we mentioned previously, veterinary medicine primarily recommends low-protein prescription diets for kidney disease. This is out-dated thinking and will do nothing to increase the health or longevity of your dog or cat, unfortunately most likely quite the opposite. By combining the products recommended below, along with a quality diet, your dog or cat can live out their years with a high quality of life.
Our "Core Recommendations" form the backbone of our Natural Kidney Disease Protocol. They consist of the supplement recommendations we feel are the most important to provide to your animal companion for this condition. They are displayed individually at the bottom of this page along with other helpful products from which you may make additional selections. Pet foods can be purchased at your finer, local pet stores. If you desire more individualized attention please feel free to use our Consultation Form to provide detailed information about your dog or cat so we can better help you.
Core Recommendation #1 - Daily Multi Plus
Our Daily Multi Plus is formulated with organic, whole foods that are extremely important to an animal's nutritional needs but are often missing from the majority of canine and feline diets. This special formula provides the enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, glandulars, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients that are so beneficial to the body's daily maintenance and repair needs for healthy aging. In this formula you will find the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants recommended by the veterinarian community for this condition - only in an organic, whole food form!
Core Recommendation #2 - Kidney Tonic
Our Kidney Tonic is formulated by a certified Master Herbalist using organic herbs for the health of your dog or cat. While medications, and even other natural products, usually focus on the kidneys alone, our understanding goes further. We know that the kidneys and the heart are intricately connected. The kidneys require a large blood flow to remain healthy. This is why people and animals with heart conditions will usually have related decline in kidney function. Because of this, Kidney Tonic is formulated not only to strengthen kidney function and assist with elimination of metabolic waste products, but also to increase heart function helping to bring much needed oxygen and nutrients to struggling kidneys.
Core Recommendation #3 - Kidney Glandular
Using our Kidney Glandular as part of glandular therapy for dogs and cats is one of the simplest, safest and effective Holistic modalities available to us. Essentially, the science behind the use of a glandular for pets, is that glands, when taken internally, support and nourish the corresponding gland in the body. In the wild, the ingestion of glands is a very important part of an animal's nutrition and glandular supplementation is obviously missing from the majority of domesticated animals diets.
Core Recommendation #4 - Biopreparation
This special blend of four unique algae was developed by a Russian Scientist, Dr. Michael Kiriac after decades of research. It is grown in controlled hydroponic conditions so it is the purest microalgae supplement on the planet. Its thousand of nutrients are so bioavailable they do not have to be digested, they easily pass through the digestive tract and feed cells on a cellular level. BioPreparation can cross the blood brain barrier to feed the brain, support the hypothalamus to help balance the entire endocrine system and even cross the blood retinal barrier to nurture the eyes. We have had outstanding success with this product so it is highly recommended. We recommend Biopreparation F3+ Forte for this condition.
Whole Food Nutrition
With a serious condition like kidney disease, in which the body needs the highest value nutrition possible for maintenance and repair of damaged tissue, we highly recommend a raw food diet. Raw food is how carnivores, like canines and felines, have evolved to eat and they do best on a quality protein, low carbohydrate diet. They also thrive on a diet with sufficient moisture, especially since dehydration can greatly stress struggling kidneys. This is, unfortunately, the opposite of how most pets are fed since the majority of commercial diets are low protein with 50% or more carbohydrates and only a 5-10% moisture content (compared to 75% found in a carnivores' ancestral diet.
In addition, kibble diets are harder for an animal to digest and this is the last thing your pet needs at this point. Since kidney function declines naturally as part of the aging process (not even mentioning damage from poor diet, over-vaccination, medications, topical pesticide products etc...) without the right nutrition that is easily digested, absorbed and metabolized your animal will have a more difficult time maintaining healthy kidney function. If a raw food diet is not your cup of tea, the next best thing would be a cooked, whole food diet. There are now many quality premixes to choose from to which you can add your own raw or cooked meat.
If you decide to make a homemade diet please research the proper way to do this and make sure to add a calcium source like our Seaweed Calcium. For a quick and easy way to add high-quality protein to your pet's diet that is low in phosphorous take a look at our Whey Protein Isolate. For more information and some product recommendations read our article How to Feed Your Dog or How to Feed Your Cat that can be found in our Education section.
This high-quality protein is derived from hormone and antibiotic-free, grass fed cows. Whey protein is recommended as part of a healthy diet for those with kidney disease because it is low in phosphorous and boasts a high Biological Value (104) that indicates the body's ability to easily utilize the nutrients. A diet rich in protein is vital for fighting infection, healing wounds, healthy joints, maintaining lean muscle mass and many other reasons.
Bovine colostrum is Mother Nature's perfect combination of immune factors, growth factors (anti-aging factors), vitamins, minerals, amino acids and more! Research has shown that colostrum has powerful natural components which help bring the body to a state of homeostasis (a powerful, natural state of health and well-being). In addition, the growth factors in colostrum help to maintain the youth of tissue and speed its healing when damaged and that is why we highly recommend it for all aging dogs and cats and especially those with degenerative conditions like kidney disease.
Thriving with live and active probiotic cultures, this spray can help to prevent infections in your dog or cat. Incontinence is often a consequence of those with kidney issues, and this can result in the build up of bacteria leading to internal urinary tract infections or external skin infections. Our probiotic spray can help to prevent the accumulation of undesirable organisms by supplying friendly beneficial bacteria to the area.
This is Sophie. She's a 16 year old Rat Terrier Chihuahua mix. I thought I was going to lose her a few months ago after the vets told me she was in kidney failure. A friend of mine Stacie referred me over to you and after putting her on your products for kidney failure and making her homemade food; she's made a comeback! Thank you for all of your help! Without you, I wouldn't have had her as long as I have. I'm hopeful for many more good years to come!