Chronic 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 Failure. They approach renal problems in a holistic manner with the main priority being the health and safety of your animal.
In this section we will talk about kidneys, what happens during chronic and acute kidney failure, any lifestyle changes that can improve renal problems, and kidney supplements for canines and felines that can help to manage the symptoms of this disease.
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 in the kidneys decreases. Acute kidney failure can occur more quickly with poor diet, exposure to toxins or contracting an infection. Chronic 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.
What are the Causes of Kidney Failure?
In our experience the most common cause of renal disease in our domestic animals is processed pet foods. These foods are very low in moisture and can keep dogs and cats in a constant state of dehydration damaging the kidneys over time. 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 through an animal more quickly as urine unlike the moisture found in foods that is released more slowly. This can be especially damaging to the kidneys of cats who should obtain the majority of their moisture intake from the food they ingest. This is why we often recommend raw pet foods or at least a whole food diet higher in moisture and quality nutrition. This kind of diet can help to prevent chronic kidney problems in our pets and act as holistic renal therapy in its own way. Other causes of kidney disease in canines and felines can be found below:
Symptoms of Kidney Failure
Since the veterinary community does not have a lot in its tool box for this condition, the suggested kidney failure 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 for renal problems. 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 prescription kidney diets. Current, more natural, efforts in dealing with kidney disease treatment 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 that can further harm a dog or cat's kidneys.
As the renal 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 therapy in the short term to relieve nausea and place less stress on kidneys struggling to recover.
The goal of our Holistic Kidney Disease Protocol for dogs and cats is to support the kidneys by providing easily assimilated nutrients that feed the kidneys while increasing blood flow that contains important oxygen and nourishment to the renal system.* This therapy will help to maintain, and possibly even increase, existing kidney function in your canine or feline. As we mentioned previously, veterinary medicine primarily recommends low-protein prescription diets for kidney failure. This is out-dated thinking when trying to improve kidney health, and will do nothing to increase the health or longevity of your dog or cat, unfortunately most likely quite the opposite. By combining the kidney supplements recommended below, along with a quality diet, your dog or cat can live out their years with a high quality of life and the best renal function that is possible for them at this point.
What can I expect for my dog or cat with kidney disease?
1). An improved quality of life for as long as possible. For the majority of our clients this means that their canine or feline will feel and act better than they have in a while. There are no other renal supplements that provide results comparable to our holistic kidney failure protocol. We make this assertion based on feedback received from clients that have used other popular kidney treatment regimens found online.
2). Our holistic kidney failure protocol can't restore lost kidney function. As kidney nephrons are lost they can't be replaced and kidney function can not be returned to what it once was. But it is possible for your canine or feline to live out their natural lifespan when the disease is approached in the correct manner. What our holistic kidney therapy does is provide nutrients that improve the health of the kidneys as much as is possible for your dog or cat. However, there is end stage renal failure that does come at some point and this is unique to each individual animal.
Our "Core Recommendations" form the backbone of our Holistic Kidney Disease Protocol. They consist of the supplement recommendations we feel are the most important to provide to your animal companion for their kidney failure problem. Kidney supplements are displayed individually at the bottom of this page along with other helpful products for your canine's or feline's renal disease from which you may make additional selections.
A complimentary Kidney Disease Help Sheet is included with every core kidney failure package purchase. If you require more direction please feel free to use our Email Consultation Form or if you desire some personalized "hand-holding" to help with your canine's or feline's renal therapy sign up for a Phone Consultation with Maria.
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 kidney disease - only in an organic, whole food form! Feeding a dog or cat organic, whole foods is holistic therapy for renal failure at its best!
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 renal function. Because of our holistic way of approaching chronic kidney disease, this kidney remedy 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 dog and cat 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 for renal disease 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. This is simple and effective holistic therapy that can benefit canines and felines with chronic kidney failure.
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 kidney 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 for kidney disease so it is highly recommended. We recommend Biopreparation F3+ Forte for dog and cat renal failure problems.
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 canines and felines struggling with kidney failure need at this point. Since renal 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 for animals with kidney disease 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 for your dog or cat with renal failure 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 with kidneys problems that is low in phosphorous take a look at our Whey Protein Isolate. For more information and some diet recommendations that can be beneficial for canines and felines with kidney disease 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, maintaining healthy joints and increasing lean muscle mass in our dogs and cats.
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) that can be benefial to those canines and felines with kidney disease. In addition, the growth factors in colostrum help to maintain the youth of tissue and speed its healing when damaged in a safe, holistic manner. These beneficial properties are why we highly recommend it for all aging dogs and cats and especially those with serious conditions like chronic kidney failure.
Thriving with live and active probiotic cultures, this spray can help to prevent infections in your dog or cat that can make kidney disease worse. Incontinence is often a consequence of those with kidney problems, 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 to outcompete pathohenic bacteria. Using probiotics in this mannner is a very effective holistic therapy for those canines and felines struggling with chronic renal failure.
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!