Kidney Disease

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Kidney Disease

Postby Beth » Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:24 am

My current foster, Annie, has been diagnosed with early stages of renal failure. :cry: We go to the vet tonight for special food and counseling. Any thoughts on what else I should be doing for her? She had been a kennel dog her whole life until I picked her up about two weeks ago and want to make sure that she gets to live whatever life she has left to the fullest. She has lots of catching up to do! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Postby Kathy » Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:56 pm

Hi Beth,
I know where you're coming from :( , as I'm in a similar situation. We adopted Herman. (He was an ABR rescue, Sept 2002 and after 2 years, he needed to be rehomed due to some sad hardships that fell upon his family.)

I took Herm to the vet 3 days after we got him, where we learned that Herm had cancer that metastized to his lungs. This meant that the best we could do is make him comfortable, and the vet said that she's seen one dog (with a situation similar to Herman) live 8 months or so. Later that day, my nephews came over to visit our "new" dog and everyone, including Herman, had a blast. That's when my 5 year old nephew called Herman - "Happy Soul". (I tried really, really hard to fight back the tears.)

I felt badly for Herman, but I and my husband decided that "Happy Soul" should have the best time of his life. He's on pain medication to help his arthritis and other pains, and this helps a lot! He does have some problems, but we've been finding ways to help him (and us).

The most important thing to Herman is getting a lot of attention - cuddles, walks, treats, petting & belly rugs. We celebrate "Welcome Day", where Herm and my other dog get a special treat each Saturday (the weekday that we got Herm). So far, we've celebrated 18 Welcome Days and Herman is still going strong! Honestly, if he knows he has cancer, he really doesn't seem to care! He's too busy enjoying life - he really is a Happy Soul! :lol:

So, here's my advice :) - give Annie as much attention & love that you can spare. She'll luxuriate in it! And you'll see that she's happy and content, which will help you with the emotional roller coaster of caring for a sweet fur-kid. Given that's she's been a kennel dog, she will really appreciate every small thing that you do for her!

Dogs are very resilient creatures - give them a small reason to be happy, and boy oh boy, are they happy! :D

Peace,
Kathy
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Postby Dave » Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:38 pm

Hang in there Beth . I know it is easier said than done . A foster that is sick really isn't any different than your own dog being sick .I lost two to kidney failure in the last couple of years . This can be dealt with with diet for a period . They can come back to function for quite some time depending on the degree the disease has advanced .I see by looking at her bio she is battling some other illness . Once that is settled her kidney function might improve . There is a bunch of info available on the internet . I did a google seacch by typing Kidney disease in canines . UC Berkley is actually doing a lot of research and even kidnet transplant , but of course is cost prohibitive :cry: Give her lots of love . Dogs don't take this like us Humans and don't understand we are so sad .They do know we are sad and try to console us . Most of the time I wish my life could be that simple . Dave
Last edited by Dave on Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Barb Wright » Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:19 pm

Hard to follow such a wonderful post as that by Kathy 8) and so will just reiterate a point Dave made, and that is, there is just lots of infomation available to learn about this disease and there are a whole bunch of things you can do to alleviate this, and even maybe turn it around. "Early stages" gives you hope and time :)

Below is a site that is very easy reading and gives you knowledge, ideas, and other sources to educate yourself and learn how to best help the dog.

http://b-naturals.com/May2004.php

And Kathy and Dave hit it exactly right....be happy with the dog, your good vibes will go along way toward her well being. And don't be scared....there are things you can do to help make changes that will put the dog on the road to wellness, as much as possible. Keep up the good work....the best you can do is the best you can do :)
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13
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Postby kat » Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:25 pm

We came very close to euthanizing our old Brit last night for kidney failure (read "my old girl" post), but an ultrasound suggests an infection that might be cleared up with meds. One thing we learned, is that the phrase "kidney failure" means that the kidneys aren't working as well as they should. It doesn't necessairly mean they're not working, and there are many stages of "failure". What I'm trying to say is, don't be devasted by this diagnosis, she may still have a lot of good life left with diet and meds. Hang in there, there are so many wonderful people here to get advice and support from, and learn all you can about her problems. You've already opened your heart to her, so give her all the love she deserves!
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Postby Kathy » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:05 am

Hi Beth,
Just wondering - How's Annie doing? And how are you and your family doing? I'm hoping that everything's going ok & everyone's making smooth adjustments.
-Kathy
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Postby Beth » Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:59 am

Kathy, thanks for asking. She has her big appointment this afternoon with the specialist so we'll see what her prognosis is and what the treatment is. I found a growth in her mouth too that he is going to take a look at. Other than that, she is a goofy girl who loves the sofa, loves the back door being open to her appropriate potty, and has become a treat monster. She can hear the rattle of a bag from about five miles away!! We will keep you posted on what we find out today. Keep your fingers crossed.
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Postby Kathy » Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:16 am

Beth -

Gee, it sounds like Annie has tried really, really hard to stay with you. :lol: She sounds like a wonderful Brit. And I know what you mean by "bag rattling". We've got the same problem & which also extends to the refrigerator door. At night, Duke would be outside, I'd open the refrig & heck, he'd be at the back door, wanting to get in and make a beeline to the refrig. I figured out eventually (dummie me, I'm slow :oops: ) that Duke would look for the refrig light to go on in the house & that was his cue ...

I've got my fingers crossed for you and Annie. Hang in there & be strong. Two thumbs up!

Kathy
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Postby Dave » Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:30 am

Beth ,
We're pulling for you and Annie :D I had several with kidney problems and can provide a ton of info if you need more . Thanks for fostering and it will be alright . Dave
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Postby Beth » Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:14 pm

Well, Annie is back from the vet and the prognosis is not good. She has two renal masses; one of which is invasive and has apparently got blood flow and does not look good. The other is smaller and not as scary. That being said, the vet doesn't think surgery is an option since both glands would have to come out necessitating medication to monitor her hormones plus the mortality rate for this surgery is high and costly. She also has enlarged lymph nodes. Anyway, she has one last blood test to take and then will figure out her maintenance schedule.
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Postby Allison » Thu Apr 14, 2005 6:29 pm

sorry to hear your Annie is nog feeling well.

Sending you and Annie +++++++++++vibes
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