Shep has Renal Failure - UPDATE !!!!

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janet909
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Shep has Renal Failure - UPDATE !!!!

Post by janet909 »

I'm heartbroken to announce that my Sheppy has been diagnosed with renal failure. As many of you may remember, I adopted him through ABR in December of 2009. He was 8 years old and been dumped at a kill shelter in Omaha, Nebraska. Auntie Mom (Nancy) pulled him but already had too many fosters. My DH and I decided to foster him with the intent to adopt. It was just before the holidays but Auntie Mom drove half way to Denver and Kat drove half way to Omaha. Shep made his way to Denver where he spent Christmas while I was out of town. I then picked him up and he came to live with us in Western Colorado. He is our joy and has totally enriched our lives.

We took him in for a dental yesterday and did some preliminary blood work as we noticed that he's been slowly losing weight though eating the same amount. In fact, he definitely still has a huge appetite which is good!! Anyway, he was diagnosed with renal failure. His kidney function tests (BUN and Creatinine) were 101 and 5.3. Both extremely elevated. We are devastated as we know he will eventually succumb to this. We are planning to aggressively try to improve his kidney function while monitoring his quality of life. At this time, he's our same old Shep......happy, playful, energetic, eating, comfortable.


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Last edited by janet909 on Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cindy
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure

Post by Cindy »

That is terrible news :cry: :cry: What kind of things can you do to help him now? Is renal failure just one of those old age things (not that he's that old) or is there something that can be done proactively to help prevent this? Renal failure is not anything I've had experience with. I am just so sorry for all of you.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Barb Wright
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure

Post by Barb Wright »

So sorry to hear such sad news. I've only had one dog that had this and unfortunately they went pretty fast. It was years ago (70's) and I know back then the diagnostics and treatments were not what they are today, meaning that now a days they figure out much sooner what is going on and have much better ways to cope. That is a plus, and hopefully you can hit on the right protocol to at least be helpful. I know you will do a lot of research on this, and here is one site that has a lot of resource information: http://www.dogaware.com/health/kidney.html I think the suggestions and diet protocol research material will certainly give you some good guidelines to follow.

Hoping for some good reports as you and Shep travel this difficult road.
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

AuntieMom
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure

Post by AuntieMom »

As Janet knows, we are attached to Shep and my heart is absolutely broken about his diagnosis. I cannot thank Kat enough for her winter trip to Nebraska that year ... and I will forever love Janet and her husband for taking him in and then adopting him.

When I met Shep, he did not stand a chance as an older dog at the shelter. I could see what a wonderful dog he was -so happy and eager to please. I may have met him in a shelter but have had the good fortune to see him for the last several summers at ABR picnics in CO. He is a handsome boy and just loves people -- especially his Mom and Dad.

Shep, I am so grateful for all the wonderful people you brought into my life and the friendships you cemented for life. Now I need to go get a kleenex .... :(
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janet909
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure

Post by janet909 »

We adopted Sheppy when he was 8 and he will turn 13 this December, so not a young dog. We have put him on a prescription renal diet from my vet's office. He uses Royal Canin and it's a low phosphorus formula. Shep's phosphorus levels are also too high. He also wrote for some special prescription compound that had to be made at some chemistry pharmaceutical company that is a special aluminum hydroxide mix to bind to his phosphorus. (It came in the mail last night) Once we get his levels decreased, we will start a calcium compound. He's now taking a pepcid every day and a round of clavamox antibiotic for a urinary track infection. This will also treat leptosporosis which is becoming more common in dogs though my vet doubts that that is the issue. We will recheck his kidney function in two weeks to see if there's any improvement. My vet seems hopeful which encourages me. I have read a lot about high protein vs. low protein diets and there are many different opinions out there but I am trusting my beloved vet to guide us through this right now. Of course, he encourages me to do my inevitable research on the Internet and discuss anything I find with him. Thanks for the article Barb. I will read it at work today !!!!

Cindy
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure

Post by Cindy »

A hopeful vet is ALWAYS a good thing. We're keeping all fingers and paws crossed for Shep so please keep us updated.

Interesting information to read. There's so much to learn but at least you're in the medical field which helps with the understanding part.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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janet909
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure

Post by janet909 »

Cindy wrote: but at least you're in the medical field which helps with the understanding part.
yeah.....but I just re-read my previous post from this morning and man, do I sound clinical. My brain is clinical but my heart is a disaster. One interesting thing to note is that we took him in for the teeth cleaning (even though we had his teeth cleaned last August) because his breath was so God awful. After 72 hours of this regime, his breath is great. My vet did mention that his teeth looked okay for Shep (bad genetic dental issues) so he wondered if his breath was an increased ammonia level. It encourages me that after weeks of bad breath, we're seeing improvement. It gives me hope that things are maybe improving.

I just worked 3 twelve hour shifts in the ER which were Hell. My DH took the boys camping Friday morning and I'm finally back with them all tonight. Being away and coming home to an absolutely empty house for the first time EVER was terrible. I'm used to walking in the door and having Brittany energy multiplied by 3. It was like a mausoleum. Between being without any dogs, worrying about Shep and rough work days, I'm a mess. Am excited to "spoon" with my Sheppy tonight!!!

Cindy
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure

Post by Cindy »

but I just re-read my previous post from this morning and man, do I sound clinical.
Well I didn't notice maybe because I'm sort if the medical field as well being a health educator. When you have to deal with the things you do at work, I'm not surprised your heart is a disaster. Sooner or later that has to come out somewhere! Interesting about his breath - hmmm :!: Let's go with the positives on that one for sure!

I've only spent one night in this house without dogs and it was terrible so I totally understand where you're coming from. Somehow, hearing the horses snorting out in the pasture just isn't the same as 3 dogs on the bed with you. Even the cat didn't sleep with me that night.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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adele
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure

Post by adele »

I'm really sorry to hear this. I hope the things you are trying help him. I'll be watching for updates on his condition.
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gingersnap
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure

Post by gingersnap »

I am so sory to see this. Sending lots of hugs and positive energy your way. Shep is just a sweetheart. I think it is avery good sign that your vet is hopeful.

rrwallace2dogs
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure

Post by rrwallace2dogs »

I am so sorry about Shep, Janet. A PA volunteer dealt with this and her vet came up with a plan that allowed her Britt to live a good quality of life for a year. If you would like her name and contact information, please contact me. She did not want to post publicly. Rebecca Wallace rr071646@gmail.com

janet909
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure - UPDATE !!!!

Post by janet909 »

So Shep had his 2 week check up today. He's been more playful and even had the zoomies a few times which we took as a very good sign. He's been on a renal prescription diet and aluminum hydroxide to try to lower his phosphorus. When we went in today, he had gained 1 1/2 lbs. (He had lost a total of 11 in the past year). The vet palpated his kidneys and he didn't exhibit any tenderness or pain. We redrew his blood and his kidney tests had improved. His BUN went from 101 to 59 (normal is 7-27), creatinine went from 5.5 to 4.3 (normal is 0.5-1.9) and his phosphorus went from 7.3 to 5.6. We needed to get his phosphorus less than 6 in order to start his next medication, calcitriol. There's a relationship between calcium, calcitriol and renal hyperparathyroidism. It's all very complicated but the bottom line is that this is a major improvement in just 2 weeks !!!!! An out of town compound pharmacy is mixing up a special calcitriol compound based on his blood work and should arrive by Monday (I hope). We will then recheck his blood at 7 days and again at 14 days to make sure the calcitriol mixture is perfect for him. Whew !! I'm learning a lot about canine renal failure but am just so happy that things are improving. I know we can't cure renal failure but I feel encouraged by my vet that we are buying him a lot of quality time. Today, compared to two weeks ago, is a very good day !!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

janjan697
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure - UPDATE !!!!

Post by janjan697 »

I love good days! This is great news. I believe there is a lot more now to manage renal failure than there was a few years ago. Right on!

Cindy
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure - UPDATE !!!!

Post by Cindy »

YIPPEE!!!!! I know you must feel a huge weight being lifted. There's nothing like seeing such improvement in just a few weeks. We're all cheering Shep on to continue in this positive direction!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Barb Wright
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Re: Shep has Renal Failure - UPDATE !!!!

Post by Barb Wright »

Great news :D It is so interesting to hear about the newer protocols and how well they can work. Hoping for many more positive updates !!
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

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