“Our 13 year old Husky Mix Ariel (mascot for Ariel Rescue and Ask Ariel) was diagnosed with kidney disease and went from a dog that was jumping and playing to one that suddenly didn't want to eat, was listless and slipping away quickly. Within a few weeks, her creatinine value rose from 2.1 to 6.4.
Ariel was able to live past her 14th birthday with a good quality of life, active and happy by using a natural holistic program including a homemade diet and supplements that really worked. Conventional veterinary care for kidney disease is limited and it was Ariel’s diet and supplement regimen that kept her going strong. Many of the kidney support supplements featured on our website today are products Ariel took: Renelix, Kidney Terrain, Kidney Health, Purrfect Pet CoQ10, Cordyceps, Oxicell and Purozyme”
Susan Blake Davis, Ask Ariel Founder, Orange County California
It is quite common for pets to lose some kidney function with age. Renal insufficiency is especially common in senior cats. The kidneys are bean-shaped organs that operate as filtering mechanisms in the body. The kidneys filter out toxins in the blood such as metabolic wastes, drugs and excess mineral salts as well as regulate the acidity of the blood. The kidneys also help regulate blood pressure, the production of calcium and phosphorus metabolism, and produce a hormone that stimulates red-blood-cell production called erythropoetin.
Since the kidneys perform so many important functions, it is easy to see why kidney malfunction would greatly impact the way your pet feels and behaves. Once the kidney function starts to weaken, pets may develop a variety of additional health issues such as acid stomach, anemia, high blood pressure and pancreatitis. In the blood, three levels are especially important to test for kidney disease. These are creatinine, BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and phosphorous. BUN measures the amount of urea nitrogen, a waste product of protein metabolism in the blood. Urea is formed by the liver and then taken by the blood to the kidneys for excretion. Because urea is cleared from the bloodstream by the kidneys, a buildup in the blood is an indicator that the kidneys are not functioning properly. Creatinine and phosphorous are important markers for kidney disease as well, as they are also excreted by the kidneys.
The difficulty in treating canine kidney disease or feline kidney disease is that the ability to remove metabolic waste products is often outweighed by the buildup of those toxins. The pet is not able to keep up with the regular detoxification required because the kidneys are impaired. Thus, the pet gradually becomes more toxic and the body chemistry becomes more acidic. Unlike liver disease where the body can build and repair new liver tissue, the nephrons (functional units of the kidney) are damaged forever and cannot be replaced. What is important is to help the functioning nephrons perform at an optimal level.
Conventional treatment for kidney disease includes a reduced protein and reduced phosphorous diet, subcutaneous fluids, use of phosphorous binders and medications for blood pressure regulation, if needed. Holistic care in combination with conventional treatments is essential. Pets can eat a natural, kidney-friendly diet in place of commercially prepared prescription diets that many pets might not eat and can contain chemicals and synthetic ingredients. Supplements can help the kidneys to break down protein, excrete toxins and perform at a significantly improved level. Many cats and dogs that use the Ask Ariel kidney diet and supplements live a higher quality and longer life than was given in their initial prognosis.
Unfortunately, laboratory tests may not show kidney insufficiency in cats and dogs until your pet’s kidney function is about 65-70% deteriorated. Cats for example, may be in end-stage renal faiilure and have lost significant amounts of weight before it is discovered. Thus, it is extremely important to watch these signs in your pet and get regular laboratory tests to closely monitor their health.
- Increased urination
- Increased thirst
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Strong (ammonia-like) breath odor
- Pain, discomfort in the back