View Full Version : Reuben's kidneys

23rd December 2009, 03:09 PM
He is home now and on lots of meds and a special kidney diet.
He has picked up no end, and his breath no longer smells.
I go back to the vet tomorrow but have just noticed a large lump (almost egg sized) on hte back of his neck. it is soft and doesnt worry him if i press it.

im hoping it is maybe a reaction to an antibiotic injection as it is in the right place at the scruff of the neck.

23rd December 2009, 06:52 PM
Canít give any advice on the lump but I am so glad Reuben is home with you and improving.
Give him lots of cuddles.

26th December 2009, 10:32 AM
Just reading this now. Glad Reuben has picked up no end. Let us know how you get on with the lump.


26th December 2009, 10:49 AM
Im afraid he took a turn for the worse on Xmas day. :(

he didnt eat all xmas eve. Or all xmas day... he is just skin over bones at the moment.

the lump was apparently a reaction to all the antibiotic injections he had throughout his vets stay.

Yesterday it grew and grew and was the size of a quarter of a rugby ball,

he just laid in one place all day and didnt move, even with the smell of turkey and guests walking about.

this morning the lump has burst......clear and sticky, but not yellow or smelly. still not eating.

Im wondering if maybe having that caused him to stop eating his special diet,, and maybe once it has gone he might start eating again.

Just waiting for the vet to call us back. Fingers crossed.

Last night we were definitely thinking about euthaenasia.. but this morning there is a glimmer.


26th December 2009, 11:09 AM
Oh dear Janice, I am so sorry to hear this news. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you that Reuben picks up.:hug::hug:

Margaret C
26th December 2009, 01:28 PM
Thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed for Reuben.

26th December 2009, 01:47 PM
We're all thinking of you Janice - hope the vet has called back and that things are a bit better.

26th December 2009, 01:58 PM
Vet is very busy doing emergency surgery so will phone when she can.

The lump seems to have almost lost all its innards now, last bit is yellow and and bloody. I dont want to give him a bath as he shivers so much anyway, but the clear stuff sticks like raw eggwhite. :(

He is walking about more today, and seems quite interested in what is going on up on the worktops, but still wont eat his kidney diet. Im sure he would eat other stuff, but I cant give him stuff like that :(

26th December 2009, 03:35 PM
Do you know what his kidney values are now? What you describe is very typical - many dogs in kidney failure won't eat the prescription kidney food - it's not very palatable. That is why the yahoo k9kidneydiet group started - many people have had success with home prepared kidney diets. At this point, it's important that he eats. Here are some lower phosphorus items that you can offer:

Green tripe

Vanilla wafers (these are human cookies) - (my CRF Cavalier lived on vanilla wafers for about ten days once - this is a low phosphorus item that they will often eat, esp. because it seems like a treat and is sweet)

Egg whites - very good source of high quality protein, very low phosphorus - I just put them in the microwave and poached them. Egg yolk is very high in phosphorus so just feed the whites

Meat baby food - can't feed long term but can use for a dog who is not eating at all

Boiled chicken thigh mixed with farina or cream of wheat. (White rice is a high phosphorus grain, most of us use glutinous rice, similar to sushi rice - it is sticky) Chicken thigh is lower in phosphorus than chicken breast and is higher in fat so not good for any dog prone to pancreatitis but good for kidney failure dog who can tolerate fats.

Do you have phosphorus binder which is given right after a meal? This helps the phosphorus move through the intestines without the kidneys having to remove this waste. Binders are either aluminum hydoxide or calcium carbonate (not as strong as the alum hydroxide).

If you home feed, you will have to add calcium to balance the meals - but you don't have to learn about that right away. Right now it's just important that he eats.

Have you talked to the vet about giving daily subq fluids at home? As I mentioned before, this for many has been the key to giving a good quality life and extending length of life considerably (years).

Is he taking antibiotics now? Those can cause loss of appetite in addition to the kidney failure (uremia/azotemia) causing loss of appetite. What are all the meds he is taking?

I wish I lived near you and could help you. Some good links:


Recipes on homemade diets for renal problems can be found at this link:


Here is link to the K9Kidney Yahoo Group:


Thinking of you,


26th December 2009, 04:03 PM
Thanks for the update Janice - it's great that Reuben is more interested in things, I'm sure his appetite will return now he's feeling a bit better.

If the kidney diet is a dry food, maybe try adding some hot water to it to make it smell and that might make him more interested. If it's a wet food, you could just put some in a bowl and stand it in boiling water to heat it to blood temperature.

Sounds like someone is having a rotten Christmas too :( Hope your vet can get back to you soon.

Perhaps you can just sponge Reuben down - even with dampened baby wipes and then blow dry him, rather than a full bath?

26th December 2009, 06:35 PM
We took him to the vet as she wanted to drain the huge abscess. as she shaved him it was pouring out for about 10 mins.

she wanted to keep him in overnight, she managed to get the results early of the xmas eve blood tests.

After all the flushing, and all the tablets and the diet... the levels in his blood are HIGHER than to start with.

We made the decision that as he was under light sedation for the abscess cleaning........they would put him to sleep.

Was done about 10 mins ago.

I am distraught, he was my special boy, my darling and my pride and joy.

My husband is crying hard... he is a big tough guy who has always had big dogs and never cried as much as for Reuben.

My boys are locked in their rooms.

He will be waiting for me at Rainbow Bridge till I arrive.


We love you darling, Reuben.

26th December 2009, 07:49 PM
Oh Janice, I'm so sorry that you had to make such a painful decision - sending you and your family lots of :hug:

26th December 2009, 09:37 PM
Janice we are so very sorry - it's tragic to lose one so young. He was such a special wee dog, and brought you much love and joy whilst he was here. He knew only love, and in time that will be a comfort.

You did everything you could for him.

Please give yourselves time to grieve, Cavaliers quickly become a member of the family and it is a huge loss, especially hard with one so young.

Take care of yourselves.

Margaret C
26th December 2009, 11:45 PM
Oh Janice, I'm so sorry.

Poor little puppy, he was so very young. Thank goodness he was with a family that cared for him so much.

You are in my thoughts.

27th December 2009, 12:40 AM
There wasn't much else you could have done under the circumstances.
I'm so sorry for your loss.

27th December 2009, 06:18 AM
Oh I just read your email through my tears. I am so sorry for what you and your family are going through now. You did all you could for your little angel Reuben. You will be in our prayers. :hug:

27th December 2009, 10:03 AM
Thinking of you at this sad time. Little Reuben was a very special boy who will be sadly missed by all. Run free little one.

Karen and Ruby
27th December 2009, 11:34 AM
Oh Janice I can barely write this through my tears, there are no words are there but just wanted to let you know that I will pray for you that you may get through this to the other side.
I cant imagine what you and your family must be going through. Reuben was a real sweetheart and you did everything you could for him and he knows that.

Rest in Peace little one and wait for your mummy at the bridge *ng*l

27th December 2009, 12:43 PM
Janice, so sorry that you had to give Reuben his wings. You did everything you could possibly have done, run free little one at the bridge.
Thinking of you :hug:

27th December 2009, 01:43 PM
Janice I am so sorry for your loss. You did your very best for Rueben, I'm sure he knew that too.

27th December 2009, 02:31 PM
I am so, so sorry Janice -- this is just heart-breaking to read. You truly tried everything you could to give him his best chance and it must have been terribly distressing to have to make the hardest decision, as you did, in such circumstances.

27th December 2009, 03:13 PM
I too, am so very sorry about your loss janice. You must be heartbroken.

27th December 2009, 03:34 PM
I am so, so sorry Janice -- this is just heart-breaking to read. You truly tried everything you could to give him his best chance and it must have been terribly distressing to have to make the hardest decision, as you did, in such circumstances.

would it be a bad idea to get another from the same breeder at a later date?

this is apparently not a thing that comes out often, and his temperament was wonderful.

I guess I should steer clear?

Cathy T
27th December 2009, 04:18 PM
I'm so sorry Janice. Honestly, you did the right thing by Reuben. The cards were just not in his favor from the start but you absolutely did everything you could for him. Know that he is at peace and take some time to grieve yourself, but remember you did the best for him.

27th December 2009, 04:56 PM
I'm not sure who bred Reuben, Janice {obviously please don't post the breeder's name on the board}.

When you are feeling a bit better, please let them know what has happened - they should definitely not repeat the mating and should be aware that this condition has appeared in a puppy they have bred.

If they are doing all the health testing - MRI scanning, hearts annually {cardiologist, not just their vet},and eyes annually {opthamologist}; possibly also patellas {which is done by their normal vet} - and some breeders do also hip score; and you are happy with their set up, and the way they sell their puppies ie with a contract, lifetime support etc; then you could go back to them.

Did you contact them when Reuben was ill? Were they supportive? Even if they don't know anything about a condition, they should be prepared to do some research and support you in any way they can.

So it's hard for us to judge without knowing all the facts...

Most Cavaliers have wonderful temperaments, that is why we love them so much!!!

27th December 2009, 07:07 PM
Nicki, If a puppy has all those tests, doesn't that mean they are WAY more expensive than the average price of about £500-£600?

I have written them a letter telling them that I am not complaining but just informing them.

I have also added an article on JRD which explains about the genetics of it in case they have never heard of it before.

I think I may give them a miss though as I would hate for it to happen again.

Like you said, they are a generally wonderful breed! :l*v:

28th December 2009, 11:19 AM
Not way more expensive but a bit more expensive...generally around £750, depending on where you are in the UK. However if you look at that over the hopeful life of a Cavalier, life expectancy approx 10 years, that's £75 a year. Buying a cheap puppy from untested parents may mean huge vet bills - so it is not a saving in the long run.

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for...

Health testing doesn't GUARANTEE a healthy lifetime for your puppy, but is the best that breeders can do with the current available information. At least you know that the breeder is trying to do their best - and you are encouraging breeders to health test.

By buying from a breeder who doesn't health test, there is no market pressure on them to do so...and market forces are the best way {in the absence of legislation} we can ensure they health test.

Laura Lang has a brilliant page on her website about this very subject - the last bit is a bit upsetting especially in light of your recent loss.

Scroll down to Dear Puppy Buyer

http://www.roycroftinformationcenter.com/Cavalier%20Infosite/Cavalier%20InfoCenter%20Breed%20Information%20Page .html

Margaret Carter {Margaret C on the board} keeps a list of breeders who health test - also you can contact the national breed club puppy register, Carole Butler, telephone 01285 770651

You can obtain details of regional contacts from the parent club website, under puppy register http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk/start.html

Hope that helps you in your search, and we truly wish you a much Happier 2010.

28th December 2009, 11:40 AM
Im just reading this now as I havent been on the board over xmas as much.
I am so sorry.

Ive pm'd you XXX


29th December 2009, 09:55 AM
Janice, my thoughts are with your family.

I'm so sorry that you lost your special lil' boy xcavtiny

30th December 2009, 07:59 AM
Janice I am so sorry you have lost your lovely little boy. He was lucky to have you to love and cherish him. My thoughts are with you.:hug:

30th December 2009, 11:34 AM
Thanks everybody. xxx

3rd January 2013, 04:39 PM
There is another post I made in this thread with more links to information about treating a dog with juvenile renal dysplasia so I'm bumping this to the top also.