Not even quite there yet - but here's my understanding of what I must do:
Diet is a combination of lightly cooked meats, veggies and a grain - mixed in certain proportions - you have a lot of choices. You figure according to bloodwork of each dog what your maximum phosphorus amount can be per day, and then how much protein you can feed so you don't exceed the max phosphorus amt. Then, according to bloodwork, you figure what the calcium/phosphorus ratio should be, then you figure the amounts of calcium and phosphorus that are in the food, then you add calcium to the correct amount for the right proportion. No bones because they are high in phosphorus. With commercial kidney diets, they just reduce the protein in order to have less protein by-products (phosphorus, etc) so then the dogs get protein starved, plus the commercial foods use junk ingreds - corn, by-products. This idea is to keep a good level of good protein and reduce the level of phosphorus. (this is very simple explanation of the plan). Then you add certain supps - coq10, fish oil, B complex, vit E. And a lot of people use herbs also. You use phosphorus binders when necessary and also meds for nausea and ulcers. Renal dogs often lose their appetite so you vary your ingreds to keep them interested. (I'm not to that point yet.)
Did I explain that right, Nancy?
So I can cook up some stuff and keep it separate in the frig or freeze some, but then I must mix up separate meals as needed for the different dogs. And the younger dogs and the two older with no renal probs are still on higher quality kibble with stuff added. That's the best I can do at the moment! Since I won't be working for a few months, I can get this all figured out. But of course any dog could crash at any moment. Not sure how I'll handle that when I start with a new company. One day at a time. And my signif other is retired and I do have my dog sitter so that will help.
Sounds like you do have your hands full. I'd definitely try and prepare a base from you to work from. Hopefully you can learn to and master the herbs to help as well.
How do people feel about herbs? I'm not sure how much faith I have in them. (Although I realize that most allopathic meds started out as herbs.) How do people feel about homeopathy? I try to have an open mind about that, but to me it's too much like voodoo!
I do know that my cardiologist is not a "herb guy." He says that their action can make the doses of allopathic meds incorrect - for example if you are giving digoxin and hawthorne it can have too great an effect. He does agree with the supplements. So, for Capers who is on the five cardiac meds, I don't dare do any herbs. Ditto for Nominee and Darby, on fewer cardiac meds. But for the two girls with moderate heart disease and early renal disease, we are waiting to start them on heart meds because of the potential harm to their kidneys. So I thought I'd do cardiac herbs for them and maybe renal herbs. And for the girl with renal disease but no cardiac disease, thought I'd try herbs. (who's on first??!! what's my name??!!) Um....basically I'll be experimenting on the dogs. Pretty scary.
Well I never had much faith in them... BUT... I've kept pretty quiet with our problems with Nikko, but a few weeks ago we were ready to give up. We were thinking maybe we'd have to rehome because we just couldn't deal with him. I called the vet basically in desparation.... he knew that I wanted good old fashion doggy downers.... but he's holistic... He asked me to try an herbal method first... for three weeks and if it didn't work he promised he'd go conventional for me.
Well.. Nikko is certainly not 100% better, but the herbal formula (a Chinese therapy for heart yin deficiency - trust me, I rolled my eyes too) has really, REALLY helped. I've been shocked. AND Nikko eats the pills like candy instead of having to force him to eat them.
So.... they obviously do have some effect. I can notice the days when Izzy has not been given her herbal supplement (the cardiac support I emailed you about) because she is more sluggish. Her activity level on it is more like you'd expect... and some days its exceptional. So again... they do have some effect.
That being said, none of my dogs are on conventional medicine at the same time. Ask the holistic vet, she will know what's safe.
Pat. send me a pic and I'll do your avatar. Just email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
I just changed permissions so that to post you do need to be registered -- I thought it was set already but then realised you have to do each forum separately.
This is just a way of making sure we don't get any nasties on the board -- I can track people down if they have to register.
Maggie, I really like what I hear about your new vet. Hope Nikko continues to improve. Now I've got to look and find that email about the cardio-supplement - was that the email that I read in the middle of the night? I'm worried about what to do if holistic vet and cardiologist disagree.....guess I won't worry too much until that happens.
Karlin - thanks - I've first got to take enough shots until I find one that will work.
Here is the link to the cardiac support http://www.standardprocess.com/vet_c...uct_detail.asp
You can scroll through at the top to the renal support and the others as well.