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Thread: Stage 2 Kidney disease

  1. #1
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    Default Stage 2 Kidney disease

    Hi all, I need input!!! Just received a phone call from the breeder that we got Cody from. She has an elderly lady that has an 11 month old Cav with stage 2 kidney disease. Do not know any details waiting to get that all faxed from the owners vet in the a.m. The lady does not want the dog and is looking for another home for her. Does anyone have any experience with this? We were looking to get another Cav but wondering if we are taking on more than we can handle. From what I gather she is on no special meds, just a low or no protein diet. Sounds like she has not had a lot of training as she is still pottying in the house. We do get a chance to meet owner and dog before saying yes. Any thoughts greatly appreciated and will now start searching the site for info. Thanks all!!!!!
    Mom to Cody (Tri) 2/12

    My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton

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    Boy -- I'd want to have a meeting with your vet to discuss this in detail as soon as you get the info, as you have planned, and ask your vet to be totally honest with you on what this would involve. I would wonder why the breeder isn't taking the responsibility of caring for such a dog for its lifetime in her own home, as it is of her breeding... would just want an idea of why she is trying to place the cavalier instead.

    I would be very wary and carefully think through what you want in a dog, what you can commit to, and what you can manage. Such a dog will of course be adorable and of course is deserving of a loving home -- BUT that is different from the issue of whether you personally want the lifelong responsibility of a special needs dog.

    Generally such problems cannot simply be managed with a diet and the dog will have the likelihood of problems from time to time, and these could be very costly and will not be covered by insurance if the dog isn't already covered -- and even if so, often insurance companies will not transfer coverage to a new owner (have tried to do this when I ran Irish Cavalier Rescue). Also the cavalier could be likely to decline further and have a more limited life.

    There are great rewards in taking on a special needs dog -- I have had/currently have a few. But they are not for everyone and do take a extra effort and the type of care they need can require changes to your own life/plans/travel etc. Also consider you will have to be extremely careful as you already have a dog who doesn't need the special diet and thus dog will always have to be apart during meals and for treats etc so there will be some extra dog management.

    The other issue is -- I'd wonder if the lack of housetraining is related to kidney disease. And therefore might be an ongoing, permanent issue.

    There are others here who have far greater knowledge of kidney problems -- Pat hopefully might see this but others know about it too. They can give you better picture.

    But the rule of thumb with special needs dogs is -- you need to be willing to remain committed and assume there will be ups and downs, there are likely to be complications at times, and the dog may well have a shorter lifespan. Then be totally honest with yourselves as you discuss whether this is a commitment you want or could make and everyone in the family needs to be on board.

    Is the breeder willing to make a lifelong commitment (I'd want a signed document) to at least help pay for any special care as well? I can understand her seeking a home, but would expect her to offer some support as there will be extra costs to the home, for special diets and extra health checks at the very least.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Here's a useful link that explains some of the issues on diet etc -- and would argue a dog with stage 2 fallure doesn't really need a prescription diet:

    http://www.1800petmeds.com/education...disease-31.htm

    But the main point in my mind would be that you are dealing with moderately advanced disease in a very young dog, of what is a progressive disease that will worsen over time.

    This is a really good detailed explanation:

    http://www.2ndchance.info/kidney.htm

    Based on this: I would not consider taking on such a dog unless the breeder is offering to cover at least half of the care costs:

    In the future, we may be able to regenerate failing organs. But for now, there is no known way to mend damaged kidneys. What veterinarians can do is to try to slow the rate at which your pet's kidney tissue is lost and deal with the side effects of the loss. Kidney failure is progressive – that means that with time it will get worse. The key to gaining time for your pet is to use the its remaining kidney tissue as efficiently as possible. We try to do this through diet, medications and, when necessary, fluid injections
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    I haven't tea Karlin's posts but I assume they are probably filled with good info. (Just about of to work) but i have cat in stage 2 kidney disease. I'm not sure of its tr same in cats and dogs. But there is no cure, And it will kill my cat. It's up to me to figure out when Time is right. There are medications and foods that can help prolong his life. But those are very expensive. And as I said it is progressive and has no cure.
    We lost our last cat to kidney disease and Its very hard to see your baby go trough it.
    I wouldn't jump into that situation if I were you. Sure the dog deserves a good home. But from someone with experience, It's too hard to watch them go through this. I would wait.


    Mind you that's my cat. And I know nothing about kidney disease in dogs. If its the same or not.
    Last edited by Super Princess; 3rd January 2013 at 03:41 PM.
    Oliver and Max and Meeko man, i will meet you at the Rainbow bridge. I love you all. Miss you more then you'll ever know.
    wait for me...
    Chelsea

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    I’ve had a lot of experience with dogs with kidney disease, and I’m a moderator (inactive) in a yahoo kidney disease group.

    If I were considering this, I’d want a written report from a board certified internist with a diagnosis and prognosis for the puppy. This would include a full blood chemistry report, urinalysis report, and an ultrasound report. I would not rely on an opinion from a GP vet with only bloodwork to back up the diagnosis.

    I presume that this pup has JRD – juvenile renal dysplasia. This is a congenital defect that the pup was born with where the kidneys are not fully developed. The other possibilities would be a PLN – protein-losing nephropathy – where the damaged kidneys are leaking protein through the urine, or an acute kidney injury from something toxic that could be temporary. I’ve bumped up some old threads about kidney disease – two are in the health forum (JRD and Reuben’s kidneys) and one is in the general forum (“devastating news”). I’ve made posts with some links in those three threads. Some of these discuss chronic kidney disease which would not be the case in an 11 month old pup, but the treatment would be similar.

    If this is JRD, the pup may only live a few years. The full medical reports would give some prognosis about lifespan. An ultrasound report would tell much about the current situation and prognosis.

    Treatment would consist of special diet and some supportive meds like Pepcid, anti-nausea meds and phosphorus binders when appropriate. Home cooked diet would be best for a puppy because the commercial script diets would likely be too low in protein, but regular diets are too high in phosphorus. Food and meds would not be very expensive. At some point, subq fluids would be necessary to keep the kidney values down and maintain a decent quality of life. These are not expensive for a small dog if you purchase from a medical supply company rather than directly from your vet. (I spend about $200 per year for fluid, linesets and needles from Brico Medical Supplies for my 15 year old with chronic renal disease. She currently gets fluid every other day but will eventually need it every day when her numbers go up.) The expensive part of treatment is for vet visits and diagnostics/tests.

    Giving fluids is pretty easy and takes about 5-10 minutes total each time. This does not cause distress for the pet if you warm the fluids and use decent needles (not the Monoject brand needles that most vets use!).

    The puppy will drink more and will pee more because the kidneys aren’t working efficiently. I’ve trained my old girl to use the washable potty pads. They need to always have access to water and always be able to relieve themselves.

    Depending on the exact situation, you may experience heartbreak – dogs will progress to anorexia, nausea, vomiting, etc. until quality of life is so poor that you’ll decide on euthanasia. Depending on the extent of kidney damage, though, the pup might be maintained for a long time but it does take careful management and dedication. I could give you better information if I could see the reports.

    If you do decide to take this on, a good thing is that you are in San Diego with access to specialists, etc. Treatment for dogs and cats with kidney disease is very different in the US versus the UK, unlike treatment for most other medical conditions, which is pretty standard. I was reading an excellent site the other day on feline kidney disease maintained by a UK owner, and she explains the differences quite well for those of you in the UK that are curious. http://www.felinecrf.org/

    I can give you more detailed info and links to good resources if you get more information and decide that this is something that you are going to pursue.

    Pat
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Princess View Post
    i have cat in stage 2 kidney disease. I'm not sure of its tr same in cats and dogs. But there is no cure, And it will kill my cat. It's up to me to figure out when Time is right. There are medications and foods that can help prolong his life. But those are very expensive. And as I said it is progressive and has no cure.

    Mind you that's my cat. And I know nothing about kidney disease in dogs. If its the same or not.
    Kidney disease and treatment is very similar for both cats and dogs. This is an excellent site for info on feline kidney disease - http://www.felinecrf.org

    Probably the most important thing you can do for your cat is subq fluid. My 15 year old dog with chronic kidney disease has received fluid every other day for over two years, along with her special diet. Her quality of life is quite good. Her numbers are creeping upward over these two years - she is now in stage 3 - but she still has a good appetite, plays, is responsive to people and pets, and rests well. She does drink and pee a lot. In the US at least, meds and special diet are not very expensive. What I find expensive is vet visits and diagnostics/tests, especially the initial testing.

    Pat
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

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    we had to do that with maxie..because by the time we realized how sick he was, he was in the later stages. dad had to give max fluid with the iv every day.. and we came to the decision if our other pets (meeko!) ever got that bad..we had 'made the decision' Its so easy to say that 3 years ago when meekos not sick..but now that hes in early stages..its hard. he is no where near iv ready, but was quite ill for a week strong..when i made the apointment (acutlly posted it here)..and suddnly he stopped getting sick so i cancled.
    i will take a look at the site for sure. thankyou
    Oliver and Max and Meeko man, i will meet you at the Rainbow bridge. I love you all. Miss you more then you'll ever know.
    wait for me...
    Chelsea

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    Thank you all so much for your input and extremely helpful insight and sites to gather information. We received all of the paperwork on Friday evening, we contacted our vet and set up an appointment to see him on Saturday afternoon. He reviewed all of the paperwork and we followed up with a long conversation. He agreed that it did not look good, and especially for a pup so young. Pat he was in complete agreement with you and is leaning towards JRD, and said the next step would be the ultrasound and another series of blood and urine test. He also had the feeling that this may be a very quick progression (looking back at the chemistry from the last 3 months). He went over a lot of the care and costs that would be needed. Also the time commitment and our lifestyle. After considering all of this and the post from others that have and are dealing with this, we decided we are not the family. It breaks my heart and I pray that she will find someone that has the time and can love and care for this pup as it deserves. Again thank you everyone and please keep this little pup in your prayers!!
    Mom to Cody (Tri) 2/12

    My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacy De View Post
    Thank you all so much for your input and extremely helpful insight and sites to gather information. We received all of the paperwork on Friday evening, we contacted our vet and set up an appointment to see him on Saturday afternoon. He reviewed all of the paperwork and we followed up with a long conversation. He agreed that it did not look good, and especially for a pup so young. Pat he was in complete agreement with you and is leaning towards JRD, and said the next step would be the ultrasound and another series of blood and urine test. He also had the feeling that this may be a very quick progression (looking back at the chemistry from the last 3 months). He went over a lot of the care and costs that would be needed. Also the time commitment and our lifestyle. After considering all of this and the post from others that have and are dealing with this, we decided we are not the family. It breaks my heart and I pray that she will find someone that has the time and can love and care for this pup as it deserves. Again thank you everyone and please keep this little pup in your prayers!!
    Sorry that I'm slow to get back to this thread. I think that you made a wise decision. This is something that I would not take on myself, and I've got a lot of experience in this area. Your vet gave you a really good and thorough analysis.

    Pat
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Princess View Post
    he is no where near iv ready, but was quite ill for a week strong..when i made the apointment (acutlly posted it here)..and suddnly he stopped getting sick so i cancled.
    i will take a look at the site for sure. thankyou
    I'd encourage you to read the information on the site and learn before your cat is in another crisis. It's a challenge to get up to speed when you are under pressure because your pet is very ill.

    By the time chronic kidney disease shows up in abnormal blood chemistry, the kidneys are already 2/3rds non-functional. By the time there are symptoms such as loss of appetite, vomiting, etc., things are at a real crisis. It is often difficult to bring dogs and cats back to a good quality of life at this point. Hospitalization is almost always necessary, and that isn't cheap.

    Kidney disease is detected first in abnormal urinalysis before blood chemistry values are abnormal. Urinalysis will show the inability to concentrate urine in early disease. This is why I frequently test urine, esp. for the seniors. I actually start treatment when values are high normal to slightly above normal rather than waiting for a "crash." It is so much easier to keep pets on an "even keel" by adjusting diet and giving subq fluids before there is a serious crash when they are still feeling pretty good. This often eases them through chronic kidney failure and prevents a sudden crisis.

    My 15 year old shih tzu had abnormal urinalysis and slightly high blood chem values over two years ago. I started treatment then, and she has done very well with no symptoms at all during this time. Her blood chem values are now at about Stage 2 to Stage 3, but she is doing well. Pets adjust much better to gradual rises in blood chem values rather than abrupt changes because their bodies have a chance to compensate. I feel pretty certain that she would not be doing so well (and might not be here now) if I had waited to start treatment until she was really sick with serious symptoms. I have also avoided the cost of hospitalization by being pretty proactive about treatment. Treatment has been very inexpensive and is not at all difficult or time-consuming.

    Pat
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

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