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Old 10-04-2003, 07:01 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: New Mexico
Kidney Failure

Hello all,

I just recently found out that Kodi has kidney failure. I was wondering if anyone else has had a rottie that has had this disease? Luckily, we found this out we are doing a diet change and he will probably need to be on meds for the rest of his life. I would love to know any tips or ideas that people have so that I can help Kodi to be as comfortable as possible.


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Old 10-04-2003, 07:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: rome city
Images: 1
my last gsd had kidney problems....... are you sure the doctor said he was in kidney failure???? you can pm me... it is highly important that you follow your vets advice on diet on this he will probably put him on a hills prescription diet.. dont let your opinion or others opinion of hills science diet sway you from using the prescription diet while i think science diet is crap the hills prescription diets absolutly do the job they are intended to do....... the meds are very expensinve for this it cost us about 175.00 a month for our gsd not counting the monitoring of the kidney functions.... the kidney do not repair themselves so the best you can hope for is slowing the process... watch the treats nothing but the food prescribed for example depending on the kidney function at a certain time ,his favorate table scrap treat could overload the kidneys and kill him. other than watching for digstive track upsets that you must always be watchfull of he will lead a pretty normal life... are you sure your vet is right on something like this i like to get a second opinion
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Old 10-04-2003, 09:42 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: New Mexico
Thank you for your post.

Yes, my vet is pretty sure that it is the beginning of renal failure. I work at a vet clinic with three vets and they all are in agreement. Before I took Kodi in, he was vomiting a lot, drinking a lot of water, and urinating frequently....he also had some weight loss. My vet did extensive bloodwork, a urinary analysis, and also took some X-Rays to rule out an obstruction. All the signs are there and all the tests lead us to kidney failure.....:( Right now I am switching Kodi over to Science Diet K/D, and he is on meds to help with his vomiting. He is only allowed treats that I made for him out of the K/D food. I do understand that this dieseas can not be cured, only slowed down.

Once again thanks for your post. I am glad to know that I am not alone, it makes me feel better to know that your GSD did well while having the disease.

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Old 10-04-2003, 10:32 PM
Judy Chrusch
Hi Sara, Czar went into complete kidney failure from lyme disease and was also on a prescription diet in addition to meds and some natural vitamins. There's all types of kidney disease, and can be caused by many different things. Have they found out what type and what from? Did they do an ultrasound, does he indeed have 2 kidneys? You'd be surprised how many dogs only have 1, not common but possible . It's very important that you follow your vets instructions as Larry mentioned bc if they're given the wrong food they're kidneys will have to work to hard and that's not what you want. Czar also had the vomiting and also was putting out more protein out his urine, more then he was taking in . Some kidney problems CAN be reversed but again it depends on the severity. Czar does not have full function of his and never will but at least he's here. Catching it early is half the battle. What were some of his blood levels? Czar's BUN/ Creatinine was high, phosphorus, and well ALL his levels that were related to kidney were high.

I wish you all the best and as I said, listen to your vet and Kodi should live a normal happy life. Hope this helps.

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Old 10-05-2003, 07:47 AM
Novice Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
There are 2 kinds of kidney failure - acute and chronic. An example of acute kidney failure is when a dog drinks antifreeze. When that happens, the kidneys get damaged and the dog develops kidney failure but there is often enough reserve in the remaining undamaged kidney cells to compensate and the dog can return to relatively 'normal' life - kind of like when someone donates a kidney and the remaining kidney just works extra hard to make up for it.

Chronic kidney failure is more insidious, it is a slow degenerative disease and when the dog does present with kidney failure, it means that the kidneys have already used up all their compensatory abilities and have basically given up - not enough healthy cells in this case, there is no reversing the situation and its a downhill battle from there.

The diets are designed to reduce the protein load for the dog - the kidneys work to get rid of protein by products and if it doesn't get rid of them, the dog feels really sick and starts to vomit.

Hope this explains the disease a bit better for you.

Good luck to you and Kodi,
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Old 10-05-2003, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Michigan USA
Images: 12
Hi Sara - I don't have any info to add. Just wanted to tell you that old Phoebe had very elevated liver values (if that's the correct term) and my vet did all the checking things that yours has. She was throwing up at times, and drinking TONS of water, and had real strong smelling urine. My vet told me she was showing signs of chronic kidney disease and suggested a prescription diet.

Phoebe lived another three years, and I helped her pass on at age 15 because her chronic pain from arthritis had just become too much. Apart from one easily treated UTI in those three years, we had no kidney issues that I know of.

I started feeding a raw diet at about the time she was diagnosed, so I can't comment on the prescription diets. I say do whatever works, just wanted to say it's not necessarily an early death sentence...

Royce von der Alten Welt 6.7.2010

Cooper, CGC, CD, TDI, TT, UACH
Daphne the Destructo-Rott
Bosco the clown
Ajax, my very first Rottweiler in 1985.
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Old 10-05-2003, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Orlando, FL
Images: 6
Kizer has kidney problems as well. His stemmed from eating acorns in our backyard. He got VERY sick and that is when I found out. He now is on Hill's prescription diet, Canine W/D. He eats the W/D treats and some of the W/D canned food every now and again. My vet stressed to me how very important diet is to help control this and (knock on wood) my boy has been doing ok for quite some time. I believe he was diagnosed 2 years ago. He was also on meds when the initial diagnosos was made and I cannot remember what they were...I will look through his records.

Proud Mom of:
Kizer - 10 year old Rottie boy
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Old 10-05-2003, 01:26 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: New Mexico
Thank you everyone for your replies...

Kodi was diagnosed with chronic renal failure. One of the vets is thinking that it might stem from his immune system dissorder. When he was a puppy, around 8 months old, his toenails started falling off (I have posted several times here about Kodi's toenails). Back then I had him tested and it showed up postive for an immune system problem ( I can't remember what the test was called). I was doing some reading and read that some kidney problems can start if your dog has an immune system problem.....In a month I am having Kodi's bloodwork checked again (and then probably every month for the rest of his life)....One of the vets said that we might be able to put him on some steroids.....So, we'll see.....

Kodi already seems to be doing better now that he is starting to switch over to the Sceince Diet K/D. With the new food and the meds he has not vomited in atleast a week.

Thanks again, and, Judy, on Tuesday when I go to work I will write down his blood values so that we can compare......

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Old 10-05-2003, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: clt-nc-usa
Early this summer my old dog was diagnosed with kidney failure.....erroneously. We had put him on Ascriptin a few weeks prior, and apparently that was enough to skew his values. Four weeks later his kidneys were fine......old and frail, but fine.

My vet and I went quite a few rounds over k/d during that period. He believed that my dog should be on it, regardless. I have refused, though I have changed his diet, and a third blood test has shown that to be the right course, for this dog.

The most important thing that I have learned is that it's not so much the protein, but the phosphorus that must be limited.

From what you've written, it sounds very much as if your dog does indeed have kidney failure. But I want to post a couple of websites where you might find some more information, particularly holistic, that might help you in the long run, after your dog is stabilized.

And there is an excellent message board at

How old is Kodi?
M2, dfc
Harry, Maggie, Chalice, & Cleve
and Kord, the Large Munsterlander
@RB--Peaches, Dev, Jake, Cecil, Rocky, Delilah, & Homer
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