Fanconi vs Renal Failure?

@joeyq said in Fanconi vs Renal Failure?:

Does anyone know why he is having twitching/tremors? Is this from electrolyte imbalance? Is there anything that can be done to relieve or minimize them?

That is the most likely cause. Talk to your vet about supplements. It's important to help him feel better.

Okay, so my little girl, Kenya was diagnosed with kidney failure about 2 years prior to her passing. My vet from Tufts told me that the most important thing was to keep weight on her. I cooked for her and spoon fed her daily. It was a challenge to keep her interested in food but I was determined. I boiled her sweet potatoes, steamed rice with veggies, baked her salmon, whatever she would eat. Sometimes she only wanted baby food and that's what she would get, mostly beef or chicken in gravy. The thing about kidney disease is that they feel nauseated and don't want to eat the same thing every day. On days when she didn't want to eat (more advanced stages), she would lap up goats milk or Ensure. I gave her famotadine 10 mg twice a day for the upset stomach; I hid it in goat cheese. She also got sub q fluids, less frequent early on, but more so as she advanced. I took her to have blood work every 3 months to monitor her levels and she did well for a long time. In the end she began to have seizures and I knew it was time to let her go. She was the love of my life and it was hard, but she fought hard and I was by her side, helping to do what I could for her; she lived to almost 17 yrs old! Good luck to you and yours, I hope you can give yours a long and comfortable life.

@little-monkey Thank you! I'm sorry for your loss. Joey is eating fine at the moment...once I added coconut oil to his food.

Vet sent his labs...everything is normal except renal function and specific gravity which I believe shows protein in his urine. His BUN/CREA is 64 (7-27) and CREA is 2.4 (0.5-1.8). Somehow I feel like there is something additional going on as he has the twitching, they don't look like seizures. He seems pretty well hydrated and his water consumption might have even slowed up a bit. I know y'all are not vets, but maybe someone has a ray of light to shed?

Oh and his PCT is one point above normal 0.47 (.14-.46) .

Going to the vet on Friday to see if there is a more comprehensive plan for his comfort. Am arming myself with many questions thanks to all your help!

Saw the vet today and ran some bloodwork again. His BUN/CREA has improved significantly and his CREA improved 0.10 which the vet said was not significant. The change is from one week ago. Joey has become more active and gained 1 lb which lead us to believe he was dehydrated on his recent visit of 3/3. He received his first (and now only) does of the fairly new Simparica med for flea and tick treatment 2/18 and this is also when he started having neurological issues. The letter that comes with the rebate includes a safety warning..."Simparica may cause abnormal neurological signs such as tremors, unsteadiness and/or seizures". There are variables but my gut tells me the new medication impacted his health. I plan to test him again in 1-2 months.
What do you give for flea and tick prevention?

@joeyq said in Fanconi vs Renal Failure?:


I'll run the numbers past my vet tech friend.

I had never heard of the drug... but I have learned not to touch any new drug for at least 5 years. I don't want my dogs to be beta testers. I looked and it just came out in 2016. Please report your suspicions to the drug company AND to the FDA. Keeping track of potential issues is how they figure out if it really is the drug. Europe research says 1 in 10,000 get ataxia, goes away on it's own.

I had been given a drug for about 2 mos, older drug, probably 10 plus years. I get a call from CVS telling me the drug has been pulled by FDA, don't take another dose, to bring remainder in for them to destroy or to mix with water and let it dissolve so no one could get them. All those years, now they find it causes liver damage. So it's always best to let them know if you have an issue, even if you can't prove it is the drug.

We used frontline spray for decades, but then, we very rarely had fleas. So when traveling we use K9 Advantix II Flea, Tick and Mosquito prevention.

However, we are not in Israel and our monthly wormer includes flea and tick. I am not sure if we'll continue with a separate product.

Okay so my friend called me back.
She said first, get off the Simparica as it is certainly capable of causing the tremors. They do resolve on own.

She said the increased values is a good sign it's early, as the more it progresses they can't produce something (I didn't have a pen to write it down), so that is the positive part. She agreed... changed to low but high quality protein and get started on subq fluids. If your vet is reluctant to teach you, there is a good video and also info on Mar Vista (they are superb, keep extensive library of information on line and the vet there will respond to email.).

@debradownsouth Thanks for all the information. Joey only had one dose. I returned the remaining to the clinic and the vet agreed to keep him off it. The incident was reported to Zoetis and my vet spoke to a vet from the manufacturer as well. I will report to FDA. Flea and tick meds going forward will be topical. Now I have to find an appropriate method to make his renal diet more palatable. Joey looked at me cross-eyed when I tried the coconut oil a 4th time. Low sodium chix broth or the water packed with tuna is next although trying to stay low on sodium.

Joey Q,
Why don't you just give raw a try or at the very least cook some chicken or beef with some veg.
Kibble of any kind is not ideal for dogs. A species appropriate diet is a raw one. Dogs didn't evolve to
eat kibble,I'm sure the native basenjis ate whatever what was tossed to them or whatever they could
catch. Our dogs would all be healthier if they stuck to a fresh,raw or gently cooked diet.
I'm sure your B will gobble up this type of diet.

@rocky1 Thx for the info!! i agree a raw diet is good. I did feed him one for several years and then slipped away from it. I will look into it further, however, I do not want to compromise his renal status.

I fed raw for many years. But 40 years into the raw food, not one single study has shown it to be beneficial over high-quality kibble. Not one. In fact, the opposite is true. And it makes me sad, because I really felt it was best. But I am a science-based believer. Doesn't mean I don't do and believe in things that cannot be proven.. but I know the difference.

With a sick dog, many if not most of the actual veterinary nutritionist experts say that any question of immune issues is the one place they do not recommend raw meat diet. Especially since you are not sure what else may be going on, switching to raw meat seems an unnecessary risk. (See below RESEARCH articles.)

Even so, high-quality raw meat in a diet for kidney disease is not high protein amount. Going moderate at his stage can, at the very least, make him feel better
So yeah, if you have given up, just want to feed the dog something he likes, go for it. But do it knowing that when you up his protein, you probably lower his life expectancy and he'll feel sicker.

If you just want to incorporate raw, talk to a nutritionist online who can help you develop a balanced raw diet which will be lower protein, but GOOD protein (chicken and other poultry preferred) so that you aren't adding in too much, and not upping phosphorus. This is a good article, not a fanatic on either end :), not a vet but good links and info:

Unfortunately, the research against raw is piling up. Animals ate raw in the wild because they have no stoves or opposing thumbs. Canids kept in captivity live much longer. I always shake my head about "in the wild" comments.

However, we do our pets no favor by making dramatic changes in established feeding practices based on unsubstantiated theories or hunches without adequate evidence. As far as raw diets are concerned the theory behind them is weak, and there is currently little evidence concerning their health effects. More work will need to be done before it makes sense to claim these diets have benefits which outweigh their risks. The argument that we should be feeding these diets to our dogs because they are fundamentally wolves inside is not supported by the existing evidence, and it is not a sound reason to experiment with our pets’ health.<< Skeptvet

A small study, but important one awaiting a larger sampling:

As for raw, I wish any research ... legit and peer-reviewed... supported it. They don't.

For the raw defenders... here is a lot of the usual responses and why the opinions still aren't facts:

@debradownsouth Thanks for the info. I did find some renal diet wet food that he loves!! Whoosh. He seems to have more pep in his "dance" and frolicks as he takes his first strides outside. He has become more velcro with me which is fine. No accidents inside and he sleeps through the night. I want to keep him as comfortable as possible. He may have some dental issues but the vet did not recommend cleaning nor extraction under his current condition. Tremors have subsided but occasional large involuntary twitching has not.

@joeyq That is really good news! Hopefully the twitching will also decrease. It is never easy. We all just try to make them as comfortable and loved as possible.

Hello again!
It is now over 2 years since Joey had his incident with Simparica. He is aging well and his kidney values remain constant. No one expected this. He eats his kidney diet well and has not had to have any subQ liquids. He does continue to have tremors and twitching but they don't seem to bother him.
A new friend met him and asked Joey a yes/no question. Joey's head shook up and down. My friend was amazed that I had trained him so well!! I did have to later admit that he had no idea what she asked and that it was part of his condition. Ha!
Anyway, he is almost 14 1/2. I cherish him everyday and have loved raising this wonderful breed! This forum is a fantastic resource for information and support. Thanks to you all again!

Lovely story ! I bet he DID understand !
May he continue for a long time -

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