Lenny and his kidney disease - feeding Royal Canin - terrible!

Well here we are again! I posted a couple years ago about the random seizure Lenny had while were on vacation, never found a cause for it (nor has it happened again, thankfully) but that ER visit led us to a diagnosis of stage 2 renal failure. I have been cooking for him for the last 2 years.... up until the shelter in place started and things got crazy with home schooling and remote working and all other parts of life. Then I found a low protein kibble that he liked and spruced it up with some pasta/rice and veggies and other goodies to keep him excited about his food, always added a lot of water and fish oil tablets and Vitamin B supplement. Took him to the vet recently and seems he has advanced to stage 3 renal disease. The vet recommended a Royal Canin prescription renal diet. I gave it a try... it's been a week and I swear it's terrible for him. He's an oldie at almost 15 years old.... before the switch to Royal Canin he did sleep a lot, as these older guys do, but when he was awake he was still pretty solid on his feet - despite having vision and hearing problems. He would trot around the house and sniff things and search for dropped food, occasionally steal something off the table... you know, typical Basenji stuff. I tried out the Royal Canin food and I feel like it was killing him. He suddenly couldn't walk straight... he was super wobbly and disoriented all the time. It seemed like his legs were going to give out on him and he'd have a hard time even circling to lay down. Enough of that! I sat down and reformulated his nutritional needs based on his latest bloodwork and urine results from the spreadsheet from the K9KidneyDiet yahoo group and created a couple recipes for him that balanced his protein/phosphorus/calories/calcium. I have fed him 2 of these new home cooked meals so far and he's back to normal Lenny! What on earth is in that Royal Canin that was making him seem so out of it??!?!?!?!?! No more!

@tayda_lenny - Same thing people find out with Vet's that recommend Science Diet, if I remember correctly many years ago it was recommended by the Vet for my Kristii that had a reaction to anesthesia.... first ingredient was corn.... Vets are not really taught alot in Vet School about diet and they tend to go with what the reps from these companies tell them.

I have never found vet prescription diets to be of any value. If your dog isn't sick before going on one, they probably will be soon after! And I agree, many vets know zip about nutrition, depend on what the reps tell them, and have a vested interest in selling you this stuff. Many vet clinics appear to make more money selling dog food than by actually helping pets.

While Vets mean well, I am sure both tanza and eeeefarms are right. I have been recommended the well known Science Diet once - the dog would have starved rather than eat the stuff. It didn't even look appetising, grey, homogenous and I could understandhis dislike.

I am praying that your sweet Lenny will feel better soon. God bless him real good!

At 15 years old, Lenny has lived a very good life due to your love and diligence in caring for him. If he feels better on your homemade suppers, then I say more power to you both. He is at the age of diminishing returns when it comes to treating health problems. Love him, feed him what he likes, and when either he quits wanting to eat or quits being able to get around, seriously consider helping him move on. Our Cardi Duncan lived the last three + years with arthritis (two daily drugs for that), diabetes insipidus (eye drops twice a day costing an arm and a leg), synthroid for thyroid. He lived to be 15yrs and 7 months, over 2.5 years longer than the UK dog mortality suggested was average for a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Ultimate decision to help him on was because we could no longer keep him comfortable with the arthritis. We'd had him for way longer than expected and it was the last and greatest gift we could give him, a gentle death being touched by my husband and I who adored him and his vet who'd treated him since before he was born and who wept as she put him to sleep. Hope Lenny continues to thrive on your own diet and whether you measure the time he has left in months or years, enjoy every minute of it. Thinking of you both!

You might want to read about the bioavailability of proteins in 'kibble' format. For kidney disease, canned will be superior to protein that underwent the Maillard reaction.
I am not surprised if homecooked beats kibble (or corn).
If you dog does not have proteinurea, read about feeding the protein (healthy protein). Later stages (proteinurea) may require lower protein diet.
Don't forget the supplements. Slow and steady with the B-vitamins.
DogAware.com has a lot of info and links.
Best of luck! Let him have fun stealing food 🙂

I had a somewhat similar experience. Joey had a seizure which I correlate to taking Simparica. He looked terrible so took him to the vet when the first seizure happened and he was late Stage 2. Put him on Royal Canin kidney kibble and Hills kidney wet food and 4 years later he has only had 1 more seizure and his kidney values have remained constant. I will believe your homemade version is most likely better if you have the correct proportions. All the best to your Bs! Joey will be 15 in November.

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