He is getting enough to eat that he hasn’t lost weight
That in itself is very good news. It can be very difficult to keep weight on a picky, elderly Basenji. Once they really start to lose it, often there is no putting weight back on.
Good luck !
Zak (14 yrs. old) had bi-annual blood work done earlier this week. An e-mail from the vet says "kidney values have increased. His BUN has doubled from June. It went from 21 to 41. His other value, the creatinine, went from 1.7 to 1.8. Dr. would recommend a special diet either K/D or G/D and checking his blood pressure. Also his thyroid has consistently been low and still is. His value is 0.7, normal is 1-4. She would recommend a full thyroid profile at MSU."
Can anyone give me some guidance as to any questions I should be asking or share any experience you may have with kidney and/or low thyroid issues and dietary suggestions.
Low thyroid you'll get him on thyroid pills to bring it up and he'll be feeling a lot better. The pills are cheap. I know that with my past older cats kidney issues you have to get the protein lower so as not to stress out the kidney.
For sure you want to get him on Thyroid Meds, he is way low. So while that will not help his kidneys, it will help make him feel lots better. By the way 1.4 is Low Normal and that is too low for a Basenji
As far as diet, I would look into maybe cooking for him. I don't like the KD because I believe it is corn based. My Kristii is very allergic to corn, so that would never work for me… so I cook for her. On the blood work, what was his phosphorus? Kristii was very high and we put her on a phosphorus binder (which is a tasteless power that you put on the food for every meal) Also here is a link about kidney problems in dogs with lots and lots of information http://www.dogaware.com/kidney.html
Also I have Kristii on SubQ fluids that I do at home, did your Vet say anything about him being dehydrated? That is one of the top concerns with kidney problems. Also I have her on a Pepcid AC once a day because with Kidney issues one common problem is an upset tummy causing them to not want to eat. And I have her on a B complex (human)
The jury is still out depending on what Vet you talk to about protein in the diet for kidney issues…. and in the end, they need to eat... but I have stuck to a medium protein diet for Kristii (who as 15 in December).
Thyroid can cause a myriad of symptoms. 0.7 is way too low-doesn't matter what any vet or lab states. As Pat says, home cooking is probably the best. That way you can control a lot of levels as well.
our 15 year old had the same kidney values, Our vet put him on KD it was a good kidney diet for him. The problem was he didn't like it much. Stood on our heads sometimes to get him to eat. We also did subQ fluids 3X a week until the vet said to stop. It wasn't helping much and he really didn't like it. Unfortunately with the high renal values we had seizures to contend with. They started out infrequent and then became very frequent and he finally had one that wouldn't stop and we had to help him cross the bridge. But overall we got another year with him using the diet and subQ which I doubt we would have gotten had we not tried everything. Good luck with all that you try.
Yes definitely a home cooked meal as Pat suggests. I did the Dr Dodd's liver cleansing diet and that helped more than the liver. Nika's allergies and yeast infections calmed way down and she became much calmer. Give that a try.
Thank you all for the information. Pat the link you sent it's great - lots of good info. - my brain is currently overloaded! I will be going to the vet tomorrow to pick up the complete lab results. The info. I first posted was all I had from an e-mail from the vet so I'll be interested to see the rest of the numbers. I'm going to at least start with getting Zak in on Monday for a blood draw to run the thyroid panel. I do want to note that Zak seems fine (energy is good, coat is fabulous, weight is 25). The only change I'm noticing at this point is he's not as into his food as he was a couple months ago. He'll eat, but he doesn't dive into it like he used to. I attributed that to Zuki's passing (2 months) since that's roughly when it began. I think I should go the route of home cooking since I am not at all impressed with the recommended KD or GD diet ingredients. Zak is currently on Natural Balance Duck & Sweet Potato. I switched him to that maybe 6 months ago because he was showing some signs of arthritis and I had read that grains can make arthritis worse. I had bought some Previcox but really didn't want to use it and since making the switch to grain-free he has not limped a bit. I seem to often feel overwhelmed with the home cooking (the whole kcal thing confuses me). I also seem to fret about making sure I get the right vitamins and minerals. When I was having problems with Zuki it was suggested that I try Missing Link. I tried the Missing Link with both Zak and Zuki and they both hated it. Also, Zak is missing most of his teeth, so chewables are out of the question. I will continue to wade through the information and I'll post the rest of the lab numbers tomorrow.
You know, at his age (and in my opinion) any elder dog, the goal is to get them to eat and keep them eating… so I don't stress out about kcal's too much particularly since I use Vit Supplements.