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I have an 11 year old Pug and a rescue Pekingese who we got in April. When we adopted her, the rescue told us she was 3 years old, then later the woman told us the previous owner said she's 7 and our vet thinks she's 8 or 9. We love her so much and are sad that we aren't going to have as many years as we thought with her so we want to give her the very best life we can. She was showing some signs our previous Peke did before she passed away so we took her in to the vet for a full workup. She had blood work, urine and fecal tests, X-rays because of a sudden limp, and an ultrasound. We feed both of our dogs Supreme Source Turkey and Sweet Potato kibble which we get from Smiths. The blood work and tests showed some problems that the vet says is due to her diet. We feed half a cup of kibble twice a day. She doesn't eat table scraps or anything else.
The blood work showed her blood to be high in fats (lipenia), her platelet were mildly elevated, and her potassium was elevated. Other than those, her levels were good. Her urine was abnormally acidic and she had phosphate crystals in her bladder according to the ultrasound / x rays. The vet said her food was to blame for the phosphate crystals and that we need to change her diet to one with less protein. Supreme Source Turkey and Sweet Potato has 27% protein.
Besides this, she has osteoarthritis and hip displasia. The X-rays showed that both of her knees had ligament ruptures at some point in her life. Her left leg has a thickness at the top which the vet called a thickened femur neck that was osteofied or osteofites? (I don't hear that well over the phone).
Although the complete workup included something called a "total T4 Wellness Profile," at the time of the results phone call, the vet had me pay another $100 to get a more in-depth look at her thyroid hormones because they were low. (husband wasn't happy that the total T-4 didn't include totally everything). We are now waiting for the results of the second T-4 test to see if our Peke is going to need thyroid meds. The vet sent us home with anti-inflammatory meds for her limp.
Our previous Peke was also a rescue. She was old when she died but she went down suddenly over the course of two to three weeks. She began face planting when walking, then vomiting, then lost her bladder control, refused to eat and at the end, had profuse mucus coming out of her nose. She was diagnosed with kidney disease and failure and we were sent home with dermal infusions we had to give her in order to keep her nutrition up. We fed her with a baby dropper, mixed baby food for her and she refused to eat. It was like she was trying to die. We were beyond sick ourselves with not being able to get her better. She had been to the vet every other day for two weeks and when she stopped going to the bathroom all together, we took her in for one last vet visit. After she passed, I became convinced she was misdiagnosed and actually had been suffering from leptospirosis - she had all the symptoms. Its carried by rats and while I have not seen rats in our neighborhood, I know other neighbors who have seen rats walking on their back walls. When Lucy (our new Peke) started showing some of the symptoms our old Peke did, we took her in to the vet asking for a Leptospirosis test. They didn't carry it but said the tests that they did have would tell us if she may have it and they'd order the test if necessary. After the blood work was done, they don't think she has Lepto. My next thought was kidney disease but the kidneys look good according to the blood work.
Finally, my questions - thank you for reading through the backstory here -
I don't want to change her food but if it will make a difference in her quality of life and life expectancy, of course I will. I've printed out the ingredients list and protein/mineral % for Supreme Source and I'm comparing it to Science Diet (which my old Peke didn't like) and Royal Canin - both which have urinary care formulas. I would like to find a dry food that will have very small kibbles (Supreme Source are about half the size of Science Diet's Small bites) and won't cause struvite crystals in her bladder.
Do you know of a urinary care kibble that isn't super expensive but also has small kibble? What are your thoughts and experiences with the ailments above? I'm looking for some friendly advice from those who've gone through it before. Thank you so much for being there!