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The vet called us today and said our dog is not experiencing heart failure yet so once they do an ultrasound they will decide wether or not to go through with kidney treatment. If everything looks good she said we would have to give injections under her skin twice a day for the rest of her life. Is this easy to do? and they would have to put her on a special diet and give her medication cause her teeth are loose. Also around how much does the injection treatment cost?

Thanks
 

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When you say injections under the skin do you mean giving sub-q fluids?
 

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If you do mean sub-q fluids, it's fairly easy. You just have to lift the skin and inject the fluids slowly. I'm not certain about the cost, but I think it's pretty affordable. One of my ferrets needed fluids once, and the vet only charged $4 to give them......and if the vet can do it that cheaply, it's bound to be way cheaper if you do it yourself. I've seen on my cat forum that if your vet will write you a prescription for the fluids and needles, you can buy them online for a really good price.

A canned (or fresh)-food-only diet is good for kidney issues, too. Dry food really puts a strain on the kidneys.
 

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Sassy is in kidney failure. Get a copy of the lab results and you can join email lists, very helpful. Dogaware.com has terrific advice as well. The email lists are posted there I believe.

I forced the vet to give Sassy subcutaneous fluids, he didn't want to to it. She is chronically dehydrated as she hates drinking water. I think dehydration makes her feel as bad as the poisoning from the wastes she has trouble excreting. On the SubQ she has rebounded. If your vet says do it, DO IT! It isn't hard or dangerous but it is nervewracking sticking a needle in your pet and keeping her still for 15-20 minutes [for 500 ml, you would give less]. I am spending a lot on the stuff but Costco sells a carton of 12 one liter fluid bags for $25 or so. The tubing cost more and the needles are practically free. You need a prescription for the tubing and fluids. Spendthrift me spends about $5 for one 1000 ml bag of fluids from the pharmacy, $3 for a tubing set and maybe $.10 a needle both bought online. That lasts me a week but I would like to add in another liter bag of solution a week, she just does so well when she gets those fluids and more often the better. I warm the bag and run fluid through the tubing so there isn't any cold shock. The needle is easy to insert and really doesn't bother Sassy much. Have the vet tech show you and maybe go back for more than one lesson if you aren't comfortable doing it yourself.

The diet, see dogaware for information. If cooking is too much for you right now then use canned, not the nasty corn pop kibbles if you can possibly afford it. Or maybe buy a couple of cans to use as gravy for the kibble. Water plus that kibble - yuck. I prefer to make up stuff that looks like canned dog food rather than the bits and pieces Mary Straus feeds her dog but the idea is the same. I plan for 11-14 mg of phosphorus per pound of dog and 20 calories per pound of dog and at least 1 gram of meat protein per pound of dog. I was cooking the food into a mush and watering it down to feed it but her highness prefers a deep plate with meat, rice and pumpkin custard these days. I top it off with warm water still, she just will not drink water! The main addition is calcium. Add 1/2 tsp of powdered egg shell per pound of meat fed. The K9KidneyDiet group has a spreadsheet that will do all this work for you.

The only medicine Sassy needs so far is Pepcid for an acid stomach. She stopped eating last August and that stuff worked wonders. If phosphorus is high in the blood test then a phosphorus binder is used, Sassy hasn't needed that yet. There is a probiotic specifically developed for kidney diseased pets but I am using an OTC product. There are other ulcer medications that could be needed and drugs for anemia but so far so good here.

If treated kidney disease often just lays in the background and dogs live just fine for years with the 25% kidney function they have when it is discovered. I know Sassy is better off today than she was back when it was discovered. Not just more alert and feeling better - she lives for the delicious gourmet real food she gets these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Sassy is in kidney failure. Get a copy of the lab results and you can join email lists, very helpful. Dogaware.com has terrific advice as well. The email lists are posted there I believe.

I forced the vet to give Sassy subcutaneous fluids, he didn't want to to it. She is chronically dehydrated as she hates drinking water. I think dehydration makes her feel as bad as the poisoning from the wastes she has trouble excreting. On the SubQ she has rebounded. If your vet says do it, DO IT! It isn't hard or dangerous but it is nervewracking sticking a needle in your pet and keeping her still for 15-20 minutes [for 500 ml, you would give less]. I am spending a lot on the stuff but Costco sells a carton of 12 one liter fluid bags for $25 or so. The tubing cost more and the needles are practically free. You need a prescription for the tubing and fluids. Spendthrift me spends about $5 for one 1000 ml bag of fluids from the pharmacy, $3 for a tubing set and maybe $.10 a needle both bought online. That lasts me a week but I would like to add in another liter bag of solution a week, she just does so well when she gets those fluids and more often the better. I warm the bag and run fluid through the tubing so there isn't any cold shock. The needle is easy to insert and really doesn't bother Sassy much. Have the vet tech show you and maybe go back for more than one lesson if you aren't comfortable doing it yourself.

The diet, see dogaware for information. If cooking is too much for you right now then use canned, not the nasty corn pop kibbles if you can possibly afford it. Or maybe buy a couple of cans to use as gravy for the kibble. Water plus that kibble - yuck. I prefer to make up stuff that looks like canned dog food rather than the bits and pieces Mary Straus feeds her dog but the idea is the same. I plan for 11-14 mg of phosphorus per pound of dog and 20 calories per pound of dog and at least 1 gram of meat protein per pound of dog. I was cooking the food into a mush and watering it down to feed it but her highness prefers a deep plate with meat, rice and pumpkin custard these days. I top it off with warm water still, she just will not drink water! The main addition is calcium. Add 1/2 tsp of powdered egg shell per pound of meat fed. The K9KidneyDiet group has a spreadsheet that will do all this work for you.

The only medicine Sassy needs so far is Pepcid for an acid stomach. She stopped eating last August and that stuff worked wonders. If phosphorus is high in the blood test then a phosphorus binder is used, Sassy hasn't needed that yet. There is a probiotic specifically developed for kidney diseased pets but I am using an OTC product. There are other ulcer medications that could be needed and drugs for anemia but so far so good here.

If treated kidney disease often just lays in the background and dogs live just fine for years with the 25% kidney function they have when it is discovered. I know Sassy is better off today than she was back when it was discovered. Not just more alert and feeling better - she lives for the delicious gourmet real food she gets these days.
THANKS FOR THE INFO. Yes they showed us how to do it. I'm kinda nervous. I'll do the first injection tomorrow. I have to do it every 12 hours (100ml). I had no idea I could get the stuff else where. When I go back for a check up, which will probably be tues. I'll ask for copies of all her paperwork and a prescription for the tubing and fluids. Thanks again!

Your post gives me hope.
 

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On the K9KidneyDiet list there is a 17 year old dog who just had an operation to remove a mass in the rectum. The dog came through it in pretty good shape.

Just take it one day at a time. I can do Sassy's fluids by myself now but see if you can find somebody to help at first. I think it is the single best thing you can do for your dog. Better than the special diet, better than pepcid even.

Join the email lists, they are very helpful but intense as we must say goodby at the end. I don't know of any forums that are active enough with knowlegdeable posters to give better advice than those lists. Certainly not me!

Good luck!
 
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