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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I just found out about an hour ago that my 5 1/2 month old has been diagnosed with kidney failure. It sounds pretty bad. The vet cannot tell me if it's genetic or not, they can't give me a 100% answer why he has it at all. He did get into mop water with lysol a few months ago, but he got into it because he was so thirsty. I was worried about diabetes and instead I found out it's the kidneys. Boscoe was the "runt" of the litter and they vet again said that could be it but can't pinpoint.

Have you guys had dogs with kidney failure? I'm sure they were older but what are my options??? I couldn't understand and pay attention to what the vet was telling me after he said his kidneys are failing...still kind of in a state of shock. I know that right now I have to go to the vet's to get a prescription food that the protein will break down easier or something. Then we have an appt for a week from tomorrow to see how he's doing on the food and see where we go. I'm just confused and devestated. Most of you know the only reason I got Boscoe was because I had to put my last dog down at two years old. Now I don't know how long I will have with Boscoe. I don't know what to think. I know I'm just rambling but I'm just lost at the whole news.

So if anyone has experience on what I do, please let me know. I will be working closely with the vet but I know it will be expensive. I'm just lost. I thought I was doing well I got over losing my last dog, and now this. I know it's not a death sentence right now, but they can't give me any kind of timeline until the kidneys shut down.

Ok, I just know you guys have lots of experience and knowledge usually to help out. I have to go pick up the special food now.

Thank you,
Kourtney
 

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Any history of the pup or it's dam being fed raisins or grapes as treats?
 

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What you do is take it one day at a time, and enjoy each day as it comes.

Many retired track greyhounds have kidney disease and kidney failure. They do well on the special diets available. Take notes when you are at the vets, so you can review them at home, when you are less overwhelmed-feeling.

Also, no harm in getting a second opinion. Not all kidney problems are permanent. If you have the $, I would pursue some diagnostics to look for underlying causes.

Lisa
 

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Kourtney,

About all I can offer are prayers and well wishes.

Dave
 

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I have absolutely no experience with this. But, my heart goes out to you and your dog. Best of luck and keep us posted.
 

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Im so sorry to hear this Courtney...

My fondest prayers wishes to you and the pup.
 
G

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DL said:
Last Frontier Labs said:
Any history of the pup or it's dam being fed raisins or grapes as treats?
Are grapes and raisins poisonous?
yes, in large doses.

"funny" story... there's an associate vet at the clinic we use. And for some reason, she always gets my calls when I'm calling about something really goofy (versus serious).

We had gotten back from the master national a couple of years ago and I had a 1 lb bag of raisins that was leftover from the trip. One of my dogs got into it... And THANK GOD my dad was here, because I said "oh, it's just raisins"... not equating raisins with grapes. And my dad replied... "aren't grapes toxic??" And I said "oh crap". So I called the vet to see if I needed to induce vomiting. And she said, oh, they have to eat a LOT of them. I said "how much"... She said about a 1/2 pound. And I was laughing because she had eaten about 1/2 of the one-pound bag.

Long story short, it was the most syrupy sweet smelling vomit, ever. YUCK!!!

-K
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all. It's just very unexpected. I picked up the food, it's Science Diet k/d. I haven't even really looked at the bag yet. Like I said, we have an appt. in a week and I guess I will get a better idea then.

Lisa, where would I look to find someone who can look for underlying causes? Am I looking for some kind of specialist?

I don't even know how much the food cost today because they were nice enough to just put it on my bill. My family is being supportive so I know I can count on them for a little help. All of the not knowing is what's hard right now.

I contacted the breeder already to see if he knows of any history of kidney failure and am just waiting now. Pup has never been fed grapes or raisins. He is otherwise healthy, albeit somewhat small and slow growing.

Thank you all for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers, I know I will need it. I have calmed down some and just need to stay positive. Hopefully I will know more in a week or so.

Thank you,
Kourtney
 
G

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Kourtney,

Is he in LITERAL failure? Or are his levels just off? I don't know much about it, but am curious if it's a full-blown failure.

I should have put in my other post that I'm thinking about you. Please keep us posted. I hope he feels better soon.

ps -- I think there are other environmental/household toxins that can cause liver failure, you might want to take a look at them online just to make sure...

-K
 

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Has the pup been tested for lepto?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Kristie,

From what I understood...and again I was having a hard time paying attention...he is in actual failure. It sounds fairly severe. The vet was saying there's nothing we can do to reverse it and we basically make him comfortable and delay the inevitable. He said they will eventually shut down but can offer me no timeline.

He started to get into the whole nine yards about how it works and how everything's affected when failure starts but I can't tell you a word he said about that.

Thanks,
Kourtney
 

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I don't have anything to add, just wanted to say I am more than sorry to hear about this. I hope it all works out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sherri,

I unfortunately have very little information at this point. I don't believe he was tested for lepto though. What is it? I know he had a CBC in his blood work. I don't have the sheet in front of me and don't recall. Standard blood test and urinalysis as far as I know.

Kourtney
 

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Sorry to hear about your pup.

There's a yahoo group for canine's with kidney issues that I'd suggest joining. Here's a link to it: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/K9KidneyDiet/

You will need to have a yahoo id in order to join the group and it looks like an active one so I'd suggest putting your message preference to digest instead of individual messages.
 

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Kourtney-


I'm sorry to hear about your pup. You would want to look for a board certified internal medicine vet in your area, if you were looking for a second opinion from a specialist. If you're anywhere near a vet school, you could start there.

My prayers to you and your puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you all again. I have filled out the appropriate forms to join the Yahoo group. I have started researching what I'm looking at here, what Boscoe and I will be fighting against.

Cornell is most likely the closest and most well known school near where I am. I will check into them and ask the vet about them when I see him next week.

Kourtney
 

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Kourtney, here is a bit I copied from an article on lepto. It mentions thirst as being a sympton, but I think any kidney issues can cause thirst.
I am sorry you are going through this :cry: I'm just trying to get you any info I can to help...

Leptosporosis
Transmission
Leptospirosis is transmitted between animals through contact with infected urine; venereal and placental transfer; bite wounds; or the ingestion of infected tissue. Crowding, as found in a kennel, can increase the spread of infection. Indirect transmission occurs through exposure of susceptible animals to contaminated water sources, food, or even bedding. Stagnant or slow moving water provides a suitable habitat for Leptospira. As a result, disease outbreaks often increase during periods of flooding. In dry areas infections are more common around water sources.

Freezing greatly reduces the survival of the organism in the environment. This explains why infections are more common in summer and fall and why the infection is more prevalent in temperate areas.

Infection

Leptospira bacteria penetrate mucous membranes or abraded skin and multiply rapidly upon entering the blood system. From there they spread to other tissues including the kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system, eyes, and genital tract. As the body fights the infection, the organism is cleared from most organs, but they may persist in the kidneys and be shed for weeks or months in the urine. The amount of damage done to the internal organs is variable depending on the serovar and the host it infects. After 7 or 8 days of infection, the animal will begin to recover, if the damage to the kidneys or liver is not too severe.

Infections in dogs with the serovars canicola and grippotyphosa have been associated with kidney infections with minimal liver involvement. Whereas, the serovars pomona and icterohaemorrhagiae produce liver disease. Dogs younger than 6 months tend to develop more cases of liver disease regardless of the serovar.

Symptoms

In acute infections, a fever of 103-104?, shivering, and muscle tenderness are the first signs.
In acute infections a fever of 103-104?, shivering, and muscle tenderness are the first signs. Then vomiting and rapid dehydration may develop. Severely infected dogs may develop hypothermia and become depressed and die before kidney or liver failure has a chance to develop.

In subacute infections, the animal usually develops a fever, anorexia, vomiting, dehydration, and increased thirst. The dog may be reluctant to move due to muscle or kidney pain. Animals with liver involvement may develop icterus. Dogs that develop kidney or liver involvement may begin to show improvement in organ function after 2 to 3 weeks or they may develop chronic renal failure. Despite the possibility of severe infection and death, the majority of leptospiral infections in dogs are chronic or subclinical. Dogs that become chronically infected may show no outward signs, but may intermittently shed bacteria in the urine for months or years.

Diagnosis

A positive diagnosis can be made through a blood test. A blood sample of the suspected animal is drawn and sent into the laboratory where a microscopic agglutination test is performed. This can test for individual serovars (strains) and the level of antibody (titer) against these strains. Depending on the level of the titer, a positive diagnosis to the specific serovar can be made. Titers may be negative in the first 10 days after initial infection, so many times additional samples must be drawn and tested to get a positive diagnosis. Previous vaccination can give an elevated titer and this must be taken into consideration when interpreting the titers.

Acutely infected or chronically infected dogs will most likely be shedding Leptospira organisms in their urine. It is possible to culture a urine sample and get a positive diagnosis. However, because of intermittent shedding and bacterial contamination this is not always the best way to diagnose the disease.

Treatment

Treatment consists of antibiotics, fluid replacement, and controlling the vomiting and the problems associated with the corresponding kidney or liver infections. Penicillin, or one of its derivatives is the antibiotic of choice for treating the initial infection. After the initial infection is controlled, doxycycline is often used to cure and prevent a potential long-term carrier state. Intravenous or subcutaneous fluids are often given to correct dehydration while the corresponding liver or kidney problems are treated.

Vaccination and Prevention

Prevention involves keeping animals out of contact with potential sources of infection including contaminated water sources, wildlife reservoirs, or domestic animals that are infected or chronic carriers. Humans can contract leptospirosis and any potentially infected animal should be handled very carefully to avoid human exposure.

There are currently many different vaccines available on the market for a wide variety of species and serovars. The ones currently available for dogs are chemically inactivated (killed) whole culture vaccine, which unfortunately, make them much more likely to cause vaccine reactions as opposed to most viral vaccines. Leptospiral vaccines are blamed for many of the vaccine reactions we see in dogs. Until the beginning of the year 2000, leptospiral vaccines only protected against L. canicola and L. icterohaemorrhagiae. A new vaccine by Fort Dodge now also protects against the serovars L. grippotyphosa and L. pomona. Due to the low infection rate in cats, there are currently no vaccines available for them.

Leptospiral vaccines for dogs offer about 6 to 8 months of protection. Dogs that are at high risk of contracting Leptospiral infections should be vaccinated twice a year. Puppies generally are not vaccinated before 8 weeks of age. If Leptospiral vaccines are used, the animal should receive two to three doses of the vaccine spaced several weeks apart. Be sure to follow the recommendations of the vaccine manufacturer and your veterinarian. Because of the lack of cross protection between strains, the high incidence of reactions, and the need for frequent vaccination, many veterinarians have begun to recommend leptospiral vaccinations only for those dogs at higher risk. Because this can potentially be a very serious disease, I recommend that all pet owners consult with their local veterinarian to determine if leptospiral vaccination is necessary for their pet.
 

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Why wait a week to find out exactly what you're dealing with? I'd call the vet back now with a pen and paper in hand and write down what he's telling you and I'd get an appointement with a specialist asap. If your pup is truly in kidney failure I wouldn't waste a week. It seems to me that kidney failure is a symptom/result of something else and you need to figure out what it is. An otherwise healthy 5.5 month old pup doesn't just go into kidney failure without there being an underlying condition.

Again, I'm really sorry about this and you and Boscoe are in my thoughts!
 
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