24 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. I am continuing to research diets for canine kidney disease and, like just about anything you research on the internet, I’m running into a fair amount of conflicting information. e.g. Don’t feed spinach, do feed spinach… If anyone has a link they have found useful or anecdotal experience to share on the subject, I would be very appreciative. Sometimes the internet is overwhelming and a recommendation from a friend is very valuable.

    1. Well, having been through both canine and feline kidney disease, I can honestly say that my preferred diet is a modified prey model raw. Little to no veg (although canned pumpkin is a source of fiber and potassium), definitely no grains, and a reduced bone content (constipation is a constant concern with renal failure). You can increase fat both for calories and to help constipation without increasing phosphorus (fat generally being much lower in phos than muscle meat – exception is brains, which are both high fat and high phos, but not something that I ever came across on a regular basis). Organ meats (high in phos) are kept to a bare minimum. Supplemental b-complex is recommended. Fish body oils highly recommended for omega 3’s and they have been indicated in helping damaged kidneys limp along better for longer.

      The nice thing about feeding whole raw foods is keeping teeth clean – dirty teeth put a burden on the kidneys and if you can keep the teeth clean, it makes less work for kidneys.

      Much also depends on what stage of kidney failure you’re dealing with. You get to a point where it’s, “Screw it” and whatever the dog will eat and keep down, it’s totally cool.

      1. Thank you. How did you arrive at the no grains/little to no veg aspect of the diet – something you read or simply benefits you saw from feeding this way?

      2. Prey model is zero veg/grains. I started raw more than 15 years ago with BARF and that included pureed veg. I worked hard to get lots of low glycemic leafy greens into my crew – from red oak leaf lettuce to wheat grass. Pureed fresh every morning.

        When I switched to prey model, I ditched the veggies and almost immediately saw improvement in yeasty ears and foot chewing.

        The grains thing – I used to (before raw) cook for my crew. I used organic whole grain brown rice for them. When I stopped the rice, my old girl’s joint pain immediately improved. So much for rice being a “safe” grain.

        If you do choose to feed veg, be careful to avoid anything that can act as a diuretic. With renal failure, you don’t need more urine production…

        If you choose to feed pumpkin, make sure the dog’s potassium levels aren’t already high. Most renal failure patients have low potassium, but some end up with high potassium – like my old man cat who can’t have pumpkin because his potassium is already high.

      3. There are arguments for and against greens and grains (as you’ve found). Alot of it comes down to personal preference and what works best for the individual dog and human. I know dogs who do better with corn in their diet than without it, and corn is one of THE most hotly debated things in dog food!

        For the individual alot of it comes down to what will the animal eat, and what will reduce phos and keep the animal healthy. My old cat refused to eat raw, and refused to eat the prescription diet stuff, so we started trying the lowest phos over the counter foods till we found something she’d eat and went from there. I still think raw would have been healthier for her, but you do what you have to do.

    2. I looked through my old notes: what made the most positive differences were more frequent, smaller meals, home sub-q from early on, and Vit. B-12 injections – the shots, not oral, though that may be a cat thing; cats don’t absorb much if any of it ingested.

      Diet … eh. I wound up tossing the recommendations altogether & going for what they’d eat, keep down, and that would help them maintain weight. What that was varied quite a bit, both by cat & over time.

      1. Agreed on the b-12 injections, but I also recommend b-complex orally because it seems to help appetite (and all of the water solubles get washed out too quickly).

        Definitely agree on finding what works for the individual and going from there. Some cats will only eat the junkiest of kibbles when they’re ill – so be it. Any food they eat and keep down is good food. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “What’s it going to do? Kill him?” Fortunately, my vet agrees and is willing to go off label with stuff to keep the cat comfortable.

        I have read that renal failure patients (human) report a perversion of taste – things that they used to love now taste icky or weird. Things that they’d never eat before seem more attractive. And it can change from day to day.. So you keep that in mind when a renal cat or dog snubs a particular food – it may not necessarily be nausea, it may just be a perversion of taste. Always treat for nausea, though – it’s extremely common and can prevent eating just by itself.

      2. Notes – impressive!
        I am trying to help a dog in what my vet says is very early kidney disease. We are planning to do some additional lab work in a few months to see how it compares but from the blood and urine testing performed thus far, seems like we caught it early. So thankfully we aren’t facing many serious symptoms right now. She is very willing to eat anything, anytime. I’m just basically focusing on bio-available protein, reduced phosphorus, supplementing with fish oil, b complex and ground eggshells for calcium.
        I really appreciate everyone sharing experiences. Very helpful. Some of you can probably relate to the feeling that I had last week when I had made her some spinach omelettes for breakfast and after encountering conflicting info I was like “My god I’m killing her with spinach!”

      3. Catching it early is a biggie. And it sounds like you’ve got a great plan going!

        Just try not to make yourself crazy with all the info – it can be overwhelming.

      4. Very glad you are catching it early!


        a resource for you, this is the FDA’s nutrient database. While the numbers in it are averages only (individual varieties can vary ALOT depending on growing conditions etc) it can give you baseline numbers for a huge number of (human grade) foods and ingredients and how they change with preparation types. Phos is one of the nutrients they track. So if you’re doing home-made you can track how much phos she’s getting in a meal, and what your options might be for reducing it. Just a note, especially since we have a bunch of raw feeders here, these numbers do not include the nutrient content of the bone itself, because us humans don’t generally eat the bones. Bone nutritional content is a bit more complicated. I have a study saved somewhere that looks at the nutritional content of chicken bone, I don’t recall if phos is tracked in it or not, but I can dig it out for you if you want it.

  2. Bronwen Dickey’s book “Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon” is just out, and Slate has an excerpt:


    The attitude toward low-income pet owners in this piece is the polar opposite of PETA’s. Very moving.

    Dickey is the daughter of the late Poet Laureate (and “Deliverance” author) James Dickey, whose behavior as a pet owner is touched on in the Slate excerpt.

  3. Love this photo. My pocket Beagle, Remi, saved himself when he joined a sow who let him eat her corn! He pooped corn for 3 days after rescue. No one adopted him, I took him into foster, and quickly failed after he joined my Squishy Beagle in “hunting” in the fenced field; he is 15#, always hungry (we call him the Flying Beagle ’cause he will leap for food) and has a voice way louder than his size.

    1. SEVEN PAGES of application. Because they don’t think this is really their dog. When all they have to do is have the family meet with the dog…

      What a bunch of assholes.

    2. The “rescue” has pulled their FB page and has gone into hiding. You know, the actions that everyone takes when they are in the right and have nothing to hide.

      There is a rescue in TX who has the same name. They have been around longer actually. They are getting the brunt of the anger for this “rescue’s” action since they are the only page that comes up now when people look for it. But apparently, Lin Fox is too busy being “entertained by her own intelligence and sarcasm” (from her person FB page. She has deleted a lot, but she thinks this whole situation is amusing) to give a flying rip.

    3. I will stop hogging the post after this. Apparently, the news left out a little bit. Greene really has been devoting himself to getting Zeus back. He has gotten the police involved. The Chief of Police has personally asked Fox to return Zeus. She is ignoring all of them. There are also claims she has pulled the same sort of stunt twice before with turtles (she also has a wildlife rehabilitation center). I haven’t seen any documentation on that however.

      It’s a muddled mess, but here is where I am finding this if anyone wants to look for themselves.


      1. Interesting that there is one comment from a person who was in the shelter and looking to adopt Zeus – his stray hold time wasn’t up yet, but the person was told he could not adopt because this dog was going to the rescue group.

        Which makes me wonder if there’s something sketchy going on at the shelter’s end of things – some kind of kick back? Or just someone in bed with someone.

        Either way, there was a “mistake” on the shelter’s end, they “didn’t find the microchip” (was he actually scanned?), rescue group claims there is no chip (yeah, because they’ve proven to be so truthful and transparent), and the whole thing is a mess. This would make me audit the shelter’s records for which dogs went to rescue and who sent them there…

        I really hope this family gets their dog back. The rescue chick is clearly a lunatic.

      2. Greene (the head of animal control) is the one who broght in the police. So I think if someone is in bed with Fox, it isn’t at the top. It might be they give certain breeds to rescues first, Huskys are very hard for most people to contain.

        The mistake they are referring to is failing to put the owner’s report into their computers. If they had, Fox would have never gotten Zeus. Which is why I think the police were brought in by AC. The transfer wasn’t legally valid because of on of their failings. The Cheif of Police demanded Fox return Zeus before the media got involved. That doesn’t happen unless there is major cause.

        Fox is also claiming every vet she has ever spoken to told her it is impossible for microchips to come out. That is what she is using to base her whole “this dog is not Zeus” on.

        After this went to air, Fox started saying she adopted Zeus out already. It’s likely a lie, but it just shows how insane she is.

        Oh, and the random woman claiming to be her friend? She lives in NC. She supplies Fox with puppies to sell. When you have to drive at least three hours to get animals for your all breed rescue, there is a major problem.

        She will have to give Zeus back if she ever wants to step out of her house again. The locals have had enough. A lot of people are coming forward with very similar tails. She apparently thought she could get away with doing whatever the hell she wanted with Zeus because she has done it with another animals without any fallout.

      3. Yes, I thought it strange that Greene was the one who acknowledged the mistake. It’s either the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing or there’s some kind of shenanigans happening over there.

        This woman is some kind of narcissistic nut job. I fear for Zeus’ safety with her. Hopefully, the shitstorm that’s coming down on her “rescue” is enough to put an end to it, once and for all.

        Really hope Zeus gets home soon.

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