Just had my dog diagnosed with Kidney Disease. Normal practice I understand is to feed a low protein/low phosphorus diet but I have also read its better to feed a higher quality protein. I am not confused.
Can anyone else tell me what they have tried with success or at least to keep her comfortable. I know there is no cure for this disease so won't to make sure she has the best why she is still with us.
Jan, by email
Alison Logan, vet, advises...
Actually, there is no confusion. You are considering two different aspects of the protein in the diet and, as you inadvertently but correctly say, a dog with kidney disease needs a lower level of higher quality protein.
Kidney disease affects the ability of the kidneys to excrete the waste product urea from the body which arises from the liver breaking down surplus dietary protein. It therefore makes sense to try to feed only as much protein as the body needs, reducing the amount of urea produced so that the kidneys can cope with excreting it. Many of the effects of kidney disease arise from excessive levels of urea in the blood so your dog will feel better if these levels can be brought down.
Your vet will probably have advised feeding a prescription diet formulated to meet all the needs of a dog with kidney failure. Thankfully, there is a choice so that if your dog dislikes one diet there will be another one he can try. This was not the case when I qualified more than twenty years ago!
It is possible to home cook a suitable diet but there are different ideas out there as to the ideal recipe.