Integrating Custom Homemade Recipes into Medical Programs for Dogs with Glomerulonephritis (GN):
What We Know about Glomerulonephritis
Glomerulonephritis (GN) is a mysterious kidney disease that causes the blood-filtering part of the kidneys to leak protein into the urine. The body becomes protein deficient, and dogs lose weight.
Eventually, the condition results in total kidney failure and the build-up of urea in the blood that promotes:
· gastric ulcers
· raw, mouth sores
· loss of appetite
Oddly, low protein diets reduce protein loss and help reduce urea elevations in the blood as the condition progresses.
Which Ingredients Matter
Our dog food recipes for Glomerulonephritis have a calorie distribution of - Protein 14%; Fat 38%; Carbohydrates 48%, which is considered favorable for GN patients. The percentages show that these recipes have less meat protein than normal diets (which range from 24%-52%). Less protein reduces dietary nitrogen loss in the kidneys and reduces blood urea, helping to reduce the symptoms listed above.
Because of the restricted ingredients, low protein recipes should NOT be fed to normal adult dogs, or puppies.
More than Just Diet
Your dog’s diet is only one tool for Glomerulonephritis management, it is not a substitute for a comprehensive veterinary treatment plan. Treatment may also require:
· low dose non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
· blood pressure medications
As the condition progresses to kidney failure:
· intestinal urea trapping with fiber
· prebiotics and probiotics
· phosphorus binders
· subcutaneous fluids
· anti-nausea/anti-vomiting medications
· antacids may be needed
Later in kidney disease, hormone replacement therapy may be used to stimulate red blood cell production in the bone marrow and prevent anemia. Anemia contributes to appetite loss and finicky eating habits in glomerulonephritis patients.
What to Expect
Constant veterinary lab monitoring is essential in these patients to verify changes that require more medical intervention.
It is not uncommon for kidney disease patients to have episodes of poor urea control and require hospitalization and intravenous fluid therapy.
Don’t Use this Recipe If
If your dog has other conditions needing conflicting dietary restrictions (inflammatory bowel disease/chronic enteropathy, short bowel syndrome, diabetes, or cancer) Healthier Homemade recipes for Glomerulonephritis may not be appropriate.
This is one of the things we will verify with your veterinarian, before beginning to formulate your recipe.
What You Can Do
Since low protein diets are not a favorite for dogs, “Food Fatigue” is common in patients on these diets. We recommend the generous use of condiments:
· Bacon grease
· BBQ sauce
· Teriyaki baste
These toppings along with appetite stimulants help to keep your dog interested in eating.
Is it Balanced and Complete?
Although Healthier Homemade dog food recipes exceed AAFCO and NRC daily nutrient requirements and meet the minimum NRC requirements for protein and the sulfur-containing amino acids (methionine and cystine) to ensure adequate taurine production, we prefer to err on the side of caution.
The Healthier Homemade glomerulonephritis program includes taurine supplementation for this heart-protecting amino acid.
Each Healthier Homemade Starter Kit includes a nutrition data fact sheet, so owners and their veterinarians can see that all of the 42 daily essential nutrients are in meals prepared with our recipes when used as directed.
Commercial prescription diets, especially kibble, may be unappealing. Freshly cooked meals make a difference!
Click here to learn about recipe programs that are available for dogs suffering from Glomerulonephritis.
Dr. Ken Tudor is a recognized expert and leader in the field of pet nutrition and fitness. In addition to co-founding a national campaign to help fight dog obesity, he developed a pet weight management program and served on the American Animal Hospital Association task force to develop their Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats.