Not The Best Dog Day

Let's play ball!

Let’s play ball!

I’m sitting in Starbucks enjoying a non-fat latte and an oatmeal breakfast. Weather-wise, It’s a cold and gloomy day and I felt like a treat after I dropped my four-legged love off at the vet’s office. The Poodle was scheduled for his annual dental cleaning and a routine physical. In California, he received anesthesia-free dental cleanings. I really liked that. I felt good about not subjecting my dog to additional drugs in his body (not to mention the after effects) and it helped to keep costs down as well. Unfortunately here in Alabama, I haven’t found a vet that does anesthesia-free dental cleaning. The doctor understands my reticence over putting my dog under and he assured me that my dog would be OK. And, he added, since he performs blood work before the procedure if there was anything to be concerned about, he would call.

He called.

As I sipped my coffee and read the book I had brought along, I received a phone call from the vet’s office.

“We’ve got the results of Brando’s blood work,” said the doctor. Most everything is within normal range except for his kidneys….his blood work indicates early kidney disease.”

I can tell you that all the Starbucks chatter around me seemed to immediately cease. The world stopped and everything was silent.

“Kidney disease,? I all but choked out. He’s only six years old.

He went on to explain that my dog is otherwise in good health but he is “middle-aged” and since my poodle is on a high-protein diet it may be causing kidney problems. This vet is not a proponent of high-protein diets; he’s told me so during our very first visit to his practice two years ago. He isn’t a work dog he had advised. But I don’t like the plethora of brands that contain more chemicals than natural food and lots of grain as fillers I had countered. Most dogs (poodles especially) shouldn’t be eating corn (which is often the third ingredient in the list) because it often leads to allergies and skin problems.

So, naturally the vet wants to change my dog’s diet from his high-protein kibble (Taste of the Wild) in an effort to reduce his elevated creatine and BUN (blood urea nitrogen ) levels.

“Of course,” I say bewildered and just a bit ….um….scared.

I’m in a daze as I leave Starbucks to pick up my love. Once there, I’m greeted by my bundle of joy with that familiar get-me-out-of-here-PLEASE crazy enthusiasm. The doctor writes a prescription for Hill’s K/D dog food (Kidney Disease food) and advises against the dental cleaning until a follow-up visit in four weeks, and another round of blood work to check his creatine and BUN levels.

Naturally, I’ve showered my boy with lots of extra love today. I also tried to do some digging on the internet and my eyes were glazed over in less than five minutes. It’s hard to sift through the quackery and the truth! I also texted my boy’s breeder who is über-knowledgeable (she runs a great Poodle breeding business and our lovely in all ways poodle is a testament to that!) to get her opinion. She was quite sympathetic and provided some links for me to sift through.

I’m not sure low-protein is the answer. There sure seems to be considerable conflicting opinions by vets and dog professionals on that subject. But I am going to try this low-protein approach for one month and I’m praying that my boy responds favorably.


all prayers are welcomed.

9 thoughts on “Not The Best Dog Day

  1. I understand your pain (and fear!). We’ve been there and it’s tough. I hope Brando eats the K/D and responds favorably to it. Unfortunately, our Reesa was a picky eater and we never did find a prescription food that she would eat. We gave up and went back to what she would eat which was very good food but high protein. She made it to almost 12 before we had to help her to the rainbow bridge. I think that things would have been different if she had eaten the right food. Hugs to you, Brando and Rocketman. ❤️


  2. A bit saddened to hear this about your sweet boy Brando. I will pray for the proper decisions to be made concerning this health issue. Will also be praying for The Lord to strengthen you for whatever may be in
    his future. I’m sure he will live a long life with the proper care that I KNOW you will be providing dear girl.


  3. Hopefully by now this issue has been addressed and your boy is back in the pink of health with good dental health too. With Elsa’s epilepsy, I’ve had to get up to speed on nutrition myself. It’s fascinating and the addition of grains in commercial food has not only harmed pets and but lined corporate pockets to pets detriment. It absolutely pays to read labels and know how food works in their digestive systems. We managed to find a terrific grain free kibble that seems to make a difference for both her and Sam and they like the taste (Sure, it’s pricey, but I’ve decided it’s totally worth it to keep my babies happy and healthy.


    • What’s the name of your grain-free kibble? For 5 years Brando was on Taste of the Wild (he particularly enjoyed the salmon kibble) but this current vet is anti-quality high protein diet in general and now Brando is on prescription Hills/KD because vet says he is in early stages of renal disease. It’s quite expensive. I don’t mind paying for quality food for my love but I’m not feeling optimistic about quality food with Hills diet! Brando tolerates it because I mix in canned salmon, sardines on occassion, carrots, potatoes, peas….etc. “real food.” I’ve tried to find a non-prescription kibble that is low in protein but still grain free and its been a challenge. Cheers to happy and healthy “kids”….<3

      Liked by 1 person

      • We are on Merrick’s grain free-and even the vet said that was a great choice for her. Both dogs love and it seems to be keeping Elsa’s blood work at optimal levels thus far. I took Sam in for an ear infection yesterday and the vet couldn’t believe he’s over 11. Said he was in fabulous shape. Paw crossed for us both! 🐾


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