Sick, old dog.... doing better!!!


9 Years
Mar 13, 2010
My almost 14 1/2 year old Lab is having some troubles. A couple of weeks ago I noticed he was drinking a lot of water. When it didn't slow down, I took him to the vet where they ran complete bloodwork. He has been on antibiotics for a possible kidney infection while we waited for the cultures to come back - it was negative.
Last Friday is when they told me about his kidneys, Sunday morning he stopped eating. He would pick up kibble an drop it on the floor. Pace. Pick up some kibble then drop it on the floor. I took him back to the vet on Monday to have his teeth checked. One molar seemed sore, but had no signs of obvious infections,cracks, or gum disease. He has been on a different antibiotic for that.

His BUN and creatinine were "moderately high" so we put him on prescription diet - which he wouldn't eat. I fixed him chicken and rice - he has eaten about a 1/2 cup at a time, if that (60-65lb Lab..... but he's lost almost 2lbs this week to 59). This is even after a shot for nausea / appetite stimulant.

If he doesn't eat tonight or tomorrow morning, I am to take him back and they are going to keep him over the weekend on IV fluids. I will have to see what his attitude is tomorrow. For the most part he has been his usual self - old dog jogging everywhere I go, disciplining the 2yr old Lab, following chicken butts and barking at the wind.

All this to say..... any ideas on some irresistible treat or food I can try him on? The bland, low protein, low sodium would be great... but at this point eating (more) is way more important than anything else.

(please do not suggest euthanasia... I will not make him suffer for my benefit, but it is not on the table right now)
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When my Dog Andy was diagnosed with Kidney Failure, we paid to have a dialysis treatment done to clean his system of the toxins his kidneys were not filtering.
He lived happily for 11 mos on the KD diet which he was not too fond of either. He was younger than your lab, and his symptoms were weight loss and excessive
drinking. But he was still eating. The dialysis was $250 and it gave us 11 mos and he was happy for that time, not sick. I am just sharing our experience, not comparing.
I dont know if it might be helpful, but you never know. So Sorry for what your going through, its never easy...........but just try to be strong for him when you need to be.
Good luck.
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I assume that you tried Hill's prescription K/D (that is what most clinics carry)...have you tried a Purina or Iams Rx renal diet? I believe they both have a canine renal formula...There is also a home cooked renal diet that you could try (if you are up for cooking), I don't know it off the top of my head but I can look it up in a book tomorrow when I am at work if you are interested.
Have you tried warming the prescription food? I also had to use pepcid when my dog started with kidney problems.
The vet hasn't mentioned dialysis at this point... I don't know if we even have it available around here. She is pretty puzzled because if he was having major kidney failure his phosphorous etc should be high.... but everything ... EVERYTHING except BUN and Creatinine is at perfect levels.

We have had him on the Purina N/F. They have the Hill's at the clinic and I had meant to try it, but totally forgot. I'll get a can in the morning before I take him up there. And I am definitely up for cooking if I can get him to eat!

Please believe me, I have euthanized old dogs (too many for my heart to count). I know the surrender in their eyes when they are asking for help / relief. I would hate myself forever if I let him suffer just so I could see him another day. The instant he tells me it's time... I will walk him to the foot of the bridge, hug his furry neck and say "see you soon"

ETA - the vet did mention pepsid as an option, the shot she gave him today was some form of it.
He won't touch the prescription food... won't even eat chicken and rice that has the food in it. I did warm the ckn and rice for him though....
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that is all I can give you
When my dear, sweet 15 year old Papillon was near his end...I fed him Gerber baby food. He liked the beef stew, chicken and rice, and turkey with peas.

At least I knew his tummy was always full.

Good luck with your sweet old man. The never live long enough.

Thanks for the baby food idea. I will go after work and pick some up!!
I am so sorry you are going through this we went through this with my dog this past march, It was so heart breaking and it was just a little too late for him.

However we have had dealing with our golden lab, we took her off dog food and placed her on the bland diet which for some reason dogs find irresistible nonetheless. I take a big pot add a deboned chicken, salt free chicken broth, potatoes, carrots and boil all together, at the last 20 minutes I add long grain brown rice. If the dog is having too much of a hard time eating I take a stick blender to the chicken to cut it up some so its easier to digest. This diet helps them hydrate faster and keep nutrients in. I don't give them too much at first but as they begin to eat more I increase the amount of food they take in. for hydrating I give them pedialyte popsicles, or clear pedialyte instead of water. if they willing won't drink I use a syringe and stick it in their mouth with their head up to avoid too much spillage after a couple ounces I stop and I even get up int he middle of the night to do this. by next day they are usually better and eating on their own and drinking on their own, its a slow process to recuperation and I keep my dogs on the home cooked food for a week before attempting to mix in regular dog food in small doses.

I have had my golden lab at the verge of death, literally, she was excreting nothing but blood and she couldn't even get up. she is now the halthiest dog I have and I am glad I stayed up with her night after night to make sure she ate and drank, and had her meds, which I had to force down her throat because it made her dizzy so I learned to grind it and put it inside the vegies/chicken and rice.

Oh when she wasn't ready for dog food if she smelled dog food mixed in there she would not eat it. she wouldn't even eat the vet food she hated it. so she went on pedigree because that is what she liked.

God luck and hugs from a far.
also because when they feel dizzy or have an upset stomach they will not eat I gave mine pepto bismal, as recommended by the vet, she also recommended that if the dog was throwing up to give them infant or children gravol, I like the banana flavour cause my dogs take that willingly. I would ask your vet prior to giving your dog anything though!!

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