Sadly our little dog has got to the stage in her life where she needs to eat a dedicated diet suitable for her failing kidneys. As she is approaching her fifteenth year, this makes us a little sad but we are also happy to still have her in our lives.
Coco arrived on the doorstep nearly fifteen years ago, when a casual friend knocked on the door and said he had something in the car for me. He had paid a small fortune for a pedigree Staffordshire Bull Terrier but his landlord would not allow dogs. So this little brindle puppy came into our lives. As we already had a couple of dogs, she went to live with my Mum but remained an ever-present part of the wider family. When my Mum passed away over four years ago, it was the obvious choice for Coco to come and spend her last few years with us. And apparently, we are very good at looking after her, because what we thought would be a short resting place has turned into a much longer retirement.
Since moving in, Coco has seen chiropractors for her aches and pains, and a special shout must go out to Rosanne at the Chevington Clinic for her work with Coco and the relief she has received because of these treatments. Coco has managed to continue to walk unaided for a lot longer than we ever believed she would.
With the help of our trusted vet Paul, at Medivet, Coco has now moved onto a special diet to support her kidneys in her final months/years. She has arthritis, and cancer, and has lost her hearing. However, she is not in pain, takes a daily dose of Metacam to ease any issues, and still enjoys her morning walk, albeit a little shorter than before - and followed by a much longer morning nap. It has been a balanced decision to give Coco the lowest possible dose of Metacam to make her life and movements easier, against knowing what the Metacam adds to her decreased kidney function. We certainly are trying to keep life good and will support her until she lets us know otherwise.
Coco's nose still works exceptionally well, so when we were advised to take her off her favourite food and replace it with a renal diet, we were a little concerned that she would become a fussy eater again. Having been content with the same food for over four years, after a lifetime of fussy eating, we didn't want to start switching diets again so late in her life.
There were only a few options available that would suit her blood results and condition so we chose Royal Canin Renal Dog Food, a combination of wet and dry food. As we already used this brand for our cats we felt confident that it would be a quality product to suit Coco. Starting gradually we swapped out her regular food for the new diet. Price is certainly a consideration when feeding pets, and the renal food is not as cheap as the off-the-shelf option in the local supermarket.
Coco was suffering from acid reflux and was being sick most days, so we opted to give the new diet a try. We are pleased to say she has stopped being sick, and her reflux has all but disappeared. She enjoys the new diet as much as the old one and is having three smaller meals a day to make sure we do not overload her system. It is hard to warrant a more costly option for many pet owners, yet the change to how our little dog feels, and her quality of life makes the switch worthwhile.
Kidney health in dogs
"The primary function of the kidneys is to regulate the normal balance of fluid and minerals within your dog’s body and remove waste substances from the blood. Royal Canin diets are developed by nutritionists and veterinarians to specifically support renal function."
Renal Health Warning Signs can include:- increased thirst and urination, poor appetite, weight loss, vomiting, loose stools, poor hair/coat,
For more information on renal diet options visit Royal Canin. If you are concerned about your dog's health in any way, please consult a vet.