August 2013
Pet Circkles.

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being." ~ Abe Lincoln.

Kidney Failure, the Leading Cause of Death in Cats.
By Redstone Publishing and Promotion.

Renal failure, which is caused by kidney disease, is one of the leading causes of death in older cats. Causes for kidney disease include age, genetics and environmental factors such as ingesting poisonous substances or toxin overload. Also chronic low-grade inflammation causes gradual destruction and scarring of the kidney, eventually resulting in loss of function and failure of the organ. An interesting finding from a study done by Colorado State University suggests a link between vaccination for feline distemper (panleukopenia) and the development of chronic renal failure due to the distemper virus being grown in a feline kidney cell culture to make the vaccine. When an animal develops an immune response to the virus the vaccine is made for, they often build up an immune response to any other substances used in the vaccine as well. Meaning, their bodies will attack their own kidney cells as an auto-immune response. This is becoming a big problem with vaccines. (Read more on vaccines by clicking here.)

Kidney tissue is composed of very fine and sensitive kidney units that filtrate the blood, eliminate toxins and regulate water balance in the body. These units are highly prone to damage due to toxins or immune system dysfunction.
A number of symptoms can show up as a result of kidney disease, including excessive urination, increased thirst, nausea, a grinding or cracking sound in the jaw, vomiting, dehydration, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, halitosis (ammonia smelling breath) and lethargy. If your cat is experiencing any of these symptoms, your vet should test for kidney disease and renal failure. Urinalysis can test to see if the cat's urine is diluted, which indicates that its kidneys aren't passing waste. Blood tests can check on creatinine and BUN (blood urea nitrogen) levels. An elevated creatinine level can be a sign of loss of kidney function.

Old-school veterinarians usually prescribe a low protein diet for cats that are in the stages of renal failure, but recently, some veterinarians are taking a different approach to the protein controversy. They believe the real culprit is not protein but phosphorus, which combines with calcium and gets deposited in the kidneys, causing further damage. Meat contains a lot of phosphorus, so the easiest way to restrict phosphorus is to restrict meat protein. For many animals, a diet with HIGH QUALITY protein will be better than a low-protein diet. Low-protein diets, if not carefully managed, can lead to malnutrition. If a low-protein diet is necessary, bear in mind that prescription-type foods typically contain poor quality ingredients.

Doctor Peter Dobias, DVM had this to say about how he has changed his approach to treating CRF (chronic renal failure) in cats:

" I have seen animals living good lives years after they reach this stage if treated properly. The damaged kidney units can never be regenerated and the main goal of the treatment is to stop the kidney destruction and preserve the remaining kidney tissue. When I started practicing, I saw many cats looking like walking skeletons, wasting muscle mass and not doing well at all. I was taught that this is caused by the kidney disease itself however, I was not convinced. I suspected that the low protein prescription diet was the main cause of weight loss. We were told by the pet food companies that low protein diets are important in reducing the kidney toxin levels. However, I could see that animals fed this food were showing signs of protein starvation and deteriorated fast. It took me a few years to dare to go against the conventional recommendations and started suggesting high quality raw protein diets for patients with kidney disease. In addition to glandular supplements supporting the kidneys and homeopathic remedy individually selected for each patient. The results were surprisingly encouraging. Most patients with mild or moderate kidney disease maintained good body weight, showed great energy and didn’t seem to deteriorate as fast as patients on low protein food. They appeared to live longer than expected." ~ Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

Unfortunately, the signs of kidney disease usually do not appear until more than two-thirds of kidney function has been lost. Once chronic kidney failure develops, it cannot be reversed. In this case, you can slow the disease progression through adjustments to your cat's diet, medication and diuresis (hydration therapy). According to studies, the animals receiving treatment can survive for long periods of time using only 5 to 8 percent of their renal tissue.

Several nutritional supplements may be helpful for pets with kidney disease. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be beneficial in CRF. Be sure to select a product that contains only omega-3 (pets get plenty of omega-6 in their food), that is free from contaminants, and doesn’t come from farmed fish such as salmon. Try the following:

• Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet.
• Only Natural Pet Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
• Nature’s Logic North Atlantic Sardine Oil
• B-vitamins help the animal cope with stress and replace water-soluble vitamins that are lost in the urine. Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, are also important. Potassium supplements may be needed, especially for cats. Kidney support supplements , like Renal Essentials by Vetriscience (for dogs or for cats), can be great all-in-one supplements that contains herbs, Omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins B and C.
• Recent research shows a benefit from probiotics (friendly bacteria) in cats with CRF. Kidney blood values (BUN and creatinine) decreased significantly when cats were given probiotics in canned food.
• A newly published research paper suggests that melatonin could be helpful in CRF animals; however the study was done in rats, and appropriate dosages for pets are still unknown.
• A nutritional supplement called "Renafood" from Standard Process, is a very good renal detoxifier and helps to maximize kidney function. Give one or two a day. Most pets eat them readily if they are crushed into powder and mixed with canned or homemade food. Call Standard Process at 1-800-558-8740 to find a distributor in your area. Renafood is a human product that works much better than their pet products, so be sure to insist on Renafood.
• Always consult with your veterinarian before starting your dog or cat on any new herb or supplement when dealing with kidney disease.
• Supplemental Fluids: Your veterinarian can give your pet subcutaneous fluids in the clinic, or teach you how to give them at home. This is the least intrusive and most beneficial treatment you can give your pet. Animals in renal failure drink a lot of water, but they cannot drink enough to compensate for the loss of water through the kidneys. Subcutaneous fluids are an excellent way to help keep the toxins flushed out of the bloodstream and make your pet feel much better
• Supplemental Vitamins: GreenMin is a new generation of whole food, certified organic mineral supplement containing 20 essential trace minerals. Unlike many synthetic supplements, GreenMin is algae based, USDA certified organic product. It replenishes minerals lost through excessive urine production
• Hydration: If you pull the skin on the neck and it stays up for longer than 1 second, your pet may be dehydrated. Simple administration of electrolyte solutions under the skin such as Lactated Ringers or Sodium Chloride (0.9%) will help pets in more advanced stages of kidney disease.

If your pet's condition is stable, a quarterly or semi annual recheck is highly recommended. This way, you can adjust the treatment and supplements as needed and avoid unnecessary complications. If your pet is vomiting, lethargic and has no appetite, hospitalization and further diagnostics may be needed.

To Help Prevent CRF in your kitty before it's too late:

• Feed a good variety of high quality protein diet, ideally raw.
• Do not feed beef, buffalo or bison as they have a higher content of inflammatory factors which affect the immune system function.
• Avoid so called low protein kidney or senior diets.
• Dry food especially stresses the kidneys by “absorbing” water creating a persistent state of dehydration.
If you do not want to feed raw, canned diet is better however cans are lined with a plastic coating that could contain BPA and other harmful plastic toxins that leach into the food. If you are trying to avoid kidney damage, it's best not to use commercial foods packaged in plastic or cans.
• Avoid over-vaccinating or unnecessary vaccinations above all else.

Photos: The kitty in the photos is one that was rescued by a shelter and found to have CRF at only 2.5 years old.

© 2013 Redstone Publishing and Promotion for All articles and images.

FDA Pet Product Recalls for 2013.

Pets who look like their owners:

Find more pet articles in our Archives and pet home remedies are in The Hangout. But you must be a member to access those pages.


NATURAL PET REMEDIES: Choking / Poisoning.

Choking: You can perform the Heimlich maneuver on animals too. Lift a small pet, or reach over the back of a large one, and carefully raise the back legs so that the rear end is elevated over the head. Be careful not to jar or bend the spine too much in the opposite direction for which it is intended.

Place your hands around the lowest part of the chest and give a quick, gentle thrust inward and upward.

Remember to scale the force of your thrust to the size of your pet. For small pets, imagine you are performing this on an infant or toddler.

Poisoning: Dogs eat just about anything, and there are many things that cats shouldn't - so if your pet devours something toxic, you can use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. Give them one teaspoon per five pounds of body weight, and repeat once more if they do not vomit the first time. Then get them to the vet ASAP!

For more pet remedies, follow The Hangout on

DOG BREEDS- Characteristics and Concerns.
(We will get to cat breeds later.)

American Staffordshire Terrier.

The American Staffordshire terrier also known as Amstaff is a medium-sized, short-coated American dog breed.
The Amstaff is a people-oriented dog that thrives when he is made part of the family and given a job to do. Although friendly, this breed is loyal to his family and will protect them from any threat. Typically docile and playful with his family, the American Staffordshire Terrier is also generally friendly toward strangers as long as his people are present. He is generally very good with children. He can be stubborn, tenacious and fearless. For all of his tough persona, the most important thing in life to this breed is his family's fond attention.

Life Expectancy:
American Staffordshire Terrier pups should not be bought weaned before they are 8–10 weeks old. Their life expectancy is generally 12 to 16 years with good care.

Health Concerns:Notable issues related to health and wellbeing include:
Inherited disorders
• Congenital heart disease
• Elbow dysplasia
• Canine hip dysplasia
• Luxating patella knee complication that imparts a bow shape to the leg
• Thyroid dysfunction
• Minor incidence of other conditions, such as senior ataxia and hereditary cataracts.

The breed may be vulnerable to skin allergies, urinary tract infections (UTI), and autoimmune diseases. Spondylosis and osteoarthritis are common in older dogs.

Looking for an Amstaff? Use our Petfinder tool below and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now.

To view breeds we've already written about, view our Dog Breeds on The Hangout. (Must be a Circkles member to view The Hangout.)


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