We commend you for taking the time to read this report. It takes a very special individual to delve into this field, as
it’s often very challenging to sort through all of the obstacles that accompany chronic renal failure (CRF). Unlike some illnesses, this condition is a multifaceted disease, which has many complications that require a broad and integrative approach to treatment. The journey is not easy, nor is the solution ever a straight line; but starting with this e-book, we will do our best to help you navigate your way through the difficulties.
As you read through the material, you may invariably come across information that contradicts what you’ve been
told. This is to be expected. Some of what you are about to read will fly in the face of mainstream veterinary medicine. Many conventional veterinarians will vehemently disagree with our conclusions. You must understand that some these individuals rely exclusively on their former academic training and indoctrination, which might lack the lateral
thinking required to analyze and uncover developing research in emerging fields. On the other hand, a true scientist is one who never stops learning; and who is willing to thoroughly examine unfamiliar data before making a determination that is based on logical deduction and conclusive evidence.
It is sad, but often true, that many an expert’s cup of knowledge is too full for his or her own good. The best
researcher is one who is always willing to learn and evolve. That is the nature of progress. And progress is what real science is all about. The good news is that there are a growing number of veterinarians who recognize the value of integrative medicine. More and more professionals are beginning to realize that the primitive band-aid approach is simply
It should be noted that the data we present in this material, as well as the information we offer throughout our website and online course, is based on the cumulative and meticulous research of literally hundreds of some of the world’s leading veterinary experts and medical scientists; whose clinical trials have been published in peer-reviewed journals from all over the globe. In addition to the aforementioned professionals whom we give credit, it may also interest you to know that we are medical researchers ourselves; whose focus includes kidney nutrition science.
The material you have before you is not comprehensive; nor is it meant to be a shortcut or replacement for
veterinary advice. Quite the contrary, as many pioneering veterinarians have provided the foundation of what we discuss. It is however, a report that is designed to inform you of the many dangers that can arise from
common decisions that people routinely make for their CRF pets. Ultimately, it is our sincere hope that the information contained within these pages—and the additional resources we have to offer—can help you
find the answers you’ve been searching for.
MISTAKE #1 Offering Tap Water
The Kidney is a Filter
Most of us
are aware that water has varying degrees of purity and safety, depending
on where it is derived; which may include wells, city (tap) sources, and
natural springs. In addition, this essential resource can be found in
forms that have been distilled or filtered by several methods of
purification. A few of us have decided to take things a step further by
investing in bottled water or sink filters; but for the most part, very
few individuals ever investigate exactly what is within the fluids they
consume, or the effectiveness of the measures they take to ensure
safety. Even if you are of the opinion that such concerns are
unwarranted, when it comes to the health of your CRF pet, nothing could
be further from the truth.
Think of the kidneys as being similar to an aquarium charcoal filter. For those of you who aren't familiar
with these purification systems, like renal tissue, this device is used to trap and remove impurities. If it fails to do its job, replacement is required. Otherwise, it will be unable to purify the water that is circulating within the fish tank. This results in a build-up of ammonia, metabolites, nitrates, and other toxins. Like the aquarium, when this
process takes place within your pet's body, the blood fails to become purified, and the entire system begins to deteriorate.
Unlike the typical aquarium filter, however, your pet's body is capable of cleaning
itself to varying degrees. Unfortunately, given the toxic nature of the water most domesticated animals consume (as well as the entire multitude of poisons found within pet food, medication, and the environment), it is only a matter of time before the kidneys begin to degenerate.
This means that impure water may be part of the reason that your pet has chronic renal failure; and it certainly can contribute to further degeneration of overall health. And assuming that your dog or cat does indeed have chronic renal failure, it is crucial that from this day forward, your pet has only the best water available.
Why Tap Water is NOT Safe
Whatever you do, avoid the tap at all costs.
The substances found in most city water may actually contribute to CRF. You may wonder how this could be, given the safeguards that regulatory agencies require. But the sad truth is that these standards are not as safe as we are led to believe. In the short-term, few studies have revealed enough evidence to state otherwise; however, very little of the
research can account for long-term health effects. Learn more: "Vast Array" of Drugs in Your Drinking Water
Unfortunately, when it comes to diseases that have developed over several years, it is
next to impossible to connect them to any specific cause, tap water included. So, if that's the case, what evidence do scientists and medical practitioners base their concerns? In order to understand the risks, you must first understand the dangers associated with specific components within the water. The following information covers only a fraction of what can potentially be found in the drinking supply.
Much of the piping that is used to run municipal drinking sources contains heavy metals that are known toxins. In
addition, the water itself is often polluted with more of the aforementioned poisons, which have accumulated from other origins.
Lead is a metal that is often found from the pipes and brass plumbing in our homes. Even small amounts can accumulate in the tissues over time; eventually leading to damage of the brain, kidneys, and bones. Chromium is an industrial byproduct that can leach into the water supply; and has been shown to cause respiratory issues. Cadmium, which
can be found in zinc fixtures and piping, can interfere with the proper absorption of key minerals that animals require. Arsenic, which is used as rat poison, has actually been discovered in trace amounts in some areas; and can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and cardiac conditions. Mercury is yet another metal that has been found in municipal sources; and can accumulate in the body’s system over time. Effects may include cognitive impairment, as well as kidney, liver, and gastrointestinal
Although aluminum is not listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website as a toxin to monitor, it does lead to health complications, and it has appeared in drinking sources. Patients with chronic kidney disease that have not taken aluminum phosphate binders were still shown to have elevated levels of this poison, since trace amounts can be found in the water supply. Like mercury, aluminum is a neurotoxin, meaning that it can kill brain cells.
Pesticides and Herbicides
The use of pesticides and herbicides has become so frequent, that it’s almost impossible not to
find these chemicals in tap water—and even some bottled sources. They can lead to cardiac abnormalities, respiratory conditions, organ degeneration; and have been linked to cancer over the long-term.
It may shock you to know what kind of dissolved drugs are found in your city's drinking water. Trace amounts of caffeine, growth hormones, birth control medication, antibiotics, anti-depressants, and countless other prescription medicines have been found in tap. Very often, people flush their drugs down the toilet, where it passes through obsolete filtration measures, to eventually end up recycled into our drinking supply. A recent study funded by the Associated Press found
that forty one million Americans (not to mention countless animals) have been exposed to various amounts of these chemicals. While it’s not completely known what kinds of problems can occur from small amounts of
these drugs, there is no dispute that over time, these toxins accumulate in the tissues of our bodies; and can certainly do the same for your pet.
Chlorine is an inexpensive way for cities to cleanse and disinfect the water supply. Unfortunately, high levels of
this chemical can be found in many municipal systems that are nearly comparable to what is found in the average swimming pool. Chlorine leads to iodine and B vitamin deficiency; and has also been found to be a
major contributor to birth defects like cleft palate and major brain defects. Excessive exposure can also lead to cancer in pets and humans. Expectant mothers should stay clear of any water that has high levels of
this poison, to help eliminate the risk of these conditions.
It is interesting to note that chlorine was used in World War I and in Iraq as a chemical weapon. One of the reasons it is so effective at killing germs is because of its ability to destroy the outer cellular membrane. Now pause and think about this. If chlorine wipes out live bacteria, what do you think it's doing to the cells of your pet (or your own body
for that matter)?
All our lives, most of us have been repeatedly told how important fluoride is to our teeth and bones.
Our dentists regularly advise us on the need for adequate amounts of this “essential” nutrient. Our school teachers, the media, and even those closest to us have all played a role in getting us to recognize the need to make fluoride part of our daily life—because it's “healthy”.
But this mineral has a dark side that very few will ever come to know. Although fluoride strengthens bones, it does so by creating an abnormal skeletal structure that may ultimately cause calcification of
the joints (a disease known as fluorosis). It has also been considered a suspected contributor of renal degeneration. Fluoride and Fluoridation: Wide Range of Serious Health Problems Including Thyroid Disorder
“Fluorosilicic acid [found in tap water] may contain minute amounts of contaminants such as
lead and arsenic.” - American Dental Association (ADA)
The Facts Don't Lie
Although there are many claims that tap water is safe, the research shows otherwise. According to the Environmental Working Group, more than 140 unregulated toxins were found in much of the
drinking supply in just the United States alone.
Common dangers associated with tap water:
- * Pesticides
- * Herbicides
- * Fungicides
- * Chlorine
- * Fluoride
- * Lead
- * Aluminum
- * Mercury
- * Cadmium
- * Arsenic
- * Prescription Drugs
MISTAKE #2 The Wrong DietThe Hidden Dangers of Commercialized Pet Foods
In recent years, slick marketing campaigns have successfully enhanced the image of today’s pet food. Carefully constructed commercials and labeling strategies routinely employ the use of such terms as “scientifically formulated”, “gold standard”, “premium protein”, “wholesome grains”, “superior health”, and “fresh ingredients”. These
words lull the masses into a false sense of security.
The fact is, most commercialized dog and cat food brands contain indigestible and
substandard proteins, excessive amounts of grains, chemical preservatives, elevated levels of acidity, and a variety of toxic byproducts. Many of these substances can worsen the CRF condition; and have likely played a significant role in the development of your pet's current condition.
Dr. Michael Dym DVM writes: "Over the past 40 years and 17 generations of dogs and, cats we are seeing tremendous increases in chronic ill health in our pets that was rare back in the early 1960's. Most of these illnesses revolve around breakdown in our pets' immune systems, and include chronic skin/ear allergies, digestive upset, thyroid/adrenal/pancreatic disorders, seizures, gum/ teeth problems, degenerative arthritis, kidney/liver failure, and cancer across all ages and breeds. We are also seeing a record number of behavioral and emotional disorders including alarming and unexplained fears/aggression., as well as difficulty focusing/training and paying attention. The analogy of these
compared with escalating immune/behavioral diseases in children is quite disturbing. The two biggest factors in our pets' population health decline over these generations has been the severe
overuse of multiple vaccines and nutrient poor and toxin filled commercial pet foods. We have also failed to address the underlying cause of disease by only suppressing symptoms with antibiotics, cortisone and related drugs, so the disease progresses and goes deeper. Homeopathy offers a viable alternative in truly curing pets and making their bodies healthier." Dr. Jane Bicks, a holistic veterinarian, agrees with Dr. Dym. Listen to her 12 minute online audio presentation to learn how inappropriate diet affects our pet's health and how you can improve the well-being, longevity and overall health of your animal.
Contaminated Protein Sources
Many commercialized pet food brands claim to contain “premium” protein.
However, once you’ve traced these meats to their origins, you may think twice before purchasing your pet’s favorite cat or dog food. Very often, protein sources are given innocuous names to fool the uninformed. For example, you will often see foods made with the following ingredients: “meat and bone meal”, “beef and bone meal”, “fish meal”, “meat meal”,
“meat by-products”, “yellow grease”, “tallow”, “beef fat”, “chicken fat”, “animal fat”, and “animal digest”. Your first reaction may be that all these food titles sound good enough for your pet. However, nothing is further from the truth. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the ingredients used in manufacturing do not require inspection. Certain laws allow the pet food industry to use what are referred to as “4D” sources; which translates to any tissue that is dead, dying, disabled, or diseased. These very same animal products are prohibited for sale to people, for they are considered unfit for human
According to scientists at the University of Minnesota, the sodium pentobarbital used to euthanize dogs and cats
without undergoing degradation.” In other words, the chemicals used to kill terminally ill animals can be found in many pet
foods today. In 2002, the FDA published a report entitled, “Risk of Pentobarbital in Dog Food”. After two years of investigation, they
discovered the lethal drug in dog foods purchased from grocery stores and retail outlets in Laurel, MD. Brand names included Nutro, Ol’ Roy,
Ken-L-Ration, Kibbles n’ Bits, and Purina Pro Plan, among many others. No studies were conducted on cat food. It should be noted that Laurel,
MD is just one of many areas of the country that dog food suppliers send their products to. If an investigation were to include cat food—and if
it were possible to involve every city in the nation—not to mention the world—It wouldn’t take a genius to consider the magnitude of the problem
our pets face.
Other substances that find their way into rendering plants include flea collars (which contain antiparasitic
chemicals), vaccinated pet tissue, metal ID tags, surgical metal pins (used to mend broken bones), and animal feces. Another problem includes
plastic wrap, which cover many of the unsold spoiled grocery meats that are thrown into the mix (as well as the Styrofoam trays they are placed
on). In addition, there are also the antibiotics, growth hormones, and pesticides to consider.
You might wonder how it is that so many dangerous substances could be allowed to slip by undetected.
However, when you consider the enormity of the situation, you will quickly
realize how such circumstances routinely occur. The animal rendering process is a multibillion dollar industry. Every single day, millions of
pounds of unused animal flesh are sent to these facilities, which exist all around the U.S., Europe, and other parts of the globe. Although
factory workers catch many of these poisonous materials, it is simply not possible for them to find all of the indigestible matter that is
among the truckloads of carcasses that come their way. Plus, many of the most toxic substances (that are within the animal) are simply not
visible to the naked eye. Combined with the rancid and indigestible leftover parts taken from veterinary clinics, zoos, road kill, slaughter
houses, shelters, ranches, restaurants, and grocery stores, these contaminated meats are then ground up, liquefied, and ultimately fed to
the companions we all love.“Feeding slaughterhouse wastes to
animals increases their chance of getting cancer and other degenerative diseases. Those wastes can include moldy, rancid or spoiled meats as
well as tissues severely riddled with cancer.” - Dr. P.F. McGargle (Veterinarian & U.S. federal meat inspector)
In 2004, the
Congressional Research Center provided Congress a detailed report on the facts behind the rendering industry, and their use of diseased,
disabled, and euthanized animals; many of which have become common
ingredients in everything from pet foods to soaps and crayons.
Another must-read article was provided by journalist Van Smith of the
Baltimore City Paper in 1995: http://www2.citypaper.com/about/vansmith.asp.
It takes you directly into the heart of the rendering facility; and what
has been kept hidden from the consumer.
Leftover meat scraps and
any unused animal parts began to be added to pet foods around the time
of World War II. Back then, very few people understood the nutritional
requirements of cats or dogs, and so the idea stuck for many years; and
continues to do so to this day. While recent years have brought many
advances in animal nutrition and veterinary research, we still have a
long way to go before most pet foods contain the kinds of protein that
our companions need.
It’s important to see what potentially dangerous carbohydrates lurk in
pet foods. Many of these include byproducts of carbohydrate processing.
In other words, this is what’s left after the choice parts of the grains
have been removed; and are poor substitutes that may appear in your
pet’s food. Be on the lookout for brewers rice, cereal fines, feeding
oatmeal, and fermentation soluble. Also, overly processed carbs
including maltodextrins and soy flour are to be avoided at all costs.
Other designations to watch for include “potato products”. Although
the title may seem benign, quite often, this ingredient is composed of
varying amounts of inedible or rotten potatoes, french fries, chips, and
skins; as well as fats or oils that have been taken from frying
Fiber is an important part
of your pet’s diet. It helps clean out the bowels and supports
probiotics (friendly bacteria). Unfortunately, many sources of fiber are
not as beneficial as we’d like to believe; and are often used as cheap
fillers that do not aid in health. Examples include cellulose, corn
bran, oat, and peanut hulls. You’ll also want to steer clear of soybean
and wheat mill run, which are leftovers from grain processing.
Much of the protein that makes up pet food
includes cereal grains such as corn, wheat, and soy. The reason that
they are added to most of these products is because they’re used to
increase the protein in the guaranteed analysis. Over time, these grains
cause stress to the internal organs of the body; and can be especially
harmful to the kidneys. In addition, these same components are also
known allergens, which often result in reactions that prompt many pet
parents to seek out drug treatments to alleviate the symptoms. Usually,
these food binders go by several nebulous or even healthy-sounding
designations, such as ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, whole grain
corn, ground whole wheat, ground whole grain sorghum, and whole wheat
Toxic Preservatives and Additives
preservatives and additives are included in pet foods to give them a
longer shelf life. Research with lab animals has shown a connection
between many of these unnatural chemicals and a variety of illnesses.
While the evidence is still under further investigation, a wise consumer
should err on the side of caution, and seek nutrition that does not
contain risky substances. After all, we are talking about our beloved
companions; and they are not guinea pigs.
Many of the chemicals
used to preserve our pet foods have been linked to a variety of
ailments. Take ethoxyquin (EQ) for example. EQ is identified as a
hazardous chemical by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA). There have been documented cases of factory
workers in the rubber industry who have developed blindness, leukemia,
skin cancer, fetal abnormalities, liver damage, and kidney disease.
Several studies with lab animals have shown that it causes DNA
mutations, chromosomal aberrations, bladder complications, and renal
carcinogenesis; and significantly increases the risk of stomach tumors
and immune deficiency syndrome.
But this is merely one of many
synthetic preservatives used in common pet foods. Others include
propylene glycol (PG), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and butylated
hydroxytoluene (BHT); and they are no less poisonous. A whole book could
be written on all of the many toxic additives and preservatives found in
cat and dog food (not to mention our own); but such a task goes beyond
the scope of this e-report.
Many manufacturers will be quick to
point out the fact that many studies include laboratory animals that
have been given excessive dosages; and that the levels that have been
approved for pet consumption have little to no evidence of danger. While
short-term research may not show a definitive correlation between these
synthetic chemicals and chronic disease, there simply is no way to know
what the long-term ramifications of eating these substances will be to
an animal’s health. With a reasonable dose of common sense, anyone can
plainly see that the risks are simply not worth it. Let’s not play
Russian roulette with our pets.
“Since I have graduated from
veterinary school in 1965, I’ve noticed a general deterioration in pet
health. I believe that the chemical additives in pet food play a major
part in that decline.” - Richard Pitcairn, DVM
Sweeteners are added to pet foods to make them more palatable. They
are otherwise not necessary, and can even be dangerous. Examples of
these sweet poisons include sugars from corn syrup, sucrose (table
sugar), and molasses. The danger lies in the overproduction of insulin,
which over time causes cells to lose their ability to pick up glucose
from the blood. Adult-onset diabetes mellitus then develops; which in
turn can lead to a variety of health complications, including kidney
degeneration. Behavioral problems can also result, as we often see in
our children. Sugar Substitutes - The Bitter Truth About NutraSweet (Aspartame) and Sucralose (Splenda)
While artificial colors may
be attractive to humans, they have no place in pet foods. Many
artificial dyes are carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents. These include
FD&C Red #40 and sodium nitrite. Others, such as FD&C Yellow #6, and
Blue #1 and 2 impede the immune response, particularly in dogs that are
infected with the parvo virus. There are other food colorings that have
yet to undergo substantial laboratory testing to provide assurance of
Some healthcare practitioners
are concerned about the overabundance of acid-forming foods in diets.
This could be particularly dangerous for a pet with CRF that also
suffers from metabolic acidosis. Avoiding products that contain many of
the disease-inducing ingredients listed in this module can help restore
normal pH balance.
Why Lowering Protein is Bad Advice
may have been told that a reduced-protein diet is a necessary part of an
effective treatment plan for controlling CRF. This is because of the
statistical relationship between high protein and kidney degeneration.
However, this is an oversimplification of the facts. The truth of the
matter is that protein increases blood levels of phosphates and uric
acid, which are the real culprits behind the problem.
contributing factor is the specific type of protein that is used to meet
dietary requirements. There are several types of meats that contain
substances known as purines, which can cause complications in CRF pets,
including elevated levels of uric acid and the subsequent development of
hyperparathyroidism (excess parathyroid hormone). High-purine sources
include animal organs, such as the liver, kidneys, and brains; as well
as some types of fish, such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and
Together, the phosphates, uric acid, and uremia can all
worsen kidney disease; which is the chief reason so many vets recommend
low-protein diets. However, the problem is that CRF often leads to
diminished appetites and muscle wasting. To offer reduced amounts of
protein will hasten the starving process.
By default, low-protein
diets may contain higher amounts of carbohydrates. If this is the case,
the extra carbs will produce spikes in insulin, which over time can lead
to diabetes—a disease that carries its own bag of problems, including
additional kidney damage. Remember, cats are obligate carnivores, and
are especially at risk because they cannot process carbohydrates as
efficiently as their canine counterparts. But even dogs require adequate
levels of protein; and this is especially true with those that are CRF
Our Pets Are What They Eat
Remember, whatever is eaten, literally becomes a part of the body. The state of your companion's health is therefore intrinsically connected to the quality of the foods you offer; which is why it’s crucial to provide only the best nutrition available. For more information regarding the dangers contained in most brands of pet food, as well as the alternatives we recommend, visit the WellnessPetFoodStore.com
#3 Using Substandard Phosphate Binders
The Wrong Phosphate Binders:
Good Intentions, Bad ApproachThe Wrong Phosphate Binders:
Good Intentions, Bad Approach
More and more vets are beginning to
realize that low protein diets and appetite stimulants are not the
long-term solution for dogs and cats that have lost the will to eat.
Many professionals now understand the need for effective phosphate
binders to reduce the problems associated with the protein these
anorexic animals so often require. Unfortunately, most of these
treatments carry their own set of problems. Many of them contain harmful
substances like aluminum and other ingredients contraindicated for pets
diagnosed with CRF.Aluminum-Based Binders
There are a
number of phosphate binders on the market based on aluminum. Examples
include aluminum hydroxide (Alternagel, Alu-Cap, Alu-Tab, Amphojel,
Basaljel, Dialume, Spectrum) and aluminum magnesium hydroxide (Aludrox,
Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, Mylanta).
While they are effective in
reducing toxins within the blood, it is important to understand that
there are serious trade-offs. The metal has been shown to accumulate in
the brain, leading to bizarre behaviors, neuron destruction, memory
problems, and even death. Research has demonstrated that even a few
doses can cause permanent damage. Furthermore, aluminum builds up in the
bone, causing further issues with anemia.Calcium-Based
PhosLo is an example of a phosphate binder that
contains calcium. Many pet owners observe that it is unreliable and can
have variable effects. Also, it may add too much of this mineral to the
blood, which may result in calcification (hardening) of tissues. It is
important to have your vet check calcium and phosphorus levels
frequently if your pet is on PhosLo. Additional side effects may include
allergic reactions and interactions with other medications.
veterinarian may also recommend other phosphate binders in this
category, such as ground-up eggshells or the like. Although these may be
natural treatments, they may still initiate elevations in blood calcium.
“Aluminum and calcium-containing phosphate binders have been increasingly abandoned—the former because of their influence on bone (low turnover) and the brain (dementia), and the latter because of the increased frequency of vascular calcification.”- Martin Haas, MD
New technology has incorporated the
rare metal, lanthanum for phosphate control. Renalzin and Fosrenol are
two examples. Unfortunately, these drugs can trigger nausea, vomiting,
intestinal blockage, and abdominal pain. They have not been tested
extensively in cats and dogs; so there may be additional issues that
researchers have yet to uncover. Some scientists vigorously defend the
safety of lanthanum; but with the dangerous reputation it has for
accumulating in the lungs and bones, it may not be worth risking.
Polyamine-Based Phosphate Binders
This class of drug was
developed as an alternative to aluminum-based binders. Polyamines have a
positive charge that attracts negatively-charged phosphate molecules.
Once the binder has accomplished its task, the threat is dispelled from
the digestive tract.
Sevalamer (Renagel) is a polyamine that has
been shown to bind phosphates without raising calcium levels. Still, it
has a host of side effects; including constipation, allergic reactions,
nausea, vomiting, and breathing difficulties. This drug should never be
given to an animal with stomach or intestinal problems, since it can
result in perforation of the gastrointestinal tract. It may also react
with other medications; and has been shown to reduce vitamins D, E, K,
and folic acid in the body, when given long-term.
MISTAKE #4 Resorting to Appetite Stimulants
Disabling the Oil Light Doesn’t
Fix the Leak
If your dog or cat has lost his or her appetite, and
has begun to lose weight, steps must be taken to remedy the situation as
quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the treatment of surface symptoms is
often the only approach. In the case of anorexia, appetite stimulants
are usually the remedy of choice.
You must understand that these
drugs fail to address the cause of the problem. There is a reason CRF
pets lose the desire for food. Dehydration is often the culprit; as is
the toxic accumulation of metabolic wastes (such as ammonia and
phosphates). Forcing the animal to eat without eliminating the symptom’s
trigger is a temporary fix at best; and is a highly toxic threat at
worst. Ignoring the origin of disease only perpetuates it.
use an automotive example to illustrate our point. If a vehicle’s oil
light is flashing, an intelligent person addresses the cause and refills
the fluid. Masking the problem by disabling the warning signal doesn't
solve anything. Quite often the reverse is true. While some symptoms
should be treated directly (particularly if they are life-threatening or
causing extreme stress); we must always attempt to address the cause.
Only then can we make lasting change that is best for the health of our
Famotidine (Pepcid AC),
Cimetidine (Tagamet), Ranitidine (Zantac), Nizatidine (Axid), and
Omeprazole (Prilosec) are all drugs that have the ability to reduce the
secretion of acid; subsequently increasing appetite. Some of these
treatments may lead to dangerous urinary tract infections; and could
harm the brain and nerves, as well as the liver. These drugs can also
make kidney disease worse.
Cyproheptadine (Periactin) is an
example of an antihistamine that makes animals hungry. Unfortunately,
like the aforementioned drugs, these come with adverse effects,
including aggressive behavior in cats. Dry mouth and sedation may also
occur. Don’t use Periactin if your pet has heart disease, glaucoma,
intestinal blockage, or prostate enlargement.Anti-Anxiety Drugs
Diazepam (Valium) and Oxazepam (Serax) increase appetite. They tend
to work better in cats than dogs. Unfortunately, these drugs not only
have the potential of causing a lack of coordination—which can be
dangerous—they may also induce tremor and edema (retention of water).
Some companion animals may also experience liver failure and kidney
Some specialized tranquilizers, such as Acepromazine (Atravet),
Chlorpromazine (Thorazine/Largactil), and Prochlorperazine (Compazine),
have been used to reduce vomiting. Adverse reactions may include
seizures, dangerously low blood pressure, and excessive lethargy. Don’t
use tranquilizers with any insecticides, such as flea or tick dips,
collars, or powders.Anticholinergic Drugs
include Aminopentamide (Centrine), Hyoscyamine/Phenobarbitol (Donnatal),
Hyoscyamine (Levsin), Clinidium/Chlordiazepoxide (Librax), and
Methscopalamine (Pamine). Unfortunately, anticholinergics can cause
urine to be retained in the bladder. They can lead to constipation,
light sensitivity, confusion, cardiac arrhythmias, and lethargy. These
effects could be very dangerous in an animal that is already sick, so
they are contraindicated in pets with CRF.Dopamine Antagonists
Another drug that may prevent vomiting includes Metoclopramide
(Reglan). This works to block nausea signals within the brain. It should
not be given to pets with kidney or liver disease, adrenal problems, or
seizure disorders. This medicine can also cause abnormal movements of
the mouth and tongue due to a brain disorder known as tardive
Dolasetron (Anzemet) and
Odansetron (Zofran) prevent the chemical messenger molecule serotonin
from being released, which sometimes decreases vomiting. These drugs are
not always effective in blocking sensations of nausea. They may also
cause issues with the heart.Steroids
There are several
classes of steroids that have been used to increase appetite. Not
surprisingly, they can all cause serious problems—none of which can a
CRF pet afford.
While anabolic steroids can be used to stimulate
appetite, they are not recommended, due to their potentially
life-threatening side effects; which may include liver and kidney
failure. Stanozolol (Winstrol-V) is an example of this type of
Progestins such as Megestrol Acetate (Megace) are a
type of progesterone (a hormone found in female animals). Unfortunately,
they may lead to a degeneration of the adrenal glands and the
development of diabetes. This drug should not be used in pets with
uterine problems or cancer of the mammary glands. It should also be
avoided in CRF patients.
Glucocorticoids are another class of
steroids that have been shown to increase the desire to eat. A common
example includes prednisone. These drugs can lead to serious
complications, including diabetes and heart failure. They suppress the
immune system; and can break down normal tissue to increase blood
sugar—which is dangerous if your pet has already lost a significant
amount of weight.
Dr. Jeffrey Levy - "Corticosteroids (cortisone-type anti-inflammatory drugs) are the most abused and dangerous class of drugs. Not only do they not cure the underlying cause of the problem, they usually make the underlying problem, that is, the real problem, worseLearn more
Assisted Feeding: A Temporary Fix—Without the
You may want to try assisted feeding. This one
strategy is often enough to hold starvation at bay, until the problem is
controlled. It is relatively easy to learn, has no adverse effects, and
has literally saved thousands of lives. However, it should be noted that
if a nauseated animal cannot hold food down, this method may not be
effective. For such instances, the cause, which is likely to be uremia
or dehydration (or other related issues), must first be managed.
#5 Treating UTIs with AntibioticsThe Questionable Use and
Abuse of Antibiotics
Quite often, CRF pets will develop urinary
tract conditions that lead to infections. Sometimes, this may be due to
crystallized stones that have developed as a result of pH imbalances
within the diet. In addition, degenerated kidneys eventually fail to
maintain proper concentration levels of urine; which increases the
likelihood of bacterial invasion. These challenges can only complicate
things for cats and dogs diagnosed with chronic renal disease.
Antibiotics Kill the Good with the Bad
When a urinary tract
infection (UTI) arises, veterinarians will often prescribe antibiotics
to quickly eliminate the threat, under the assumption that such measures
will prevent more severe symptoms from developing. Unfortunately, there
are a whole host of problems associated with these drugs that most
people are not aware of.
One legitimate concern is the fact that
these medications not only kill disease-causing pathogens, but they also
destroy the beneficial flora that are vital to the intestinal health of
your pet. When the friendly bacteria are reduced in strength and
numbers, yeast infections are able to take over the body, further taxing
the animal’s delicate immune system
.What Does Not Destroy Bugs
Makes Them Stronger
As the use of antibiotics increases, the
destructive bacteria can develop a resistance; making it more difficult
to treat infections. Scientists have discovered that these microbes have
the ability to avoid being destroyed by these drugs through the use of a
layer of protection known as biofilm. While these organisms are
protected within the digestive tract, their DNA mutates to combat the
antibiotic. When these “superbugs” have become resistant to the drug,
stronger, more toxic treatments will often be required to deal with the
recurring infection; which can become a losing proposition for the
feline or canine patient.
Dr. Joe Ramaekers, DVM - "Transfer factors are truly the missing link in the nutritional approach to preventive practice for all pets. It is a powerful immune system activator that has the ability to boost the immune system in an entirely different way."The Toxic Effects of Antibiotics
Emerging evidence of serious side reactions has been associated with
the use of antibiotics. One of these effects is the degeneration of the
body’s nerves, which can result in a painful condition known as
peripheral neuropathy. These drugs have also been shown to lead to
anemia, platelet loss, and compromised immune function. They can also
destroy the kidneys and liver; and in documented cases have even led to
MISTAKE #6 Synthetic EPO TherapyThe EPO Gamble
Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) are genetically engineered,
protein-based human hormones given to pets to help produce red blood
cells from the bone marrow. Some examples on the market include Aranesp,
Epogen, Eprex, NeoRecormon, Procrit, rfEPO, and rhEPO. This protein is
given to animals via injection up to three times a week, depending on
the veterinarian’s directions. The remedy begins to work within a day;
but most studies have shown that pets return to normal blood cell levels
after four weeks of consistent therapy.Fatal Reaction
Although exogenous human erythropoietin has been used for cats and dogs,
it isn’t recommended, since an animal’s immune system may interpret the
human proteins as foreign; and can react by destroying them. What’s
worse is that in most cases, the antibodies will not only target the
human-based hormone, they will often attack their own native blood as
well; inevitably leading to irreversible anemia. In one study of
artificial human EPO, two out of three dogs treated for more than 90
days, and five out of seven cats given treatment for twice that time,
developed a type of rebound, incurable anemia
. If this occurs, from that
point forward, the only known course of action that could save the
animal would be a blood transfusion—which has its own set of risks—and
if successful, would only offer temporary results. Animal recovery from Autoimmune Haemolytic Anaemia (AIHA) or Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)
science is attempting to create feline and canine versions of synthetic
erythropoietin; however, even if the proper animal form has been
successfully developed, it may not be the answer pet parents are looking
for. In one trial, cats that were given experimental feline EPO showed
that over a quarter of them developed deadly antibodies.
cases, the use of synthetic erythropoietin will offer only temporary
results; and is often the beginning of the end. Since this treatment has
as high as a one in four chance of triggering a fatal form of anemia, we
would recommend its use only as a last resort—if at all.
#7 Giving Up Too SoonFacing the Crossroad
time pets show signs of chronic renal failure, they may have lost as
much as 2/3 of their original kidney function. Over time, this
degenerative disease contributes to a poisonous build-up of metabolites
which lead to additional complications (such as uremia and secondary
hyperphosphatemia). These toxic by-products lead to compromised
immunity, nausea, reduced appetite, and chronic dehydration; all of
which further impair kidney function, invariably leading to greater
damage. Once this chain of destruction becomes severe, your dog or cat
may have what is often referred to as a “crisis”. At this point, the
situation becomes a true medical emergency; and immediate response is
required in order to save the life of your pet.Fatal Advice
Unfortunately, there are some veterinary doctors who have seen so
much disease and death, that hopeful expectations are often replaced by
cynical resignation. If you suspect that you are dealing with this type
of person, you may need to go elsewhere. Quite often, these individuals
may advise you to euthanize your pet, in the belief that doing so would
save the both of you unnecessary hardship that the vet is all too
familiar with. While such a recommendation is usually motivated by good
intentions, the veterinarian’s experience may be based on treatment
solutions that are outdated and ineffective.
He or she may not be
familiar with innovative strategies that have kept many CRF pets alive
and healthy for months, and sometimes years after their initial
diagnosis and predicted demise. Keep this in mind if euthanasia is the
first thing the veterinary specialist recommends. Pessimism is not
realism. If you're told that euthanasia is your only option, get another
opinion.IV Fluids May Reverse a Crisis
If your cat or dog
is in an emergency situation, and your veterinarian has recommended
intravenous (IV) fluid therapy, it would be wise to consider doing so.
After all, there are many documented cases in which an animal has been
in crisis, and the administration of this treatment has literally saved
his or her life.
Intravenous fluids are specially balanced with
the correct amount of electrolytes, composed of essential minerals, such
as sodium, potassium, and chloride, which keep the body running
smoothly. This therapy is beneficial because the procedure dispenses
vital fluids directly into the veins; which facilitates rapid
distribution to the entire body. As the animal becomes rehydrated, the
kidneys are able to effectively remove toxins, which will undoubtedly
make your pet feel a whole lot better.
Likewise, IV fluids may
also be used to dispense life-saving medications that can be delivered
quickly and efficiently. While we don't typically recommend the regular
use of conventional drugs to treat chronic disease, there are definitely
cases where certain medicines can intervene in near-death emergencies.
Even if all hope seems lost, if IV fluid therapy is an option, you
may want to take it before you consider euthanasia. If the laboratory
values don’t significantly improve, you can at least have the assurance
that you tried everything you could to reverse the crisis. However, in
many cases, lab numbers do indeed change, and often for the better. It
is a temporary reprieve; but it can give you the time you need to
optimize your treatment plan and improve your pet’s health, with the
hope that doing so will prevent a recurrence.
It is important to
note, though, that IV fluid therapy will not always be the wisest route.
If your vet notices that your pet’s blood test results show severe
anemia, this treatment would be contraindicated. Excess fluid levels may
cause the blood to become so diluted that oxygen will be unable to reach
the body’s tissues. This is why it’s important to keep a regular eye on
Taking preventative measures and observing your pet's
day-to-day behavior may help circumvent the need for IV fluids in the
first place. Finally, it must be noted that this treatment is usually
reserved only for life-threatening situations
. For if this therapy is
given too frequently, it can become taxing to the kidneys; potentially
leading to additional renal damage. Don’t Give Up
therapy is only one of many strategies that you may need to mitigate the
effects of CRF. In fact, effective long-term treatment for this disease
requires a multifaceted approach that demands the right knowledge and
resources for the job
. Not only must you find a good veterinarian, but
you must also conduct your own research—beyond what is in this report.
The task is not easy—and few are willing to embark on this journey.
You might wonder, is the struggle worth it? It is our fervent belief
that it is. We don't euthanize people who are diagnosed with kidney
. We do what we can to preserve their lives and make their time
on this Earth worthwhile. Should we do any less for the companions we
love? Euthanasia has its place. But the question is, at what point is it
necessary? Make no mistake, with CRF, there will be times of
discomfort—both for you and your pet. But for every moment suffered,
there are many more that can be invested in warmth, affection, and love;
all of which will be treasured for life.
Do you have a question about
holistic animal health or need assistance? b>
contact Shirley or call 323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372
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