So glad that I have found this forum. I am tying myself up in knots concerning my dog's diet at the moment so any help or advice will be greatly appreciated Here's our story ...
My dog Harvey is 14 years old. Last year a urine test showed that his kidneys were not fully functioning. My vet did not feel there was a need to prescribe medication. Flying into a panic, trying to prevent any further damage I researched any support that I could give him. I found Hills k/d diet and after checking with the surgery and a vet (not Harvey's normal vet who said the low protein would benefit him) I placed Harvey on the diet. Some months later, a pre surgery blood test showed Harvey's kidneys were ok but now his liver was not functioning brilliantly. Nothing to warrant medication or a change in diet as the k/d had benefits for the liver too.
Here we are around 9/10 months later...
Harvey's kidneys are still ok but there is a drop in liver function. After blood tests, basically my vet described that liver function has 3 stages, good, bad and the number 2 stage somewhere in between and this is where Harvey's liver is. A scan showed an enlarged gall bladder full of bile. He is currently on destolit to neutralise the bile and milk thistle as a supplement.
Here's the food question...
I want to take Harvey off the k/d and the vet has said this is ok to change to a senior diet of 'good quality'.
Reasons why: he doesn't really like it and it can be hard to get him to eat it. He is on a mix of dry and wet and usually mixed with warm water to entice him.
He's been gradually losing weight, partly due I think to the amount he spits out on the floor. The vet had found no clinical reason for the weight loss and attributes it to Harvey being the type of senior dog who loses weight rather than the ones who put weight on.
He has some back leg muscle wastage, partly I think due to the low protein. (I could be wrong).
Harvey's needs are quite complex I think.
After research, it seems that he needs: good digestible protein, low phosphorous, low copper and I'm unsure of the fibre! He also needs a food that could help maintain his weight, if not help him to put a little on!
I would prefer a commercial diet of wet and dry food as Harvey doesn't like an all dry diet. Home cooking is an option I know but I worry about giving him the correct diet he needs.
After spending days and hours of research I did finally settle on giving an alternative a try. I chose wainwrights senior grain free and have begun the changeover. It seemed to have a nice list of ingredients and scored highly on this site so thought would give it a try and see how he got on. However after contacting the vet at online animal product suppliers at viovet.co.uk, he said that these types of food aren't applicable to my dog and suggested of course Royal Canin or Hills (surprise, surprise!).
Now I'm all in a tizzy again. Didn't want to put Harvey on royal canin or hills. Want him to have a diet he can enjoy without it being detrimental to his health.
(I am continuing the changeover to wainwrights as don't want to keep changing his food- just hope it won't hurt him if he has to change diets again. )
Apologies for long post, it's a complex business isn't it?!!
Harvey, like all poochies, is incredibly precious so any good advice or suggestions of commercial foods would be very welcome.