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Liver/kidney function support diet

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Minnie has had 2 blood panels done in the last month, both showing slightly elevated hep enzyme levels. She was given SAM-E supplements for liver support, but there was no evidence of improvement with the second test. In fact the levels were elevated slightly from the previous test. My vet has prescribed Science Diet canned I/D formula. I'm not a fan of their products. Has anyone here successfully fed their dog a home-made liver or kidney support diet (low protein, I'm told) and if so, can you point me to the recipe? Any other experienced advice would be appreciated.

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Hi Nancy,


As you can tell, I'm a new 'kid' on the block but I hope that doesn't discourage you.


Protein is hard on the liver/kidneys so a low protein diet is best. I don't know how you feel about Cal Natural but they have a Lamb Meal & Rice Adult Canned dog food that is 9.35% protein. I don't have a homemade recipe for low protein but many, many years ago I had a Sheltie that needed a low protein diet and her vet recommended rice. Apparently, bland was the key back then. If you still want a homemade recipe, maybe check the ingredients and go from there????


Sorry I couldn't be of more help. I'm interested in what others will have to say as well.

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Hi Nancy,

I did a quick web search and found some links that might prove useful to you.


This first one has a list of commercial diets as well as a bibliography of resources for homemade dog foods. It may be worth checking these out and then going to Amazon or or your local library and seeing if you can't order a couple of the books (or use inter-library loan).


Kidney disease management


Protein-source table



(scroll down on this one until you get to the question about kidney and liver function in older dogs)


Article by Jean Dodds


From http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/liverdisease.htm

3. Dietary management: Extremely important. The goal is to provide all the necessary nutrients which may be lost due to failure of liver processing without overtaxing the liver with regards to processing of dietary intake. High levels of top quality protein to provide the essential amino acids in an easily digestible carrier which will not produce high levels of ammonia during digestion. Cottage cheese is good, meat tends to produce high levels of ammonia. High level carbohydrates to drive the metabolism of the body, essential fatty acids not less than 6% of the daily intake, and a good mineral and vitamin supplement. Force feeding may be necessary.


4. Control of ascites and water retention. Reduce sodium intake. Diuretics will help in resistant cases.



Anyway, I think I'd start with the book list in the first link. In the meantime, spend some time searching the web and reading and you may find something that works for you. The key is lower protein, but high-quality protein.



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Thanks Julie. Based on info I gleaned from web searches I've done, I went out and bought organic cottage cheese and whole flax seed (which I'll grind in a coffee grinder) to add to her food. My vet said he'd give me a recipe, but then he got caught up in an emergency and was unable to leave it at the desk. Minnie's on SAM-E (adenosyl) supplements now and I've just read that it's important to administer vit B to better synthesize it. Her levels aren't serious at the moment, but we're hoping to prevent any further deterioration. Also, according to the research I've read, low protein is not the goal. Highly digestible protein content is. BTW, Minnie--the little stinker, is so grounded! I stopped at the natural food store on my way to the office and she jumped out the car window while I was in the store. It used to be she only did that when I was at the feed store. :rolleyes:

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