I hope someone can give us advice! We are having a hard time with our 9 year old lab’s diet. To start, she has a pretty serious food allergy – we think it is gluten or wheat. For the past 2 years, she has been on Cyclosporine and Ketaconazole and it has controlled her itching, scratching and yeast buildup. Unfortunately, it has contributed to her kidney problems. She has quickly moved to Stage 3 kidney disease. We originally attributed her failing kidney function to her food. We have been feeding her gluten free food because of her allergies, but they have a high protein and sometimes higher sodium and phosphorus content. After reading countless labels, we think we have found the best combination, but her kidney function continues to decrease. Although our Vet wanted us to boost up the Cyclosporine, we think this is actually the cause of her quick decline. We have taken her off both medications, and might just give her an antihistamine if she begins to itch too much. The Vet also prescribed Enalapril because her blood pressure has been sky high related to the declining kidney function.

So, now we are looking for another solution with her diet. All of the prescribed foods for kidney issues have gluten or wheat, so we can’t give her any of those. She was miserable before we cut wheat from her diet. We are willing to do whatever it takes! We can make her food, but we don’t really know where to start and what to add to make sure she gets the nutrition she needs – low sodium, low phosphorus, low but adequate protein, etc. Any suggestions?!?!
Hi, I'm sorry to know about your Lab's problems. Have you ever considered grain free or raw diet even? This is always the number one thing I get to think about when I hear about food allergies and other health problems in dogs. Perhaps you should read this article - http://mysmelly.com/content/other_articles/corn-grains-in-pet-food.htm Do have a chance to show her to a holistic vet that won't just put her on numerous medications that aren't of much use anyway?
JeniferDuncanWe can make her food, but we don’t really know where to start and what to add to make sure she gets the nutrition she needs – low sodium, low phosphorus, low but adequate protein, etc. Any suggestions?!?!
Have a look here: http://www.dogguide.net/raw-diet-basics.php at the What can I feed and How much does my dog need to eat paragraphs. I hope it helps!
Allergy and other health problems are more often than not a sign of a lot of toxins in the body so your dog needs detoxification. Cyclosporine and Ketaconazole won't help it, they only add toxins and therefore more load on the already overloaded liver and kidney. They weaken the immune system while the focus should be on its improvement! Besides switching to another diet you can try herbal detoxification remedies and give your dog water enema. In fact enema is what I'd start with. It won't work like a miracle but it will help start excretion process because the intestines is where most toxins are accumulated. Then step by step switch her to a holistic diet like, replace 1/4 of her daily meal with the new food, then 2/4 and so on. The whole process can take up to a month but changes in diet should never be done fast especially if the dog is already sick. I remember we once switched our dog to a so called low protein diet because our vet said so. Unfortunately he didn't tell us to do it gradually and the result was that our dog vomited everything he had eaten and his condition actually got worse. We ended up feeding him raw food like we had been doing his entire life and he lived 4 years more after the kidney failure diagnosis. He died when he was 14. Since then I'm very sceptical about so called low protein diets for dogs with kidney problems. I don't know how beneficial it can be in your case considering your dog has been on wheat diet for a long time. I'm just sharing experience.
Thank you for responding! We are on the grain free right now ... the problem is that most of the renal diets have some sort of wheat, etc. in them. It's been hard to figure this thing out. Cyclosporine did a great job - but it has ruined her kidneys and now I feel like a real idiot. So, trying hard to find a solution. I will look into a holistic vet to see if there is one in our area.

Thanks!
I must be missing something... wheat is grain, so how those renal diets can be called grain free? Perhaps the manufacturers call them grain free for marketing purposes but what I mean by grain free is food that does not contain any type of grains. No corn, rice, barley, wheat, millet. Anything of the type whatsoever including soy. I wouldn't trust those renal diets if they contain wheat, even if my vet told me they were good. Grain just can't be good for dogs. My motto is, when in doubt, go raw. Emotion: dog Meat and bones won't contain grains for sure. I hope you can really work something out so your dog feels better!
Hi Jenifer, maybe you should also look for a vet experienced in treating pets with classic homeopathy, which means prescribing just one remedy at a time and watching how the organism reacts before taking further actions. I've come to the conclusion that homeopathy is the only way to treat chronic conditions in people and pets because allopathic medications don't deal with the source of the problem, they only deal with the symptoms suppressing them; unfortunately, it often results in the situation when the disease you were fighting against is more or less gone, but, instead, other diseases or symptoms are brought about... This is really sad.
To Jennifer, I'm sorry about your pooch. This is a post a year later, but is in response to your question about making food for your dog. Please check out the book called: Dinner PAWsible by Susan Thixton. She explains everything and discusses how it's not so difficult to get started. Great book! She also has a website called truthaboutpetfood.com. Hope that this helps.
My lab is the same with allergy's we live on a farm and she would always steel corn cobs and eat them and she would loose hair and would be itchy all the time so we got food with no corn and took the corn cobs away from her when we saw her with one and she now just gets allergies and is itchy all the time so we got these kid anti itch pilly tablet things i don't know what they r called but they seemed to work for a long time....?