Early in 2020, 13-year-old re-homed, retired racing Greyhound Beanie began to lose weight at the same time as needing to go to the toilet several times a night. Despite not being a young dog, her amazing parents were not simply prepared to accept that their beloved girl might be nearing the end. There was nothing wrong with her appetite, but despite being constantly hungry and eating everything they put in front of her, she continued to lose weight.
They took her to the vet where after a series of tests, Beanie was diagnosed with having excess protein in her urine. She had a good strong heart, no sign of diabetes, but spots on her liver. Biopsies were taken and both her liver and her spleen were cancer free, and the white patches on her liver were simply put down to being age-related.
At this stage the clients decided that Beanie had been through enough. Importantly for them, cancer had been ruled out, and since the vet had been unable to explain the excess protein in the dog’s urine (had not provided them with a proper diagnosis), and not been able to provide dietary advice other than to increase the amount of protein in the dog’s diet, they put her treatment in my hands.
When the couple adopted Beanie, the clients had been told never to feed her protein. Whenever they had previously tried to adjust her rather bland commercial diet, she suffered a tummy upset. In fact at this stage whatever they fed here was going straight through her!
Notwithstanding this, and suspecting that she was actually suffering from proteinuria despite the fact a diagnosis had not been provided by her vet, I suggested a diet of 50% high quality protein with a moderate amount of fat to help her gain weight, and 50% carbohydrates in the form of sweet potatoes, rice, pasta, fruit and vegetables.
I also introduced by own Chicken Bone Broth into her diet as a flavour-enhancer, and my own Essential Calcium for Dogs as a phosphorus binder, together with salmon oil for its omega-3 benefits known to help sufferers of any form of kidney disease.
Introduced slowly, Beanie’s new dietary regime worked a treat. Within weeks she was gaining weight, her stools were perfectly normal (which they had never been ever since the clients had had the dog), and she was going through the night without waking the client to go out to the toilet.
“Now Beanie,” said the client when we spoke towards the end of March 2020, “There’s a thing. She has stopped getting us up in the night. Every night without fail she would wake us up and have to go out. Not any more. I feel we’ve got a handle on this and she is doing okay thanks to you!”