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Other nutrition requirements of animals with renal failure

Ionic equilibrium and replenishment of trace elements Manhattan Veterinary Hospital/Dr David Tan

Excessive protein intake is one of the main causes of deteriorating renal function in animals. Once the amount of protein intake is put under control, additional carbohydrates and fats are used to make up for the shortfall in calories. To avoid other complications in animals with renal failure, care should be taken to balance the intake of vitamins, ions and trace elements.

Ion content

There are two things to watch out for in terms of ion content: 1. Equilibrium between calcium and phosphate2. Equilibrium between sodium and potassium.

Replenishment of vitamins and trace elements

For animals with renal failure, vitamin D will help boost calcium absorption. The loss of water-soluble vitamins due to thirst and frequent urination can be countered by administering vitamin B and vitamin C.

L-Arginine has similar characteristics to ACE inhibitors in that it can rapidly lower blood pressure. The adding of L-Arginine is therefore recommended for patients with chronic renal failure for controlling blood pressure.

In terms of trace elements, proteinuria means patients with renal failure lose large amounts of copper and zinc, resulting in a deficiency of trace elements. A suitable amount of copper and zinc must therefore be replenished through the diet.

Finally, some water-soluble fiber should be given to animals with renal failure. Water-soluble fiber promotes the growth of probiotics in the gut. Research has shown that probiotics (such as Bifidobacteria and Bifidobacterium Longum) can digest urea in the digestive tracts and help reduce the amount of urea. Giving water-soluble fiber to an animal with renal failure can therefore be helpful.

(This article was also featured in the July issue of the Dogs and Cats Health Magazine published by the U.S. Pet Food Institute.)

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