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Discussion Starter #1
When Stomps was diagnosed with his heart problems, the vet suggested I go ahead and put him on a low-salt dog food. The brand he had was Purina. An 8-lb. bag was $20 or something in that area. Has anybody found a good low-salt dog food that isn't quite so expensive? Hopefully he'll be on this a long time, and that will add up! Thanks.
 

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what is the vet calling low-salt? i was feeding a food called Black Gold the "black bag" which i think had a low salt value,i don't know because i have no more bags lying around.I'm feeding a brand called Sportsmans Pride (which is the new sponser food here at Pinehawk Kennels) Premium Adult Formula it has salt level of minimum of 0.3%. don't know how much lower you need. i will not feed Purina ever again,just does not keep my dogs in the shape i need them to be. i trying the S.P. for now and if they hold up it stays if not it's back to the B.G. the Sportsmans Pride has just a little better formula than the Black Gold and it's $2.50 a bag cheaper. i get it for 19.50 a bag and buy 1000lbs at a time to get it that price and i got a few people who go in on the pallet with me so everyone makes out.
 

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This might be an unworkable suggestion, but have you thought about doing homemade for Stomps? That way, you could know for sure he was eating low to no salt. It doesn't have to be complicated, and I could do it with you because I've moved and am having so much trouble with dog foods that I've pretty well made up my mind to go back to homemade (as soon as I unearth the crockpot).

And homemade would certainly be cheaper than $20 for an 8 pound bag. :eek: :eek: :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The Purina dog food is a prescription kidney formula, and it has a maximum of 0.3% salt. I guess I'll just look up food and see how it compares to others. Normally I don't mind paying a premium for dog food, but $20/8-lb bag on top of his heart meds is going to be tough.

And I can't even manage to cook for myself, let alone my animals! ;) The only thing I'm good for in the kitchen is starting fires.
 

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Well, you've motivated me to do it. I swear, I've had it with these dog food companies. I understand it's a prescription food, but good gawd almighty! Who can afford $20/8 pounds? :blink: :eek: :eek:

In any case, good luck, and make sure to tell us what food you decide on and how Stomps likes it.
 

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what does it say on the bag of Purina? is it the purina-CV or something else? and what exactly are the dogs heart problems? if i may ask.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Stomps was just diagnosed as having heart disease a few days ago. Here's the story: He's at least 13 years old, probably older. His other organs appear to be in pretty good shape, but his heart is enlarged, there's some backwash from one section of the heart to another, it's not pumping as hard as it should, and the blood vessels leading out of his heart are enlarged. There was some lung congestion, but not a lot. His coughing (see previous post) was what sent me to the vet with him. The vet is very optimistic that with his meds (Lasix and Vetmedin), he'll live another couple of years. The food is Purina's prescription kidney health food (I walked to the kitchen to get the exact name and forgot it by the time I got to my computer) that the vet provided. (I love how they don't even ask if $20 for an 8-lb bag might be out of someone's reach.) I think switching him to a heart-healthy food would be just as good since his kidneys are in good shape. And it doesn't sound like there's much difference nutritionally between the kidney food and the heart food. I'll check into getting a script from the vet. The Hill's dog food in particular looked good (and was closer to what my budget will allow).

Both my dogs are seniors, so performance isn't an issue.

And Biscuit, kudos for cooking for your dogs. I gotta give you credit for that.

Thanks for your suggestions. I'll definitely check out those other foods.
 

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And it doesn't sound like there's much difference nutritionally between the kidney food and the heart food[/b]
It depends on which stage of kidney failure the food is for. Many kidney foods are low in protein which is not the best for an otherwise healthy dog that is gettting up in age. Older hounds are not as efficient at processing protein so they need a higher no lower protein level to maintain muscle mass. You will not the Royal cainine HC formula is not as reduced in protein as most kidney formulas for this very reason.
 

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what food were you feeding stomps b/4 this happened? i just think it could be a way for the vet to push a high price food onto you. he's up there in age 13 or more you say,i don't think you should have to change food if they are going to keep him on drugs for a few more years,Lasix will make him pee like a bandit,and having the proper sodium level is important also.i just feel if he loses to much fluid he could dehydrate. you do what the vet say's to do but these are some questions i would be asking,drugs for 2 more years?what's he charging you for them? i would keep some pedilyte on hand in case of dehydration.i'm sorry but i don't trust to many vets.i hope you do not think i'm be callous just like to find if there are different options.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I feel the same way you do (about not trusting vets). And I also wondered about giving a low-salt food to a dog on Lasix. I've been feeding him Iams Lamb and Rice, and frankly, I think I'm going to continue giving him that. I've been mixing the Purina in with it, but until I have a better idea of how the medications are going to affect him, I don't want to switch over to a completely different food. Thanks, Pinehawk, for typing the questions that had been lurking in my brain. That's why this board is so good--people tend to do whatever their vet says, even if it doesn't make complete sense to them. It's great to have people to bounce these things off of and get advice.
 

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Why don't you add maybe half a potato and a bit of yogurt when you feed him? I'm not a doctor, but if I recall correctly (which is debatable :blink: ), one of the problems with Lasix and similar is loss of minerals or something?

I mean, not that I'm trying to strongarm you into going homemade. Why, I would never do anything like that! :unsure: :p
 

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Low sodium diets along with diuretics have been used for multiple decades without out an issue to dehydration. Very much a red herring.

What is know is they lower the stress on the heart. Lower salt in take will lessen the quanity of diuretic the dog needs to take,


MANAGEMENT OF CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE IN THE DOG John D. Bonagura, DVM, DACVIM
DIURETIC THERAPY - Diuretics are given for two main reasons: 1) to diurese dogs with pulmonary edema or substantial body cavity effusions; and 2) to counteract the chronic sodium and water retention that characterizes chronic CHF. Diuretics are used with sodium-restricted diets to control edema.
...DIETS & NUTRICEUTICAL SUPPLEMENTS - A sodium-restricted diet is recommended once overt CHF has developed. Reducing sodium intake decreases the demand for diuretic therapy; however, reduced "salt" intake should not be accomplished at the expense of inadequate food intake. Low sodium diets are NOT indicated in asymptomatic heart disease. Rigid sodium restriction leads to activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Examples of low sodium canine diets in North America include (alphabetically): Alpo senior dry, Cycle senior dry, Hill's h/d diets, and Purina CNM CV. Kidney diets are moderately reduced in sodium, but also have low protein contents that may be undesirable in dogs with cardiac cachexia. Fatty acid supplementation, such as those found in fish oils, may decrease anorexia and counter cardiac cachexia. These fatty acids can reduce plasma levels of various cytokines (e.g., TNF) that are often increased in canine CHF. Freeman and colleagues have advocated combinations of EPA (about 30 to 40 mg/kg PO daily) and DHA (about 20 to 25 mg/kg PO daily). Anorexia in CHF is not uncommon, and can be related to complications of CHF, changes in diet, hospitalization, cytokines, and drug therapy. Occasionally the empirical use of an H-2 blocker is beneficial in reducing anorexia associated with right-sided CHF.[/b]
Congestive Heart Failure Ron Hines DVM PhD

Additive effects of a sodium chloride restricted diet and furosemide administration in healthy dogs

Clinical, echocardiographic, and neurohormonal effects of a sodium-restricted diet in dogs with heart failure.
 

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well leave it to mike to find the right info.[/b]

Billy if you read the links you will see that low salt and diuretic combination however is not a slam dunk there are some possible side effect not cause by using the diruetic alone and any benefit is slight to negledgeable. Whether the side effects are of importance or not would depend on indidivdual situations.


The one thing I am sure of however is If you don't trust the vet it is time for a new vet.

one of the problems with Lasix and similar is loss of minerals or something?[/b]
It is precisely because of this that lasix is the diuretic of choice for CHF. but when combined with other medication it can be problematic. If additional deuretic effect is needed it can be combine with other deuritics that do not scavange sodium and potassium.


One can also look at the economic side does the increase price in the lower sodium food offest by have to pay for fewer meds. If increase lasix with regular sodium intake is a cheap option that should be consider as well. As much as Betsy would like the practice of medicine to be a science their is to much that is unkown so their is still an art to it and not a single approach. Communication with the vet about concerns and options is always a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the info, Mike. It's going to take me a while to translate it to small English words, but I really appreciate your finding this for me. And to clarify, I don't distrust this vet, I distrust all vets. I've worked with dozens of large animal vets, small animal vets and even wild animal vets, and I appreciate most's dedication to their jobs, but I find that especially small animal vets tend to do only a cursory examination and then label the problem the most common thing (sometimes so obviously not the cause). I've had some horrific experiences of misdiagnoses I could go into but I won't. And I've known some brilliant vets who literally lay awake at night thinking about a case and what could be the problem. Unfortunately, none of the latter were my pets' vets. So I don't completely trust anything a vet says to me until I've backed it up with my own research and satisfied that gnawing in my gut that something isn't quite right. I don't want to debate this issue, but if vets put even a little more effort into diagnosis, the value of their care would increase exponentially. Just my opinion.
 
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