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** UPDATE: I spoke with Rusty & Stickers Vet regarding grain free diet. She has the same response as their breeder. Kind of freaky, almost word for word! Bottom line, grain free foods are no doubt high in protein and fat. There are many many conflicting opinions on this being an acceptable level of protein at (42%). Most food are between 20 -24%. She said she can NOT agree with those levels of protein. She said it's not worth the gamble of causing kidney issues down the road. Long term she feels the kidney work too hard , causing problems for the dog. She did say of course, the decision is ours to make but she doesn't agree with it. So after mulling this over with my Hubby, I've decided I just am not willing to take that chance. If "someday" either of my kids had kidney problems, I would always wonder if it was feeding those high levels over the years. SO, I will finish this bag and go back to feeding the Eagle Pack which has acceptable levels of both protein and fat.

She did suggest using a more natural approach to the Lip Fold Pyoderma. I will start a regimen with a kit by Oxifresh. They also make human products which the Vet uses?? They have a website if anyone is interested. She does think diet does matter, but he is a wet mouth Basset who LOVES to drool so that's just my boy!!

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** UPDATE: I spoke with Rusty & Stickers Vet regarding grain free diet. She has the same response as their breeder. Kind of freaky, almost word for word! Bottom line, grain free foods are no doubt high in protein and fat. There are many many conflicting opinions on this being an acceptable level of protein at (42%). Most food are between 20 -24%. She said she can NOT agree with those levels of protein. She said it's not worth the gamble of causing kidney issues down the road. Long term she feels the kidney work too hard , causing problems for the dog.[/b]

High Protein Kidney Disease
In one study, thirty-one dogs were divided into two groups and studied for four years after they had reached seven to eight years of age. Half of the group was fed a diet consisting of 34% protein and the other half received 18% protein. To make the animals even more susceptible to kidney changes, the researchers removed one kidney. ...The results: six dogs in the 18% protein group died, whereas only one in the 34% group did. Examination of kidney tissue showed no significant difference between the two groups in terms of kidney degeneration or disease. The fact that neither group experienced significant kidney disease, but that the group on the lower protein diet experienced a higher mortality may speaks to the beneficial effects on the immune system of a higher protein diet.[/b]
Should we decrease the protein level in the diet of an ageing dog?
First trials were started as early as 1974. They were initiated by Drs PAQUIN and CLOCHE, from ROYAL CANIN Research Center. 4 groups of 4 Beagles (9 months old when the trial began), were fed with various diets differing from their proteic content: 20 up to 50 %, which represented 26 to 60 % of the energetic content.

The study kept going during the whole life of the animals. It ended up in 1987. At that time, there were only 7 surviving dogs out of the 16 initially present in the study.

This exceptionnally long term study allowed to confirm the very good adaptation of dogs towards high-protein diets. All the analyzed parameters did not permit to show any abnormality concerning the renal function, whatever the proteic intake was. Within the analysis performed along the study, no significative difference related to the diet was observed.

Renal injuries (diagnosed at the autopsy of the animals) were present in all dogs from 7 years old. They were not aggraved by high-protein diets. Maximal longevity was even observed in dogs fed the higher protein diets.

...The survival rate of senior healthy dogs seems to be higher with high-protein diets (Finco et coll,1992).
Protido-caloric malnutrition, even moderate, can disturb the immunitary response (Laflamme, 1997).
In 7 – 9 years old dogs, the muscular mass is better preserved with a high protein diet (46 %) rather than with a low-protein diet (16 %) (Kealy, 1998).[/b]
Are high protein diets harmful to my dog's kidneys?Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.
Are high protein diets harmful to my dog's kidneys?

A. A rumor has been going around that high protein diets cause kidney disease. This rumor is false. High protein pet foods are NOT harmful to a normal animal's kidneys. As an animal's body digests and metabolizes protein, nitrogen is released as a by-product. The excess nitrogen is excreted by the kidneys. A high protein diet produces more nitrogen by-products and the kidneys simply excrete the nitrogen in the urine. While you may think this would 'overwork' the kidneys and lead to possible kidney damage, this is not true. The kidney's filtering capabilities are so great that even one kidney is sufficient to sustain a normal life. There are many pets - and humans - living perfectly healthy lives with just one kidney.
The myth that high protein diets are harmful to kidneys probably started because, in the past, patients with kidney disease were commonly placed on low protein (and thus low nitrogen) diets. Now, we often put them on a diet that is not necessarily very low in protein, but contains protein that is more digestible so there are fewer nitrogen by-products. These diet changes are made merely because damaged kidneys may not be able to handle the excess nitrogen efficiently. In pets with existing kidney problems, nitrogen can become too high in the bloodstream, which can harm other tissues.

Unless your veterinarian has told you your pet has a kidney problem and it is severe enough to adjust the protein intake, you can feed your pet a high protein diet without worrying about 'damaging' or 'stressing' your pet's kidneys. Also, you are not 'saving' your pet's kidneys by feeding a low protein diet.[/b]
<a href="" target="_blank">Mythology of Protein Restriction
for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function</a>Kenneth C. Bovée, DVM, MMedSc
Department of Clinical Studies School of Veterinary Medicine University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dietary protein restriction has been widely accepted as a form of nutritional management for animals with reduced renal function for over four decades. While scientific evidence has not been presented to justify this practice, it is rticularly used in dogs.

...In recent years, 10 experimental studies using dogs have been published that clarify the controversy of protein restriction. A multicenter study conducted in human medicine is also noteworthy to review. A number of false assumptions about the need for reduced protein intake in regard to renal disease have been perpetuated in the literature for many years, including:

n Increased urea load causes increased workload for the kidneys.
n High dietary protein intake injures kidneys.
n High dietary protein intake causes hyperkalemia.
n High dietary protein intake causes acidosis.
n Protein intake results in uremic toxins
n Reduced protein intake slows the progression of renal disease

Recent evidence in dogs challenges the validity of the above assumptions and redirects the questions about factors that lead to the progression of renal failure. The beliefs about protein restriction will be discussed as a medical myth. The question of why the practice of reduced protein intake persists despite the lack of supportive scientific evidence is explored.

...The notion that high protein feeding to dogs may be harmful was even adopted by the National Research Council (NRC) of
the National Academy of Sciences in 1972.{24} It was stated that high protein found in some commercial diets increases the workload of the liver and kidney and contributes to renal disease in dogs. There is no evidence to support this view, and the recommendation has been dropped. In contrast, there is evidence that high protein diets enhance renal function in normal dogs. This has led to confusion among veterinarians who have been told for decades that low protein diets may be beneficial for kidney function and therefore high protein diets may be deleterious
to normal dogs.

...Because of the confusion in the veterinary literature and the lack of evidence to support the use of reduced protein
diets, a number of experimental studies have been performed in recent years. These studies have utilized the
standard experimental model of reduced renal function and have addressed many questions when dogs received varied
forms and quantities of protein at different levels of renal function. These studies represent a major quantity of work
that required the sacrifice of hundreds of dogs to deliver in the aggregate a clarification of the possible role of dietary
protein in the initiation, maintenance, and progression of renal dysfunction.

Results of the 10 experimental studies on dogs have failed to provide evidence of the benefit of reduced dietary
protein to influence the course of renal failure.{27–36} The results of these studies should allow veterinarians to disabuse
themselves of the six assumptions related to protein intake set forth at the beginning of this article. It is clear that the
concept of increased workload, protein intake causing injury to the kidneys, and reduced protein intake slowing the
progression of renal disease are incorrect
Long-term renal responses to high dietary protein in dogs with 75% nephrectomy.
Dogs fed 56 and 27% protein had increased GFR and CPAH before and after reduction of renal mass compared to the 19% group. A pattern of deterioration of renal function, including proteinuria, was not found in any diet group. Nine of 11 dogs, fed 56, 27, or 19% protein had minimal glomerular lesions, including mesangial proliferation, GBM irregularities, adhesions, and sclerosis. Two other dogs, fed 56% protein, had more severe glomerular lesions. No significant ultrastructural differences were found in glomeruli among the three diet groups. These results do not support the hypothesis that high protein feeding had a significant adverse effect on either renal function of morphology in dogs with 75% nephrectomy.[/b]

Iams nutrition symposium reveals diet connection to major illnesses“For years, physicians and veterinarians have treated renal failure by reducing protein levels in diets,” said Gregory Reinhart PhD, an Iams researcher. “After working with leading universities, we have now found that restricting protein in a dog's diet may do more harm than good by potentially putting the companion animal at risk of protein malnutrition.”

The medical evidence does not support the theory.

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