Is there an alternative to KD Diet out there?

littlesisAugust 10, 2009

My dog was put on KD Prescription when she had a bladder stone, a few years ago. The stone was surgicaly removed and I have faithfully fed her KD since then. My husband's work is iffy right now, and this dog food is very expensive. Does anyone know of an alternative that is cheaper? The vet said if I feed her regular dog food, she will get stones again. Any advice would be appreciated!

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go get on the Natural Balance website see if they have anything. If nothing is listed e mail them - great people.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 6:51PM
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What kind of stones did your dog have? Whether or not she needs a special diet is based solely on the type of stone present.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 9:08PM
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I know what you mean about the expense, as we have both a dog and a cat on special vet food long-term for urinary problems.

I also know how expensive the treatment and hospitalization was when our pets were sick. Way more than the cost of the special food, not to mention their discomfort.

You know for sure your dog remains healthy on the KD. I don't know that I would take a chance by changing the food.

Could you try to cut corners in other ways?

Here is a link that might be useful: money saving tips

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 12:50AM
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My now on the Bridge mini Dachshund was "adopted" with 4 bladder stones - but of the type that required the canned C/D food - which was awful - and while Dachshunds love all food, this was tough. His were removed during his full body back and neck disc disease surgery so he was quite the sight - my brave guy. He had to stay on this food for 6 months, at which time he was X-Rayed to determine if there were any further crystals developed. There weren't and he was allowed to resume the normal gourmet diet of a Dachshund. Had there been new crystals it would have been C/D for life. In your current financial situation I can well understand that having your pet X-Rayed at this time to check for developing crystals would not be an option - but something to think about in the future. My guy had his major surgery at age 3 - he died at 12 and never developed another stone. But had he, it would have been back on the C/D. We now have an American Eskimo - a breed prone to stones - but so far so good - he is now 5 1/2 - and a true gourmand - but if necessary he would go on the "stone" food. It is even more expensive in Canada and I haven't really seen anything here that works quite the same way. You will get many opinions on many boards, but it is the balance apparently of what goes into the prescribed food that makes the difference. Coming home to find our guy peeing blood scared the heck out of me. At least I know the symptoms. I suffer from kidney stones - acid based - so I watch the oxalics and purines for both of us. Hope you are able to find a different food solution, but if not, the vet bills for treatment of any new stones will be far greater than continuing ont he K/D food. I know that pet foods have gone up in price alarmingly of late. I live in Canada and apparently pet foods cost less in the U.S. and I know your pet food increases have been high. Many Canadians who live near the border shop in U.S. for pet foods. We feed our guy Fromms which is made in the U.S. - price went up $2 for a small bag about 6 months ago and now another $3.00. Used to cost us about $17 a bag when we atarted on it - now it is nearly $25.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 12:35PM
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My cat was on feline KD for kidney disease. A company called Hi-Tor makes "neo diet" cat and dog foods which are suppose to be very close to the KD diets. It is non-RX and I've had to order it online when we've wanted it. It's often out of stock, apparently it's very popular. It can still be expensive with shipping, but IME has been cheaper than the KD- not to mention the cat liked it a lot more than she did the KD. I'm not positive it's identical enough to be used for kidney stones, but you could do some research to that end.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 4:06PM
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I can totally relate; one of my three cats is on the KD for kidney stones, but since we have to free feed her the other two eat the same food. So I am feeding three cats the expensive stuff.

The upside is that Lily has responded to this food so amazingly well that I wouldn't dare try to change it, risking her health. If the new food didn't work the vet bills would outweigh the cost of the KD a hundred times over.

Good luck, tell us what happens!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 10:29PM
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Pet peeve of mine. KIDNEY stones are NOT the same as BLADDER stones. They are 2 completely different anatomical locations, with completely different consequences, and completely different therapies for management and prevention.

KD is not made to prevent the formation of BLADDER stones, though it may help in cases of calcium oxalate (due to restricted calcium levels) or cysteine (due to restricted protein levels) stones. KD does help prevent KIDNEY stones in cases of renal failure because it has greatly reduced phosphorus levels, which is a major cause of KIDNEY stones in patients with kidney disease, which then worsens the kidney disease. KD does nothing to manage struvite stones, which are the most common bladder stones in dogs.

Struvite stones are NOT managed with diet- they are caused by urinary tract infection. All you have to do to prevent the recurrence of struvite stones is to prevent (or quickly manage) UTIs.

My own Max has had struvite stones twice. First time, he blocked and I had to remove the stones surgically. I cultured his urine and put him on ABX. The infection cleared according to culture. Unfortunately I did not check his urine culture on a routine basis and he got struvite stones again. This time, I cultured his urine, used the appropriate Abx, fed him SD to dissolve the stones (he didn't block 2nd time around), and continued to culture urine monthly for 6 months, then every 2 months, now every 6 months. He has been on regular commercial dog food since then and has not had any recurrences, only because when he cultures positive I treat him right away. Max is NOT on a restricted-protein diet; in fact he eats the same as my other dogs. There is no indication for a Rx diet because he had struvite stones.

You must ask your vet why the KD was prescribed and ask him/her if there are any other options. Purina makes NF which is comparable to KD as far as protein restriction, reduced sodium, phosphorus, and calcium. I don't think it will be any less expensive than KD though. Sometimes it is less expensive to do homemade diets, but it is time consuming, and you have to get the recipe from your vet or a veterinary nutritionist. Your vet can use BalanceIt to help him/her formulate an appropriate diet if necessary (you can't get an Rx diet from their website, just routine maintenance diets).

In any case, I wouldn't switch diets without consulting your vet. S/he needs to know that KD is getting very expensive for you (I know the prices have gone up quite a bit in the last year or so) and you need options.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 6:54PM
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