Saturday, March 12, 2016

Mia Update: Watching Your Best Friend Age

For those of you who don't know, I have another dog named Mia.  She's not technically my dog, she's my parents' dog.  But I was 11 when we got her so I grew up with her and was the one responsible for much (well, all) of her training and exercise.  She was my best friend growing up; we went on a lot of adventures together.  She's one of those dogs who's just naturally well behaved and people oriented.

She was remarkably healthy and active for the first 9 or so years of her life.  I'd take her hiking and people would be like "Ahhh, how old's your puppy?"  I'd tell them she's 9, and they'd say "9 months?"

This changed a couple years ago when she was diagnosed with kidney disease.  She became incontinent.  She got on medications and a "renal friendly" diet and seemed to be doing better.  At some point a year or so ago I became concerned with the ingredients in her prescription diet (nothing that looked like real food, just chemicals and fillers) and began doing research on diets for dogs with kidney disease.  Some of the key points were they had to have a higher percentage of calcium:phosphorus in a balanced ratio, plenty of antioxidants, and low in protein (more important in the later stages of the disease).  I looked at the brands we sold at work and examined their nutritional values and ingredients lists.  I ultimately decided on Blue Buffalo's senior formula despite the recent controversy about their ingredients.  They had a relatively low protein content, high calcium:phosphorus levels, and were full of antioxidants.  The nutritional values were actually very similar to the prescription diet, the ingredients were the main difference.  Real meats, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Well, Mia's been on the new diet for a while now, and she recently went back to the vet, and her kidney values are perfect!  I'm so glad she's doing well on this diet, because I feel so much better about Blue Buffalo's ingredients than Hill's.

The bad news: she has heart disease now.  :( :( :(

She's on medications that should help.

It's just hard watching your best friend age.

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