Q. Treatment & diet recommendation for Fanconi disease with stage 3-4 kidney failure
DR. CHRISTIE LONG, D.V.M., C.V.A.
A. I'm sorry you've gotten this challenging diagnosis on your dog. The treatment for kidney failure in its acute phase usually centers around what we call "diuresis", which means hospitalization with fairly aggressive IV fluid therapy in order to help the kidneys "rest" while the extra fluid load flushes toxins from the body, which is the kidneys' job. Some specialty centers have actual dialysis, which is the mainstay of therapy for human kidney failure but isn't widely available in veterinary medicine.
Also we try to control and treat the symptoms of the failing kidneys. This usually involves anti-nausea drugs and drugs to control the excess acid in the GI tract.
Sometimes with Fanconi's syndrome we have to add bicarbonate to the fluids in order to control the blood pH. Potassium supplementation may also have to be given; like pH this depends on the current blood level of potassium. We also sometimes provide amino acid supplementation as well. Basically we are trying to replace what the kidneys are losing.
As far as diet goes we typically feed the standard prescription renal diets, which are low in protein and phosphorus. And as these dogs are susceptible to urinary tract infections it's recommended to monitor the urine with a urine culture every 6 months, to look for infection.