Which Enzymes Are Safe for Dogs with Liver or Kidney Disease?
When our canine companions get sick, it’s devastating. Especially when their ailment is difficult to diagnose. If only they could tell us where it hurts!
As pet parents, we want to do right by our fur-babies. On the flip side, we don’t want to “helicopter parent” our pets by calling the vet every time they sneeze, stumble or nap a little too long.
Sometimes, though, we know it’s time to call the doc. And ugh, that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you hear those dreaded words: liver disease, elevated enzymes, kidney failure …
We believe knowledge is power. The more you learn about your pup’s illness, the better equipped you’ll be to keep him comfortable during this tough time.
Today we’re going to arm you with the information you need. We’re going to talk about kidney and liver disease … more specifically, we’ll reveal which enzymes are safe for dogs with liver or kidney issues.
Which enzymes are safe for dogs with kidney or liver disease?
Today, you’ll learn:
- What are enzymes?
- Which enzymes are produced in the kidneys?
- Which enzymes are produced in the liver?
- Which enzymes are safe to give my dog if he has kidney and/or liver disease?
- Which supplements can help my dog’s kidney or liver issues?
Now before we dive in … some of our readers may be in a hurry to find the quick answer. We get it. Click here.
Sticking around to learn more? Awesome. Let’s explore those tiny little molecular enzymes zooming around inside your doggo.
What are enzymes?
QUICK ANSWER: Enzymes are molecules that speed up chemical reactions happening within cells.
Enzymes, particularly digestive enzymes, play a crucial role in your dog’s health. But sometimes Fido lacks all his necessary enzymes. A decrease in enzymes may be caused by the food he eats, or it could be because of his age or a health condition.
Common canine health conditions include liver and kidney disease or deficiency. When your pup experiences kidney or liver problems, you might consider giving him a supplement to rebalance his enzymes, vitamins and nutrients.
From a nutritional standpoint, we tend to talk about digestive enzymes … the ones that speed up the metabolism and help you burn calories.
There are three types of digestive enzymes:
- Amylase: breaks down starches and carbs into sugars
- Protease: breaks down proteins into amino acids
- Lipase: breaks down lipids—aka: oils and fats—into glycerol and fatty acids
Whoa … that’s a lot of medical mumbo jumbo. What does that have to do with my dog?
Stay with us ...
Which enzymes are produced in the kidneys?
QUICK ANSWER: The enzyme produced by the kidneys is called renin.
Renin regulates blood pressure, and sodium and potassium levels in the blood.
Your dog’s kidneys—those two small bean-shaped organs hiding under his ribs—act as filters. They get rid of unnecessary stuff in the blood, and they evacuate the body’s waste as urine.
When kidneys are damaged, renin enzymes kick into high gear
Excessive renin causes fluid and waste build up, which increases levels of sodium, potassium, phosphate, calcium … all kinds of bad stuff.
That’s when you’ll start to see symptoms of kidney disease, such as:
- fluid retention
- high blood pressure
- extreme lack of energy
- increased thirst
- increased urination
- dry coat
- flaky skin
- dry nose & paw pads
- bad breath
- decreased appetite
Once diagnosed, you may be advised to give your pooch dietary supplements to prevent or lessen further kidney damage. More on that later …
Which enzymes are produced in the liver?
QUICK ANSWER: There are 4 enzymes produced by the liver:
- ALP (alkaline phosphatase)
- ALT (alanine transaminase)
- AST (aspartate aminotransferase
- GGT (gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase)
The liver plays a vital role in your dog’s health. It breaks down nutrients from food then tosses out the bad stuff (by products) and turns the good stuff into energy.
The liver also stores certain vitamins, minerals and sugars to avoid a shortage.
When damaged, the liver leaks enzymes into the bloodstream
That’s why your vet does a blood test … she’s looking for elevated liver enzymes. If too many enzymes are found in the blood, it means they’re not where they should be—in the liver.
This may be a sign your dog has liver disease or deficiency (aka: hepatitis).
Other symptoms of liver problems include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
There are several treatment options for liver disease. Among them is adding dietary supplements designed to minimize or slow continued liver damage.
Which enzymes are safe for dogs with kidney and/or liver disease?
In the case of liver disease, we mentioned that your dog may be leaking his vital enzymes away from his liver and into his bloodstream. To counteract the deficiency, it’s safe to add those enzymes back into his diet.
Safe Enzymes for dogs with liver problems are: ALP, ALT, AST and GGT.
When it comes to the kidneys, it’s all about renin. Too much renin. Do not add more renin to a dog who is already producing too much.
Thank you, Captain Obvious!
Instead, consider adjusting his diet to include omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, and minimize his intake of protein, phosphorus and sodium.
Which supplements can help my dog’s kidney or liver issues?
Second to the heart and brain, the liver and kidneys are among the most important organs working round the clock to keep your dog healthy. Fortunately, PureForm has the high-quality supplements your doggo needs to support a long, happy and healthy life.
Here are some faves from your fellow pack leaders:
Have you had experience with canine liver or kidney disease? Share your story in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you.