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Natural Canine Health Symposium

Herbs For Kidney Disease

Two Dogs Kidney DiseaseIf your dog is urinating frequently, drinking more or has suffered from numerous kidney infections, he may be in the early stages of kidney failure.  If your holistic vet makes this diagnosis, there are a few herbal options available to support the kidneys.

According to herbalist Greg Tilford, the main goal of herbal support is to increase the blood flow to the kidneys.  He theorizes that the kidneys are critically oxygen dependent and sensitive to poor circulation.  He recommends the following herbs:

Hawthorn (increases renal circulation)

Ginkgo (dilates and improves the tonicity of the blood vessels in the kidneys and reduces inflammation of the urinary tract)

Echinacea (works as an anti-bacterial)

Marshmallow (reduces inflammation)

Dandelion leaf (increases urine output)

You can prepare a recipe for your dog by combining equal parts of each of the above herbs in tincture.  Give a 1/4 teaspoon per 20 pounds twice daily, away from meals if possible.

Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh drinking water.  Other herbs that might be useful include alfalfa (increases the alkalinity of the urine), astragalus (strengthens kidney circulation), goldenrod (a kidney tonic), and couch grass (soothes inflammation and is easy on the kidneys).

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  • 13 Responses to Herbs For Kidney Disease

    1. I bought tictures of each herb how many drops of each my dog is 15 pds because of a enlarge belly he pees very little u say 1/4 but not sure of how many drops eash

    2. Ron

      Where can someone purchase the above herbs in tincture? This might be the last resort for my dog who has been diagnosed with advanced kidney failure and is set to be put down today.

    3. John

      I agree with Kelliann! Another thing you need to look at is that dogs (and people) with renal disease commonly have high potassium. Dandelion and hawthorn increase potassium levels which can ultimately lead to cardiac arrest! Nephrologists commonly instruct patients to consume LOW potassium diets. Research is all over the place about this. What are your credentials?

      There are numerous sources stating this but just in case you want to question me……here is one source
      Dandelion and hawthorn are contraindicated per the American Family Physician Journal: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0115/p283.html

    4. Cristina

      My dog has advanced kidney failure and the vet told us to put him down already. He is 17 years old but I still see him with the desire to live so I am not giving up on him. He has been with us since he was 1 month old and I will fight for him as long as I don’t see him in pain. I read all the comments above and the suggestions on the herbs to give your dog.
      Will these herbs help with dogs with advanced kidney failure? I thought I should point out that my dog is currently taking furosimide and benazapril. He has some fluid in his heart.
      Let me know if the herb would be safe to give. I feel my vet has given up on my dog so I have him at home and I am giving sub Q fluids below the skin. He sometimes has good days where he eats and other days he barely eats anything. He still loves to walk and loves dog treats and especially loves fresh roasted chicken

      • Wendy Hanson

        Do not give hawthorn for dog’s with advanced kidney failure. Hawthorn is a diuretic and can make kidney damage worse. The best treatment for kidney failure is fluid therapy but as your dog has fluid round the heart this may not be appropriate. Talk to your vet – preferably an internal medicine specialist as GP vets often do not know enough about this complex disease. Benazepril is fine and is usually used to treat proteinuria. Supplements that are safe to use are omega 3 fish oils [anitinflammatory] Co Enzyme Q10 – this can help to increase creatinine clearance and therefore reduce blood creatinine levels. And B vitamins, especially B12. Do not give anything supplements containing vitamin D. Damaged kidneys cannot convert D3 into its usable form so you may need to give Calcitriol [a prescription only form of activated vit D] Your dog may need iron but be careful not to overdose this. Vets can give iron injections.

    5. To start with the process of making the compost, you will need the grass itself. Dig out those that you find around your lawn and make sure that you remove all the traces of roots that you find attached to the soil.

    6. Kelliann

      How *dare* you suggest giving diuretic herbs to a dog in kidney failure? That is the most irresponsible thing I have ever heard. This article should be removed from this site before someone’s dog dies and you are sued for it. You have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about. And on top of that, you are recommending hawthorn, which acts like digitalis on the heart? What’s the matter with you?

      Next time I check here I hope I see this article *gone* before you do any more damage to innocent dogs by misinforming their owners.

      Lynne Parker, don’t do it. This is a dangerous recommendation.

      • Dogs Naturally
        Dogs Naturally

        Thank you for your response.
        In answer to your concerns, you might want to take the opportunity to research the two herbs you take exception to. Hawthorn is a medicinal food that has shown extremely low toxicity in the hundreds of animal studies that have been done on this herb in the last century. If a dog happens to be on a cardiac drug (this is a fairly rare situation), then a veterinary consult should be done before using as it can accelerate the action of the drugs. Otherwise, there are no recorded health risks or adverse events in the use of hawthorn.
        In regard to dandelion and its function as a diuretic, it has this effect simply because it is a urinary system tonic. It is widely held by most herbalists as one of the most useful herbs for urinary and liver conditions. The contraindications for dandelion are irritable conditions of the stomach and bowels and obstruction of the bile duct, neither of which applies to kidney disease.
        We do due diligence on our articles and the information presented in this article is from one of the leading animal herbologists in the field and this formula has been used safely and effectively on hundreds of animals, if not thousands. If you want to get riled up about kidney disease, I really suggest you write the manufacturers of pesticides and kibbles – they are the ones destroying dogs’ kidneys, we are simply helping dog owners to mop up their mess.
        It is up to readers to research any recommendations in regard to their dog’s health care, regardless of the source.

      • Wendy Hanson

        Totally agree with ally your comments.

    7. Lynne Parker

      Am I the only one who is not sure how to make a tincture? Is it just steeping the material in water, like making tea?

      • Dogs Naturally
        Dogs Naturally

        Tinctures are more concentrated than teas (30 drops would equal a cup of tea). Tinctures have a shelf life of a couple of years compared to two days or so for teas because they contain alcohol. Alcohol also works to extract more compounds out of the herb than water. Tinctures come ready made, you would purchase them from Whole Foods or a similar store. Teas you can make yourself with fresh or dried herbs.
        There are also decoctions and infusions. Infusions are used for leaves, flowers, berries and crushed seeds and decoctions are used for tougher parts of plants, including the bark and roots.

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