Clyde is an English bull terrier and a very handsome one at that!
Clyde suffers with a psychological condition called pica, which is the urge to eat inedible objects. He is a challenge to manage at home as it is impossible to say what he will decide to eat next! Things in his environment that he has ignored for years will suddenly become appealing snacks. As a result we have seen Clyde many times including his insides when we have to operate to remove objects which have caused a blockage. During these operations we have joked that Clyde should have a zip installed to make the surgery easier, the last time Clyde was operated on he had tried to fulfil this suggestion by eating a large piece of zip from a sleeping bag…….thank you Clyde!! Thankfully this was a while ago now.
Lately though Clyde’s mum received another blow; Clyde’s kidneys are starting to fail. We caught this very early; his mum is so in tune to him that she immediately noticed something was wrong. He had vomited a few times and had been a bit down. Clyde had recently chewed up a dust pan handle so his mum became suspicious and brought him to the surgery and he was admitted for x-rays. We noticed almost straight away that his breath was absolutely terrible; the more sensitive noses could smell it as soon as they walked into the ward! It was quite a distinctive smell too. We took the x-rays which were clear so we ran some blood samples in the practice laboratory. Clyde’s renal parameters showed that his kidneys were no longer working very well. The horrible breath was due to the high levels of urea in his blood, which can manifest in uremic breath. His kidneys would usually filter out and remove the urea to stop it getting to such high levels. We started Clyde on the medications, a trial of renal food, a specially formulated diet to reduce the workload on the kidneys and closely monitored his blood pressure. Clyde improved so we sent him home as soon as he was well enough.
He didn’t like the renal food much but his mum worked out a diet plan which suited him, appetite in renal patients is often reduced so to find a diet which temps them to eat and still reduces the work on the kidneys is important. Nearly 9 months on and Clyde is doing really well. He hasn’t had any pica indiscretions and his renal parameters have improved. Kidney failure is progressive and non-curable but if well managed the progression can be slowed and the side effects reduced leading to a good quality of life for longer. Dear Clyde is doing so well and still rocking the camera, long may it continue!