High BUN Levels
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Luciano Freitas
Posted on: October 09, 2007

I dealing with problems with my sweet dog Ling who was diagnosed renal chronic failure. The vet has ask me to put her down although she has been doing well with acupuncture. I recently had her tested again and her BUN level is extremely high. Can you suggest any herbs I can try with her?

BUN stands for "Blood Urea Nitrogen". Urea is "a crystallizable substance found in urine, blood, lymph and all body fluids that is formed by the metabolism of protein and nucleic acids. The kidneys filter and reabsorb urea, with reabsorption governed mainly by the urinary flow rate." (Clinician’s Guide to Laboratory Medicine, 2nd Edition). Causes of elevated BUN can include: a variety of problems with kidney function, bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, the use of some steroids or antibiotics, congestive heart failure, to name a few. BUN levels are usually assessed in relation to creatinine levels (also found on your dog’s bloodwork report). When the BUN level increases, this means that there is less blood flow to the kidney, which in turn means less urine is excreted. This also usually means the creatinine level is increased which translates as renal insufficiency or kidney failure.

Given the sensitive nature of this condition and the fact that you and your dog should be monitored by a qualified professional in your area, I would like to refer you to the Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association (www.vbma.org). On their website you will see a section for "Find a Practitioner". Please click on this to find a veterinarian who can take a full case history and suggest herbs or other treatments based on your dog’s specific needs.

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