Any parent of a dog with kidney disease knows the importance of monitoring the dog's blood urea nitrogen levels, also referred to as BUN. When the kidneys don't function properly, waste products accumulate in the bloodstream, making your dog feel sick. Keeping those numbers down won't heal your dog's kidney problems, but it will make him feel better.
When your dog has too many nitrogen-based compounds in his blood, he has azotemia. Several things may cause azotemia, including kidney disease, infections, a high protein diet and gastrointestinal bleeding. In the case of a dog with renal disease, creatinine and urea are among the compounds that build up in the bloodstream, causing the dog to feel sick and present other symptoms including weakness, bad breath, weight loss, muscle wasting and a poor coat quality. Kidney transplant or dialysis isn't a viable option for the vast majority of pets, however the supplement Azodyl works to reduce azotemia.
How Azodyl Works
Azodyl's manufacturer, Vetoquinol, states that the supplement slows the progression of kidney disease through the use of a patented combination of beneficial bacteria. The premise behind Azodyl is built on enteric dialysis: The good bacteria go to work in the intestines, digesting the toxins and allowing them to be flushed out of the body to reduce azotemia.
Azodyl Side Effects
Azodyl's manufacturer does not list any potential side effects of the supplement, though some cat owners using the supplement report vomiting. As a supplement, Azodyl isn't subject to clinical trials, so you should discuss whether it's appropriate for your dog with your vet. If you decide your dog may benefit from this probiotic blend, your vet can determine the appropriate dose for your dog.
Using Adozyl Correctly
Unlike some other probiotics, Azodyl does not change the existing bacteria in your dog's intestinal tract, nor does it encourage new growth, so it must be used according to the manufacturer's instructions. This means it must be kept refrigerated and given to your dog as a whole capsule. Breaking or crushing it to sprinkle over your dog's food may render Azodyl ineffective.