Help for Dog With High BUN

Elevated blood urea nitrogen alone is not a problem.

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Q. We have a female Lhasa Apso, 13 years old, with slightly elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN), but at the lowest end of the range. My wife would like to know what can be done through diet or supplementation to help this condition.

A. A slightly elevated BUN without any signs of illness is probably nothing to worry about.
 
BUN is a standard part of most blood chemistry screenings to evaluate kidney function. BUN usually is linked with another test, creatinine, which tends to rise along with BUN as kidney function decreases.
 
An elevated BUN with normal creatinine could accompany a bleeding ulcer in the stomach or small intestines. When blood is digested, the byproduct is BUN, which will cause levels to rise. However, ulcers are usually associated with vomiting, a loss of appetite or anemia. Usually the elevation in BUN is quite significant, and not minimal, as your letter suggests.
 
As long as your Lhasa continues to do well, I would not make any adjustments to diet, or suggest any supplements.
 
In about six months, you may want to have your veterinarian recheck the BUN level. In the meantime, be observant for any signs that might suggest GI bleeding, as discussed above.

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