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Hound Dog Mom
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Hi Srmeadow –

Does your dog currently have stuvites or have they been dissolved? Does your dog currently have a urinary tract infection? Stuvites only require treatment if the dog has a UTI and having stuvites does not require being on a prescription food or low protein diet for life.

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From Merck’s Veterinary Manual:

“Struvite crystals are commonly observed in canine and feline urine. Struvite crystalluria in dogs is not a problem unless there is a concurrent bacterial urinary tract infection with a urease-producing microbe. Without an infection, struvite crystals in dogs will not be associated with struvite urolith formation.”

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An article on Struvites written by CJ Puotinen and Mary Straus published in Whole Dog Journal states:

“Struvite crystals do not require a change in diet. Because struvite crystals do not pose a problem unless the dog has a urinary tract infection, there is no required treatment for crystals, including dietary changes. If the dog does have a urinary tract infection, a prescription dog food will not cure it.”

“If your veterinarian finds struvite crystals in the urine and suggests a diet change, you’d be well advised to find a new vet. You have to wonder how many other things he or she is misinformed about. It isn’t just a case of not keeping up with newer research; this recommendation is just plain wrong.”

“Dogs prone to forming struvite stones should not be kept on a special diet for life. Struvites almost always form because of infections, for which dogs with a history of stones should be closely monitored and properly treated. No long-term dietary change is required, nor will a special diet prevent the formation of infection-induced struvites. However, short-term changes may help speed the dissolution of stones.”

“Low-protein diets do not prevent stone formation. A low-protein diet can speed the dissolution of struvite stones — when accompanied by appropriate antibiotic treatment — but it is not necessary for the prevention of struvite formation in dogs who are prone to this problem. For almost all dogs, controlling infections will prevent more stones from forming.”

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To prevent the re-occurrence of struvites it’s recommended to do the following:

-Closely monitor your dog’s urinary pH to detect UTIs (dogs should have a pH of between 5.5 and 7.0).

-Supplement with cranberry capsules. Compounds found in cranberries help to prevent bacteria from attaching to the tissue that lines the bladder and urinary tract.

-Supplement with probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria. A healthy population of beneficial bacteria in the dog’s system will help to combat any unhealthy bacteria (such as the bacteria that causes UTIs).

-Vitamin C is often recommended for dogs prone to UTIs due to its antiiinflammatory properties.

-Uva Ursi is an herb often used to treat UTIs due to its anti-bacteria properties. It should only be used intermittently for short periods of time.