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    In reply to: Struvite Crystals


    I have a 10yro doxy she’s been paryllized from waist down
    for 6yrs she has urinary tract infections constantly
    I feed her canned food with extra water added to it and put some dry food in it also put cranberry capsules in it what else can I do she still has infection do I need different food


    I don’t know, are they concerned about bladder stones?
    “Phosphates are used as dietary supplements for patients who are unable to get enough phosphorus in their regular diet, usually because of certain illnesses or diseases”.
    “Phosphate is the drug form (salt) of phosphorus. Some phosphates are used to make the urine more acid, which helps treat certain urinary tract infections. Some phosphates are used to prevent the formation of calcium stones in the urinary tract”.

    Just a guess…. You could ask your traditional vet for his opinion, leave a message for him to call you back when he has a minute, just to ask him a quick question.

    You may find that homeopathic vets and traditional vets often don’t agree on treatment modalities. Then you will have to decide which one you want to believe.


    Another thing I forgot to mention is that you might want to ask your vet about a good probiotic to give your pup. They are often recommended for urinary tract infections and especially after taking antibiotics to help normalize your pup’s tummy flora.

    Alex p

    Dry food is low mess and well formulated, so it’s a popular option. It’s no less nutritious or less “fresh” than wet foods.

    Dry food in the past was the cause of urinary tract infections in dog, but manufacturers have altered the pH level of their formulations.Dogs fed on a well-formulated dry-food diet don’t run a higher risk of urinary tract disease if they’re drinking enough water. If your dog doesn’t, it’s a good idea to feed it a canned-food diet, which has a higher water content.

    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by Alex p.

    Hi Frankie B-

    Yay! Another cat person! How old is your kitty and how long have you had her?

    Even though Nulo is a great kibble and having a water fountain is an excellent way to try to get her to drink more, don’t give up on the wet food! Especially if she is an indoor kitty that doesn’t have the opportunity to hunt fresh meat.

    I am going to post links to my favorite sites that have some great ideas on how to get your cats to eat canned food:

    Wet food is so much better for their urinary tracts and kidneys. I feed about 70% wet and 30% dry at this time. Many of the feline vet specialists agree that feeding cheap canned food is still better than an expensive dry kibble.

    Females are not as likely to suffer from a urinary tract blockage as males, but they are susceptible to urinary and kidney infections and stones.

    Apparently, there was a cat food adviser in the works, but it took a back seat to the Editor’s Choice section. Hopefully it will come back to life! I have been feeding my cats (4) Halo kibble recently with a variety of flavors and brands of canned. It took a while for my shelter kitty to eat wet, but now he prefers it.

    I hope you’ll come back and share some good kitty stuff with us! Take care.

    Raquel A

    Hello everyone!

    My name is Raquel Astacio and I run Doggy’s Digest along with my boyfriend, Alexis. We are a site dedicated to thoroughly covering the topic of probiotics for dogs. I originally reached out to Dog Food Advisor to see if we could contribute a post; unfortunately they do not accept any but did say we can post in the forums.

    Many dog owners are not aware about canine probiotics and our mission at Doggy’s Digest is to help increase awareness. I am posting the original article that I was going to contribute to Dog Food Advisor. If this is an inconvenience or violates guidelines, please do let me know. If you find the content informative and have questions, please let me know and I will be more than happy to answer! Thank you.


    The Benefits of Canine Probiotics

    For years now, we as humans have been learning the many health benefits of probiotics. Just like humans, dogs need healthy food, plenty of exercise, vitamins, and probiotics in order to be in optimum health. Probiotics are bacteria and live yeasts that improve overall health, especially in regards to our digestive systems. We usually think of all bacteria as being harmful and causing diseases. When we hear the word “bacteria” we think of antibacterial products and antibiotics that we use to destroy unhealthy bacteria.

    So why would we want to willingly ingest or feed something to our dogs that has live bacteria in it? The answer is that digestive systems naturally consist of a correct balance of both “good” and “bad” bacteria. Illnesses, diet, medications, and our environment can upset this balance that is needed to stay healthy. The bacteria from probiotics is healthy bacteria. The microorganisms in probiotics are actually alive. They produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria. They can greatly improve a host’s gut and overall health when ingested in the proper amounts.
    Probiotics are a relatively new, healthy trend in the dog and pet industry. People are realizing how essential it is to provide their pets with healthy supplements to their diet. Probiotics promote a healthy gastrointestinal system and intestinal balance in your dog. The healthy bacteria can also build up the immune system.

    Veterinarians prescribe probiotics for many different conditions. They are recommended for dogs who suffer from SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), chronic diarrhea, auto-immune disorders, skin problems, irritable bowel, and intestinal infections like Giardia and Clostridia. They may even reduce allergic reactions and prevent urinary tract infections.

    Once you have decided to provide your dog with probiotics, how do you choose which kind to use? It is first important to make sure that you are getting a quality product. New canine probiotics are being advertised all the time and dog food brands are adding probiotics to their foods. The challenge is that dog probiotics, like all probiotics, are live cultures that are unstable in their active states (yogurts or liquid-containing products). When exposed to extreme conditions, much of the bacteria can die off and lose their beneficial properties before reaching the intestine. This is the case for a lot of canine probiotics. This means that you need to choose a quality brand that has taken these things into account and are not just cheap probiotics added to a brand for marketing purposes.

    It is first important to check the kinds and amounts of probiotic strains and amount of CFU in the probiotic. Look for 2-4 billion CFU and 8 or less strains of bacteria. Significantly less CFU may not provide any added benefits to your dog’s diet, and much higher CFU and a high number of strains may be indicators of possible harmful combinations.

    Probiotics come in various forms: maintenance, intermediate, and concentrated. Maintenance probiotics are usually in powder or granule form and are used to combat everyday stress such as changes in environment or being left alone. Intermediate probiotics are usually powders and fed to your dog daily to deal with chronic stress and digestive issues. Finally, concentrated probiotics come in pastes or liquids and are temporarily used for the duration of a pet’s illness.

    For everyday uses, probiotics in dry form are good options to consider. These provide a healthy and convenient option for dog owners. They contain stabilized strains of bacteria that will come back to life once they have reached the dog’s stomach. They then move to the intestines and multiply hundreds of times. Since they are not in an unstable, liquid form, they do not require refrigeration. It is simple to sprinkle these probiotics on your dog’s food.

    Freeze-dried probiotics are another viable option. These probiotic microorganisms do not lose any of their potency or viability until they are mixed with water. This will happen naturally during digestion.

    Whichever probiotic product you choose, you must be sure to store and use them properly. If you are using powder or granules, keep them closed and dry until feeding time. You may freeze dried forms once, but they may not be repeatedly frozen and thawed. If you choose a paste or liquid form, it must be refrigerated but cannot be frozen. Lastly, follow label instructions for proper dosage. Canine probiotics can be a wonderfully healthy addition to your dog’s diet and improve their vitality for years to come.


    Please let me know if you have any questions. I hope you enjoyed the post!

    • This topic was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Raquel A.
    • This topic was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Raquel A.
    • This topic was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Raquel A.
    Lara B

    Hi all,

    Many years ago, my dog used to get urinary tract infections (UTIs) constantly, but then, I put her on Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d and it has worked well for many years. Now, I am considering moving to a different product with higher ratings and better nutritional content. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thank you so much in advance!


    This dog had 18 to 20 stones, one the size of a quarter, that all had to be surgically removed. It was not just an infection. This was a potential life threatening situation if it were to totally block his urinary tract. For some reason something is out of balance in this dog’s system causing these crystals and/or stones to form. In my opinion, it is absolutely correct for the vet to recommend the Rx food. You have already had three of them agree on it! I don’t believe they are just trying to “fatten” their wallets. This type of prescription food has been tested and proven to prevent and even dissolve the stones depending on what type they are. I’m pretty sure that just about every traditional vet is going to give you the same opinion.

    It is definitely best to feed the canned food over the kibble in order to try and flush out the crystals as well as get his system back in balance. The average pet owner is most likely not willing to put out the extra work to find a more species appropriate way of handling this dog’s diet. Since you do seem to be willing, try and find a holistic vet or one that specializes in pet nutrition to find a way to feed your dog appropriately without having to feed him Rx food for life. Also, if stress is possibly a factor, talk to your vet about ways to alleviate that as well. I have my cat on an anti-anxiety pill. If the stones are due to frequent infections, you will most likely have to find some way for that dog to have more opportunities to pee to help alleviate those as well. Good luck!


    How can I prevent my dog from developing struvite bladder stones in the future?

    Dogs that have experienced struvite bladder stones will often be fed a therapeutic diet for life. Diets lower in protein, phosphorus and magnesium and promote acidic urine are recommended. The preventative diet is NOT the same as the diet that promotes dissolution of the stones. In certain cases, medications to acidify the urine may be required. In addition, careful routine monitoring of the urine to detect any signs of bacterial infection is also recommended. Bladder x-rays and urinalysis will be performed one month after successful treatment, dietary or surgical, and then every three to six months for life. Dogs displaying any clinical signs of urinary tract infections such as frequent urination, urinating in unusual places, painful urination or the presence of blood in the urine should be evaluated immediately. Keep in mind that the greatest risk factor for developing struvite bladder stones in the dog is a urinary tract infection.

    Above link is an excerpt from:

    Carrie K

    I couldn’t find a way to search through the archives of the forums, so I apologize if this has already been answered somewhere else. My 2.5 year old shepherd mix (Chewbacca) has had some pretty gnarly urinary tract infections in the last five months, and our vet thought it could be due to her food. We switched both her and my boxer (Diosa) to Fromm’s Gold from Natural Balance about six months ago, and the boxer hasn’t had any issues (in fact, she’s improved and some health issues she was having on the old food went away).

    This may not be related to the food, but Chewie also recently developed a taste for the poo in the yard – she used to only have a snack in the winter when everything was frozen solid (we live in the upper Midwest), but now it’s nearly constant, even in the spring/early summer (i.e. she’ll go back outside after Diosa does her business and clean it up). Could that also be related to the food? Has anyone else had something like this happen after switching brands? I’m just looking for some guidance, I guess…we’re looking at switching them to Orijen instead, so I’m mostly curious if anyone else’s dog has UTI issues or poo-eating related to their food intake.


    I’m a little late to this, but I was just wondering if you had an update with your kitty and her new litter/clay?

    I have two cats that I would like to introduce to new litter, but I’m partially worried it may not go as planned. Both cats are males, but the smaller one used to be prone to urinary tract infections (I believe due to previously used litter…hasn’t happened since I switched brands). I don’t want to aggravate another infection just in case. Does a “clay” litter work as well or is there a specific difference with it?

    Sorry if you don’t know the answer, I’m not quite sure where to go with this question. 🙂


    In reply to: Struvite Crystals

    Nate D

    Been doing some research and happened to find a page with a bunch of urine ph levels for different brands of cat/dog food.—Crystals—Symptoms,-Causes,-and-Treatment&id=2943114

    Looks like Fromm is good, but I need to switch to the grain free.


    I’m fortunate enough to have 3 dogs and no UTI’s the past 7 years. I feed a high moisture diet (raw and canned), never just plain dry kibble. I also give a bladder supplement with cranberry and d-mannose (and other herbs) and I give probiotics. I also used to monitor my dogs’ urine pH using home pH test strips. Hopefully someone who’s actually dealt with UTI’s will give some input.

    Lauren M

    Hey guys, I was wondering if I could get some advice on what kind of dog food to feed my dog. She is almost two years old, she’s fixed, and she has had three urinary tract infections within the past six months. The first time I took her to the vet they discovered that she had a tilted vulva so she may be prone to UTI’s, but did not give me any further instruction (besides antibiotics for treatment). The second time I took her to the vet they prescribed her Hills Canine C/D. After doing some research, this food is extremely expensive! I have looked up Royal Canin as well, but it’s even more expensive. Right now my dog eats Diamond Naturals and after reading some reviews, I definitely want to get her off of this food.

    I want the best for my dog so if Hills or Royal Canin is the best, then I will switch her over but before I make any decisions I wanted to get some feedback about what has worked best for others and what dog food is the best for UTI’s.

    I was also wondering about the Royal Canin Calming food for dogs. My dog also has severe separation anxiety and I was reading that the calming food may also help create a healthy environment in their urinary tract area. The only problem is that this food is for dogs under 33 pounds and my dog is 55 pounds.

    Any information about food and urinary tract infections is appreciated!


    I have 2 mini-dachshunds ages 7 and 9. They are not overweight in fact one only weighs 5.5 lbs. Both of them have had recurring urinary tract infections with struvite crystals. My dogs eat a raw diet (Natures Instinct) with NO grains at all. They also get plenty of water. My vet wants me to put them on Royal Canin urinary support food. For obvious reasons I don’t want to do that. Any suggestions on what to do?


    You’re absolutely correct, Case, EF is in Orijen (hence my temporary switch to Synergy). Perhaps not much and the strains are probably dead. However, the wrong strains used or overkill can cause various diseases or urinary tract infections. I guess my dogs are different considering thousands of people are shoveling that daily packet of bacteria down their pets’ throats & swear by it. Your dog is beautiful BTW. I want to put up a pic of Zoli & Cylus but I can’t seem to find that option in my settings.

    Anyway, thank you crazy4cats for your suggestions. I wrote it all down!


    My pups were having diarrhea on and off, then diagnosed for Giardia, then Campylobacter. After a second round of antibiotics, I figured a probiotic in the morning & a some enzymes at night would be helpful (especially with all the hundreds of astounding reviews for correcting runny stools & digestive issues). After a few days, the diarrhea became WORSE. Then I read that the Enterococcus faecium ingredient in probiotics or dog food is bad for dogs and causes urinary tract infections with that bacteria strain detected. I was expecting good results to no results but certainly not turning the stools into a sliding oatmeal texture. Side note: my pups are happy, strong & play hard with no signs of pain or illness otherwise. Does anyone know why this might be happening?


    In reply to: Bladder Cancer


    Dori, most of what I have read strongly suggests that transitional cell carcinoma in the urinary tract is possibly entirely environmental and in canines it’s suggested that’s it’s suspected causal agents may be certain flea control products and cyclophosphamide. Cyclophosphamide is ironically used as a chemotheraphy and autoimuune disorder agent. There are other predisposing factors such as repeated urinary infections, dogs required to hold their urine for lengthy periods, etc.

    Flea-control products (organophosphates and carbamate) and cyclophosphamide.

    Lisa F

    My 2 year old, 14lb mix of shi Tzu, Llasa, and Maltese keeps getting recurring gastritis. I have started her on probiotics and enzymes, however, I keep getting conflicting opinions on the type of food to feed her. Right now she is on Wellness Core. I’m not sure if too much protein is an issue, or if she should have some kibble with brown rice. She also gets recurrent urinary tract infections, so again, I am wondering if high protein is good or bad. I just started her on a product called Urinary Gold which is suppose to correct the pH of the bladder. Thank you for any help you can give me to get my baby on the right diet to normalize her stomach and bladder.

    Ron M

    This article has some age on it but found it interesting as I was not aware of the possible
    effects of probiotics.
    Maybe this is old science by now but I also read a different article stating close to the same.
    Full article:

    Snip from article.
    “Over the past several years, and most recently with increasing frequency, I have found urinary tract infections in cats and dogs with a particular strain of Enterococcus bacteria. Independently, I have come to scrutinize the ingredients of a myriad of boutique pet foods and have found a connection. Pets with Enterococcal urinary tract infection are eating these boutique foods that contain the bacteria”


    Hi Darcy, just wanted to say that kidney/urinary tract bacterial infections can bring on on a higher PH in themselves, as these bacteria produce enzymes that create a more amenable alkaline environment for themselves.

    Just some other thoughts you might investigate, not sure how much basis they have, l’m also wondering about the liquid kelp. Don’t know how much you are giving of this, but I imagine it would be a concentrated form of kelp, and much more bioavailable. Not sure if/how high iodine amounts and thyroid activity can effect PH, but I would also imagine the liquid form would also be very high in calcium and magnesium, 2 minerals that are very alkaline.

    Excess vitamin D/A could maybe be a factor also?, not sure how much cod liver oil you are giving. I prefer to use small amounts of whole meat liver (5 to 7%, from quality sources for A, D, and B vitamins) in the diet, and then use other fish oils (sardine, krill, anchovy, salmon) for omega 3’s.

    Lastly what quantity of ground eggshells are you adding to a pound of meat?


    He is gorgeous!! Congrats!

    Wet food is SO important for male cats! Luckily they are a lot smaller than dogs – I can feed my 10lb cat a commercial raw diet for less than a dollar a day. His coat is gorgeous, and it keeps urinary tract infections at bay! Ralph is on natures variety raw chicken. But even canned food is better than dry (Ralph only gets dry if I leave overnight without a pet sitter).

    I could do natures variety even cheaper, but the medallions are SO convenient!


    In reply to: First venture into raw


    Thanks patty! I can go buy some vice grips tomorrow…he did chomp them down, I guess I was just upset he didn’t chew more, which is probably against a dogs nature! I’m calmed down some now, it’s been four hours and he’s been fine so far.

    We are gonna start our other dog, LoJack (German shorthair mix) on raw as well, my boyfriend is now convinced this is the best choice for all our animals (our cat has been on a manufactured raw for almost two years to keep urinary tract infections and ear infections in check).

    Thanks for your help!


    HELP! I have a 14 yr old Jack Russell that cannot eat gluten(wheat), but is also having re-occuring UTI’s. My vet told me to find a high protein food without oxalates, much veggies or dairy. She was on Blue-Grain-free. Vet said it’s bad stuff, (and actually, I had a bad experience with consistency-My dog became ill after starting a new bag…Had to return it.) Then I tried Hill’s Grain Free Ideal Balance…Turkey flavor, and she’s also tried the salmon, but I’m not sure if it will be just as bad as the turkey reoccurring Urinary Tract Infections. Anyone tried Royal Canin Vet SO Dry food? It does have corn gluten in it. Any suggestions as my vet seems clueless. 🙁


    Hello all,

    I am considering switching my dogs to a raw diet. We have two 1.5-year-old Australian Cattle Dog Mixes. They are both rescue dogs. We adopted LoJack last October, and Quincy came home with us in July. Both of them came to us eating Science Diet, which we pretty much immediately threw out. I worked in a high-end pet store for years, and I am kind of a food snob when it comes to my pets. My cat, Ralph, has been on Nature’s Variety frozen chicken for over a year now, and does amazingly on it (for him, it has helped with his urinary tract infections). The dogs have eaten a variety of Nutrisource Grain-Free Salmon, Pure-Vita or Merrick dry kibble. My boyfriend and I are big on “Eat Local” and both of these companies seemed pretty good for commercial dog food. Now that we have graduated from grad school, we can start entertaining the idea of paying a little more to feed raw. When we just had LoJack he would also get raw meaty bones once in a while for his teeth, we haven’t tried giving Quincy those due to some digestive issues we’ve been struggling with.

    Anyways, I am thinking of originally starting with a pre-made raw, and possibly slowly adding in some other stuff. My boyfriend hunts, so hopefully we will have some venison this year for them, and we also live in the country so there is the possibility of contacting local butchers for organ meats and stuff. We already own a hand grinder for the meat (though we may invest in an electric one if we end up going with raw!).

    Anyways, what are your recommendations for pre-made diets? At this point, we would like to stick with a grind because of Quincy’s issues with chunkier food (I want to make sure that raw works before trying chunks, then slowly add chunks in to make sure we don’t cause issues). I am considering doing Nature’s Variety since it is balanced for cats and dogs, which would be nice, but it is also a little expensive, so I figured I would see if anyone else has any suggestions. I would also consider a pre-mix with ground meat.

    One last question – can they have venison bones? We saved a bunch from the deer we got last year and froze them, but I got worried about chronic wasting disease, so we have never tried them. They are thinner than the beef/bison bones we normally feed, so I worried about him swallowing chunks as well.

    Molly, LoJack and Quincy (and Ralph the cat)

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Julie –

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you and Bentley and going through. You must be so frustrated. 🙁

    Have you had Bentley tested for an IgA deficiency? German Shepherds are one of the breeds predisposed to IgA deficiencies. IgA or Immunoglobulin A is one class of immunoglobulin proteins known as antibodies. The purpose of IgA antibodies, specifically, involves the skin, respiratory passages, the digestive tract and exposed parts of the reproductive system or urinary system. Some common symptoms are skin infections, urinary tract infections, pustules, nasal discharge and diarrhea. Dogs with IgA deficiencies are prone to developing allergies and immune-mediated dysfunctions. I would encourage you to have your vet do a blood test for this.


    In reply to: Enterococcus Faecium

    A number of years ago I bought a puppy from a large show kennel that had some undetermined GI issues. The pup was put on multiple doses of antibiotics by his breeder, and later by my vets, which eventually caused him to develop SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth) and “leaky gut syndrome”. I spent 5 years trying to resolve his GI issues…including researching probiotics that would help re-balance the flora in his gut. After finding negative reports about E. Faecium being opportunistic and potentially pathogenic due to its persistent colonization, as well as being prone to becoming antibiotic resistant I called one pet food company to discuss which strains of E. Faecium they used as a probiotic…I let them know that it was the specific strain I had found the bad reports on. However, I doubt that they made any changes to their product based on my phone call. Bottom line…it is my opinion that there are a lot of lactic acid producing strains of probiotics that are MUCH safer to use than ANY of the E. Faecium strains, so its my personal preference to protect my pets, myself and my grandchildren from exposure to it by avoiding any pet food that contains E. Faecium as a probiotic. As a side note, the reason the manufacturers like it, is because not only does it persist on almost any surface, it resists heat up to 160 degrees…which in my book makes it even more dangerous to my pets and myself.

    I’ve changed computers a number of times since doing my initial research, so don’t have links to all of the articles handy, but doing a quick search, here are a few that you might find interesting…

    A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Enterococcus faecium

    Enterococcus spp

    Transmission of opportunistic pathogens in a veterinary teaching hospital.

    Dogs Are a Reservoir of Ampicillin-Resistant Enterococcus faecium Lineages Associated with Human Infections[down-pointing small open triangle]

    Characterization of Tn1546 in Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecium Isolated from Canine Urinary Tract Infections: Evidence of Gene Exchange between Human and Animal Enterococci

    Monitoring of antimicrobial resistance in healthy dogs: first report of canine ampicillin-resistant Enterococcus faecium clonal complex 17.

    Resident Cats in Small Animal Veterinary Hospitals Carry Multi-Drug Resistant Enterococci and are Likely Involved in Cross-Contamination of the Hospital Environment

    Prevalence, species distribution and antimicrobial resistance of enterococci isolated from dogs and cats in the United States.

    Epidemic and Nonepidemic Multidrug-Resistant Enterococcus faecium

    Multiple-Drug Resistant Enterococci: The Nature of the Problem and an Agenda for the Future

    Please note that many of these articles are not “new” findings, yet the use of E. Faecium as a probiotic on pet food persists. While it may not cause any issues in a healthy animal or person, I do believe it does present a risk that most people are unaware of, especially in those with compromised immune systems. I think its wise to make informed choices, so I hope that you find the above links helpful.


    In reply to: Struvite Crystals

    Hound Dog Mom

    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.


    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.”


    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.”


    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.


    Speaking from experience, “UTIs” are often caused by toxic exposures. Some toxins are so harsh that they irritate the bladder lining (interstitial cystitis). It can be so painful it feels like the worse bladder infection you’ve ever had. Some of the chemicals actually burn the delicate urinary tract, even to the point of causing bleeding and allowing infection to take hold. I’ve had them. Sonya (my 16 yr old Toxically Injured Pom) also gets them. Following exposures I can expect Sonya to have to go every 30 min. or more. The more compromised the immune system, the more probable it is that any toxic substances your pet is exposed to are going to end up being eliminated without first being broken down into less toxic, or non-toxic by products.

    Jackie mentioned better quality, fresh food. Excellent advice! The better quality food, the more nutrients available to help your dog’s system deal with the event. The more water consumed the more dilute the chemicals, and flushing helps. Making milk thistle diffusions, cooling it and giving it to your pup will soothe and protect the dogs kidneys, ureters, bladder & urethra. Avoiding grains is important. Grains are sugars, sugars feed the bad bacteria in the infection. So check that “prescription diet.” If it is carb heavy, don’t feed it!!!


    Sometimes adding some vinegar helps.


    My dog Gilly is 2 and has had a few UTIs this year. Now on prescription food, drinking only distilled water from circulating fountain. I am hopeful that this will do it!

    Jackie B

    My rescued poodle had chronic urinary tract infections for the first 9 months after we got him. These are not as common in male dogs, but he had been a stray, so who knows what bacteria he’d picked up. According to the vet, UTI’s are very painful. They also caused my poodle to have to pee very frequently and sometimes in the house. The vet will give you a round of antibiotics to treat the initial infection.

    One way to keep UTI’s from coming back that worked for my poodle was increased moisture intake. I only feed him moist food (no kibble! I feed a rotation of commercial raw foods, pre-mixes with raw meat, canned food, and some homemade balanced recipes) and purchased a circulating pet water fountain for him (you can get them online). He hasn’t had another UTI in a whole year.

    Things the vet recommended were adding salt to his food so he would drink more and buying some nasty prescription dog food. But you don’t need to do that stuff. Just increase moisture. Even if your dog doesn’t suffer from UTI’s, it can’t hurt to put them on a diet that is fresher and with more water. Domestic animals (cats especially but dogs too) tend to dehydrate when on a kibble-only diet.

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