Bladder Stones and Diet

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Bladder Stones and Diet

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  • #123306 Report Abuse
    Tanya K

    Hello. I’m new to this forum but I have a question right off the bat. I have a 10 year old Shih Tzu/Poodle Mix. She had emergency surgery earlier this year to remove a calcium oxalate stone that was stuck in her urinary tract. She also had struvite stones. My vet put her on one food (then urinalysis) but her ph was too low. So, he prescribed her another supplement to raise the PH. Her PH is still too low. He had to discuss with another vet and both are seemingly mystified as to why they can’t get her PH higher. Basically, they are at a loss with what to do. So now she is on a new prescription food (and more urinalysis — omg, so many urinalysis tests!) So, his advice is to stay on the prescription food and do x-rays every so often to make sure she’s not getting stones again.

    I hate the thought of her being on this food forever. For one thing, I pride myself on having dogs who throw up next to never. She was previously on Earthborn Holistic but now she’s on one of the prescription diets and she’s constantly throwing up as is my other pooch (who the vet said was okay to eat that food as well.)

    Basically, I feel like if I have to get her x-rays every once in a while then why not feed her what she was already on? She’s eaten Earthborn for nearly her entire life. The only difference in diet before she got the stones were some Etta Says chews — those were the only things that were given that were different to what she normally had within the time frame it takes to develop stones.

    I am wondering if anyone else has done this … going against the vet’s counsel? I trust him as a vet, but I just figure wtf — this food is making her ill. It’s making my other dog ill. If they can’t get her PH to a happy medium then why not give her what she was eating before? Thoughts? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    #123308 Report Abuse

    Hi Tanya,

    if she is throwing up I would take the vet food back to vet office for a refund or exchange, tell receptionist what is happening & can you try a different brand WET vet diet, the receptionist will go & see vet & ask him, you shouldn’t have to pay again for another vet visit..
    ask can you try the Hill i/d™ Low Fat Canine Rice, Vegetable & Chicken formula,
    it Reduces risk of urinary stone formation, has OK ingredients & is LOW in fat, Shih Tzu are prone to pancreatitis, I wouldnt be feeding a 10 yr old a high fat diet maybe the vet diet she is eating is high in fat or she could be vomiting cause she has only ever been fed the one food her whole life, I always recommend to rotate between a few different brands so immune system strengthens, plus some dry dog foods are high in toxins, heavy metals & contaminates especially the fish dry foods..
    Here’s the Hill I/d vet diet to try just till you work out what your doing & stop her vomiting.

    Which vet diet was she put on
    Royal Canine S/O Urinary wet & dry or
    Hills C/d Multicare wet & dry formula’s?

    She should be on a wet vet diet not a dry vet diet…

    I’d be contacting a Vet Nutrionist & ask about making a home made balanced wet diet, or you can contact “Balance It” they have nutritionist who prepare special diets & you add Balance it powder to balance diet.

    also are you adding Vitamin C Powder to diet?

    Have a look at “D-Mannose” Pure Powder alot of people say its really good you also add cranberry powder aswell.

    Here’s a good link explaining how low protein isnt needed.

    Here’s a good face book group to join you dont have to feed raw or cooked but will get some good advise, “Raw & Holistic Cat & Dog Support Group”

    Also follow “Dr Judy Morgan”
    look thru her video’s link below,
    I’m pretty sure her 17 yr old dog has urinary problems & she cooks for him, her recipes are very easy. Even if you feed 1/2 cooked diet & another food…

    also here’s “Just For Dogs” special diets

    #123309 Report Abuse

    @ Tanya K
    Please listen to your vet instead of the internet and dog food marketing strategies.
    Dogs that get bladder stones often have a genetic predisposition (struvite and calcium oxalate are the most common), not enough water is another contributing factor.

    Please see my posts, example:


    #123319 Report Abuse
    Lori H

    Hi Tanya,

    You might want to look at the following website. My dog Buddy (long hair Chihuahua, Dachshund and Pomeranian) has been through a lot, much like your dog. He had so many medical issues including calcium oxalate bladder stones which he had surgery for to remove. He is now 11 and during his life he has had surgery on his spleen, surgery for the bladder stones, been diagnosed with Diabetes and I was told by my vet that he was suffering from liver failure and was preparing me for the fact that Buddy was going to die. The liver failure diagnosis was over two years and today, he is healthy, happy, looks amazing and has so much energy. He is happy and the most healthy he has ever been in his life! It has been an amazing turnaround so I know how you feel. I basically had to get him healthy myself. My vet did not support my decision to do what I did, but he is healthy and that is all that matters!

    Rick helped me and Buddy is now healthier than he has ever been. If anything, read what Rick has to say on his website. It sounds like you are open to something that might not be traditional medicine through your vet. The change in Buddy’s food as well as the supplements, changed his life.

    I now believe wholeheartedly that most vets know nothing about nutrition. They are told to carry a line of food in their offices by one of the large pharma/dog food companies because most of these companies go out and recruit at the vet universities across the United States when vets are in school and provide them with a kickback when the sell either Science Diet or Royal Canin in their clinics, up to 40%. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my vet, I just don’t believe he knows much of anything about nutrition. He has been great to me, my dog Buddy and my three cats. He is good at what he does, diagnose and perform much needed surgeries and procedures. He did Buddy’s bladder stone surgery which has complications.

    I was at my wits end as well and thought that I was going to lose Buddy, but I was not willing to give up so I did a Google search and found an amazing person who brought Buddy back to the healthy dog he is.

    Buddy is on a very special diet and he has made huge strides in the last 10+ months. He is a very healthy dog to what he was 6 months ago.

    If you choose to go with his program, it is not cheap, but I believe that over time, I will save money by not taking Buddy to the vet time and time again because I don’t know what is wrong and having a battery of tests run and racking up bills in the thousands, I have been there!

    He was slowly weened off of his processed food Science Diet U/D and placed on a diet of fresh veggies and meat based on a very slow transition to follow with Rick’s help.

    Buddy’s diet is a balance of ¾ veggies to ¼ meats. Dogs with liver issues do not need as much protein as you would expect. He gets lots of yellow veggies (squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, celery, carrots, Brussel sprouts, snap peas, etc.) along with hemp oil and nori blended with goat yogurt into almost a smoothie consistency. I then add meats, liver is great as it helps to detoxify the liver (funny that you feed liver to a dog with liver issuesJ) and then he gets a variety of supplements. He receives three gut supplements in the morning (Acidophilus, Bifudus and a Spectrabiotic) along with an Enzyme and something called Whole Body. In the evenings he gets the Enzyme, Whole Body and a Mushroom supplement. The process to make his food is not that time consuming and if you are at your wits end like I was, I was ready to do anything.

    He also gets to have as much goat yogurt as he wants with coconut oil. He also gets sweet potato chews and coconut slices.

    He is also allowed to eat fruits, not during his morning and evening meals since they digest differently than veggies, but he has not yet warmed up to them yet. I don’t know if he ever will.

    He is doing great! He has so much energy and the numbers don’t lie! I got a glucose meter and I am going to start checking his levels daily. I would really like to get him off the insulin if I can. I believe the medicine is what causes the blindness, not the actual diabetes, my vet believes otherwise.

    My vet has not said much of anything. I explained I was taking him off the prescription food and putting him on this program and he never responded. When I took him in the last time for blood work, I think he was surprised Buddy was doing so well, but did not ask me further about what I was doing. He is a pretty straight and narrow vet and I don’t think he looks outside the box. If Buddy’s glucose numbers continue to decline, I will take him back and back off on the number of units he is given. Now it is just maintenance and keeping a spreadsheet and monitoring how he is doing.

    I suggest reaching out. I think Rick saved Buddy’s life. I took him to the vet in October to have blood work done and he is perfectly healthy! The bladder stones HAVE NOT returned.

    Good luck on your search for information and I hope you find a solution. Buddy is 11, but has a new lease on life. I can’t imagine being just under two as a dog and dealing with this.

    If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am happy to talk to you. I have helped two others with their dogs and I truly believe Rick knows what he is talking about. I put my trust in him and I now have a healthy, happy dog.

    Lori ([email protected])

    #123323 Report Abuse
    Tanya K


    She was initially prescribed Hills Diet c/d dry food. Now she is on Royal Canin s/o dry food. With each she threw up. Not constantly but a lot. The wet food is very expensive and I’m not entirely sure I could manage with that. Right now she is on the small breed formula because the other option would cause her weight gain and as I told the vet that food will go straight to her hips! lol

    She never had stones before at all; though I do know shih tzus and poodles are prone to them. My other pup is shih/tzu maltese and they are prone to them, too. Grr! I did mix her food and do it the right way to transition her over so I know that’s not what’s causing the vomiting.

    I appreciate all the links and I will read them. Thank you!


    #123324 Report Abuse
    Tanya K


    I have always done what a vet has asked me to do concerning my puppers. But if the risk to my dog is the same either way, why not feed her the original diet she was on? I have to get x-rays every so often anyway. I don’t know. I’m torn. I may end up doing the nutritionist route because I really hate the idea of her not being on a type of diet that’s not good for her, either.

    Thank you for your response.


    #123325 Report Abuse

    You’re welcome. Discuss the vomiting issues with her vet. She may have something else going on, unrelated to the bladder stones or the prescription diet. More testing may be indicated.

    Whatever you do, don’t please fall down the homeopathic rabbit hole!

    PS: Just saw your post, you can decline x-rays and tell the vet you want no more x-rays unless the dog has symptoms. Tell the vet you do not want aggressive treatment.

    My vet agreed and we were able to keep my old peke comfortable till the age of 16.
    I didn’t bother with PH testing either, just lab work and annual exams.

    If the dog is having symptoms, that’s another story.
    Good luck

    #123326 Report Abuse
    Tanya K

    Lori H,

    Wow. First of all, I’m sorry Buddy went through all that and worse. I am glad for you though, that he is now thriving! The diet you have him on though sounds super expensive and I don’t know if I’d be able to swing that or all the supplements.

    I may try to get a nutritionist so I can make her meals for her.

    I do understand the ignorance of vets and dog food. They have been fed the same spew from the cog that is the dog food industry. I did a lot of research about dog food myself and know all the little tricks the manufacturers do to sell their crap.

    I actually ended up in a debate with my vet over Purina. Apparently they make urinary prescription food as well. I was like, “My dogs are on Earthborn. They have never had a recall.”

    He said, “They will.”

    I said, “Maybe, but for the last eight years they haven’t.”

    He paused. Thought about it and said, “They will.”

    lol And it’s true they may inevitably have a recall, but purina is absolute garbage.

    I mean, I don’t want her to get the stones again. Clearly. I love her. I want her around for as long as possible. She’s 10, and she had that bladder stone emergency — I had to bring her to an ER vet nearly two hours away from me. They had to wake the surgeon up. It cost $1,000 just for the emergency surgeon. The entire thing ended up costing $4,900 by the end of it. I am thankful that I was able to swing that and I really don’t want her to have to go through it again. It has nothing to do with the money, but yeah, that doesn’t help either.

    I appreciate all your advice and they time you took in responding to me, Lori.

    Thank you,


    #123327 Report Abuse
    Tanya K


    No, I understand what you’re saying. The homeopathic way can get a little intense — it may be too complex for me, too. lol My other dog is also on the food and she’s vomiting a lot as well. So, I’m pretty convinced it’s the food. I’m more than likely going to have a very long appointment talking about different options. I mean for the struvite stones, they are usually no problem but the oxalate stones are an entire other issue so the vet is like, “too low, you may increase the odds of this one” too high “and you may increase the odds of the other.” So my whole issue is if he can’t balance it what do I do? And how does this food not affect my other dog? That’s weird, too.


    #123328 Report Abuse

    “So my whole issue is if he can’t balance it what do I do? And how does this food not affect my other dog? That’s weird, too”.

    Why is your other dog on prescription food? Only give the prescription food to the dog it is recommended for. The food is not intended for healthy dogs, only for dogs with specific medical conditions. The food is not nutritionally formulated to be correct, only to aid in preventing certain health issues from reoccurring, which is the priority for the dog receiving treatment, not a perfect diet.
    That is why a prescription is required from your veterinarian.

    #123331 Report Abuse

    What do Vets Know about Nutrition?
    3. You can tell the quality of a food from reading the ingredients on the label-
    Sorry, you can’t. Partly this is the fault of regulators, who don’t require truly important information to be put on pet food labels in a clear and understandable way. And partly the uselessness of labels as a measure of food quality comes from the meaningless vagueness of the concept of “quality” and all the myths and misconceptions about specific ingredients promoted by these vets.
    Pet Food Nutrition Myths
    Nutrition Resources for Pet Owners
    Dog Food Logic
    A recent article from the ever-unreliable Dogs Naturally Magazine gave some alternative vets a platform for repeating some myths and misconceptions about what are often called “prescription diets,” though this is technically incorrect. These are better referred to as “therapeutic diets” because they are intended to be useful in treating or preventing specific medical problems, not simply provide good overall nutrition, but they do not actually require a prescription, merely oversight from a qualified veterinarian.
    The evidence for these diets varies from strong (e.g. kidney diets for cats with kidney disease) to weak (e.g. some of the diets for cognitive dysfunction in older dogs), but while there are some good arguments against some of these foods, none of the ones made in this article are worth taking seriously.
    The article begins by asking a bunch of holistic vets to rank a few foods based only on the ingredient lists, with one food being a prescription diet. Not surprisingly, the vets tended to rank this diet quite low, based on these sorts of arguments:
    (click on link above for full article and comments)

    #123332 Report Abuse
    Tanya K


    I asked my vet if it was okay to feed my other dog the prescription food as well. He said it was fine if she ate it as well as her full time diet. I can see I will be asking lots of questions to him next week.

    Thank you for the link. I’m going to read it now.


    #123333 Report Abuse

    It may be okay but not optimal. A lot of us that have owned dogs for a long time have a dog or two that could eat anything. Therefore all mistake foods, left over prescription foods were fed to that dog without negative effects.
    But in your case it did not work out

    #123334 Report Abuse

    Anon 101

    I thought you can not sell or push any services on DFA, how come you are allowed to keep posting your UK Skeptvet posts & harrass posters with these Skeptvet posts ?
    Skeptvet isnt even American, also he is a very bias Vegan who has his own beliefs.

    Belief meaning
    an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.

    Post science related posts with research behind the post..
    You’re pushing & selling Skeptvet, its WRONG needs to be stopped…

    #123335 Report Abuse
    Tanya K

    Anon 101,

    Right, because she’s getting sick, too. It really stinks. I feel like it’s a no win situation but I definitely don’t want her to get the stones again. I have an appointment with my puppers regular vet next week and I will address all of this with him and see where I go from there. Thank you, again, for your time.


    #123337 Report Abuse

    Best of luck, give us an update. Just go to a bland diet, boiled chicken and rice for now, put a call in to your vet to call you back, they usually don’t charge for that.
    That is what I would do.

    #123340 Report Abuse
    Tanya K

    Thank you. I will!

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