My little Luna had surgery in January to remove over 24 bladder stones. Two got stuck in her urethra and she had to go to a specialist to remove them. Since then she has had 3 possible UTI’s which the vet gives antibiotics for. She is on Hills’s c/d biscuit with encore pate (only way she will eat hills food). Her last urine sample showed crystals, I really don’t want her to have another op and am at a loose end with her constantly on antibiotics costing me around £80 a go! She is only 2yrs 10months and a bichon/cavalier, can someone recommend something else? I have read about giving cranberry and vitamin C capsules? I have also seen that diet food doesn’t help. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!
Ask your vet if Wysong (urinary prescription) is an option. http://www.wysong.net/veterinarian//rx-diets/urinary.html
In the meantime, frequent bathroom breaks are a good idea, the more she urinates (normal amounts) the better.
Add H20 to her food , keep the bladder flushed.
Also ask your vet about potassium citrate supplements.
This subject comes up frequently.
Someone is nearly always at home so both her and the little pup has constant access to the garden, but she doesn’t always go when she goes out. Her wet food has a 82% moisture content but we do add water to it and she drinks more now, since we got Leo because she drinks from his bowl lol. Am going to have a chat with vet today. Thank you
I recommend you stop feeding a dry food…dogs with these issues need moisture. Canned, raw or dehydrated are your best bet.
I agree with Marie. However, if you must use dry food, soak it in a generous amount of water overnight, before serving.
Sorry about the troubles with your pup. I also have experienced a blockage due to struvite crystals with one of my cats. It was terrifying and expensive! They gave him only a 50% chance of surviving due to bladder damage. I have probably read 50 to 60 articles regarding this issue since. The most important thing is like the others have said, add as much moisture as possible. I read on another thread where you said your dog wouldn’t eat the Hill’s C/D canned. Right after my cats blockage, I fed him a variety of Rx canned that included, Hills Iams, Purina and Royal Canin. Your doc will need to give you a prescription for these, if you want to give them a try. Pet Smart carries a lot of Rx food as well as chewy.com. He also got a little Royal Canin S/O kibble. I have gradually transitioned off the Rx canned over a 6 month period to just regular canned food, but still feed the prescription kibble. He gets about 75% canned food now and forever! I also read that frequent small meals help to keep their pH level more balanced. So, I now feed three times per day instead of two. He also is now on an anti-anxiety meds and is wearing a calming collar to help keep his stress level down.
Sometimes these flare ups can be brought on from stress due to changes in routine, new family members, etc. . We made too many changes in our household too quickly for him to handle. It’s been about 7 months and he’s doing much better so far.
So, in my opinion, try out the other prescription canned foods until you get the crystals under control and then transition to as much regular canned, fresh or dehydrated food as possible. Regular bathroom breaks, smaller meals more frequently and keep the stress levels down. There are also supplements that help with Ph level as LM mentioned. Good luck!
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by crazy4cats.
Has anyone had experience with Wysong Biotic Ph-? It is supposed to prevent and eliminate struvite crystals and proteins. It is a powder to mix into the dogs food. I used it for about a week or so, but my dog stopped eating the food if it had it in it. He usually eats anything, in fact, I figured he couldn’t even taste his food he ate so fast. At first he seemed to have acid reflux and then even threw up a little bit of bile. So I stopped giving it to him and he seems fine now with only that one change.
Another question? I feed my dog Grandma Lucy’s Dehydrated “Pre-Mix” and I add in Evangers canned food. I am trying to stop his proclivity to struvite crystals and excess proteins and high Ph levels. He seems ok on it, but doesn’t like the carrots and I think excess garlic. I have fed him a couple of sample bags of Sojo’s dehydrated pre-mix. He loves that, but you have to soak for at least 15 minutes. My dog goes crazy waiting the 15 minutes knowing I have mixed it up. Can you mix it up the night before and refrigerate till morning? Will this do anything bad to it, sitting in the fridge overnight?
I have never used that product. I have used Wysong dry foods, and have noted no adverse effects. I use potassium citrate tabs, as I have mentioned before.
So far, so good.
A lot of these items are acidic (leading to nausea, stomach upset) to lower the urine PH.
Maybe lower the dose? Some dogs tolerate these supplements better than others.
I would put in a call to the vet, have him call you back when he has a minute. Don’t bother discussing the matter with the vet tech (just my opinion).
I have never used those pre-mixes, so I don’t know. Regarding canned food toppers, I would not add them until just prior to serving. They spoil quickly, even kept in a covered can in the fridg…I don’t trust them after day 3.
I always put the canned meats immediately upon opening into a plastic container, I have never had an issue there. I would not add that to the meal till just prior to feeding. Just wondering about the dehydrated mix.
What brands would be best for a small, stone prone, picky dog? Can’t smell, taste, or look strange. She loves chicken!
The best food for a dog that is stone prone dog is a low carb wet one. Moisture is key to keeping the urinary tract flushed. Try to feed as much canned, raw, or fresh foods as possible.
Which type of stones is your dog prone to?
She has had struvite stones.Do you recommend any particular brand?
Kenneth , I have had great results with Grandma Lucys Dry Pre-mixed and Evangers
canned chicken and rice. You have to add a protein to the pre-mixed or the dog will become a vegetarian. You just add water to the dehydrated pre-mix (it is fruits, vegetables and berries) let sit 2-3 minutes and mix in the canned food. Be sure to put the canned into a plastic container upon opening and keep refrigerated. I can’t believe the success we have had.
Thank you for the prompt answer. Where do you purchase these items?
Personally, I wouldn’t touch an Evangers canned product with a 10 foot pole. Evangers has a horrible history of quality control. DNA tests conducted on their products confirmed proteins other than what was on the label being in the can. They have major sanitation issues at their product facility. When charged criminally for stealing utilities at their plant, they attempted to bribe witnesses. Etc…
Thanks, DogFoodie !
We appreciate the update on that product.
Why don’t you just cook and chop up some chicken breast and add a tablespoon to her kibble? Add water to her meals.
Also. if you use the search engine above on the home page forums to look up struvite, I think you will find a lot of related information that might be helpful.
You have mentioned using potassium citrate supplements. Don’t they increase pH? With struvite crystals, the pH needs to be lowered. DL-Methionine is the supplement that I have seen mentioned in a few articles that reduces the pH to help avoid the formulation of struvite crystals.
All I know is that it appears to be working for my dog, he had both struvite and calcium oxalate stones. He has not had a recurrence since his surgery (2011) he turns 15 next month. I listened to the advice of a veterinarian.
DL-Methionine is a prescription medication that I am not familiar with, my vet told me to try the potassium citrate supplements first. After testing a few times his ph lowered nicely. I still think increased water is the key.
For dogs, calcium oxalate stones are more concerning than struvite, often the struvite clears up when the infection (antibiotics) is eliminated and increased water is added to the diet.
The treatment for cats is different than for dogs, that’s why it is important to work with a veterinarian regarding treatment choices. Not a DIY
Articles are not always correct, neither is information shared on the internet, I take it all with a grain of salt.
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: http://www.michigananimalhospital.com/page/452425598
You can buy any product at Chewey.com
I agree with everything you have said. One should seek and follow the advice of a vet in this situation. But I stand by the fact that potassium citrate makes the urine less acidic and is used to reduce the risk of calcium oxalate stones. This poster specifically stated that their dog had struvite stones and made no mention of an infection. In this case, potassium citrate would not be recommended. Typically, in the case is struvite stones or crystals, the urine needs to be more acidic, not less.
Sounds like in your situation, it is beneficial and I am very glad that your dog is doing well with its diet.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by crazy4cats.
I agree that the calcium oxalate stones are more concerning than struvite in either dogs or cats as they cannot be dissolved. They have to be either flushed out or surgically removed. I am just pointing out, just like the link that you posted from Entirely Pets, that potassium citrate is ONLY for the treatment of oxalate stones, not struvite. It increases the pH in both dogs and cats, not lowers it. It would be detrimental to a dog or cat with struvite stones. The poster stated that his dog had struvite stones, not calcium oxalate. In fact, the topic of this thread is bladder STRUVITE stones.
I am helping a friend whose 5 year old Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix just had bladder stone surgery. Unfortunately, he is part of the 1% that has the rather rare Cystine stones. We have both heard and read a lot of negative feedback about the Hill’s Science and Royal Canin prescription foods. Does anyone have any experience with using quality commercial food, mostly wet, mixing in some quality kibble for texture? If so, what do you recommend? My friend would like to stay grain-free, but it is so hard to know which foods use low-purine proteins, etc. I have gotten great advice for my dog from all of you here, so any input would be appreciated.
Wow, I hadn’t heard of these type of stones until now. After reading a little about them, you are absolutely correct. They are extremely rare. Again, sounds like extra fluids and frequent opportunities to urinate are very important with these type of stones also. Here is a link from the Whole Dog Journal that may be of some help, but I’m guessing you may have already seen it: http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/13_6/features/Kidney-Stones-Bladder-Stones_16231-1.html
The article discusses cystine stones more towards the end of it. I hope someone can give you some words of wisdom for your friend. Good luck!
Tell your friend he should ask the surgeon who operated on the dog for a referral to a specialist. This dog will need to be monitored carefully at least for the first year for reoccurrence and to get the diet, medications, supplements just right.
If your friend prefers a more natural approach, consult a homeopath http://theavh.org/
Check out Wysong dog food, maybe someone at their 800 number could advise you
I don’t think the internet is a good place to get advice when you have something this serious, we can share our experiences….but that doesn’t mean that is what you should do, as far as I know there are no veterinarians or nutritionists here (none that have identified themselves as such anyway)
Best of luck
BTW: Dogs can have more than one 1 type of stones. Low protein diets can cause other types of stones to develop, that’s why you need the expertise of a specialist.
Add water to all meals, frequent bathroom breaks. For my dog 3-4 small meals per day instead of 2 regular seems to help too.
Thanks, C4C and LM. My friend is feeling kind of doomy and gloomy at the prospect of having to put his best friend through more painful [and expensive!] surgeries down the road. I am trying to help get him some more ideas and, hopefully, a more positive outlook. I did read that article you mentioned above, C4C, and although informative about cystine stones, it doesn’t talk much about day to day management in terms of food, good treats to use, etc. This is the type of advice I am hoping to get here from the good, animal loving people in this community.
LM, some good advice, too, thanks. His stone pathology showed all were 100% cystine, but I think the specialist is a good idea if my friend can afford it.
It is what it is. Your friend now knows what emergency surgery costs, once the dog is stable for a few months he can talk to the vet about what they can skip, its the x-rays and the lab work that add up.
Does your friend have dog health insurance? This is when people think it would have been a good idea.
I can’t say it enough, increase water intake, keep the bladder flushed.
PS: The specialist may want to see him every 3-4 months, then every 6 months…..it might not be so bad. In my experience it’s the regular vets that have you coming back and forth more frequently.
What is the current vet recommending?
Q: How can I prevent my dog from developing cystine bladder stones in the future?
A: Dogs that have developed cystine bladder stones in the past will often be fed a therapeutic diet for life. Diets that promote alkaline urine that is more dilute are recommended. Most dogs should be fed a canned or wet diet to encourage water consumption. Dilute urine with a low urine specific gravity (USpG less than 1.020) is an important part of the prevention of calcium oxalate bladder stones. In certain cases, medications such as n-(mercaptoropionyl)-glycine (2-MPG) (ThiolaTM) may be required. Urinary alkalinizers may be needed to maintain an alkaline urine ph of greater than 7.5.
In addition, careful routine monitoring of the urine to detect any signs of bacterial infection is also recommended. Bladder x-rays and urinalysis will typically be performed one month after treatment and then every three to six months for life. Dogs displaying any clinical signs such as frequent urinations, urinating in unusual places, painful urination or the presence of blood in the urine should be evaluated immediately. Unfortunately, cystine stones have a high rate of recurrence, despite careful attention to diet and lifestyle.
Above is an excerpt from http://www.michigananimalhospital.com/page/452281614
It sounds more complicated than it is, increase water, frequent bathroom breaks, make sure dog is urinating normal flow and amount and not having difficulty.
Otherwise, find the appropriate diet (veterinarian/nutritionist approved), continue healthy lifestyle, walks, play.
Follow veterinarian’s recommendation for testing, medication, supplements.
Give us an update, hope all goes smoothly.
Here’s some info I have on cystine stones that might be useful in finding a proper diet for your friends dog from the University of Minnesota Urolith Center Veterinary Medicine:
Good info to have about potassium citrate use decreasing chances of calcium oxalate stone formation, not struvite, by increasing urine alkalinity.
Here’s some links to info on supplements and struvite & calcium oxalate uroliths:
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