food for dog with silica stones

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health food for dog with silica stones

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  • #83698 Report Abuse
    Cathy D

    My dog recently had a cystotomy to remove bladder stones. His stones were sent to a lab and they are silica stones, which apparently aren’t very common. He is to avoid corn, soy, wheat and rice to reduce the risk of him creating more. I am trying hard to figure out what to feed him because we are supposed to go easy/avoid root vegetables as well. Silica is in the ground and root vegetables are high in silica.

    I have been researching dog foods and grain free food is relatively easy to find. The problem is the majority of grain free foods are a combo of meats and sweet potatoes and/or pumpkin and/or potatoes which we are supposed to avoid.

    Thankfully my dog, a 5 year old 87 lb male labrador retriever will eat any dog food and has no allergies or stomach issues (with the exception of his body making silica stones). The vet has said it’s hard to tell if he is genetically predisposed to making silica stones or it’s developed over time due to not good quality dog food high in grains.

    We are now filtering his water as we live in a hard water area.

    He was a rescue dog so not sure his background for the first 2 years. I trust our vet highly as we live close to well known and respected college of veterinary medicine and they are on top of their game.

    I am open to suggestions. If you have had a dog who has had silica stones I would be interested to hear what has worked for you.

    • This topic was modified 7 years, 9 months ago by Cathy D.
    #83700 Report Abuse

    There are several brands that are legume heavy and light on root veggies. If you look through the Recently Updated list on the Review side, the newer foods or updated formulas have seemed to incorporate more peas, lentils and garbanzo beans.

    #83704 Report Abuse

    Check out Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea at
    My dog has a history of struvite and calcium oxalate stones and does well on it, no reoccurrence in bladder stones in almost 5 years now. I add water and offer frequent bathroom breaks/opportunities to urinate. Keep the bladder flushed.
    I have also used prescription food recommended by the vet with good results.

    Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Salmon Meal, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Sunflower Oil, Pea Fiber, Flaxseed, Calcium Carbonate, Salmon Oil (a source of DHA), Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Dried Eggs, Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Carrots, Cranberries, Apricots, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Proteinate, Biotin, Selenium Yeast, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Rosemary Extract

    #88255 Report Abuse
    Terry K

    my dog just had surgery to remove SILICA stones as well, I am having a tough time with finding a food that he can eat. Did you find one???????????????? If so PLEASE share I am going out of my mind trying to find something.

    #121222 Report Abuse
    Kim P

    Searching, as well, for silica-stone-safe dog food for our border collie who just had surgery to remove silica stones. I’m at a loss – seems like everything I find has SOMETHING in it that’s not compatible with the diet he’s going to need to be on. 🙁 Has anyone had any luck?

    #121231 Report Abuse
    Terry K

    My dog had surgery 2 years ago for SILICA bladder stones to, it is very important to make sure they are getting a lot of water to help with the Specific Gravity and get the PH to 7
    Water to be given is DISTILLED only and when you fee them put in atleast a cup of water and let it it for about 15-20 minuets to absorb just to make sure they are getting tht water intake. My dog loves to drink out of a hose so I bought a BIG DOG fountain and it encouraged him to drink more.
    I feed NULO and we have had PERFECT check ups ever since. I feed NULO Sr. Trout but he also will get NULO Large dog chicken or Turkey. Make sure you do not feed any supplement that contains SILICON DIOXIDE- I feed COSEQUIN CAPSULS and pull them apart and sprinkle that on his food. Any chewable or soft chew will have silicon dioxide. This dog food save my dog because when they did not have results back I was feeding him chicken and rice which RICE was the worst thing- NO RICE

    #121259 Report Abuse
    Kim P

    Thank you for the information you shared about your own experience. Be sure to have your water tested if your dog is drinking from water from the hose. We are convinced our dog’s stones were likely caused from hose-water, which was well water. :\ We are also going to be giving him distilled water from here on out. Appreciate the tip about silicon dioxide! Very interesting! Thank you again!

    #122966 Report Abuse
    Linda H

    My two girls 13 years 8 months have just been diagnosed with silica stones.One has had two surgeries in the past. One for Oxalate and one for struvite. She has had the hydropulsion to wash out eight silica stones. The other has one small silica stone.These stones were seen on ultrasound. I have been aware all these years of how to try to keep the stones out. Giving lots of distilled water, canned food and watching the diet with very good quality food. Vets go back and forth in changing foods and I do not think Vets know anything about food. Again the stone problem has come up and this time silica. The Vets again do not know what kind of food to recommend. When having the stones researched to find the kind they are, I received information from Minnesota Lab about the kind of food to avoid. I need to find the kind of food they CAN have. Can anyone send information about a food that has worked for your pets (canine) that is a lasting food for good health?
    I am desperate to find a food for my girls for their good health.
    Thank you so very much.

    #123035 Report Abuse
    Terry K

    I have a 9 year old Australian Shepherd and he got Silica bladder stones over 2 years ago. I made myself crazy researching dog food and nutrition! The sad part was is that there was not really a starting place. I too spoke to Minnesota every nutritionist across the United States. Minnesota told me that unfortunately because there are so few cases the research is very limited
    Soooo off I went Looking for what?? Sooo longer story cut short I have been feeding
    NULO it is a kibble out of Texas.
    Every6 months I have X-ray/ultrasounds done and so far so good.
    Really encourage a good water intake, One of my dogs favorite things to do was drink out of the hose so I bought him a big dog fountain so it’s running water all the time and he drinks it out of the spout which encourages the water intake. I give him distilled water only make sure if you’re giving them a supplements that it does not contain silicon dioxide so since my guy is nine he gets Xhosa Quinn caplets I pulled them apart and sprinkle it on his food because if you give them anything in a Tablet form it will contain silicon dioxide. His pH was off the charts before we started the Nulo Dog Food and his specific gravity was off the charts since we have started the Nulo Dog Food and have the water fountain he has been consistently stable I hope this helps you

    #124449 Report Abuse
    Kim P

    Terry —

    I would urge you to have your water tested to see if the source of silica is in your water. We were on well water for the past 7 years – and my border collie was diagnosed with silica stones (after $3000 worth of surgery to remove them). There is only 2 possibilities for the source – the Natural Balance Buffalo & Sweet Potato Limited Ingredient dog food he’s eaten for the past 5 years – OR – the well water. USUALLY – it’s the well water, but because we have since moved from that home – I will likely never know if it was the source. So now our dogs drink distilled water ONLY. It’s a SMALL inconvenience compared to the expense of surgery & the pain my dog has been in for so long (unbeknownst to me).

    Both food and water – at this point – matter greatly. When I saw that you were feeding your dog from the hose – I would urge you to have the water tested just to make sure that wasn’t the source of the stones. Best of luck to you!

    #124450 Report Abuse
    Kim P

    If you read this wonderful report — it offers (at the end) a recommendation for a food that is safe for dogs with silica stones:

    #124567 Report Abuse
    Terry K

    I am extremely happy with feeding NULO and giving him distilled water in a dog fountain
    Since feeding NULO and using the Big Dog water fountain plus ph and specific gravity is perfect. I gave him ultra sounded ever 6 months

    #125197 Report Abuse
    Cathy D


    I’ve been feeding Gryff Orijen original since his bladder stone removal 2 1/2 years ago. Had a scan on Monday 10/22/18 and he is still stone free. Bad news, with all the talk about DCM and the potential link to grain free diets especially those high in pea/legumes the vet suggests I put him on a different diet. She has suggested grain free Purina Pro Plan as it has added taurine, but it gets horrible reviews on this site and it has lentil flour and pea starch. I’m so confused on what to feed him. He did have an echocardiagram and he does have a stage II heart murmur.

    If I put him on a regular diet (to avoid heart issues with grain free diet) then I risk silica stones.

    I am concerned and I need some guidance on what to feed him.

    #125198 Report Abuse

    I would listen to the veterinarian that is treating your dog.
    There are no veterinarians affiliated with DFA.

    Some helpful information here.

    #125199 Report Abuse

    According to The study they’re doing on this whole dcm thing the issue is that there are too many peas in most grain free foods and that’s whats causing the low taurine. Dogs (if on an appropriate meat rich diet) don’t need supplemented taurine and that’s the issue I’m having with this whole thing. Proplan isn’t meat (where taurine comes from naturally) rich. The grain free is a plant based food full of pea ingredients just like any other mediocre grain free food. If it was as easy as just supplementing taurine into the diet with a pill or something of the sort this would all be a lot easier but that’s not how it works so I would ignore what you vet suggested as they don’t seem to be very up to speed on what is actually being found with this study.
    Stay with Orijen or another meat based food you trust and add fresh meat and canned food into the mix and you’ll be just fine.

    #125200 Report Abuse

    Your dog has 2 potentially serious medical conditions.

    That is why the veterinarian that has examined your dog and knows his history is the only person I would listen to.

    #125201 Report Abuse
    Cathy D

    Thanks everyone for your input. I do agree he has some serious issues and I do trust my vet, which is why I’m consulting her. She admitted that she has only seen 2 dogs in 30 year career at the university vet hospital with silica stones and that the science and specific issues relating to DCM are still unknown. Her recommendations were all for Purina products and she said that is who the consult with because of their relationship with the university. She also said there may well be other products out there but she wasn’t familiar with them.

    What this tells me, is that I need to ask more questions and learn more. I have no problem taking him off Orijen for the DCM issue, however I just don’t know if the Purina Pro Plan is the best. Perhaps I should consult with a holistic vet? I know I have options.

    I thought I could ask and see if others on this board had a dog with a similar situation and what path did they choose? Try to mitigate the silica stones or the dcm?

    #125213 Report Abuse

    Hi Cathy-
    I do not have dogs with this issue, but I did have a cat that had a urinary blockage a few years back. They were Struvite crystals though. They are much more common than silica. Scary stuff. You definitely want to stop them from forming. As far as ratings go on this site, I wouldn’t worry about them. It’s tough to rate food by the ingredient label, especially for a dog with a medical condition.
    Listen to your vet! ProPlan is a great food. Purina is a large company that has been around for a long time. They do a lot of ongoing research, they employ full time board certified veterinary nutritionists, and they own their own manufacturing plant.

    I have been following the “DCM thing”. So far, there have been no dogs diagnosed with it that have been fed Purina PP. Their food contains all the amino acids that enable dogs to synthesize their own taurine in addition to the taurine that is in the food. There are also no known ingredients that will block it from being absorbed. I recently switched back to Purina and my dogs are doing great. We all need to listen to our vets more. They know more about nutrition than we give them credit for. Good luck to you.

    #125216 Report Abuse

    Vets actually get very little schooling on nutrition in vet school whether you want to believe it or not. One required class before entering the prevet program and it can be taken online in 8 weeks if chosen to and includes most animals (bovine, feline, canine, equine, etc). Everything after that is optional electives. And after vet school their knowledge is limited to that of the money hungry big boys (Colgate, nestle, and mars).
    His vet recommended proplan grain free. Has three pea ingredients in the top two lines. So a pea based food. A BIG ingredient of the dcm talks if you don’t recall.
    I would avoid playing into all this hype of the big companies wanting you to switch to their food. See a nutritionalist, or a specialist in the silica stones if you want the best results. Dogs don’t need a mainly carb diet and if you can afford something beyond feeding kibble I would highly recommend it.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by haleycookie.
    #125220 Report Abuse

    It is not known what is causing the increase in diet related DCM yet, but yes, peas is one of the suspected ingredients along with other factors under consideration. Again, Purina does not have any DCM cases so far and Champion has several.

    It’s best to listen to your Vet!

    #125226 Report Abuse

    Hi Cathy,

    Contact a animal nutritionist to formulate home made raw or home cooked “balance meals”, home cooking is more work then raw, raw is easier & healthier, this way you’re killing 2 birds with 1 stone…

    If you still want to feed a dry food then have a look at “Farmina”
    In the beginning when this DCM low Taurine all started they were saying feed “Farmina” it’s a good dog food to feed for DCM theer have been no DCM cases….

    Or rotate between a few dry foods, as soon as the kibble bag has around 1/4 left then buy another brand & start introducing old kibble with new kibble, Gryff will enjoy the change, I know my boy does & Gryff is getting the best from all the dry kibbles & isnt staying on same brand causing health problems, this is what I’ve been doing for years now with my nilly 10yr old Staffy…

    #129799 Report Abuse
    Kim P

    I’m continuing my hunt for the right food for my 11 yo border collie who recently had silica stones removed. It’s incredibly difficult. Some of the foods suggested here by members contain many of the ingredients that should be AVOIDED in the food that you choose to feed your pet. Here is a list:


    Feeding to Prevent Canine Silica Stones & Crystals
    Eliminate foods containing whole grains. Or, if you feel you must include whole grains in your dog’s diet, check the silica content at the USDA food ingredient website.
    Certain natural diets also contain silica. Diets containing substantial corn gluten feed (not corn gluten meal), or intact grains (with hulls) often contain silica. Always read your labels!
    The following is a list of foods known to contain silica. Avoid all foods on the list!
    Bell peppers
    Brown rice
    Burdock root
    Hemp leaves
    Romaine lettuce
    Nopal cactus
    And don’t let your dog eat grasses, woody plants, and dirt. Silica uroliths are common in range cattle and sheep that consume forage grasses, which have a high concentration of silica.
    Avoid using antacids containing magnesium trisilicate.
    Be cautious using dietary supplements, homeopathic remedies, and medicines containing silica. Always read the ingredient label!

    #129800 Report Abuse
    Kim P


    Presently, I’m feeding my dog a combination of these foods…

    For Dry – Natural Balance has a new product out that contains NO potatoes, tomato, apples, carrots, etc etc etc… it DOES have flaxseed, though, which is on the “no no” list:

    ** L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets® High Protein Beef Formula Dry Dog Food **

    Beef, Pea Protein, Beef Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Starch, Natural Flavor, Pea Fiber, Flaxseed, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Menhaden Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.


    For his canned food (to provide extra moisture to keep his kidneys/bladder flushed and keep him well hydrated) – it DOES contain Wheat Starch & Corn Starch, though:

    ** Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Moderate Calorie Morsels in Gravy Canned Dog Food **

    Water Sufficient for Processing, Pork By-Products, Chicken, Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Powdered Cellulose, Natural Flavors, Calcium Sulfate, Sodium Carboxymethyl-Cellulose, Fish Oil, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Taurine, Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Biotin, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Choline Chloride, Trace Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Marigold Extract (Tagetes Erecta L.).


    Until I can find something better – this will have to do. I’ve searched EVERY dog food label known to mankind at this point, and there really isn’t anything that is 100% free of ingredients that contain silica.

    #131763 Report Abuse
    Kim P

    A great webpage with info on all types of canine bladder stones:

    Please note – SILICA STONES are very different from the other types of canine bladder stones, and their approach as far as foods is far different also.

    Finding foods without potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, brown rice, apples, carrots, spinach and other root vegetables has been next to impossible.

    I continue to feed my dog Natural Balance, which so far is the only food that comes close to being 100% free of silica-containing ingredients:

    This is a new part of Natural Balance’s product line-up:

    ** L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets® High Protein Beef Formula Dry Dog Food **

    Beef, Pea Protein, Beef Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Starch, Natural Flavor, Pea Fiber, Flaxseed, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Menhaden Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

    #184638 Report Abuse
    AdvisorExpert P

    Hello, same problem here, so what is the solution that you found please ?

    What about BARF raw feeding ?

    Thank you.

    #185183 Report Abuse
    Nikki L

    I too am struggling to find the right food for my dog who has recently had silica stones removed. There is so little info and I feel like I’m just going around in circles! He also suffers from colitis flair ups and has a very sensitive tummy just to make matters worse!
    Bizarrely he won’t touch raw food! I am looking in to home cooking for him, does anyone have any advice or recipes? I would be forever grateful for any help?

    #185379 Report Abuse
    claire F

    Our young dog also had a cystotomy to remove silica stones.
    On the advice from Royal Canin and many emails questioning the ingredients we are now feeding Hypoallergenic wet/dry and waiting to see a nutritionist to iron out what he can and can’t have.
    We need to up his PH x

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