Food to promote good Urinary Tract health

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Food to promote good Urinary Tract health

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  • #102470 Report Abuse

    Christie
    Member

    Two days ago my mother noticed her 2 year old dog straining to pee and when she did pee it was just a weak dribble. She called the vet because it looked like a clear sign of a UTI/Bladder infection. When she took a sample (what little that there was) it was bloody. The vet did a whole workup including Xrays (due to the intestinal blockage the dog had last year from eating a throw rug) to make sure that it wasn’t anything more than an infection. Yesterday, the vet called to confirm that she had a “raging” Bladder infection, which I thought was a bit strange since the dog wasn’t having any issues urinating days before. The vet went on to say that crystals had formed in her urine and there was e Coli and other microbes in her urine and she said that the dog should be fed with the prescription diet that the vet’s office sells.

    Now I know that some dogs and cats do have issues where the urine can form crystals and cause kidney stones and blockages. But I’ve also read that an infection, when left untreated for some time, could also cause crystals to form from the build up of urine that isn’t being released.

    My cat almost died a few years ago because I didn’t understand the signs of a UTI (he’d stay in the litter box a long time with no success (I thought he was having issues defecating) and he developed a blockage that thankfully passed without surgery. While the initial urine had shown crystals, subsequent tests once he was at the vet’s for the week with IV meds didn’t show crystals. The vet said that he didn’t need “prescription food” as long as I switched him to wet food to up his moisture intake to encourage more frequent urination.

    Considering that this is the first time that this dog has ever had a UTI, should we immediately jump to getting the prescription food that the vet is trying to sell us? I kind of feel like she was pressuring my mother by trying to scare her by telling her that there was e Coli in the urine. Because I know that e Coli is a frequent cause of UTIs in animals and that it’s often found in urine (but is usually harmless).

    Are there any foods out there that promote good Kidney/UTI function that we should try first? Right now, she’s overweight. She’s about 40 pounds and could do with losing about 5-10 to be considered healthy. She’s currently eating Fromm’s Weight Management dry.

    #102471 Report Abuse

    anonymous
    Member

    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.
    Has she had an x-ray/ultrasound to rule out bladder stones? Because, they can have more than one type of stones. This also. can result in recurrent urinary tract infections.
    Add water to the kibble, and you can also presoak the kibble in water overnight in the fridge prior to serving.
    Offer frequent bathroom breaks/opportunities to urinate, keep the bladder flushed. Stagnant conditions in the bladder are conductive to stone formation.
    Don’t free feed, 2 or 3 small meals a day is better and always have fresh water available. Maybe add a little plain chicken broth (no onion) to the kibble.
    A blocked urethra is a medical emergency and can result in surgery to save the dog’s life.
    Did the vet talk to you about prescription meds for stubborn cases? Don’t confuse supplements with medication.
    Work with your vet, prescription food and all, when the dog has been stable for 6 months to 1 year you can discuss diet changes.
    Use the search engine here to see more threads on this topic.
    This is not veterinary advice; consult your veterinarian.
    Ps: You may find some helpful information here http://skeptvet.com/Blog/?s=urinary+tract+infection

    #102473 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi Christie-
    I’m curious, did the vet prescribe an antibiotic as well as the prescription food? I thought that for dogs getting rid of the infection was the top priority. And, yes, she should feed the Rx food at least for now. As you have already experienced with your cat, her condition could turn into a life threatening emergency requiring surgery or a catheter and IV for at least a few days or longer.

    My cat also had this experience and I still feed him a little Rx kibble, with the majority of his diet OTC canned food. I also have a water fountain set up for him to promote more moisture in his diet. I don’t want him to go through another blockage. It was scary!

    Maybe she won’t have to stay on the Rx food forever, but I’d feed it until she’s clear for at least 6 months. Good luck to you!

    #102474 Report Abuse

    anonymous
    Member

    Yes, I agree. I just assumed the dog was prescribed antibiotics. Very important.

    #102812 Report Abuse

    Christie
    Member

    Ok sorry for the delay in responding. My mother’s dog had her follow up appointment with the vet on Wednesday.

    To answer some of the questions: yes, the vet put her on prescribed antibiotics. However, the vet she saw this time around was a different person than the one two weeks ago. This vet said that the dog should have been put on antibiotics for two weeks instead of one week than the other vet prescribed. He also said that the other vet should have given the prescription food at the same time as the antibiotics to help dissolve the struvite crystals, while the antibiotics worked against the infection. So that was strike two.

    He prescribed another week’s worth of antibiotics and gave my mother a week’s worth of Hills canned S/D food.

    The dog won’t touch it. My mother asked if she could mix it with some of her old food (Fromm’s Weight management dry) or with plain boiled chicken and the vet said no.

    So the dog hasn’t eaten and she vomited up her meds yesterday (probably because of the empty stomach). So I did some research online and apparently Hills S/D is nasty and not well liked/tolerated by dogs. The ingredients are horrible: Water, Corn Starch, Chicken Fat, Pork Liver, Sugar, Egg Product, Powdered Cellulose, Iodized Salt… and the texture is nasty (white chunks that my mother had to add water to just to break it up some (what kind of canned food has a consistency like that?) So my research led to a few forums where people were able to get their dogs to eat Royal Canin SO formula (which is basically the same. The ingredients are slightly better: water, chicken liver, corn grits, pork by-product, chicken, chicknen by-product…).

    My mother called up the vet today and asked about changing the food to Royal Canin. He said that their food is terrible. He said that he would allow her to return the unopened Hills cans and wants to try Hills C/D formula. But I’ve read plenty of reviews from people who have the same issue with their dogs not wanting to touch that one either.

    I read over the urinalysis taken two weeks ago ans the dog’s pH was high at 7.5 and the protein level was high. WBC and RBC were both high, but that was due to the infection and blood in the urine. It showed 11-20 struvite crystals.

    The vet thinks that since it’s the first time that this has happened (she’s two years old) that the crystals could have been attributed to diet rather than genetics. She was on Fromm’s Weight Management dry formula because she’s about 5-10 pounds overweight. Prior to that, she was eating Purina One dry.

    The vet seems fixated on using Hills (which is what they sell at their office), and if the dogs eats it, fine. It can help dissolve any remaining crystals. But it doesn’t look like its a complete, well balanced food and not meant to be used for long periods of time.

    My vet used to sell Hills for the longest time before changing to Royal Canin.

    I don’t think either is very good quality.

    Are there any diet (low protein), grain free canned foods that are tolerable? Or supplements to help lower her urine pH?

    #102813 Report Abuse

    anonymous
    Member

    “Are there any diet (low protein), grain free canned foods that are tolerable? Or supplements to help lower her urine pH?”
    No, there are not, and what does low protein have to do with anything?
    You don’t believe the veterinary health care professional that examined the dog?
    Dr Google is not research. Good luck.

    #102816 Report Abuse

    Christie
    Member

    Dr. Google didn’t give me answers, nor do I believe everything that I read in forums. When the vets fails to prescribe the correct dosage for medication and doesn’t give you the food that is needed to help break up the crystals that were discovered in the urinalysis, then no I don’t believe in them.

    The vet said that the dog needs to be on a diet that is grain free. That it needs to be meat concentrated (because it helps lower pH levels to prevent crystals from forming).

    The diet formula was something I was looking for because we’ve been trying to keep her calorie intake down and raise her exercise levels to help her lose the weight she needs. But preventing the crystals is more important, so a high quality grain free canned food would work.

    #102817 Report Abuse

    anonymous
    Member

    See my prior post June 22,2017, combine that with the recommendations of the veterinarian.
    I would listen to the veterinarian that examined the dog.

    Do what you want, of course. I’m sure you will get folks to agree with what ever it is you believe to be true.

    #102821 Report Abuse

    Bobby dog
    Member

    Hi Christie:
    Here’s a site I referenced when one of my furries had a life threatening urinary blockage.
    https://www.vetmed.umn.edu/centers-programs/minnesota-urolith-center/recommendations

    I have fed Rx foods in the past and would do so again if needed. Most are not for long term feeding because they are specially formulated to address an health issue. Once the issue is resolved then you transition back to their regular diet if appropriate.

    After surgery for the blockage I opted to feed an Rx food until I got an all clear from my Vet. The first food we tried did not go over well. Science Diet canned is what I ended up feeding for the duration of his treatment with success.

    I don’t have any suggestions on your Vet’s recommendation for an OTC GF food.

    Perhaps another option would be to get an Rx from your Vet to try a different Rx brand. Along with Royal Canin, Purina also has an Rx recipe for urinary health that is not high in calories and you may like the ingredient line up better. There are several on-line sites that sell Rx foods such as Chewy.com that has a great return policy.
    https://www.proplanveterinarydiets.com/products/ur-urinary-oxst-dog/

    One product I have had allot of luck using to entice my pets to eat during rehab is Purina Forti Flora probiotics. I am using it now for one of my cats that had a major dental a few months back and is still having health issues. He has continued to lose weight among other things. Sprinkled the Forti Flora on his food last night and he didn’t even let me mix it in. Just started eating like he hadn’t been fed for a week…yeah!! Maybe that’s something to look into. My Vet sells it by the packet or box for both cats and dogs. You can also buy it on-line.

    Another option is to consult a Vet nutritionist for a homemade diet. I use Balance IT Carnivore Blend supplement for home made meals. Balance IT provides excellent customer support and also does Rx food consultations with your Vet:
    https://secure.balanceit.com/

    This is a Vet nutritionist that will also do a consultation with your Vet, Dr. Rebecca L. Remillard. You can find allot of good info in the “Nutrition Library” and “Ask the Nutritionist” sections. You can even ask her questions if you can’t find info on something your interested in:
    https://www.petdiets.com/

    Good luck, been there, done that, hope not to ever have to do it again!!! 😉

    #102822 Report Abuse

    Bobby dog
    Member

    Hi Christie:
    Here’s a site I referenced when one of my furries had a life threatening urinary blockage.
    https://www.vetmed.umn.edu/centers-programs/minnesota-urolith-center/recommendations

    I have fed Rx foods in the past and would do so again if needed. Most are not for long term feeding because they are specially formulated to address an health issue. Once the issue is resolved then you transition back to their regular diet if appropriate.

    After surgery for the blockage I opted to feed an Rx food until I got an all clear from my Vet. The first food we tried did not go over well. Science Diet canned is what I ended up feeding for the duration of his treatment with success.

    I don’t have any suggestions on your Vet’s recommendation for an OTC GF food.

    Perhaps another option would be to get an Rx from your Vet to try a different Rx brand. Along with Royal Canin, Purina also has an Rx recipe for urinary health that is not high in calories and you may like the ingredient line up better. There are several on-line sites that sell Rx foods such as Chewy.com that has a great return policy.
    https://www.proplanveterinarydiets.com/products/ur-urinary-oxst-dog/

    One product I have had allot of luck using to entice my pets to eat during rehab is Purina Forti Flora probiotics. I am using it now for one of my cats that had a major dental a few months back and is still having health issues. He has continued to lose weight among other things. Sprinkled the Forti Flora on his food last night and he didn’t even let me mix it in. Just started eating like he hadn’t been fed for a week…yeah!! Maybe that’s something to look into. My Vet sells it by the packet or box for both cats and dogs. You can also buy it on-line.

    Another option is to consult a Vet nutritionist for a homemade diet. I use Balance IT Carnivore Blend supplement for home made meals. Balance IT provides excellent customer support and also does Rx food consultations with your Vet:
    Google “Balance IT” the forum won’t let me post their link

    This is a Vet nutritionist that will also do a consultation with your Vet, Dr. Rebecca L. Remillard. You can find allot of good info in the “Nutrition Library” and “Ask the Nutritionist” sections. You can even ask her questions if you can’t find info on something your interested in:
    https://www.petdiets.com/

    Good luck, been there, done that, hope not to ever have to do it again!!! 😉

    #102823 Report Abuse

    Bobby dog
    Member

    Hi Christie:
    Here’s a site I referenced when one of my furries had a life threatening urinary blockage.
    https://www.vetmed.umn.edu/centers-programs/minnesota-urolith-center/recommendations

    I have fed Rx foods in the past and would do so again if needed. Most are not for long term feeding because they are specially formulated to address a health issue. Once the issue is resolved then you transition back to their regular diet if appropriate.

    After surgery for the blockage I opted to feed an Rx food until I got an all clear from my Vet. The first food we tried did not go over well. Science Diet canned is what I ended up feeding for the duration of his treatment with success.

    I don’t have any suggestions on your Vet’s recommendation for an OTC GF food.

    Perhaps another option would be to get an Rx from your Vet to try a different brand. Along with Royal Canin, Purina has an Rx recipe for urinary health that is not high in calories and you may like the ingredient line up better. There are several on-line sites that sell Rx foods such as Chewy that has a great return policy. Google “pro plan veterinary diets”

    One product I have had allot of luck using to entice my pets to eat during rehab is Purina Forti Flora probiotics. I am using it now for one of my cats that had a major dental a few months back and is still having health issues. He has continued to lose weight among other things. Sprinkled the Forti Flora on his food last night and he didn’t even let me mix it in. Just started eating like he hadn’t been fed for a week…yeah!! Maybe that’s something to look into. My Vet sells it by the packet or box for both cats and dogs. You can also buy it on-line.

    Another option is to consult a Vet nutritionist for a homemade diet. I use Balance IT Carnivore Blend supplement for homemade meals. Balance IT provides excellent customer support and also does Rx food consultations with your Vet. Google “Balance IT”

    This is a Vet nutritionist that will also do a food consultation with your Vet, Dr. Rebecca L. Remillard. You can find allot of good info in the “Nutrition Library” and “Ask the Nutritionist” sections. You can even ask her questions if you can’t find info on something you’re interested in:
    https://www.petdiets.com/

    Good luck, been there, done that, hope not to ever have to do it again!!! 

    #102824 Report Abuse

    Bobby dog
    Member

    Hi Christie:
    Here’s a site I referenced when one of my furries had a life threatening urinary blockage.
    https://www.vetmed.umn.edu/centers-programs/minnesota-urolith-center/recommendations

    I have fed Rx foods in the past and would do so again if needed. Most are not for long term feeding because they are specially formulated to address a health issue. Once the issue is resolved then you transition back to their regular diet if appropriate.

    After surgery for the blockage I opted to feed an Rx food until I got an all clear from my Vet. The first food we tried did not go over well. Science Diet canned is what I ended up feeding for the duration of his treatment with success.

    I don’t have any suggestions on your Vet’s recommendation for an OTC GF food.

    Perhaps another option would be to get an Rx from your Vet to try a different brand. Along with Royal Canin, Purina has an Rx recipe for urinary health that is not high in calories and you may like the ingredient line up better. There are several on-line sites that sell Rx foods such as Chewy that has a great return policy. Google “pro plan veterinary diets.”

    One product I have had allot of luck using to entice my pets to eat during rehab is Purina Forti Flora probiotics. I am using it now for one of my cats that had a major dental a few months back and is still having health issues. He has continued to lose weight among other things. I sprinkled the Forti Flora on his food last night and he didn’t even let me mix it in. Just started eating like he hadn’t been fed for a week…yeah!! Maybe that’s something to look into. My Vet sells it by the packet or box for both cats and dogs. You can also buy it on-line.

    Another option is to consult a Vet nutritionist for a homemade diet. I use Balance IT Carnivore Blend supplement for homemade meals. Balance IT provides excellent customer support and also does Rx food consultations with your Vet. Google “Balance IT”

    This is a Vet nutritionist that will also do a food consultation with your Vet, Dr. Rebecca L. Remillard. You can find allot of good info in the “Nutrition Library” and “Ask the Nutritionist” sections. You can even ask her questions if you can’t find info on something you’re interested in. Google “Dr. Rebecca Remillard pet diets”

    Good luck, been there, done that, hope not to ever have to do it again!!! :-)

    #102825 Report Abuse

    pitlove
    Member

    Hi Christie-

    I have never known a vet to refuse to allow the dog to switch to a different brand of prescription food when the current one isn’t working/the dog won’t eat it. All of the doctors I work for will suggest Royal Canin if Hill’s doesn’t work etc etc. That is definitely bizzare behavior of that vet. Perhaps see if one of the other vets will ok you ordering Royal Canin SO online?

    #102828 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    Hi Christie,
    I understand your frustration, this is why I always stick with the same vet that I like the best, this way the vet gets to know your dog & forms a bond, stick with the vet that listened to you & goes out of their way to help with diets & orders in other vet diet brands if needed…..
    Normally the dog is put on antibiotics 14 days & put on a vet diet either the Royal Canine S/O Urinary or the Hills C/d Multicare dry & wet for just 6 weeks, feed no other foods or treats in this time, the crystals normally dissolve & go away by the 6 week period & then the vet does another Ultra scan to confirm that the crystals have all dissolved, that’s what happened with my boy… The Hills C/D Multicare wet & dry formula has the best ingredients when you look at all the vet diets…..after the crystals have dissolved there’s the Hills W/d wet tin Vet Diet, it’s low in fat & low protein, excellent for keeping off the weight & promotes healthy Urinary tract health.. but it does have grains, just keep it in mind….Hills have been improving most of their vet diets & regular pet foods, probably cause sales dropped so they hoped on the better ingredient wagon….

    I would join the “Canine Kidney Disease Support” Facebook group & ask people what did they feed their dogs after the crystals were dissolved, to prevent them re occurring, you can make appointment with a nutritionist, she can make a special diet for your mums dog….
    There’s Dave’s Restricted Low Protein & Low Phosphorus grain free wet tin diet food, I don’t know if this formula will dissolved the crystals or it’s for dogs that need a lower protein phosphorus diet to prevent crystals coming back & ok to feed after the crystals have all dissolved, you’ll have to email Dave’s Pet Food & ask, that’s what I do, I email whoever makes the pet food & ask 100 questions… you can also email Hills & Royal Canine & a Vet Nutritionist will ring you back & give advise, you could ask what foods can be added to the vet diet to encourage your mums dog eat the vet diet….
    Just make sure when your mums dog is weeing, wee is coming out, you don’t want a blockage… http://davespetfood.com/product/%ef%bb%bfrestricted-diet-protein-phosphorus-chicken-dinner-dogs-13-oz-can/

    #102829 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    Hi Christie,
    I understand your frustration, this is why I always stick with the same vet that I like the best, this way the vet gets to know your dog & forms a bond, stick with the vet that listened to you & goes out of their way to help with diets & orders in other vet diet brands if needed…..
    Normally the dog is put on antibiotics 14 days & put on a vet diet either the Royal Canine S/O Urinary or the Hills C/d Multicare dry & wet for just 6 weeks, feed no other foods or treats in this time, the crystals normally dissolve & go away by the 6 week period & then the vet does another Ultra scan to confirm that the crystals have all dissolved, that’s what happened with my boy… The Hills C/D Multicare wet & dry formula has the best ingredients when you look at all the vet diets…..after the crystals have dissolved there’s the Hills W/d wet tin Vet Diet, it’s low in fat & low protein, excellent for keeping off the weight & promotes healthy Urinary tract health.. but it does have grains, just keep it in mind….Hills have been improving most of their vet diets & regular pet foods, probably cause sales dropped so they hoped on the better ingredient wagon….

    I would join the “Canine Kidney Disease Support” Facebook group & ask people what did they feed their dogs after the crystals were dissolved, to prevent them re occurring, you can make appointment with a nutritionist, she can make a special diet for your mums dog that she can cook….
    There’s Dave’s Restricted Low Protein & Low Phosphorus grain free wet tin diet food, I don’t know if this formula will dissolved the crystals or it’s for dogs that need a lower protein phosphorus diet to prevent crystals coming back & ok to feed after the crystals have all dissolved, you’ll have to email Dave’s Pet Food & ask, that’s what I do, I email whoever makes the pet food & ask 100 questions… you can also email Hills & Royal Canine & a Vet Nutritionist will ring you back & give advise, you could ask what foods can be added to the vet diet to encourage your mums dog eat the vet diet….
    Just make sure when your mums dog is weeing, wee is coming out, you don’t want a blockage… http://davespetfood.com/product/%ef%bb%bfrestricted-diet-protein-phosphorus-chicken-dinner-dogs-13-oz-can/

    #102830 Report Abuse

    aimee
    Member

    Hi Christie,

    I hope your Mom’s dog is feeling better.

    When I read this statement it struck me as interesting. “This vet said that the dog should have been put on antibiotics for two weeks instead of one week than the other vet prescribed. He also said that the other vet should have given the prescription food at the same time as the antibiotics to help dissolve the struvite crystals, while the antibiotics worked against the infection. So that was strike two.”

    I’m interpreting it as as two strikes against the first vet and I found that interesting. Was the first vet incorrect in the assessment of your dog’s condition? Was the second vet incorrect? Or were both correct or neither correct? Those are the options.

    It seems one concern was over duration of treatment. Is there a right answer or is it an unknown? Way back when in the late 80’s early 90’s when my dog had UTI the standard treatment duration was 3 weeks of antibiotics. Now most consider that overkill and that that type of duration only damages the gut microflora. A newer protocol for E coli calls for only 3 days of treatment. So the “standard” is changing and shifting to shorter courses is more common, sometimes only 3-5 days are being used and 1 week is considered overkill LOL So I don’t see it as a strike against vet 1 for scripting a 7 day course.

    Crystals: Are they a problem and is a special diet needed? The significance of crystals depends on the type. Since you mentioned s/d I’m going to assume they were struvite crystals. Struvite crystals are common… so common that they can be considered normal in dogs and rarely in need of any treatment. Did/do they in this situation need to be addressed with a special diet? Hmm personally I’d lean to saying no… So for me I really don’t see a big issue with the food not having been given concurrent with the meds and wouldn’t call “strike two” on vet one.

    #102831 Report Abuse

    Bobby dog
    Member

    Hi Aimee:
    Thanks for posting. Unfortunately, all my experiences had resulted in medical interventions so I could not comment on the Vet’s recommendation for a GF OTC food.

    Interesting info on E coli. Hopefully I’ll never have to worry about that. But, if I do I’ll remember your post and use it as a reference for further research.

    #141234 Report Abuse

    K K
    Member

    Hi. Sorry this is a later post. But my sheltie had surgery last Thanksgiving for bladder stones – biopsy showed struvite – they said her bladder felt like a bean bag. But, no infection! They wanted me to switch her to one of Hill’s prescription diets but I don’t think much of the quality of their foods and they’ve had several recent recalls. The vet also suggested adding “wet food.” Since then, I’ve been soaking her kibble in water before feeding. Her last urinalysis did show crystal formation but again no infection.

    My problem now is that the food I’ve been feeding has changed. Ancestry (formerly Sammy Snacks) has been taken over — now “Ancestry Pet Food” and the food has changed. I had been feeding the grain-free Lamb and Sweet Potato which Dog Food Advisory gave 5 stars. I want to switch.

    In the past I used Acana when it was still made in Canada, which is no longer the case. I am also wondering if a higher protein diet in grain-free formulas like the Ancestry and in Acana and Orijen may be the cause of the increase in urinary crystals and the formation of struvite stones. Is anyone familiar with this issue.

    My pup is only 4 years old, so not a senior dog issue.

    Thanks.

    K

    #141262 Report Abuse

    Owen J
    Member

    Approximately three weeks after the birth of puppies can be accustomed to the finished feed. This should be done, including in the event that their mothers have lost their milk and need to transfer the babies to solid food.

    From two to four months a puppy should be fed four to five times a day, gradually accustoming him to three meals a day after he has reached at least six months. Closer to the year the dog should eat twice a day. It is important to remember that the food familiar to humans is not suitable for animals – sometimes it can be harmful to the pet’s health due to imbalance.

    https://herepup.com/the-best-toys-for-german-shepherds/

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