Frequent UTIs and poo-eating in my shepherd mix

Dog Food Advisor Forums Editors Choice Forum Frequent UTIs and poo-eating in my shepherd mix

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  • #72644 Report Abuse

    Carrie K
    Member

    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.

    #72693 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi Carrie-
    Well, shoot, sounds like the food helped solve one issue, but maybe helped create another. As far as the UTI problem, adding moisture to the diet and providing frequent bathroom breaks is the best thing you can do. There are also several urinary and bladder support products on the market that contain cranberry or d-mannose that are also helpful. Do you add any canned food or water to their meals? Keeping their urinary tract flushed out is very important.
    Now, the very gross problem of stool eating (coprophagia). It is a very difficult one. There are many theories on why dogs do it. Since your dog only started after food change, it very well could be related to that. My dogs have always done it and none of the remedies have worked except for picking it up immediately. There are products you can buy that may help at most pet stores. Also digestive enzymes and/or fresh pineapple in their food are also frequently recommended. Good luck!

    #72699 Report Abuse

    Carrie K
    Member

    Hi crazy4cats,

    Thanks for the reply! We do add olive oil to one meal a day to help their coats (initially it was in the hope it would help Chewie’s stools pass a little easier), and we always have fresh water out for them. They go out pretty often as well, so it may just be that we need to start adding more liquid to heir food to help with the UTI issue. She’s on cephylaxin (sp?) for the infection, so hopefully that and the new food and adding more moisture to it will help. We picked up a bag of Orijen last night (with a little sticker shock!) and I noticed it has cranberries and blueberries for healthy urinary function, so I think that was a step in the right direction.

    Interesting solution to the poo issue – I’ve never heard of adding pineapple to a dog’s food! I’m assuming it makes the end result more acidic than most dogs like to eat…it’s worth a try since my husband and I can’t agree on whose “job” it is to pick it up (though it’s usually me when I can’t take it anymore).

    Thanks!!

    #72701 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi Carrie-

    Yes, adding canned food and water would be the best for a dog with frequent UTIs. I buy four and five star budget friendly canned food at Walmart, Tractor Supply Stores and Costco to add to my dogs’ meals. Orijen is crazy expensive. I’ve never even thought about buying it! I have way too many mouths to feed to be able to afford that food. While the berries in the food are a good start, they are highly processed and probably not enough of them to be very medicinal for your situation.

    Here is a link on poop eating from holistic vet Dr. Becker: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/08/23/coprophagia-poop-eating.aspx

    Hopefully this is helpful. Pineapple contains enzymes. That is why it is often recommended, but it does have to be fresh otherwise the enzymes are destroyed during processing. I wish I had understood that with my dogs because I was adding canned and it did not good. I think it just made it yummier!

    My pups have slowed down on that issue quite a bit, but one of them will still take a bite now and then. I am the one who usually picks up the poop. I am a poop nazi at our house. LOL! I cannot stand it when they smell like they have eaten it. And worse yet…..(this is very gross) but, if they throw up after eating it, I guarantee you that you will never, ever, ever want to have to clean up that again and it will cure you from not wanting to race out and clean it up before it gets eaten!!! Good luck!

    #72969 Report Abuse

    Kathy B
    Member

    Hello Carrie
    I had the same issue with my cockers this winter. vet said the UTIs could have been caused by the food which started a merry go round of other issues. I did use the D mannose which helped and switched them to Merrick and at that point, they began to eat their stools. I connected it to the new food which they loved!
    Switched them to Natures Varity Duck Limited Ingredient and the other issues have (at this point) stopped. Had to watch some of the cranberry products, as some add Vitamin C which gave them loose stools.
    Good Luck!

    #72985 Report Abuse

    Jackie B
    Member

    A pet water fountain is also a good way to add water to a dog’s diet. Something about the running water encourages dogs to drink more. I use the CatMate brand one for my miniature poodles, but they have some for sale that are for larger breed dogs.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  Jackie B.
    #72999 Report Abuse

    Carrie K
    Member

    Thank you for the feedback! We’re trying some different things (wet food topper, adding yogurt to one meal a day, etc), so I hope that will help her stop eating poop, and will hopefully stop the UTIs that led to the bladder stones we discovered (I posted about those in a different thread). I appreciate all the help!

    #73000 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi Carrie-
    Do you know for sure if the stones are oxalate or struvite? I was assuming they were struvite in the other thread due to the fact that the vet wanted you to feed the Hill’s s/d prescription food. You probably know this, but just want to make sure. Only struvite crystals and stones can be dissolved. The oxalate stones cannot and can only be surgically removed. If you feed the s/d food and nothing happens, then the stones are most likely oxalate and the s/d food could be harmful rather than helpful. Good luck to you!

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