Just got back from the vet with surgery scheduled to remove what appears to be 20+ decent sized Struvite Stones from my Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Sheapard mix coming up in about a week. She had been blocked up, peeing blood, with recurring UTIs off and on since being spayed at age 7months (may or may not be a connection, I switched vets just in case).
I am dumbfounded as she has had nothing but 5 star foods since I got her as a 10 week old puppy who is now nearly 3 years old. She has mainly been on Earthborn Holistic Costal Catch and Primitive, with some rotation through Pure Balance Wild and Free Bison, and Native Performance Level IV. I also add a lot of meats, several times a week- mainly fish, sometimes beef or chicken, also whole eggs. She also gets Missing Link or some other skin/coat/probiotic supplement everyday.
Any suggestions specifically on what food or what tips generally speaking to keep Great Pyrenees urinary tract healthy is appreciated. When all of these problems started I went through cranberry pills, vitamin C, apple cider vinegar, probiotics with prebiotics, and many rounds of antibiotics, so none of those could keep her free and clear for more than a couple of weeks.
Or if there is anything I should specifically ask the vet to check for or investigate further before surgery, anything would be helpful. The vet did have me (at least temporarily) switch to “Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Urinary SO” which isn’t directly rated on this site, but at best looks like a 2, maybe 2.5 star food, pretty terrible.
It is frustrating to spend so much time and money on quality foods and then have the vet say the food caused, at least in part, her stones.
Could 5 star food cause her crystals/stones? Should I use the Vets suggestion of this sub-par Royal Canin food? Is there any alternative to surgery that has worked for others that have this many stones with some blockage (the vet was willing to hold off on surgery, it is up to me)? Or, how does someone find a vet that won’t immediately blame the food? I don’t need vet bashing, they are not all out to get more money at the expense of animals, I just need real science/wisdom guided solutions.
Please check the search engine here for “struvite” “bladder stones” or click on my avatar and read my posts on this subject , this topic comes up about once a week.
However, I am not a veterinarian, so please check with your vet before making any changes to your dog’s treatment.
I wouldn’t mess with supplements, keep the diet simple.
There are prescription meds that your vet could subscribe after surgery if her condition is stubborn. I would ask about that.
There is NO magic supplement. The trick is to add water to each meal 3-4 small meals per day soaked in water, don’t measure, just fill the small bowl, the dog will lap it up to get to the food.
The dog must be taken out to void (pee) ideally every 2 hours during the day. At bedtime and first thing in the morning. Stagnant conditions in the bladder are conducive to stone formation.
There is nothing wrong with Royal Canin Urinary SO. If you get the dry, soak it in water overnight then add water too. Once the dog is stable, few months to a year, you can talk to your vet about adding something tasty to the prescription food, like cooked chopped up chicken breast or some other lean meat.
Excerpts from previous posts:
As your vet will confirm, dogs that have a tendency to make bladder stones have to be on a special diet the rest of their lives, this is a serious condition and it just doesn’t go away.
I would comply with the prescription food for now.
And don’t forget, water, water, and more water added to the diet. Ask the vet ….but I believe this helps big time. And frequent bathroom breaks, opportunities to urinate.
“My dog had both (struvite and calcium oxalate), no symptoms till the age of 11, started with UTIs. He has had no recurrences in 4 years since his emergency surgery.
In fact, I just took him in for a geriatric workup and his lab work was good”.
“I was afraid the vet would want to do x-rays and test his urine…..but he said as long as he is not having symptoms we are not going there (he’s too old to tolerate another surgery)”
“I do monitor his urination habits and check for normal flow, stream, amount. If I note any discomfort I will take him to the vet”.
“There is a genetic component and some breeds are more prone to bladder stones.
“Anyway, if you do nothing else, add water and take her out to urinate frequently.
I went along with the prescription diet for almost a year, since then he has been on Nutrisca salmon and chickpea kibble soaked with water +, I use the wet food too”
PS: Soak the kibble, even the prescription food in water overnight in the fridg, add more water prior to serving. Keep the bladder flushed. Maybe add a little canned prescription food as a topper.
PS: If he is overweight or inactive, start taking her for daily walks, that helps too.
Ask the vet to clarify exactly what type of stones she has, they can have more than one type. The above two seem to be the most common.
Consider making an appointment with a Board-certified Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist for management.
With my dog with allergies I found it very helpful to see a specialist, we now only go once a year, she responded to treatment and has been stable x 4 years.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by anonymously.
Hi, I would STOP feeding any kibble, when I first rescued my boy, he was weeing blood & had ultra scan & he had crystals, he was then desexed & put on the Royal Canine wet tin & dry kibble S/O Urinary for just 6 weeks to dissolve his crystal, I was lucky his crystal dissolved after eating the Royal Canine S/O vet diet, the vet said his crystals would of been from being used for breeding, the vet then said, I feel real sorry for the dogs he was breed with….
I would start feeding a raw diet, no kibble or change the brands she has been eating, kibble isn’t good for dogs, wet moist foods are heaps better for dogs with bladder problems…
Here’s a raw diet just have a look at the foods that the Naturopath recommends to feed, for vegetable I read feed lentils, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, spinach & string beans…You can email Jacqueline Rudan & ask her questions she emails back & she does consults overseas on Skype…
I would not hold off surgery if the vet is recommending it. If you have any doubts, consult a specialist as soon as possible.
I would feed the prescription food and stay away from supplements unless the vet approves. http://skeptvet.com/Blog/category/nutrition/
Be careful about taking a “homeopathic” approach to this condition. Natural does not mean benign and some supplements are not only ineffective but can cause harm.
Thanks for all the replies. I definitely did search through the forums and things tend to go in circles (Use the vet dog food/never use the vet dog food, high meat based protein causes stones/meat protein never causes stones, lowering urine PH helps/ Lowering urine PH causes stones, etc). But I understand there are a lot of unknowns and every breed if not every dog is different. I should know more when the full tests get back with what stones I am dealing with, and then certainly after they are removed and tested (still on the fence with surgery at such a young age but will probably go through with it).
Thanks for the recommendation to find a Board-certified Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist, is there a search they provide of their members, say by state or do you have to lookup each one?
From all these posts I did gather that water is key, so thanks I will really start upping her water intake by soaking the kibble. She gets out at least 3-4 times a day and gets 20-30 miles of walks a week. She is not overweight at all, about 107 for a female Pyrenees.
Making my own food for the two large Pyrenees I have is not really feasible at this point, I would love to, but that is 220 pounds of dog to feed a day, just not going to happen on my budget. I do give them as much meat as possible though. I like the diet guide Susan linked to and bookmarked to to use when I can.
Pyrenees are pretty tough dogs and my other one who is the same age has zero issues with the same diet. You just don’t hear of Pyrenees getting stones very often, so I was just putting some feelers out there if anyone new something specific about that breed. When I read the ingredients of the “Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Urinary SO” I was just shocked that this was my official solution… feed my dog Rice, Corn, and chicken by-product meal. there isn’t a single true meat in that food. I will stick with the food for now, but here is an article linked to in the forums that pretty much states food isn’t the culprit, it is the water as you all have told me:
Call the nearest School of Veterinary Medicine near you, or ask your veterinarian for a referral to a specialist.
I have used prescription foods with good results, once the dog is stable I add a bite of cooked lean chicken, scrambled egg, something…..
The food, the water, frequent bathroom breaks, etc are all aids to prevent stones from developing. The real culprit is in their genetic makeup.
My current favorite foods are Nutrisca or Orijen kibble as a base, I lean toward the fish, and I add a topper. I recommend Chewy.com
Hi again, last night after posting my post I started reading the Case Studies on the link I gave in my post, I started reading about a dog called Tessa Adams, she’s a 8yr old cross breed with Chronic Renal Failure, vet gave her 3 months to live, a bit different to your dog but as you read through the case notes it’s unbelievable how diet does help, food does make a big difference…. Jacqueline writes about raw eggs, eggs are high in protein but not has high as meat protein…. its a good read….. http://naturalanimalsolutions.com.au/Shop/category/case_studies/
Science-based information at this site: http://www.vetmed.umn.edu/centers-programs/minnesota-urolith-center/recommendations
http://www.acvim.org/ You may be able to find an Internal Medicine Veterinary Specialist in your area by using this link.
I would skip dry food and if you absolutely must feed dry, reduce the amount and add some canned plus water. It is important your dog get enough moisture and have ample opportunities to urinate. Good luck!
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