My 4 year old Papillon, Bandit, has had recurrent problems with crystals (struvite) in his urine for the past nearly two years and had to have surgery to remove bladder stones a year ago. The two or three times a culture has been done the crystals that have been found were not bacterial based although I do think he’s had some urinary infections at times as well, he’s been on several rounds of antibiotics over this time frame. Anyway, after the surgery a few months later x rays showed small stones again beginning to form so I started him on Solid Gold’s berry blend twice a day over his Wellness CORE Oceanfish food. After about 6 weeks we did another x ray and the stones appeared to be dissolved so I thought the problem was solved. Recent urinalysis have shown he again has crystals in his urine however… though again not bacterial in nature according to the culture. Because of this my vet said it might be time to try the Science Diet C/D food….she knows I’ve been reluctant to do this and she was reluctant as well. In addition to my loathing of all things Science Diet Bandit also has a long list of food allergies (corn, chicken, eggs, rice, and wheat) of which two are in this food (chicken and corn). There has been a very short list of foods I’ve found that do not have these things in them, and I have worked hard for four years to get his allergies under control. I just didn’t feel like I had any choice but to try this, I can’t put him through surgery for stones repeatedly…my question is does anyone know of any better quality foods that are alternatives to Science Diet’s C/D for this problem? I can’t be the only one who has a dog with allergies that this is an issue for but I haven’t had much luck with my research thus far… There’s got to be some combination of nutrition levels I need to look for that C/D has that helps this specific issue…
Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me!
The first thing I would do is stop the dry food. I’d use canned, dehydrated, raw (core made or your own). If you must feed dry, I’d add water to your dogs food. It’s very important that a dog with crystals get a lot of moisture & have ample opportunity to urinate.
I agree with InkedMarie. Extra moisture is a big help in preventing crystals/stones. Another factor to consider is the amount of carbohydrates in the dog food. Foods with a lot of plant-derived ingredients (high in carbs) tend to support the formation of urine with a higher pH. Struvite crystals are most likely to form in urine with a pH above 7.0. Yet another reason to move toward a diet closer to the so-called ancestral diet of dogs which had very little carbohydrate.
Another thing to consider is traditional Chinese veterinary medicine. It can clear up bladder inflammation in ways that antibiotics sometimes cannot. I have an article about bladder inflammation on my blog if you’re interested: http://naturalalternativesvet.com/bladder-inflammation-cats-dogs/
My yorkie use to get crystals all the time. I switched him to canned food that was low in carbs and even added extra water to it. We have not had any since. Lots of water is important. I would definitely switch to canned food.
Hi Dr. Tabitha,
I just read your response and wondered what your thoughts on Herbsmith’s new Bladder Care product might be: http://www.herbsmithinc.com/Home/Canine/Herbs/BladderCare/default.asp
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.