struvite crystals in 1 year old lab mix- vet prescribed U/D Hills Science Diet

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health struvite crystals in 1 year old lab mix- vet prescribed U/D Hills Science Diet

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  • #125479 Report Abuse
    Sara B


    I have done some searching around on the forum for various discussions related to this topic. It is a bit tricky to sort through all of them so I thought I would just put this out there to see what folks have to say or what experiences they have had. I have a 1 year old lab mix who has been diagnosed with struvite crystals. She has had a UTI. I also just had a sample of her urine sent off to a lab for a culture to get more information. She may be going on an antibiotic.
    Obviously my concern is that those will turn into stones which would not be good. My other concern though is that vet has prescribed Hills U/D. I asked him if he had any other options for my dog and he said no she would need to be on this for the rest of her life. I went home and looked at the ingredient list and cannot for the life of me understand how this is better than the food I am currently feeding her. I am also concerned about the side affects (weight gain, allergies etc). I have her on Honest Kitchen food right now to help with the increased water intake and have ordered Super Snouts Urniary Berry to help with the PH and hopefully preventing UTIs. Wondering if I should put her on the Hills Science for a time and then once the crystals dissolve go back to her food? Or If I should do a combo of the two? I dont really feel that I can ask my vet for suggestions because he seems unwilling to help in that regard.

    #125481 Report Abuse




    #125483 Report Abuse

    Usually an up in water intake helps with uti and some types of crystals. Although some are reoccurring. How old is your pup? Is this the first occurrence? If it is I would just feed the prescript food until the crystals are gone. Then return back to high water content food. Although if it is reoccurring I wouldn’t keep the dog on the prescript food permanently. Find a non traditional vet or a vet nutritionalist to help you formulate a properly balanced home diet for dogs with reoccurring urinary issues.
    The thing is with prescription foods is these big companies can balance the ph levels correctly and they can do it with inappropriate cheap subpar ingredients then slap a huge price tag on it and call it “science”. However I wouldn’t buy into it. You’ll spend the same or less making your dogs food with fresh ingreients that are appropriate and you know where they come from. Good luck.

    #125504 Report Abuse
    Bobby dog

    Hi Sara B:
    Your Vet is helping your dog IMO. If you are not comfortable with his advice I would get a second opinion.

    Increasing H2O intake is very important along with frequent bathroom breaks. Some OTC supplements can exacerbate the condition. I never used any for that reason alone.

    Honest Kitchen recipes are created by a person with an agriculture degree in equine studies. She has no education or credentials in small animal nutrition. To my knowledge she does not employ anyone full or part time with credentials in small animal nutrition. Lots of things can go wrong with a dog’s health when a diet is not formulated properly.

    I unfortunately have had a few experiences with UTI’s & stones in my pets over the years. One involved emergency surgery with a positive outcome the other involved a reoccurrence that I blame myself for. I only fed the Rx food for a week or two because I made an executive decision he was doing well and didn’t need it. 🙁

    Here’s a site I refer to for up to date info. Your Vet may have even sent your dog’s sample to U of M.

    Good synopsis:

    For a home made diet option check out Balance Your Vet would have to contact the Vet’s there to discuss the lab results so they could formulate a balanced diet that is best for her condition. I have used their OTC vitamins and recipes in the past for my dog, he really enjoys and does well on it. The meals are super easy to make and you can find most if not all ingredients from your local grocery store.

    I hope your pup is feeling better, good luck!!

    Here’s some more info that you may find helpful:

    #125597 Report Abuse

    Hi Sara,

    Change your vet look for a female Holistic Vet or a female vet who isnt chained to these vet diets, I don’t dislike vet diets, yes they are good to use “temporary” until owner works out what to feed once your dog is stable, did you know back in 2013 I remember reading the side of one of the vet diets Patch was on for his IBD, it said, this formua is not to be feed long term…Vet diets weren’t meant to be feed long term, the dog was suppose to get stable then another diet was feed…
    Now the vets Diets have been reformulated, can be feed long term now since 2015…
    In Australia we can buy a vet diet straight from a vet practice or order online & do not need no presciption or vet, this just proves vet diet are nothing real special & there’s better alternative out there that are healthier & probably cheaper..

    I dont understand why is your vet isnt looking into WHY your girl is having this problems in the first place, she is only 1 yr old. Did vet say why this was happening to a 1 yr old dog?
    Your vet sound like Patches 2nd vet we got after I rescue him, I was scared to ask him for anything, I remember telling him my boy IBD has gotten worse on this vet diet, he said he needs to be on it longer, after being on the vet diet 1 month I bought the big bag back & told the a vet nurse its not working I want my money back & I told her that my vet John wasnt listening & Patch is pooing water now, his front paws are red & he’s crying 11pm every night & swollowing acid, she went in & asked another vet can I try the Royal Canine Sensitivitiy Control & this is how Patch gets his GOOD female vet who is his still his vet now….

    Dogs and cats are designed to eat meat & when they’re are fed a grain-based diet or a starch-rich diet, the starch alkalizes urine pH, which can lead to the development of struvite crystals and stones.
    Also is she she having wee breaks every 3 hours?
    I would be looking at feeding your girl a raw balanced diet, there’s a few good Pre-made raw diets around, like “Answers Fermented ” Answers raw is suppost to be very good, it’s a bit expensive but its probably around the same price of a vet diet?? ..

    I’ve read alot of people’s post who have female dogs (older then your girl) who have urinary problems swear by using “D-Mannose” Pure Powder Healthy Urinary Tract..

    Start strengthening her Immune System, get some goats milk add to her diet for breakfast make sure she is having regular wee breaks every 3 hours…
    also look into Vitamin C High Potency Powder or I think the D-Mannose has Vitamin C??

    For now give the Hills wet & dry vet diet, look for an Holistic Vet or a vet who has been educated in dog Nutrition alot vets just know Hills, Royal Canin & Purina. Ask the vet why he didnt he prescribe Hills Urinary Care, Multicare C/d wet & dry formula’s instead? Ingredients are better in wet & dry formula’s, thats if you do stay feeding the Hills vet diet. Ypu could feed the Hill C/D Wet can food, for 1 of her meals.

    My boy was put on the Royal Canine S/O Urinary wet & dry for 6 weeks, he had another Ultra Scan & his crystal had dissolved, all clear, I rescued him & he was weeing blood then the rescue vet said put him back on what he was eating before…
    His crystals were from being used as a breeding dog the rescue vet said, he was 4yrs old.

    Here’s Hills C/d wet can food
    Feed till you work out what you’re doing..

    Start joining few Face Book Holistic Health Dog groups & you’ll find your way..

    *”K-9 Kitchen” run by Monica Segal

    * “K-9 Nutrition” run by Lew Olson

    Dr Judy Morgan DVM

    * Holistic Dog Care

    #125624 Report Abuse
    Lori H

    Hi Tanya,

    You might want to look at the following website. My dog Buddy (long hair Chihuahua, Dachshund and Pomeranian) has been through a lot, much like your dog. He had so many medical issues including calcium oxalate bladder stones which he had surgery for to remove. He is now 11 and during his life he has had surgery on his spleen, surgery for the bladder stones, been diagnosed with Diabetes, my vet thought he had Cushings and I was also told by my vet that he was suffering from liver failure and was preparing me for the fact that Buddy was going to die. The liver failure diagnosis was over two years and today, he is healthy, happy, looks amazing and has so much energy. He is happy and the most healthy he has ever been in his life! It has been an amazing turnaround so I know how you feel. I basically had to get him healthy myself. My vet did not support my decision to do what I did, but he is healthy and that is all that matters!

    Rick helped me and Buddy is now healthier than he has ever been. If anything, read what Rick has to say on his website. It sounds like you are open to something that might not be traditional medicine through your vet. The change in Buddy’s food as well as the supplements, changed his life.

    I now believe wholeheartedly that most vets know nothing about nutrition. They are told to carry a line of food in their offices by one of the large pharma/dog food companies because most of these companies go out and recruit at the vet universities across the United States when vets are in school and provide them with a kickback when the sell either Science Diet or Royal Canin in their clinics, up to 40%. My vet wanted me to have Buddy on Hills Science Diet for the rest of his life, like you, I looked at the ingredients and thought to myself, there has to be something better out there. There was not one thing on there that was considered a whole food or ingredient that comes from the natural world! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my vet, I just don’t believe he knows much of anything about nutrition. He has been great to me, my dog Buddy and my three cats. He is good at what he does, diagnose and perform much needed surgeries and procedures. He did Buddy’s bladder stone surgery which had the possibility for complications.

    I was at my wits end as well and thought that I was going to lose Buddy, but I was not willing to give up so I did a Google search and found an amazing person who brought Buddy back to the healthy dog he is.

    Buddy is on a very special diet and he has made huge strides in the last 10+ months. He is a very healthy dog to what he was 6 months ago.

    If you choose to go with his program, it is not cheap, but I believe that over time, I will save money by not taking Buddy to the vet time and time again because I don’t know what is wrong and having a battery of tests run and racking up bills in the thousands, I have been there!

    He was slowly weened off of his processed food Science Diet U/D and placed on a diet of fresh veggies and meat based on a very slow transition to follow with Rick’s help.

    Buddy’s diet is a balance of ¾ veggies to ¼ meats. Dogs with liver issues do not need as much protein as you would expect. He gets lots of yellow veggies (squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, celery, carrots, Brussel sprouts, snap peas, etc.) along with hemp oil and nori blended with goat yogurt into almost a smoothie consistency. I then add meats, liver is great as it helps to detoxify the liver (funny that you feed liver to a dog with liver issuesJ) and then he gets a variety of supplements. He receives three gut supplements in the morning (Acidophilus, Bifudus and a Spectrabiotic) along with an Enzyme and something called Whole Body. In the evenings he gets the Enzyme, Whole Body and a Mushroom supplement. The process to make his food is not that time consuming and if you are at your wits end like I was, I was ready to do anything.

    He also gets to have as much goat yogurt as he wants with coconut oil. He also gets sweet potato chews and coconut slices.

    He is also allowed to eat fruits, not during his morning and evening meals since they digest differently than veggies, but he has not yet warmed up to them yet. I don’t know if he ever will.

    He is doing great! He has so much energy and the numbers don’t lie! I got a glucose meter and I am going to start checking his levels daily. I would really like to get him off the insulin if I can. I believe the medicine is what causes the blindness, not the actual diabetes, my vet believes otherwise. I would loved to have found Rick earlier, I am guessing I could have prevented a lot of the other issues Buddy has had earlier in life as well as the very hefty vet bills!

    My vet has not said much of anything. I explained I was taking him off the prescription food and putting him on this program and he never responded. When I took him in the last time for blood work, I think he was surprised Buddy was doing so well, but did not ask me further about what I was doing. He is a pretty straight and narrow vet and I don’t think he looks outside the box. If Buddy’s glucose numbers continue to decline, I will take him back and back off on the number of units he is given. Now it is just maintenance and keeping a spreadsheet and monitoring how he is doing.

    I suggest reaching out. I think Rick saved Buddy’s life. I took him to the vet in October to have blood work done and he is perfectly healthy! The bladder stones HAVE NOT returned.

    Good luck on your search for information and I hope you find a solution. Buddy is 11, but has a new lease on life. I can’t imagine being just under two as a dog and dealing with this.

    If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am happy to talk to you. I have helped two others with their dogs and I truly believe Rick knows what he is talking about. I put my trust in him and I now have a healthy, happy dog. Lori

    #125625 Report Abuse
    Lori H

    Sara, I am sorry, had this saved and did not swap out the name (it’s been a long week). Please forgive the error. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You baby should live a long happy life, she is too young to be going through this. 🙁

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