My dog had a surgery last week to remove 4 struvite bladder stones. This is the first time she has had struvite stones or any other kind, but she did have a bladder infection about a year ago so we are not sure if that may have started the formation of the stones. She also had a urinary infection while she had the struvite stones. After the surgery the vet recommended to put her on Royal canine to moderate calorie intake, but honestly, I don’t want to put her on that food, so I would like to ask in this forum if you can please give me some advice. I plan on calling the vet again to ask for more advise, but in the mean time I would like see what other peoples opinions are. Thanks in advance.
(P.S- Would anyone recommend a homemade diet for this situation?)Matthew CMember
The vet office returned my call, and they told me that the struvite stones were due to the food, and the only option they are giving me is the Royal Canine food…I don’t understand why is this the only option, they also told me not to use Vitamin C or cranberries pills. I’m very confuse.AcroyaliMember
My mother’s dog had surgery to remove stones. I don’t remember what kind of stones, and there are differences in how they form and what diets are best. Her dog, for whatever kind of stones he needed, needed low oxalate foods. She refused the prescription foods and cooks for him herself, and keeps a list of high oxalate foods (to avoid) and low oxalate foods (to include) in her kitchen for reference.
If you google search the dog aware website, there’s a lot of good advice (and it’s only advice, as the webmaster is not a veterinarian) about formulating cooked diets for healthy dogs, and formulating cooked diets for dogs with specific health problems. Personally, I’ve found it to be a wealth of information, as well as the b-naturals website. Lots of good advice on diet and health issues there.
We all form our own opinions through trial and error. My own personal opinion (and it’s just that…an opinion) is that a lot of a prescription diets are hype. It’s not something I’ve chosen for my pets, despite the fact that I was told two of them would have to be on them for life due to various problems. I’m sure there are Rx diets out there that have helped dogs and cats, and are a saving grace for their owners, and for that I’m (truly) glad. For now, we’re doing alright without them and if you choose to cook for your dog due to his problems, I hope the suggestions above help get you off on the right foot. Best of luck and happy cooking! 🙂anonymousMember
Did you check the search engine here? https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/search/bladder+stones/
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.
“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”.
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.
Don’t add supplements unless recommended by a veterinarian that has examined the dog.
Hi Matthew C-
I believe the vet is telling you not to use Vit c or cranberry supplements with the prescription food because it will over acidify the pH of your dog’s urine. That situation could cause the other type of stones. Struvite stones are formed in alkaline urine. The prescription foods help acidify the urine and increase thirst in your pup. More water and moisture as Anon mentioned will help dilute the urine.
Struvite stones in dogs are often associated with infections as you mentioned. One of my cats had a blockage and ended up in the emergency clinic for three days due to Struvite crystals. I now feed him mostly canned food, keep his litterbox clean, and have a water fountain available. I hope you can find something that works also. Good luck!aimeeParticipant
From the Minnesota Urolith Center: “Control of urinary tract infection and appropriate antimicrobic administration is essential to prevent recurrence. Diets with reduced protein, phosphorus and magnesium that promote formation of acidic urine are helpful, but cannot be used as a substitute for appropriate control of urinary tract infections.
In addition to the diet recommendation what measures did your vet recommend to try to minimize recurrence of infections and monitor for early detection of same? Whatever you decide in regards to diet make sure you follow directions in regard to frequent monitoring for return of infection.anonymousMember
From a previous post:
Increased water, add it to the food is a must, my dog laps it up to get to the food (4 small meals per day). Frequent bathroom breaks, keep things flowing.
Ask the vet if she has struvite or calcium oxalate stones? Or both? An ultrasound is a good idea.
“Struvite stones form in urine with a high pH (alkaline urine), diets should help to maintain a low pH (acidic urine). Diets with animal-based protein sources are most important in maintaining an acidic pH, while
vegetarian or cereal-based diets are more likely to cause and alkaline urine”.
“With Calcium Oxalate stones, a high protein diet can cause stones by increasing calcium in the urine. It lowers urinary pH and can increase uric acid. High quantities of animal protein can contribute to stone formation by increasing urinary calcium and oxalic acid excreting and by decreasing urinary citric acid excretion”.
“Your should increase your dog’s water consumption to help dilute the urine. You can do this by adding water to your dog’s food, it should look like wet mush. Avoid table scraps when caring for an oxalate stone-forming dog”.
“Depending on the kind of stone, you either want more, or less protein, and lower in fat (3 -8%). Be sure to check with your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet”.Rusty TMember
I have a stray cat that someone threw in my back yard 10 plus years ago. He had three surgeries for blockage, over a two year period. And yes we had him on prescription cat food. The time between the last two blockages was exactly one week. My vet FINALLY gave me a heads up on a procedure known as a perineal urethrostomy. (Why they didn’t mention this with the first blockage is beyond me.) Yes it was expensive, but the cat has been blockage free for 5 plus years. Maybe there is something out there for your female dog that no one has bothered to mention. Yes the perineal urethrostomy (essentially my male cat had a sex change) was expensive, but when I add up the cost of three emergency surgeries, prescription cat food, vet visits for monitoring, and the pain and stress that the cat went through, the surgery was a cost saver.
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