Hoping some of you may be able to offer some suggestions. My pup (10 yrs old) has recently been diagnosed with crystals and of course I want to do everything to help him and quickly. He’s been on a high-quality dry food for his whole life so the thought of putting him on wet food has me a bit hesitant. It looks like the quickest way to dissolve the stones is to do a wet food, the vet suggests Royal Canin SO, we will start with dinner tonight. Through my research, I learned that Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Venison is good at helping to dissolve stones as well. I’d like to mix the SO and Natural Balance, does anyone know if this is not a good idea? I called Royal Canin and they did not suggest it but they also were trying to sell me on their dry food. Not sure what to do. Would love to hear any and all suggestions you may have. Thanks for listening – be well 🙂anonymousMember
I would feed the food that your vet recommends. Was an ultrasound done to rule out bladder stones? Ask your vet…because often dogs can have more than one type of stones along with crystals.
Food does not dissolve all types of stones, sometimes surgery is needed.
had a dog with calcium oxalate bladder stones, struvite crystals and urinary tract infections. It was serious, emergency surgery and all.
From what I could tell, the main culprits were genetic predisposition and inadequate water intake, not the food.
A lot of pet owners serve kibble dry. Put down a bowl of water and assume their dogs are drinking enough….this is often not the case.
Also, expecting these dogs to hold their urine for 10 hours a day is conducive to stagnant conditions in the bladder, perfect environment for crystals and bladder stones to form.
Keep the bladder flushed, offer bathroom breaks at the minimum, every 4 hours (every 2 hours is ideal). Exercise, long walks, keep the weight down. Feed twice a day, measured amounts.
Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, we are really holding our breath here. My dog is the most anxious dog out there, you can’t even pet the poor little guy. We’ve tried to medicate him to no avail, we just work around his fears as best we can. As a result, getting him to the vet for testing is nearly impossible. We don’t know if he has actual stones. The vet is encouraged that the infection went away on the antibiotics and is hoping that the crystals are not a result of a stone. That’s why he said let’s do the dog food change for a few weeks to see if things clear up.
I’m going to feed the recommended food. I’ve been adding extra water to his dry food and I am constantly letting him out, even if he isn’t lingering by the door. Fingers and paws are crossed that this does the trick. Thank you again 🙂
Lauren – As a long time, Miniature Schnauzer owner, I will say that the breed is prone to Bladder Stones. That said, we tried Science Diet prescription food but our last two wouldn’t touch the wet food. We finally gave up and went with a low protein, mainly human grade food which seemed to work for a while. Our current puppy (12 years old) has had 3 surgeries in her lifetime. After the last one, about 6 months ago, together with our Vet, we researched and contacted other Vets and the UF Veterinary College. That research provided Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO (dry and wet) and Purina PRo Plan Veterinary Diet UR Urinary Ox/St Canned. Our puppy loves both of the brands and we feed her them all at the same times, rotating the wet foods every other day for variety, without any problems. Last lab results showed no crystals for the first time in years. Your results may be different but we extremely happy with both brands.SusanMember
My boy was put on Royal Canine Urinary S/O wet can & dry Kibble, Dry kibble for Breakfast & Wet Can food for Dinner , the vet said he has to just eat the R/C/ S/O for 6 weeks, no treats nothing else, then come back & have another Xray to see if crystals had dissolved, they had, then vet said put him back on a normal diet.
Susan – While we’ve been using both the Royal Canin and Purina prescription foods (for variety since our puppy get bored with her food), we’ve had great success. I’m glad to hear the Royal Canin worked for you. In discussion with our Vet, and considering the age of our puppy, we’ve made the decision to just keep her on the prescription diet (they also have prescription treats). 🙂
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Ronald B.
You all have been very helpful, thank you! We just had our dog’s urine rechecked yesterday and I am thrilled to report that the crystals are gone and his pH has lowered into the normal range. Now the next question… Does my dog need to stay on this prescription food forever? The vet says to keep him on the food but I’ve read elsewhere that says once the crystals are gone, he can resume his normal diet. I appreciate any feedback you can offer. Thanks for the help!
Lauren – Glad to hear that you’ve had good results. As I previously wrote, considering the age of our puppy (12) and the good results with the prescription diet, we (in connection with our Vet) have decided to keep her on the prescription food. I don’t necessarily see that there is a significant cost difference if you are feeding a high quality food or preparing home food. Plus I just use Chewy.com for home delivery. I hope this helps.
Hi Ronald –
Thank you for your message. So, in your opinion, is the prescription food (Royal Canin s/o) a high quality food? While it’s expensive, I’d pay my last penny for my dog, and if it’s going to keep him crystal free and comfortable, I’m all for it. I just want to make sure he is getting high-quality nutritious food. Thanks!
Lauren – I wish I could help you make this decision. I don’t think that I have an opinion on the quality of Royal Canin or Purina. Prior to prescription foods recommended by my Vet, we never used either. Both have non-prescription dry/wet foods, that I probably wouldn’t feed to my pet(s) if it wasn’t prescription. I’m sure others will have opinions about the companies and source of the ingredients but all i can do at this point is trust in my Vet of 20 years. At her age, I’m trying to ensure she has a good/great quality of life without having to endure any more surgeries. So far, it has prevented any new crystal formation, her weight and energy has been great and she actually likes to eat both of them. Something that I can’t say about Science Diet prescription food, which she wouldn’t touch. I guess what I’m saying is that we decided to stay with what is working for her, regardless of how I feel about the companies that produce the food.
P.S. I should also say that during the past year, my puppy has also been undergoing treatment for Melanoma (cancer) at the University of Florida Veterinary School. They were fully involved with my Vet concerning treatment of the crystals and signed off on her current diet.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Ronald B.
Ronald – Your input is much appreciated. I am thrilled to hear that your pup is thriving and doing so well. In my opinion, the fact that the vets at Uof F allow the food is a great sign. I just want to do what’s best for my guy, sounds like this is the route – it’s working, I don’t want to take any chances. Thanks again – hoping the treatments for your pooch are going well 🙂Wendy BParticipant
My 4yrs old Staffy has just had surgery to remove dozens of cystine bladder stones 2 of which were lodged in his urethra. Was advised to feed him Hills UD wet food or the dry soaked in extra water. He is tolera ting this slow introduction. However his pee stream is still a bit slow 4 weeks on. May need to return for further imaging soon. Anyone offer advice on this prescription diet or alternatives. Told good chance of reoccuring! Any info on helping me to reduce reoccurrence would be grrat
Wendy – Sorry your pup isn’t responding to the Hills Science Diet. We had similar results early on with our Miniature Schnauzer but it was more related to the fact that she just didn’t like/wouldn’t eat the prescription Hills. After 3 surgeries to remove bladder stones, she’s been having great results with prescription Royal Canin Urinary SO (dry, wet and treats) and Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet UR Urinary Ox/St Canned. We were fortunate to get samples from out Vet before having to commit to a full order from Chewy.com where the smallest order size is 12 or 24 cans at a time. Also, I did see the Royal Canin prescription dry food in Petco the other day. You can read other comments I have made above. Good luck, we know how hard it is to treat this condition which is more common in some breeds than others.Wendy BParticipant
Thank you. He’s not on the full diet yet. Just been slowly introducing it as suggested by vet. He does eat it ok. Will see how he is when he’s been fully weaned onto it. Costing a fortune theses ops. Been told diet is different for the types of stones x
Wendy – I’m not sure what the difference is between the Hills, Royal Canin or Purina with regards to specific types of Bladder Stones. Our Miniature Schnauzer unfortunately was diagnosed with both types.ChipyMember
Hi Lauren! Sorry to hear that your pup has recently been diagnosed with crystals. The below article has a natural, simple kidney and bladder stone treatment protocol and diet recommendations that I hope you will find helpful for your boy. It can be used as a resource if a dog has already been diagnosed with urinary stones or if you simply want to prevent this painful and annoying condition in the first place;
WHY DO DOGS GET BLADDER AND KIDNEY STONES AND HOW TO TREAT THEM NATURALLY:
Wow! Dr. Dobias’ “treatments” look down right dangerous to me! I would steer clear of his recommendations and snake oil.
I’ve been thru this with several pets for over a decade and I have to agree with crazy4cats. In all my online research, several veterinarian practices and schools for veterinary medicine, I have NEVER heard of anything close to what Dr. Dobias is recommending. I wouldn’t go down that road without some additional guidance from a face-to-face talk with your Vet. (or several Vets).
- This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Ronald B.
Prescription Royal Canin SO diet can help dissolve struvite uroliths specifically, and prevent formation of struvite and oxolate uroliths. RC also makes multiple diets with the SO index, including a behavior modifying diet, Calm. Stress is primary contributor to urinary disease, including bacterial infections, sterile inflammation, uroliths in the bladder (cystolith) or kidneys (nephrolith), as unsure which your vet has diagnosed. Moderating stress with diet, supplements, environment, and exercise, can help reduce stress induced disease and inflammation. Feliway (cat) and Dog Appeasing pheremone products are very helpful. Over the counter products by veterinary companies, such as Composure (Vetriscience), Zylkene (Vetoquinol), and Calming Care (Purina) are the most utilized amongst vet professionals. Long-term use of the rx urinary diet is recommended in repeat urethral obstruction or urolith affected pets. Obstruction by crystals blood/bladder cells, and stones is emergent, as blood cannot flow through the kidneys to filter toxins into urine, and toxins accumulate in the blood, leading to electrolyte imbalance, azotemia, dehydration, hypotension, and shock left untreated. Since he is older onset, ensuring water intake and more elimination opportunities on walks/yard visits will help decrease risk for concentrated urine accumulating crystals, which can form uroliths that gain size the longer crystals are present. Dilution decreases urine crystal formation. Inquire as to the serum kidney values, to ensure underlying kidney changes are not the contributors to the bacteria and crystals sited in his urine. Ultrasound is the best way to diagnose urinary tract changes, inflammation, and foreign material; limited abdominal U/S can find early kidney changes, prior to any abnormality in serum/blood work. Hope your boy continues to improve, as he already sounds 100% turnaround. Link to SO index Calm diet https://www.royalcanin.com/us/dogs/products/vet-products/canine-calm-dry-dog-food
Hoping someone can chime in here with some advice… I have a senior pup who went through the whole urinary crystals ordeal last year. He recently had a scope done because he kept getting UTIs, thankfully no stones. He has developed yet another infection but no crystals in the urine and pH is normal. Do I need to put him back on Royal Canin S/O? Does that do anything to prevent UTIs? I thought that was solely for crystals and stones. When I asked my vet, he didn’t seem to have an opinion one way or another. Any and all input is greatly appreciated. I want to do right by my dog, of course I’d rather keep him on his high-quality diet than the Royal Canin, but will do whatever I need to to prevent infection. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for reading. Be well 🙂ChipyMember
I’m so sorry to hear you are going through this with your senior pup. My favourite vet, Dr. Dobias has written some articles that I can share with you to learn more about these conditions. I absolutely love his natural approach and hope that it will be helpful for your beloved boy.
URINARY BLADDER INFECTIONS IN DOGS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
5 STEPS TO PREVENT CALCIUM OXALATE CRYSTALS AND STONES IN DOGS – HOLISTIC APPROACH:
WHY DO DOGS GET BLADDER AND KIDNEY STONES AND HOW TO TREAT THEM NATURALLY:
Having veggies in the diet can help balance PH. Dr. Dobias discussed within the following article;
WHAT VEGGIES ARE GOOD FOR DOGS?
I hope this helps and wish you and your pup all the best for good health! 🙂
Hi I have a male pug nearly 7yrs old Tyson. he recently had surgery to remove bladder stones. vet put him on royal canin s/o..he has an allergy to this food (i think it may be the chicken?) vet then said he must continue to eat this and prescribed Apoquel indefinately.. it has stopped his scratching (which he did till he bled) and licking/biting his paws, although i have read that apoquel is quite dangerous as it lowers their natural immune system making him more prone tp cancer/tumors etc.. i am living in BKK and the vets aren’t much help.. i d on’t know what to do. i have since changed to Hills c/d being the only other urinary food i can find though it seems to have same ingredients.. does anyone have any experience with this situation or advice on a solution to this problem?
Any input would be much appreciated
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