Young male w struvite crystals, reluctant to pee

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Young male w struvite crystals, reluctant to pee

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  • #120292 Report Abuse
    Laura R

    I have an 18 month old Australian Shepherd male who is reluctant to pee. Someone is home with him all day, so he goes out often enough. The vet has not prescribed any antibiotics as he sees no evidence of infection. He is convinced it is the food and recommended regular Science Diet or Iams food (not an rx formula). When I asked why he thought it was the food, he just seemed to think it was a function of his metabolism.

    The best I can figure out he recommended these foods because they are low in phosphorus. My dog had previously been on Canidae All Life Stage and when that didn’t work I tried Health Extension GF venison, which still didn’t work. Most dog foods do not list their phosphorous content or do so in a vague “min” quantity when
    I need a max quantity… I did find one website which listed low phosphorus commercial foods, but it was very out of date and inaccurate.

    So after going through chronic kidney failure and a raw/homemade diet with a previous dog, I decided to try a balanced raw diet (see Dr. Karen Becker’s diets on YouTube). But for a 40# dog it is not cheap or easy and I have only been doing it as half his diet along with the Science Diet (because I think this is crappy food). I also added Nutramax Crananidin, additional ascorbic acid, and calcium in order to boost the calcium:phosphorus ratio closer to what other sources recommend to be 2:1. Since this dog does not drink water at all (despite having bought a purifier and all), I also put a cup of water/broth on his food both am and pm.

    I just feel like I am at my wits end. In the afternoons/evenings, his urine pH runs around 7.5. This morning, I tested it and it was a lovely 5.5! Additionally, we have taken samples to the vet for analysis and we get different results on different days/times with crystals and no crystals present.

    All this leaves me feeling like I don’t understand what is working and why, and a dog that is miserable! We are going to add a little broth to his water today to see if that will get him to drink during the day, but if anyone else has suggestions or insight, I would be greatly appreciative.

    #120299 Report Abuse
    Lori H

    You might want to look at the following website. I have a dog that has had so many medical issues including calcium oxalate bladder stones which he had surgery for to remove. He was so unhealthy at the time. He also was in liver failure almost two years ago and my vet was preparing me for his death.

    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.

    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.


    #120300 Report Abuse

    @ Laura R
    Have you checked the search engine? This topic comes up at least once a week.
    Example: /forums/topic/bladder-stones-in-6-year-old-female-pug/#post-113166
    PS: PH levels fluctuate, the home testing kits are not accurate. Best to have it done at the vet’s office every 3 months. It takes that long for diet changes to make a significant impact.
    That is what the emergency vet told me when I brought my dog in and he had emergency surgery for a blocked urethra.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by anonymous.
    #120302 Report Abuse
    Laura R

    I did check the forum before posting, but most people seem to have this problem in middle-aged dogs. I was curious to know about young dogs/puppies, especially in terms of broader health implications. I wouldn’t be so concerned about varying test results if his behavior weren’t also indicating a problem.

    #120303 Report Abuse

    Often there is a genetic component, so age doesn’t matter. It maybe best to ask your vet for a referral to a specialist (internal medicine) if you have not had positive results from treatment so far.
    At 18 months your dog is a mature adult.

    PS: It may be that your dog is “reluctant to pee” because it is painful to urinate.
    Were x-rays/ultrasounds done? Bladder stones ruled out? Talk to your vet.

    #120321 Report Abuse

    Please take your dog to the vet. A blocked urinary system can be life threatening.

    #120322 Report Abuse

    Observe his urine volume and frequency. If both reduce and release painfully, you should take him to the vet immediately in case of kidney failure and worse situations. Promise the low-salt food and enough water, but do not supply too much water if he can’t urinate normally.

    #120328 Report Abuse

    Hi Laura,
    when you see your vet does he take a sterile urine sample? Sterile urine sample give better results ….
    Have you tried Royal Canine S/O Urinary dry, feed for breakfast & R/C S/O Urinary wet can for dinner, try for 6weeks, no other foods just feed the Royal Canine Dry & Wet.

    Or look at Hills C/D MultiCare Wet food
    Here’s the C/d Multicare Chicken & Vegetable Stew
    The ingredients look pretty good, Phosphorous 0.54, you could feed the Hills C/d Multicare Chicken & Vegetable stew instead of the Science Diet dry formula & see how he goes…

    Take your dog on 2 daily walks, dogs love sniffing & they love weeing on everything, get him into a routine morning walk & afternoon walk..
    He will start looking forward to go on his walks, when Patch isn’t feeling well we go for a drive to one of the nice parks up the rd, I see a big smile on Patches face, tail waging as soon as he see’s the park.

    You have to Email the pet food companies for the proper phosphorus %…

    Wellness have “PDF” for most of their formula’s…
    you click on a formula you like then scroll down & you will see
    “Nutrient Profiles” then underneath you’ll see
    “The Nutrient Profile for this product is also available for download. GET THE PDF”
    click on the PDF link.

    Here is “Wellness Core” Large Breed formula link, scroll down for “Nutrient Profiles”
    the PDF link

    #120332 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    HI, Laura have you ask the vet about cranberry pills for dogs? That may help. I think also you should try the food Susan suggested the Royal Canine prescription diet. I hope your dog gets better.

    #120339 Report Abuse
    Laura R

    Hello everyone,
    The vet tried to cath him to take a sterile sample but my dog would not allow that without sedation. He has an MDR1 mutation which makes many drugs toxic to him so we did not risk sedating him to do that. So, YES, we have seen the vet MULTIPLE times and NO we have not done a sterile sample.

    He is on cranberry pills, Nutramax Crananidin.

    We did add a teaspoon of broth to his water yesterday, and that did encourage him to drink. Even when he is out in summer heat running around and is visibly hot, he does not like to drink water.

    So, I do believe this is a product of not drinking enough, and really the underlying “problem” is lack of thirst. Can someone please tell me why a dog would not want to drink? I have had dogs all my life and never had this problem.

    Thank you,

    #120340 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    Laura, you mentioned 3 foods he has eaten. Can you tell me how long he was on each of these foods? And when he got this?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by joanne l.
    #120344 Report Abuse
    Laura R

    @joanne l
    When I first got him in April 2017 at 9 weeks, he was on Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Lamb & Rice formula. After age 6? months Aug 2017?), I switched him to Canidae ALS. Then we started having this peeing problem in April/May 2018. So that’s when I tried the Health Extension GF Venison diet, after the vet said “change the food.” But he wasn’t on Health Extension very long (less than a month / half a bag) because we saw no improvement and the vet qualified his “change the food” statement to specify Iams or Science Diet. So he has been on Science Diet Small Breed Healthy Mobility since early July 2018. And when I looked at those ingredients plus being frustrated with lack of improvement over many months, I started doing my raw diet research and I added raw food in mid-July.

    #120362 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    I am wondering if some dogs, when you change foods it can alter ph levels to cause this. I had a neighbor that had a dog and was feed iams for years. Anyway she switched his food b/c he was getting older and she wanted something better. After 10 months on new food he developed crystals. I really was trying to see what diet could of cause this. it may take 6 months or more on a food to have them form. Not all dogs have this issue with change, but some may. I really wish I could help you more b/c I know how frustrating it feels. I would try the prescription food, b/c crystals are not easy to figure out what can help get rid of them. I know you said about his water intake. I know hot dog broth in water may get him to drink, but the salt would be my concern. I would try to make him drink water, but not a lot, some way. Maybe put a toy in the water bowl? If I find anything out that may help I will let you know, but that’s all I know to do so far. I would not want to give you advice if I am not sure. I hope everything works out. Oh, I think the calcium and phosphorus need to be kept low. example: phosphorous 1% and calcium 1.2% I see that you mentioned that the vet said science diet but not RX why?? I just looked up Royal Canine s/o for urinary health and it has great reviews on dogs with crystals. Please ask for vet about this food. I don’t know why he did not suggest this food.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by joanne l.
    #120364 Report Abuse
    Laura R

    I don’t know why exactly why the vet did not prescribe a RX formula, but he did not. The calcium and phosphorus content of the Science Diet he is on is 1.16% calcium, 0.73% phosphorus.

    #120374 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    That is good levels of phosphorous and calcium. I would not add the supplements you are adding to your first post I read. Unless you told your vet about it. Well I guess you can ask him why the RX diet was not on recommended by him. I know some people don’t like science diet or royal canine. However, though in this situation these diets may be better. Just b/c other foods have better ingredients doesn’t mean it is better for your dog right now.

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