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I completely forgot to come back with an update on this – it’s been a rough year. The vet that did her surgery confirmed that they were, in fact, struvite crystals. The surgery was a success in that it cleared out her poor lil bladder, and it also helped clear up her lingering UTI. We’ve taken a few steps to try to keep this from happening again by switching to Orijen (for a little while – we’re in the process of switching to something with a little lower protein right now), adding warm water to one of her meals each day, and topping another meal with plain yogurt (they get fed 3 times a day). I recently brought a urine sample in for testing because I was afraid she had another UTI, but it came back clear. It’s a relief to know she’s healthy and not in pain anymore!
Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions and support!
Yep, the second vet is the one doing the procedure. I suppose I could have just gone back to my regular vet for it…
Thank you to everyone, again, for your advice! After thinking about how much pain she must be in and the size of the stones, I ended up calling another vet a couple hours’ drive from here for a second opinion. I explained the situation with the size of the stones and the vet’s recommendations (rx foods for life, dissolve with rx food, etc), and the new place was surprised at that. They thought she should come in for surgery instead, and they echoed my fears that trying to dissolve stones that big could cause a blockage if/when they tried to pass. I preferred the surgery route because it could take two months for them to dissolve, which is two more months of my girl being in pain. No thanks. My other thought was monetary – it would cost around $400 for the rx food for the time it would supposedly take to dissolve the stones, and there wasn’t a guarantee that they still wouldn’t have to do surgery. I’d rather just get it taken care of quickly and pay for the surgery.
In the meantime, at the recommendation of the new vet, we’re adding yogurt to one meal a day and feeding the Hills rx as a topper/supplement to the Orijen kibble for the other two meals a day until the surgery next week. And of course keeping her water topped up as we always do, and letting her out every half hour or so. Apparently they send the stones away to a lab for analysis to determine if she does in fact need to be on a special diet the rest of her life, or if the stones were just caused by an infection.
It was really interesting to hear another vet’s interpretation of the situation, and I felt like they were more open to a discussion about our options. And it was nice to hear that I wasn’t the only surprised by my current vet’s blanket “rest of her life” statements without knowing exactly what we were dealing with.
Thank you for the feedback! We’re trying some different things (wet food topper, adding yogurt to one meal a day, etc), so I hope that will help her stop eating poop, and will hopefully stop the UTIs that led to the bladder stones we discovered (I posted about those in a different thread). I appreciate all the help!
Thanks for the reply! We do add olive oil to one meal a day to help their coats (initially it was in the hope it would help Chewie’s stools pass a little easier), and we always have fresh water out for them. They go out pretty often as well, so it may just be that we need to start adding more liquid to heir food to help with the UTI issue. She’s on cephylaxin (sp?) for the infection, so hopefully that and the new food and adding more moisture to it will help. We picked up a bag of Orijen last night (with a little sticker shock!) and I noticed it has cranberries and blueberries for healthy urinary function, so I think that was a step in the right direction.
Interesting solution to the poo issue – I’ve never heard of adding pineapple to a dog’s food! I’m assuming it makes the end result more acidic than most dogs like to eat…it’s worth a try since my husband and I can’t agree on whose “job” it is to pick it up (though it’s usually me when I can’t take it anymore).