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Crystals in urine.

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Crystals in urine.
  • Ok some help here please. I took Kord to the vet yesturday because he needed to be weighed, needed his heartworm and anti flea yada yada, we also went to discuss his future neuter in August. Since I was taking him in anyway I had them do a test on his urine because I thought he was showing signs of a UTI. Dark urine, smelly and constantly wanting to go out and doing nothing. Two things happened, one I need some help with understanding, the other is something I am unplease with on Kord and my behalf, has to do with communication, listening and the fact that my dog snapped at him [:o].
     
    First, they found alot of crystals in his urine, I was told this could be from a UTI but the vet said this is something that they see in dogs that are fed table scraps. Now he gets a few now and again, and I do give him raw bones and satin balls on occasion. He told me to give him nothing but dog food, end of story. He did put him on an antibioic just in case. Was I brushed aside on this?
     
    Now here is the kicker, I wanted to discuss getting him neutered in a couple of months, he will be 1 then, the guy said we can schedule that today when do you want to bring him in? I was like, well in 2 months, he said ohhh.... Then I asked about this flea/tick preventative. Frontline does nothing for Kord, K-9 advantage works, but it only lasts about 3 weeks before he is scratching and itching again. So I wanted to know if we could apply it every 3 weeks if need be, his answer shocked me, he said and I quote " Well you can if you want, but I use frontline on my dogs and sometimes I only need to do it every 2 months"???? I was thinking to myself ok, and what does this have to do with MY dog and MY problem?  Now prior to this he was giving Kord treats, looking him over and we were talking, he sat up and then leaned over and tried to look at Kord's teeth, Kord snapped at him! I was so upset. He has never done this before. To say that Kord lost a little of my trust is an understatement. So now I have to decide if this is an isolated incident or is he going to do this again? FYI, Babe hated having her nails trimmed, so she had to be muzzled for this procedure, so in a way I am used to dogs not liking certain parts of their care.
     
    To give some background on the vet and vets office I use, they are high volume but decent. They have been wonderful to us in the past. The only problem is that because of the high volume you have to sign in and wait, first come first served, and the odds of getting the same vet, unless you ask and wait longer is low. The vet yesturday is the same vet that helped us send Babe on her way, he has never met Kord, and in fact this is the first time we have seen him in 8 months of care for Kord, and though I have no personal problem with it, he is hard of hearing, if not partially deaf. I don't know if I should request a vet in the future or think about getting a new vet office all together. Gosh I hate being wishy washy.
     
    This was very hard for me to post, so go easy on me with thoughts and advice. I HATE the fact that my dog snapped at him.
     
    Tru
  • Since I was taking him in anyway I had them do a test on his urine because I thought he was showing signs of a UTI. Dark urine, smelly and constantly wanting to go out and doing nothing.   ...

    First, they found alot of crystals in his urine, I was told this could be from a UTI but the vet said this is something that they see in dogs that are fed table scraps. Now he gets a few now and again, and I do give him raw bones and satin balls on occasion. He told me to give him nothing but dog food, end of story. He did put him on an antibioic just in case. Was I brushed aside on this?

    I think he fed you some malarkey and brushed you off.  There are only two types of crystals that I know of - one is thought to be a genetic problem and the other comes from UTIs.  Dark, smelly urine literally screams UTI.  Did they not find infection??
     
    Sounds like the vet didn't culture the urine for the right antibiotic.  When you go in for a urine recheck, ask for a different vet.  If there is still infection, ask for a urine culture. 
     
    Get some cranberry capsules and give Kord 1 or 2 capsules 2-3 times a day.  Put a little low-sodium chicken broth in his water to encourage him to drink.  If he eats kibble, pour some luke warm (not hot) water on it right before you serve it.  Anything else you can think of to get fluids down him will help.
     
    A cranberry capsule or two every day or every other day can help to ward off UTIs.  It can also help to dissolve any stones that may have formed from those crystals.  Passing bladder stones can be very painful.
  • he was giving Kord treats, looking him over and we were talking, he sat up and then leaned over and tried to look at Kord's teeth, Kord snapped at him! I was so upset. He has never done this before. To say that Kord lost a little of my trust is an understatement.

    Kord may just not like this vet (and has good bite inhibition) or maybe there is a gum or tooth issue and the vet hurt him.  Any dog in pain can bite.  I would recommend a muzzle when you have the UTI re-check.  That way the vet can check for gum or teeth problems without the chance of getting bit because Kord hurts. 
     
    A dog belonging to a friend of mine once had to be put out to have his teeth checked (dog was physically having trouble eating).  The vet first tried to check them the usual way, but the dog had an abscess and, when the vet tried to force the dog's mouth open, the dog gave the vet a strong "correction".  [;)]
     
    My little terrier snapped once in her whole life.  That was when a vet gave her a shot and hurt her doing it.  The vet tried to blow it off as her being nervous and having to wait so long to be seen.  I knew better and we didn't see that vet again.
  • Frontline does nothing for Kord, K-9 advantage works, but it only lasts about 3 weeks before he is scratching and itching again. So I wanted to know if we could apply it every 3 weeks if need be, his answer shocked me, he said and I quote " Well you can if you want, but I use frontline on my dogs and sometimes I only need to do it every 2 months"????

    You are right.  His dogs have nothing to do with it!  Personally I would email the manufacturer of Advantage and ask about the advisability of using the product more often than recommended. 
     
    Dogs with very healthy immune systems are much less attractive to fleas and diet has a lot to do with that.  If Kord is on a kibble with grains, you might want to consider switching to a grain-free kibble to get a more digestible food.
    [linkwww.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=grain_free[/link]>http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=grain_free]www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=grain_free[/link]
     
    Do you use a repellent along with Advantage?  You can buy it or make it yourself.[font="times new roman"]
    [link>http://forum.dog.com/asp/m.asp?m=300562]http://forum.dog.com/asp/m.asp?m=300562[/link][/size]
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  • Hi Truley....a few things I can relate to....

    1.  My vet hospital is the same, there's 5-6 vets and if you don't select a preference you can get in pretty quickly.  Up until now, I've only had cats with no health issues, so I don't really care who I see for routine checkups.  However, when I get Chop I think I'm going to select one of the vets that a bunch of people have recommended to me.  You may want to pick one vet and stick with that person if Kord is getting UTIs.  That way, the vet is more likely to remember and make connections to previous problems in case this becomes a chronic thing.  We had a cat with a series of infections and kept going back and forth between my vets and the vet from the rescue and every time we had to explain everything.  It would have been easier to just have all the paperwork in one spot and the same person helping out.

    2.  As for the snapping, a UTI can be very uncomfortable and painful, so it's possible Kord was just in pain, coupled with being examined by a stranger.  I don't think you should worry too much.  Maybe bring a muzzle for the future, but while your at home practice doing some massages all over his body and checking inside his mouth so he gets used to being examined.
  • Thanks for the suggestions. I will pick up some cranberry capsules tomorrow. To answer some of your questions.
     
    Infection: No on that, they said everything was normal, but gave an anitbiotic anyway.
     
    Mouth: I have touched Kord over every part of his body since the day we brought him how for just this reason, right after he snapped at the vet I was able to handle and look in his mouth with no issue so the vet could see in. In going over the reaction I think that your right, Kord just did not like him but I wanted to give the vet the benefit of the doubt. I have no illusions that my dog is perfect.
     
    Frontline and flea control: Two of the other vets, both women I might add, worked with me very diligently on trying to figure out what was driving Kord to itch and scratch so bad, we did the frontline, sulpher baths and a food change. It was not until his last real exam that we discovered that even though he had frontline applied withing a week he had fleas. So we switched to the K-9 advantage. We have been doing good on this but it still does not last from treatment to treatment. The diag was that he is just highly allergic to flea saliva, which is not uncommon but is a PITA for him and me. I will try a spay to go with it, thank you for that link. BTW, Kord never snapped at any of them and has even spent a whole day with them.
     
    Food: Kord is on Nutro Lamb, it was his breeders food and we did switch off of it for a short time while trying to figure out if he had food allergies, but went right back after the frontline episode. His skin is healthy and his coat is shiney, his weight and rate of growth are in normal ranges. (He is now 26 in at the shoulder and 71lbs). Kord did lose a little weight over derby but he has since put that back on, the reason there was the poor little boy had 5 women feeding and paying attention to him and then they left...........[8|].
     
    Thanks again!
     
    Tru
  • Truely -- I'm gonna add just a wee bit to this.
     
    When they check a urinalysis "in house" essentially it comes up with a 'range' of infection cells to the amount of urine.  These aren't nearly the right numbers but say the "ok" range is 10-15 and 16+ is "infection" -- if your dog gets a 15 technically he's 'ok' and a lot of vets will want to stick with that (particularly if the human comes in "thinking SHE knows and SHE isn't a vet!!!!!!!" -- so my guess might be that you were closer than HE wanted you to be so he gave you the antibiotic because it was likely borderline!  Bad call on the vet's part.  WHY didn't he say 'You know the results are a bit borderline so let's treat it *just in case*!" -- but some vets just don't want to encourage the human to do any thinking on their own -- they want THEIR tests to be the whole answer! (pardon me while I grrrooowwwwwwlllll mysefl!)
     
    However, by this time you'd done the UTI thing and he'd royally dissed you on the flea treatment thing so YOU were nervous and unsettled.   Likely Kord, by this time, was picking up that you weren't happy and then the vet likely was rough and he snapped.
     
    Honestly, I think you had it in one in your own first post -- I think it's a communication thing between you and Kord and now *you* know more than you did when you walked in there.  Kord has his limits -- and Kord may be more than a bit defensive of you and he may have pretty good 'sense' when it comes to which vets are truly on his side or not.
     
    I never muzzle my dogs at the vets -- HOWEVER -- there are times when I **warn** the vet "Remember please -- THIS dog has his limits and the verty first time you examined his ears he snapped, however we've been working on this and Billy is gonna be REAL good ... aren't you Billy -- when Dr. B looks at your ears you BEE-HAVE ok? Dr. B is trying to help!"" -- this tells the vet and the tech to be darned careful.  This also clues the dog that altho Mom may be stressed too, YOU mind your P's and Q's boy!!
     
    Now here's where everyone is different -- I avoid 'big' vet clinics like the plague.  I want to see the same vet and I go to enormous lengths to build a realtionship with THAT vet.  Mostly I want consistency and I want to know the vet is gonna remember that spot I showed him/her the last time I was there. 
     
    And fwiw about the flea stuff -- I've got one dog that Frontline doesn't work well on -- but I've discovered Frontline *spray* works really well and lasts.
     
    However -- this is not a sales pitch.  BUT do remember that in some places, particularly when you've had an unusual weather year -- that *sometimes* it may be that this dog doesn't react well to this flea prep -- **HOWEVER** don't discount the fact that the fleas may jsut plain be SO bad in your yard right now that more are climbing on than die.  And that can account for a lot.
     
    I know I've been told by both the company and the vet that I can apply Frontline twice a month ... and in the case of a dog with flea allergy dermatitis (which if the dog is allergic to flea "spit" that's exactly what it is ... you may have to reapply more often because that allergy is heck when it gets started.  The dog can suffer for MONTHS from just one darned old bite. 
     
    My old Prissy had flea allergy dermatitis and I've often wished the Frontline or Advantage had been "invented" back when she was around. 
     
    You may actually need to treat your yard, you may need to spray Kord with something almost every time the dog goes out.  Someone on here has an essential oil spray they make up (and I keep saying I"m gonna copy it and I never do -- dang me!) -- that you could spray on before you let Kord out (particularly hit the legs/belly/chest/butt area) = not instead of the topical but IN ADDITION.  When you have a flea allergic dog you just gotta do what you have ***gotta*** do. 
     
    Oh -- and back on the above -- EVERY time I go to the vet I take treats.  The story I told about Billy (you know, cute little Billy the Venturing English Cocker spanYELL who is such a special little guy and who LOVES his vet visits???) -- yeah, the first time he met Dr. Bailey he was a major mess ear-wise, he shook his way thru his first visit, AND he tried to nail Dr. Bailey for looking into his ears!!  Now yeah, his ears were hurting -- but we'd also just discovered that this incredible dog who 'loved children' (so we were told by the rescue) also became a blithering ball of jello with fear aggression when confronted by 5 year old little blond girls!!.
     
    Sooooooooooooooooooo, we start with this major campagn to retrain him and to make sure he is accepting of vets -- both male and female.  (Don't let Kord decide that male vets are bad guys -- there may come the day when he's in an e-vet and HAS to see a strange male vet and his life depends on it). 
     
    I took treats then, and I STILL take treats every time.  I remind Billy to be patient and he'll get the good stuff.  The vets (and often the vet staff -- particularly if they've had to take blood, do a catheter, or something else UGLY to him) are invited to let him have ALL the treats in that bag.  I've brought everything from tiny little 'dietetic treats' to cut up rib-eye and watermelon.  Whatever I needed to do *today* to motivate Billy to be more patient and to give the vet a good time too.
     
    Remember -- (and I think this vet WAS a putz, I'm not defending him) -- vets get tired.  Some days they must feel like all they've done is take blood, fecals, palpate a dog until they FIND the *hurt* and hurt the dog in the process, stretch a hurting dog further for x-rays and in short -- most of them became vets because they liked animals and I"m sure there are days when they feel a million miles from that.  So -- being invited to just plain have 1 minute of pure FUN with a dog after you've had to do something nasty to them, and know that you don't have to 'stop' at ONE treat ... I've never yet met a vet who didn't completely appreciate that.
     
    I've had people say to me "but vets SELL treats -- don't you feel funny taking treats in??"
     
    Nope -- I don't.  This isn't profit or loss -- this is "have fun with my dog and he LIKES these".  In fact, I had a vet tell me a few weeks ago after I BOUGHT a bag of IVD treats *there* because I'd forgotten my baggie (my bad) -- the vet tells the tech to tell me "btw -- Dr. S says send the other ones next time -- Billy really doesn't like these as well but he was too polite to say no!" (laughter followed)
     
    As a result, and it's taken nearly 3 years, but a whale of a lot of intense vet visits later (remember Billy is the one with the IMHA and he's been in and out of more ICU's in the past year than I wish he had) -- Billy goes totally ape-NUTS when we drive into ANY vet clinic. 
     
    Fearful?  Heavens NO.  This dog will walk perfectly on leash every time ANYwhere -- **except** at a vet.  HE DRAGS ME IN THERE!!!
     
    He can't wait.  He whines, he shakes, he shivers, he is SO excited he can't contain himself.  And all they're gonna do is PRICK HIM and draw blood or shove a cathether in him and take a urine sample or sometimes shove a big huge needle in his bladder to 'withdraw' a sterile urine sample??  Is this a good time?? NO
     
    But gosh Truely -- he has learned to trust and love vets.  And literally he has FIVE vet hospitals he goes to.  U of FL, my holistic vet, my 'regular vet (who doesn't have Saturday hours), my vet's best friend's practice (which is way the other side of Orlando, and another practice that is *sigh* pretty close to home!!  He loves them ALL!
     
    I'm just saying Truely, I so understand.  That day he went for Dr. B's juglular I almost DIED on the spot.  But -- you know now Kord's got "limits" -- so you now have something to work with.  Cos Kord actually has to tolerate even the jerks.  (like I said -- if he winds up at the E-vet some night with something horrible, you want that vet to be able to handle him even if it's part of the "B" team working on the Holiday nite at 3 a.m. *sigh*).
     
    Good luck.  btw -- which antibiotic did they give you??
  • P.S. -- call the vet and find out what "crystals" they were -- you need to know that in order to know what to expect in the future.  Some crystals are because of too much protein or even genetic issues, some are easily solved by diet change and cranberry (and maybe even adding something like ascorbic acid if it's struvite crystals)
  • There are 2 types of crystals / mucus both of which cause infections.  Mucus is the beginning stage of a crystal.  The most common is called  a struvite crystal and is caused by elevated Ph in the urine and is treated by increasing the acidity in the urine.  The second is called a calcium oxalite crystal and is cause by too little Ph in the urine and is treated by increasing the Ph decreasing the acidity. In case you don't know, Ph and acidity work hand in hand - one goes up the other goes down. Your vet should really tell you what kind of crystal your pet has, so that you can better treat it. After all, if you treat for a struvite cystal / mucus and your pet really has a calcium oxolite crystal then you'd be making it worse.

    Seeing as your vet said it was "the kind of crystal caused from table scraps" I would assume he is talking about a struvite crystal.  But I would go back and ask your vet what kind of crystal your dog has, just in case.  Your dogs urine may not  have elevated Ph or too low Ph anymore.  In the case of my cat, the Ph in his urine was fine, but he had struvite mucus.  According to my vet, he had elevated Ph at one time either from food, or genetics, or from not drinking enough, or from holding his urine too long.  The elevated Ph formed mucus, which is now bothering him.  So she gave me an herbal suppliment called tinkle tonic, which sooths the bladder.  He didn't have an infection, so he didnt need an antibiotic and he didn't have elevated ph in his urine anymore, so he didn't need anything to increase the acidity in his urine.  It worked.

    Vets are very non shallant about UTI's.  They don't give you all the info you need to help your pet. 

    First find out what kind of crystal it was?

    Then treat accordingly. 

    For either type of crystal, feed canned.  One of the main causes of UTI's is the pet is not consuming enough moisture.   For both types of crystals, I'd also supplement with glucosamine, which will break down any type of crystal, and marshmellow root and horse hair, which sooths the bladder. Like Tinkle Tonic [linkhttp://www.onlynaturalpet.com/products/Animals-Apawthecary-Tinkle-Tonic/148001.aspx]http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/products/Animals-Apawthecary-Tinkle-Tonic/148001.aspx[/link]

    For struvite crystals you want to decrease the Ph, by increasing the acidity in the urine.  For struvite crystals only, suppliment with cranberry or DL Methiomine which will break down the crystals and increase the acidity in the urine.   Food wise, I recommend Innova Senior Canned, which contains cranberry and glucosamine and is designed to protect the kidneys of older dogs.

    For Calcium Oxolite crystals.  Do not suppliment with cranberry or DL Methiomine as it will increase the already elevated acidity in the urine.  Suppliment with Glucosamine and the Tinkle Tonic.  Feed the prescription canned food.  This is why I'm assuming your dog has a Struvite crystal, because most vets would tell you to feed a prescription food if it was a calcium oxolite crystal, but check anyways.  All dog foods sold in stores contain something to prevent struvite crystals, which will make oxolite crystals worse and are also making them more common.

    Also tap water can contain minerals that mess with the Ph in the urine, so give your pet spring or distilled water.  And make sure your dog has plenty of opportunities to go outside.
  • call the vet and find out what "crystals" they were -- you need to know that in order to know what to expect in the future. Some crystals are because of too much protein or even genetic issues, some are easily solved by diet change and cranberry (and maybe even adding something like ascorbic acid if it's struvite crystals)


      Acidic urine can be a result of feeding a high protein diet, and can lead to the oxalite crystals that jojo mentioned. Neutral ph is about 7. I know some members give their dogs cranberry to prevent or help a UTI, but my vet said it does not have the same effect in dogs as in people; next time Jessie has an appointment I'll ask him to explain why. I'm sorry about Kord snapping at the vet; maybe he wasn't feeling well because of the UTI.
  • pH is an environmental measurement like temperature is an environmental measurement.  The ingredients in cake dough will create a cake in the presence of the proper temperature.  The proper temperature does not create the cake (not in my oven anyway [;);); it is a description of the environment necessary for the cake dough to become a cake.
     
    The pH of the urine does not create stones.  The pH is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline a solution is.  7 is a neutral environment.  Greater than 7 is alkaline.  Less than 7 is acidic.  The lower the pH the more acidic the environment.  The higher the pH the more alkaline the environment.  Saying "the pH is alkaline enough" is syntactically like saying "the temperature is high enough".
     
    Infections create materials that can become struvite crystals/stones, but those crystals/stones only form when the pH is alkaline enough.  Defective nephrocalcin (probably a genetic defect) allows oxalate crystals/stones to form, but those crystals/stones only form when the pH is acidic enough.

    Acidifying the urine helps to get rid of (or prevent) infections and keeps materials created by infections from becoming struvite crystals/stones.    Making the urine more alkaline helps to inhibit the growth of oxalate crystals/stones, but will not dissolve existing stones.