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Struvite Crystals in my dog's urine

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Struvite Crystals in my dog's urine
  •  So I took my 1 year old pitbull, Bentley, to the vet today because he was peeing in the house, and had a little blood in his urine. They tested his urine and found struvite crystals in his urine. They gave me some Amoxi, and antibiotic, for 14 days and Hill's s/d canned food for 30 days. He will get his urine tested again in 30 days, hopefully all the crystals will be gone! Then they want me to feed him the Hill's c/d kibble for the rest of his life!      So I have a few questions.... I've been reading that this Hill's food isnt so great. I know it's suppose to be gentle on his system so he can fight off these crystals, but can I just give him like lambmeal, or high quality turkey burger with brown rice and veggies? Wont that be just as gentle? I found a website with some good recipes.(well i think they are. ) Can someone let me knopw if feeding him these recipes along with cider vinegar or cranberry supplements? Or both? I just want to do the best for him, you know? And this H!~ills food isnt it! What is the best dosage tohave him on for cranberry or cider vinegar? He's 50 lbs. Pleasse give me your thoughts! My vet is kind of an a@@ and doesnt really care about my dog.

  •  No, gentle on his system is not the issue. You need an exact pH and mineral balance, for crystals and stones.


    There are doggy nutritionists that can design a diet, for him, but just feeding him healthy foods won't cut it, unfortunately.

  • You can go to http://www.monicasegal.com (she also has a Yahoo group) and ... someone else may have Mordanna's website.  You can surely do a homeocooked diet but you *do* need to have it pretty carefully monitored especially in a dog that's come up with it this young.

    Have you made any changes recently?  You might also want to have a urinalysis done on the other dog -- cooking for two is easier than cooking for one and dealing with "what have YOU got in your bowl??" with the other.

    I home cook for four dogs -- and  three have UTI issues.  Cranberry is fine (use an adult human dose twice a day and capsules are *fine*).  D-mannose is also really helpful -- (experiement with the dose -- try half the adult human dose with that as well twice a day). 

    Cranberry & d-Mannose both are sugars -- they are forms of glucose.  Essentially they aren't absorbed by the body but literally make the urinary tract too 'slippery' to have bacteria adhere well enough to stick.  You don't use them to treat a UTI -- you use them to *prevent* one.

    Struvite crystals tend to form in too alkalyne urine.  So a food that is a bit more acid may help.  I add tomato to my home cooked and it helps in *my* situation. 

    But seriously -- if you've never done home-cooked and you have a problem like this, getting a consult is the best way to do it.  You will need to know what proportion of veg/meat, and how much calcium to add as well as the finer points of which veg are good/bad regarding kidney issues.  It's not hard - you just need some guidance.

  •  The only thing Ive done different is he has had peanut butter in his kong for the past couple months. Could that cause the urine to alkalate? Im just trying to figure out whats best for my dog, and I know that Hill's Science Diet s/d isnt it! My vet just wants him on that food, and I want another option. Before a few days ago Bentley was eating Iam's Premium Protection. Could I add an acid base to that like tomato paste, apple cider vinegar or something else to that? Plus, cranberry piils and the d- mannose? Would that be something that would work you think? I just dont really know where to turn.... so Im trying to research it. Theres a holistic vet about 45 min away, maybe she could help? Where could I find a nutrionist?

  •  You can find a nutritionist at monicasegal.com or betterdogcare.com.


    Personally? I paid $1000 for a struvite stone surgery, on a dog, that never fully recovered from it. She always had pain and bladder issues. I would feed the clinically proven diet (which has ingredients BETTER than the Iams you were feeding before), until I could have a diet consult done with a nutritionist. Even then? The homemade diet may or may not work. Sometimes, they don't, and you end up back on the prescription diet, that's lab tested. Real food has more variability.

  •  Yeah, but the Hill's is all corn and fillers. No Protein. It's made bland so that the body doesnt have to work to digest it and can focus on the issue. The problem w that is that he will lose weight and stuff. I just feel like a homemade food w calcium supp. and vitamin b and cranberry could work if i tweak it until it works. If i test the urine ph and get it to stay at a constant level of whats its suppose to be at then I dont see why it wouldnt work, you know?

  • Except that the Iams you were feeding was all corn and fillers, too. Your dog wasn't losing weight on that, was he?


    C/D is 22% protein. My healthy dogs eat less than that. It isn't a horrifying food. The reason they use a lot of corn is for amino acids with low ash content. There is science behind it. I would *NOT* wing it, with a dog that has such a serious health problem. I would either pay for the consult, and pray that the homemade diet worked, or feed the canned C/D. Last choice would be C/D kibble, soaked in distilled water, til it's mushy. Distilled water is better for stones and crystals, because it doesn't have minerals in it.

  •  I realize that Iam's isnt the greatest food . But Ive been reading bad things about it is all Im saying. Im not going to just "wing" it. Im going to talk to some other vets. Just want to hear other people's stories about what worked and didnt. And the vet only recommended the canned for a month then the kibble. No soaked in anything. He said that distilled water wasnt neccassary and nothing else. So Im trying to get advice from others.

  • Monica or Mordana will both do consults for you (they take a HUGE history, along with vet input if he'll give it) and write a diet specifically for your dog.

    OR -- acupuncture/TCVM (traditonal Chinese veterinary medicine) can be a huge help in something like this.  http://www.tcvm.com -- there's a locator on the left.  They will give you awesome dietary advice.

    This isn't an 8-9 year old dog getting struvites.  This is a YOUNG dog.  That's part of what Jennie and I are both thinking -- you don't want to omit something critical in a *young* dog with a problem.  It's not that the problem is insurmountable, but you DO want someone good keeping an eye on it.

  • No - they may not seem great on the outside - but it what they do to the dog that makes all the difference. No - they may not be perfect - but I can tell you without a doubt that they are MUCH better than the IAMS you're currently feeding.

    When we talk high quality - we're talking Orijen, Wellness, Blue, etc. IAMS, Purina and Pedigree just don't cut it when we talk food quality.

    But we're not talking about a normal dog (in a sense). We're talking about a dog with a medical condition, a painful one at that. The SD prescription lines are fomulated for dogs with those issues. They've been tested, and proven.

    So unless you are going to pay for the consult with the people Callie suggested - and STICK with it, you're best bet is to go with the rx food. My cat was on it (k/d), and it saved her life when her kidney's failed her. Several members have their dogs on the allergy line (z/d) and it's the only thing they can happily eat with no issues.

  • Willow's had struvites in the past.  We finally ended up doing an urine culture to find out what antibiotic would treat it.  We did an extended dose of that and finally it cleared for good.  But, until they did this, the infection kept coming back on her. 

    I don't know.  I'm first to say stick with the prescription for the month for sure.  They can retest and see if they've cleared up once he's done.  That said, they never once put Willow on the prescription diet for crystals. 

    What they did have me do was an all canned diet, NO kibble, I leave water all over the place,  frequent trips out to pee so she's not holding it, you can also add unsweetened cranberry juice to the water if he'll drink it like that.  Willow wouldn't touch it.  But, she's very fussy. 

    IF, IF you do go back to kibble you need to call the company you choose and ask them what the target urine Ph is for the food.  Anything over, I THINK--double check me on this--6 is going to be too high for struvites.  I'll save you some trouble, don't bother with Wellness.  My dog started the problem on that and I think 2-3 past members here had the same problem.  Of course, they could of reformulated by now, but just so you know. 

    Hope this is helpful.  It's a little late so let me know if I can clarify anything. 


    PS-I've done homecooking too.  And, it's quite a commitment.  Asided from the concerns you've mentioned you will need to balance calcium to phosphorus. If you do homecook definately add water to it so it's like a soup.  The more water he takes in the better for him. 

    I found rather than homecooking using a canned diet and adding my own fresh meats, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. worked much better--easier for me and she eats well. 

    Also, the company Solid Gold makes a cranberry powder that I used and it worked great. 

  •  Thanks for the info, I totally understand what you are saying. I will definately contact someone to help me out. And I do want someon eelse to keep an eye on it, not just me. I am no vet. I just really love my lil guy and dont want him to be in pain. Thanks alot!

  •  Lucky had really bad struvite crystals for a while. Vet had him on a mix between c/d and w/d canned and dry for a while, but it was HORRIBLE for his skin. I switched vets, and they reccomended the Royal Canin veterinary diet of "skin and stone", formulated for skin and bladder stones/crystals. The ingredients aren't top quality like top premium brands, but (at least from what I read in the ingredients list) they're a whole let better than Hills. And he loves it!

    I also switched him over to bottled water- since I have such hard tap water at my house (farm country), it got him to drink a lot more often- which is vital for getting the bad stuff out of the bladder.
    Also, a tip I got from Callie a few months ago- you can feed him a few dried cranberries a day, kinda like what is prescribed for people when they have bladder infections- something in the cranberries helps.  

  •  Does anyone know what I can use to sprinkle on my other dogs food, so Bentley will not eat her poop. He does this sometimes, and right now he cant eat whenever he wants to, and is still getting used to having a feeding time. He cannot eat my other dogs food because of his struvite crystals, and Im assuming the poop will have the same effect as the food. I know it's nasty! My vet told me I could use something that he sells thats expensive or some kind of tenderizer? I dont remember... Does anyone know?

  • Don't use meat tenderizer -- I've heard that before but it's mostly salt and you can cause SEVERE kidney problems with that. 

    The vet may have Forbid and that works with some dogs. 

    Your dog with the problem will be attracted to the other dog's poop because of the difference in food.  It's nasty but it's not unusual.