Crystals in urine
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Thread: Crystals in urine

  1. #61
    Senior Member flipgirl's Avatar
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    LindaL, I would consult your vet before switching to another food. I know he or she will probably insist on the Royal Canin but maybe bring in the food you are thinking and an ingredients list (along with percentages of ingredients like phosphorus, magnesium, calcium protein etc. on a dry matter basis - you can contact the company for these if need be). My dog had struvite crystals and was supposed to eat the Royal Canin food. I refused because I didn't see meat as an ingredient and if there isn't any meat, what really is in the food? Anyway, I continued feeding her raw but added Wysong's Biotic ph- which is a supplement that makes the urine more acidic. It worked and her crystals were gone. Of course, I just contradicted myself by telling you to consult your vet when I went against my own vet's advice. However, my vet also told me that feeding my dog raw wasn't natural and if I wanted to feed natural I should feed her canned food. Her reasoning was that the meat I was feeding her isn't the same meat that a dog would catch in the wild. Well, I have yet to see a can running in the wild! Regardless, a vet would know the levels of particular ingredients that need to be restricted so if you bring in some good foods and have her/him compare them, then you could feel more comfortable feeding the foods. I would feed canned food but you can also add water to her food or some low sodium chicken or beef broth to increase the pallatability. Or freeze the broth in an ice cube tray and use them for treats. Also, you want to be careful that you're not making her urine too acidic because then you increase the likelihood of calcium oxylate stones which are much more difficult to treat. Struvite crystals usually become an issue when an infection is present because the infection causes the crystals to stick together (thereby causing stones) or stick to the bladder wall (thereby causing an irritated/inflamed bladder wall). Once the infection is cleared up, usually the struvite crystals are gone or are no longer a problem. Dogs can have struvite crystals and be okay but when there is an infection, then they're a problem. BTW, it's been about 8 months since my dog has had crystals and there has been no recurrence. I am still feeding her raw and add about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to her food.
    In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland

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  3. #62
    Junior Member LindaL's Avatar
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    I wanted to update everyone on my Maltese Annie and the issues around her food and the crystals. Thanks *so* much to all of you who have given such great advice and help.

    I still need to make an appointment with her Vet and have a good talk with him. I think he put her on the RC-SO14 (for life) as a preventive, and also did a round of antibiotics. Flipgirl, I have a feeling he's the kind of Vet who will tell me to do whatever I think is best---he's not the kind to push things, but I'm just getting to know him. My adult kids all take their animals to him. When I go in for her checkup I will definitely be discussing all of this with him! Thanks for reminding me !

    To remind---when I got her she came with an envelope with an egg sized stone that had been removed from her bladder last October. I think my Vet could tell she wasn't fully treated, because he commented he could feel the incision and it was rough. I became concerned because her poops were so dry and hard on the RC. That's when I found all of you and began to learn about the differences in foods.

    After looking at all of them I decided to try her on Wellness Core. She refused to eat it for the first day. I was trying to mix it with her RC to wean her onto it slowly. She would just pick out the RC and leave the Wellness! Finally I just gave her the Wellness Core and she ate a bit of it. My husband pointed out that the kibbles are very hard and maybe she was having trouble chewing it. She is missing quite a few teeth. I started adding hot water to the kibbles (thanks Elenajas ) and now she is eating them with no problem---plus, she gets added water!

    I did check her urine pH before I started and it was NEUTRAL! This was after a month and a half on the RC! I have been adding a cranberry capsule each day to her new food and will check the pH in a few days to see if there is any change.

    I do have a question I think someone else asked about the form/dosage of the cranberry. I picked up the gelcaps thinking they would be liquid and I could just pierce them and squeeze the juice out. But, it makes a royal mess! The ones I have are filled with a thick, almost pasty substance. Is there a brand (cheap) on the market that is a tablet I can crush or a liquid? Also, I noticed several different doses. How many "mg" a day should she be getting as a preventive to just keep her urine on the acidic side---and how acidic should the pH be? I don't want her to end up with the other type of crystals!

    Anneh---I didn't get Annie until 2 months after her surgery, but she has had no problems with leaking. In fact had I not been told, and seen that she had been shaved I wouldn't have even known she had a problem. I don't know anything about the leaking problem, but I'd want to get it checked.

    I will keep everyone posted as we adjust to the new food and cranberry. I can't tell you how much it has helped to have such great support and input from you all. This was all new to me and really scary. Please let me know about the cranberry dose and acid issue if you know, this is all VERY useful information!

    With much gratitude ,
    Linda L

  4. #63
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Hi, dog lovers!

    Thank you all so much for the great info in this thread!

    Here's my story... My mini Schnauzer Kali has been plagued with a lifetime of health problems. She has severe allergies, multiple ear infections, has had kidney issues, UTIs & BOTH forms of urinary crystals. My vet had her on Hills urinary diet then switched her to Urinary SO...I hated them both & have been trying to find a better quality food that will still support her urinary health. We also have to factor in many food allergies - which I think were exacerbated by the prescribed foods, but at the time I was more worried about crystals than her allergy symptoms.

    After learning more about the (IMO) bad quality ingredients in the prescribed foods I tried her on Wellness Core Light (or something like that). My other dogs get Natural Balance limited ingredient Potato & Duck - I was worried it had too much protein for Kali, who at one point had extremely high triglyceride levels & bad levels of BUN & another kidney function (I had been cooking for her). Unfortunately she didn't react well to the Wellness...she seemed happy & more energetic but she was itchier, I think from the oats. So she is now on the Natural Balance as well, and I'm just hoping the protein level is OK for her.

    I add water to her dry kibble to encourage her to drink, however I'm worried that it will decrease the benefit of feeding dry food to keep her teeth healthy. She's almost 13 & has never needed a dental cleaning.

    My dogs also get about a heaping tablespoon of goat milk yogurt, a little bit of Natural Balance P&D canned, green beans & broccoli (sometimes other veggies). Also fish oil & Kali gets glucosamine (which the vet said might not be the greatest for dogs with crystals - but Kali REALLY needs it).

    I'm thinking of adding some apple cider vinegar...mostly to help Oliver, my Lhasapoo, who has rust-colored stains where he's been licking his tummy & paws. I wondered how that would affect Kali's acidity level...which is how I found this thread! It's on my list now, as are the berry supplements discussed here.

    I'm still on the lookout for a better food for her...going to investigate Innova & maybe other varieties of Wellness. Anyone tried the Sojourner dry mix where you add your own meat/veggies?

    Thanks for reading...any tips, advice, discussion welcome! I hope all your doggies are feeling better & doing great!

  5. #64
    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Get copies of all Kali's blood and urine tests for her entire life and join K9KidneyDiet@yahoo.com. She has a history of UTI and oxalate crystals PLUS kidney issues? She will be happier if you can find the right treatment for her.

    Do not worry about the teeth and kibble, all the carbs in kibble mess up teeth and she is doing well in that regard. Keep the kibble good and wet! If you just float it and she eats it before it gets soggy it is crunchy anyway if it really does keep her teeth cleaner. Hydration is even more important for dogs with these issues than for healthy dogs.

    The acidity of the food doesn't mean it will acidify the urine. I think vitamin C will but vinegar won't. I wouldn't mess with trying to adjust urine acidity unless directed to do so by a vet and a dietitian.

    If your dog is an oxalate crystal former then staying away from higher oxalate foods is a good idea. You could do research to find those types of foods and then try to find a kibble low in oxalates. A Herculean task. Or you could home cook. One of the moderators on K9KidneyDiet has formulated a diet that keeps stones from forming and can even dissolve existing stones. Besides low oxalate foods it involves a particular type of calcium supplement, distilled water and some particular supplements. And it is easy to do, choose suitable foods and suitable for any dog.

    I am biased towards home cooking for dogs. You can tailor it to your dog's precise needs easily. A senior dog will all these issues would be far better off with a home made food. Ideally the food needs to be wet, free of allergens, low in oxalate foods, has a phosphorus level just right to help out the kidneys, has enough protein. Just try to do that on kibble or even a prescription diet!

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    My Yorkie has been "going" inside the house a lot lately, especially at night, even after frequent walks. I have recently noticed where the pee spots will dry up over night and in the morning when i wake up, there are big cyrstals "growing" in the area. I was wondering if I can tell which type of cyrstal they are or do I need them checked by a vet?

  7. #66
    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    You need to go to the vet. Even if you could tell what kind they are there is more you need to know to treat a problem.

  8. #67
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Thanks, we took her in yesterday and the vet told us that she had an infection and is sending out a sample to get tested further. Will keep you posted.

  9. #68
    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Poor thing, good you got her in. These things can be monsters. Best to finish the antibiotic, wait a few days, have the urine tested and cultured again to be certain the infection is really gone.

  10. #69
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Hello I did alot of reading thru this post and wanted to make sure I dont need to feed her the Hills Prescription food. My female pup was 8 weeks when we took her to the vet, she had crystals in her urine and she gave us pills to take twice a day untill all gone and that Hills food to add to or use only to feed her. I feed her Wellness large breed puppy food and really dont want to use that "filler" hills food. My question is after we get her retested should i use any other food or can i keep her on Wellness or another high quality food. I saw the Wellness Core is made for dogs over 1 year old so once that day comes i'll switch.

  11. #70
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    No1 has any info for me?? Really??

  12. #71
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Quote Originally Posted by CaneCorso View Post
    No1 has any info for me?? Really??
    What type of crystals were found?

  13. #72
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    The most common ones, Struvite crystals

  14. #73
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Quote Originally Posted by CaneCorso View Post
    The most common ones, Struvite crystals
    This is from a website I just looked at. It says "Diet Alteration: Diet alternation may be helpful in the medical treatment of struvite and ammonium urate stones. Specially formulated diets can actually cause the stones - even large ones - to dissolve completely. These diets take time, often 60 to 150 days, to work. To take struvite and Hill's s/d diet as an example, the principle by which s/d works is that it contains lower than normal levels of large proteins, magnesium, and phosphorous. Less protein means less urea, and therefore, less ammonium and carbon dioxide formed by the action of urease. Remember that struvite is made up of magnesium and phosphate ions, so lower levels of these materials also decrease the quantity of crystals that can potentially be formed. Feeding s/d helps the urine become more acidic. And last but not least, Hill's has slightly increased the sodium chloride (normal table salt) to increase water consumption by the animal, thereby increasing a flushing action through the bladder and better keeping the crystals in solution.

    NOTE: Do NOT use a urinary acidifier and s/d, c/d, or a similar diet at the same time.

    However, s/d cannot be used indefinitely as a preventive because it is not considered a complete diet. Also, it is not recommended for use in patients suffering from heart failure or kidney disease because of its salt and protein levels. After the initial 60 to 150 day period, when medical therapy is actively attempting to dissolve the stones or sand that is present in the bladder, the animal is removed from s/d and placed on a maintenance diet such as Hill's c/d or w/d. Royal Canin, Purina, and some other companies have also developed specialized diets for use with dogs with urinary stones. If a dog is reluctant to eat one manufacturer's diet, it is advisable to try diets produced by another company.

    Prior to the development of specialized diets, urinary acidifiers such as vitamin C or dl-methionine were sometimes used to lower the pH of the urine in cases of struvite stones, for example. Specialty diets are now preferred since they alter not only the pH, but the concentration on stone-forming constituents. Remember: Do NOT give urinary acidifiers when you are using one of the specialty diets that also acidify urine."

  15. #74
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    So it seems that even though they do have a lot of "fillers", it is exactly what the dog needs to control the symptoms of struvite cystals and to counteract the causes. But all in all it's up to you what you feed them. I don't think vets would try to do any harm to our our beloved friends just to make a buck. They spent a lot of time and money in med school and know more than most of us who are giving our "opinions." And, they took an oath.

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Hi everyone,

    I've read through everyone's posts, and there seems to be a wealth of knowledge here. I would love some opinions on our situation:

    We just adopted Lilly, a 1.5 year old black lab. From day one (which was last Saturday), she has been leaking urine all over the house. It is just dripping out when she walks around and even when she is laying down. She pees frequently when brought outside (up to 5 or 6 times while on a 45 minute walk). We brought her out 8 or 9 times before noontime on Sunday, and she went at least twice every time. I brought her to the vet Monday, and she even had two large accidents there. She drinks a lot, so I know that's not the problem. I have no idea if she had this issue before she came to me, but I figure she did.

    Anyhow, we had her urine tested and it is extremely alkaline (8.9), and they found crystals - but no red or white blood cells. For that reason, the vet wasn't sure if it was a UTI or if she potentially has bladder stones. Maybe even a bad spay (spayed female urinary incontinence). She prescribed a 7-day round of clavamox and told me to give her vitamin-C pills 3x/day. She has been on the pills for 4 days, and has improved, but is still leaking. She's peeing less frequently when we take her out (improvement). Yesterday was totally leak free (and we were so relieved and excited), though today she had a large accident in her crate (after being alone for only a couple of hours) and then was dripping all over for about an hour after that. How demoralizing! We are worried that the cost of all the tests/xrays etc. are going to mount up, and I've already spent over $1,000 on an incontinent cat (just lucky I guess). Of course, she is the sweetest, most well-behaved dog ever, which is just salt in the wound!

    We are so hoping it's a UTI and not something else that requires expensive tests and/or surgery. Shouldn't her leaking be cleared up after 4 days on meds? That's what my vet indicated. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? We are feeding her Eagle Pack (chicken base). Thanks!!

    Tina

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    My Male Shih Tzu had a calcium oxalate removed 1 1/2 years ago and the vet put him on Kidney Function NF can food. I also bought the dry version because he does not like the can but does not like the dry either. I mix rice and another prescription food (gastroentestinal) which has nothing to do with
    the calcium oxalate but he seems to eat it better. I also have been mixing 1/4 tsp of baking soda per vet recomendation. I bought test trips and usually get a 7 ph balance. after 1 1/2 years now the test trip was at a 5 and I took the urine to the vet who said it has crystals and blood in his urine. They did a sonigram that does not show stones but i am at a loss. I thought as long as I kept his ph at a 7 the urine would be o.k. and what is the wellness core food? They have him on antibiotics to clear up the blood in his urine...I guess..I am totally confused.

  18. #77
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    Smile Re: Crystals in urine

    Hi Melissa:

    I have been using Merrick Dog Food and From for my three dogs. My newest came with crystals in her urine and they have put her on Hills CD but as you know and everyone knows, Hills is loaded with corn and fillers. I want to try a different food after she gets off the Hills in a month and see what happens. Do you suggest that I use Wellness or is there another food with high acidity for her. I am going to check the acidity in the two that I use right now to see how their acidity ratio is. Please get back to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by elenajas View Post
    HI Melissa,

    Well, I fed Salvatore Wellness Core dog food. Wellness is a great company, and I found the Core line really has worked well for all our dogs, even fosters. However, there are LOTS of great foods out there. The SD won't help for the skin issues you are having, and really you dont need the SD for the crystals. Im assuming you have struvite crystals (if you dont know you should ask), and you can help your pup by choosing a food that keeps his urine acidic and adding things like berry balance, cranberry pills, and distilled water. I would consider the SD as an ultimate, very sad, last resort. I would suggest tryinig the Wellness Core, or other good foods (I can give you a list if you like). I would also suggest purchasing the berry balance, and considering some of the other tips I listed in my previous post about managing struvite crystals in urine. Not every food will work for every dog, but really, you just need to try a few and see. I would try the Wellness Core first, and if that doesnt help within a month or two (after transitioning slowly), then get back to me and I can help you find/pick another suitable food. I do have to check on the acidity of the Wellness Core, but I will do so and let you know. Good luck!!!

  19. #78
    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Oxalates form due to a very common genetic fault. Best thing to do is limit oxalates in the diet. The script food doesn't limit oxalates, it mostly tries to adjust the urine's pH to neutral. Like I posted earlier, join K9KidneyDiet and read about Fuzzer Food, an eating regime that limits oxalates and has a couple of other easy to follow guidelines.

    Just because a food is acid doesn't mean it forms acid urine. Vitamin C does but vinegar doesn't! That is the limit of my knowledge of that. If the crystals are struvite force water consumption and get the dog in for urine tests if there is a problem. Usually it is a hard to detect UTI that causes alkaline urine with those crystals. I found cranberry capsules with a powder inside but didn't know how much to use. Sassy got an upset right when I tried it so I dropped it and haven't tried it again. Usually dogs need more supplementing per pound than humans but I wouldn't do more than a percentage for starters, as in 10% of a human dose if the the dog is about 10% the weight of an average adult human.

  20. #79
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    My dog had struvite stones 5 years ago, which were surgically removed. Her vet put her on Hill's Prescription Diet C/D to prevent them from coming back. Her crystals showed high protein. A few months ago, I noticed her urine was a rust color. After testing and x-rays, stones were found again, 2 of them (plus a UTI). The urinalysis showed they were oxalate this time. She just turned 13 years old. Even though she's still spunky, she has an enlarged heart and edema, which she's on lasix for. I don't know how the stones came back. I read that lasix can cause them, but the vets I spoke to insisted that couldn't be. Anyway, vet said surgery would be harmful for her and tried her on the Hill's Prescription Diet S/D to try to dissolve the stones. Which I read that S/D only works on struvite stones. But, we had to try since surgery wasn't an option. Let me tell you, she HATED it! She wouldn't eat, lost weight and even started eating dirt! I can't blame her, it smelled and looked terrible. The texture was very slimy and gross. After 2 more sets of x-rays, the vet thinks the stones are becoming less dense, one might be gone. I expressed my concern with her not eating the S/D and he mentioned Royal Canin SO Urinary. It's very expensive (16.4 pounds dry food for $40, can for $2.50) but she's eating again! Hallelujah! I wouldn't recommend S/D to anyone. I just hope the Royal Canin works for her.

  21. #80
    Senior Member dakotajo's Avatar
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    where do you buy those strips for testing the urine? My female had struvite crystals and was on antibiotics twice and it never helped. When she was going in to be spayed they sent a sample away to see what meds would treat them more effectively and they were gone! being spayed solved the problem and the vet mentioned something about the kidneys. Anyways, that was over a year ago and would like to test her urine to make sure they are still gone. Can you buy these strips at the vet or at any drugstore?

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