Crystals in urine
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    Crystals in urine

    My vet has told me that my 1 1/2 yr old has crystals in her urine and wants me to buy dog food from them. Is that really going to help or do they just want more money? Also does anyone have a dog that leaks urine ? My vet put her on Proin, and he said IF this works she'll have to be on it for the rest of her life. I just hate the thought of having to give her this medication, so many side effects...

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    Junior Member Fairhaven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petlovr View Post
    My vet has told me that my 1 1/2 yr old has crystals in her urine and wants me to buy dog food from them. Is that really going to help or do they just want more money? Also does anyone have a dog that leaks urine ? My vet put her on Proin, and he said IF this works she'll have to be on it for the rest of her life. I just hate the thought of having to give her this medication, so many side effects...
    Urolithiasis is a disease caused by the presence and effects of uroliths (stones) or claculi or excessive amounts of crystals in the urinary tract. The disease is referred to by many names, including cystitis, urethritis, urinary calculi, bladder stones, or kidney stones. As in humans, these stones and crystals can form anywhere in the urinary tract of the dog, including the kidney, urethra, or most commonly, the bladder. These crystals or stones irritate the lining of the urinary tract, causing changes in the lining, blood in the urine, and often pain. In some cases the crystals or stones will block or partially block the flow or urine, making urination painful or impossible. Crystaluria denotes the presence of crystals in the urine. Crystals form when minerals bind together. The bound crystals are not as soluble as the unbound form and may result in mineral deposits, much like the deposits commonly found in a teapot or coffee maker. Special diets work by reducing the mineral building blocks or urinary stones in the urine. These diets affect the urine pH and increase urination to help flush the urinary tract. To completely dissolve the stones takes 4-16 weeks, depending on the size and number of stones present. I suggest you follow your vet's advice. The alternative would be surgery which is much more expensive and more invasive on the dogs part.

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    Crystals in urinary tract

    Our newly acquired 4 yr old 45lb dog just returned from vet - with urinary tract crystals & is now on a 2-month diet of Hill's Prescription Diet s/d canned food. Our vet suggested that a large percentage of dogs within a 50 mile radius of us have this same problem. She believes the local water supply may be a major contributor. After moving here about 2 years ago, I noticed strange heavy deposits in the bird baths and in the outside water dish (all filled from tap water). I never had this where we used to live. You may try giving your pet only bottled water along with the prescribed food. Also - ask your vet if you can eventually switch to a diet of cooked rice with some cooked mixed vegetables (no onions or seasonings). Our other dog has been on a diet of rice and vegetables with a small amount of chicken or high quality lamb/rice dry food and is doing very well. We are hoping we can eventually switch our new dog with the urinary tract problem to the rice/vegetable diet. One last suggestion from a local vet was add cranberry juice to your pet's water and to the food - as much as the pet can tolerate. Check with your vet and follow their direction. Good luck!
    Last edited by KDTurngren; 10-17-2006 at 06:49 PM.

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    My dog was just diagnosed today with having crystals and she has to go on expensive food from the vets place in which they are not trying to get you with money, they really are helping your dog. I know because I work at a animal hospital. I have to bring my dog back to get ex-ray to see if stones has developed and if so, then she has to have surgery to have them removed. But she has to go on the diet food for the rest of her life. Wish you the best and your pet.

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    Senior Member MegaMuttMom's Avatar
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Not every dog who has crystals needs to go on a prescription diet. My dog had struvite crystals with no symptoms. I got a second opinion when my vet said to put my dog on a prescription diet for the rest of his life. Here is a link you can read:
    http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter...ones-crystals/

    If the vet I got a second opinion from said I had to a special food, this is one I was going to look into. A lot of the prescription foods have ingredients (like corn) that I don't want to feed my dog.

    http://www.wysong.net/PDFs/struvatrol.pdf

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaMuttMom View Post
    Not every dog who has crystals needs to go on a prescription diet. My dog had struvite crystals with no symptoms. I got a second opinion when my vet said to put my dog on a prescription diet for the rest of his life. Here is a link you can read:
    http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter...ones-crystals/

    If the vet I got a second opinion from said I had to a special food, this is one I was going to look into. A lot of the prescription foods have ingredients (like corn) that I don't want to feed my dog.

    http://www.wysong.net/PDFs/struvatrol.pdf
    I understand that not every dog needs to go on diet food but if a Vet tells us our dogs should or have to, then obviously our dogs are the ones. I know and trust my vet and I do what she tells me I should. I was saying the vet is not gonna lie to get money off a food bag.

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    It isn't that the vet is trying to get more money or not, it is often that some vets are becoming more versed in canine nutrition, and some are not. The ones who are not, often still use the Hills and Science diet foods as fixes. However, these foods often can mask other illnesses or problems, and are not really things any dog should be eating as they are full of corn, filler, and rarely any meat.

    For crystals it depends what kind of crystals you have. If you have struvite crystals then you can help control it with food. You can also add supplements like Berry Balance to help or cranberry pills. Many dog owners control struvite crystals with either a raw diet, or a kibble diet. (Ill talk about struvite b/c they are the most common type, and calcium oxalate crystals cannot easily be controlled by diet except to avoid foods high in oxalate). Struvites form in alkaline urine, so to prevent you need to keep the pH of the urine more on the acidic side. You should choose a kibble accordingly--if you need help with that you can feel free to ask.

    Some people also use Ester C (vitamin C), apple cider vinegar, and "tinkle tonic" to help. Often people buy pH strips so they can test the urine and make sure it is staying on the acidic side. Also, lots of fluids is important daily to keep the system flushed and moving. Some people also use a solution of water and apple cider vinegar to cleanse the pee area on the pup as well as often crystals often come with infections, like UTIs and bladder infections.

    Basically, you don't need that Hills food, to be honest it is overpriced corn in a bag. And you can get a good kibble that will keep your urine acidic that is actually a healthy food. More and more vets are becoming interested in the newest stuff on nutrition, and less and less are recommending the HIlls or SD. I would suggest a kibble that will keep you acidic, lots of water (you can add it to the kibble if it helps them drink, or a tiny drop of low sodium meat broth to the water if they dont like to drink), Berry Balance (and the ACV if you like) and pH test strips. You can really manage it this way, i know TONS of dogs who have, and who have stayed off antibiotics and struvite free.

    I know it is stressfull! Good luck!


    KdTurngreen:
    Are you only feeding rice and veggies? I assume you are also feeding all the dogs the lamb kibble as well, or the vet told you how to supplement a home cooked diet? Just rice and veggies (in case someone reading your post misunderstood) is not a complete diet for a dog, and is lacking important things like calcium and phosphorus to just name a few. Are you doing a home cooked diet with all the supplements?
    Last edited by elenajas; 01-11-2009 at 02:13 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Distilled water can help, along with changing the diet. Especially if you have a high mineral content in your tap water.
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    I'm not familiar with Proin, but my Lhasa-poo is on a prescription diet after having surgery to remove a huge stone from his bladder. (This was two weeks after I adopted him, no less.) The diet has helped him immensely--no more straining to urinate, and he seems to enjoy the food.

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Thracian, Im glad your pup is doing well, however if you ever find the eye staining, eye goop, or have any issues like dull coat, or large poops, and want to switch feel free to let me know and Id be happy to help. I just dislike those foods b/c if you look at the ingredients they usually have little or no meat, and are full of corn, and filler, and that is a high price for a bag of corn. Also, if you ran out of food for your dog, would you give him some chicken or open a can of corn? I found that some dogs do have amazing results on better foods, and some just are lucky and have great genes and do only slighty better on the outside. I did find smaller poops, no or less eye crusties and no staining, and for example, my Chi when I adopted him had a dull rough coarse coat, had huge dandruff, no belly hair/fur at all, and after 2-3 weeks on better food he was like a new dog. He has shiny soft fur/coat now, his dandruff is 100% gone, and all his belly hair/fur grew in! It was incredible. What I worry about most though, is the stuff on the inside that you can't see. I mean, with Sal, I could see outside results, but knowing that his health insidehis body is better, is what makes me most happy, and should result in less vet bills later on.

    Anyway, Im glad you are doing well, and my point is just that you can still feed an excellent healthy tasty food, and treat crystals pretty easily with other methods! I hope it helps someone!

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Quote Originally Posted by elenajas View Post
    Thracian, Im glad your pup is doing well, however if you ever find the eye staining, eye goop, or have any issues like dull coat, or large poops, and want to switch feel free to let me know and Id be happy to help. I just dislike those foods b/c if you look at the ingredients they usually have little or no meat, and are full of corn, and filler, and that is a high price for a bag of corn. Also, if you ran out of food for your dog, would you give him some chicken or open a can of corn? I found that some dogs do have amazing results on better foods, and some just are lucky and have great genes and do only slighty better on the outside. I did find smaller poops, no or less eye crusties and no staining, and for example, my Chi when I adopted him had a dull rough coarse coat, had huge dandruff, no belly hair/fur at all, and after 2-3 weeks on better food he was like a new dog. He has shiny soft fur/coat now, his dandruff is 100% gone, and all his belly hair/fur grew in! It was incredible. What I worry about most though, is the stuff on the inside that you can't see. I mean, with Sal, I could see outside results, but knowing that his health insidehis body is better, is what makes me most happy, and should result in less vet bills later on.

    Anyway, Im glad you are doing well, and my point is just that you can still feed an excellent healthy tasty food, and treat crystals pretty easily with other methods! I hope it helps someone!

    Hello, I hope you don't mind me asking this, but I was wondering what kind of food you started feeding your Chi that got such great results? Hearing you describe your dog sounds just like you are describing my little Chihuahua mix. He has large flaky dandruff, a dull, rough coat, very little belly hair, and was just diagnosed with crystals in his urine (and was of course recommended Science Diet by my vet.) I have tried about a dozen types of food for him with no positive results. Thanks so much; I really hope to hear from you about this.

    -Melissa

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    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!!!

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Quote Originally Posted by kimber039 View Post
    I understand that not every dog needs to go on diet food but if a Vet tells us our dogs should or have to, then obviously our dogs are the ones. I know and trust my vet and I do what she tells me I should. I was saying the vet is not gonna lie to get money off a food bag.
    Not necessarily, a lot of vets sell Science Diet because Hill's (the maker of Science Diet) pays them to sell it, payed for their training and/or facilities. My old vet gave my puppy a nice complementary Science Diet package thingy and said she highly recommended I feed my puppy Science Diet, same as they do with any new puppy or dog that comes to their office. Now given, if your dog has allergies to other foods or is having other food related issues Science Diet may help. BUT another hollistic food might just as well if not better. Science Diet is actually pretty bad food and I would not recommend it unless your dog throws up every other food you try. If your vet offers or tells you to switch to Science Diet for no apparent reason I would advise you respectfully decline. I feed my puppy Innova but it's expensive as hell so that might not be your first choice.

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Well, Innova is more expensive than say grocery brands, and a puppy does eat a lot, however we should point out that as an adult dog, feeding quality foods such as Innova appears to be more expensive, but is actually not much more. I did the math, and to feed the Wellness Core instead of say, Beneful, it cost me $5-$7 more a month and I am feeding 1 larger Jack Russell, a doxie/rat terrier mix, a Chi mix, and a Chihuahua. The bag is more expensive, but it lasts a LOT longer b/c the calories are higher and it is more nutrient dense, and therefore you feed less quantity. Therefore when my neighbor is going back to buy a 2nd or 3rd bag of beneful, I am still feeding the first bag. Therefore, the initial price is more expensive but overall it is not much more expensive. And many companies do make smaller bags if you cannot swing the higher price up front for a larger bag. Also, if you email the companies many will send you a sample and coupons.

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    I just came back from my vet, and am quite upset. Lexi is 2 year old now and had begun peeing in the house - even right after I have walked her. I thought it was due to her breed mixture (cockapoo) and she was having behaviorial issues. She also pee's all night on her mat in her crate, and has been doing this for a while. Today, at her annual checkup, our vet did a urine check her urine and x-rayed her(there were lots of crystals). What actually causes this? She has been eating Innova for about a year, and only gets bottled water. Could it be from over feeding? I have bought a small bag of prescription Royal Canin SO, and Lexi will be on antibiotics for 2 weeks. If she needs to be on a special food for life, is there a good quality food that I can feed her and our Golden? He loves Innova, but has gained over 13 lbs since we switched them to it over a year ago.

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Make sure your bottled water is Distilled, not Spring water. Unless it is distilled, it has lots of minerals.
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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Both my dogs have had crystals in urine. Sassy really did, she had an UTI that needed to be treated. Max's urine sample got stale and formed crystals, a second sample spun inhouse showed no crystals.

    There are a lot of different sorts of crystals. Unless you know which one is present you cannot treat the cause. Struvite crystals are phosphate based and usually caused by infection. When the infection is gone the unrine's pH will be normal and the crystals won't form. Oxalate crystals are formed due to a defect in the dog's metabolism and can be helped by eating foods low in oxalate [spinach is high for example] and drinking water low in mineral content. Then there are purine crystals and combination crystals.

    It sounds like your dog has struvite crystals as you were sent home with antibiotics. Script food isn't important in treating this type of crystal. Treating the infection is. Take all the pills and go back for the follow up urine culture. Make sure she drinks plenty of water to keep the crystals flushed out. Sassy had to have two courses of antibiotics to get rid of the infection. We were lucky, it can take a long time to resolve this infection.

    Have you read the article linked near the top of this thread to B-Naturals? Read that, good information.

    If your dog is getting plump, why can you simply not feed him less?

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Innova is a good food, however you have to realize a few things. It is a good food--that means it is nutritionally much more dense than other low quality foods like those in the grocery store. Hence, you should be feeding less quantity. It is also higher in calories, so if you are feeding your dog what you used to feed of lower quality stuff, Im not surprised he has gained weight. You should be adjusting their food amount by how they are looking, if they are gaining, you should reduce. If they are losing or thin, then add more. When you feel your golden (or any dog) look at them from above and see if they look like a dog should (you can ask your vet or google for photos), from the side there should be a chest with a waist line that comes up as you go back. When you feel their ribs from above (run your hand down the rib cage) you should be able to feel the ribs but with a thin layer of fat over it. If you cant feel the ribs they are probably overweight. If you feel unsure, talk to you vet about weight and ask what weight your dog should be. The vet can tell you easily if you are a good weight, overweight, or underweight. If your golden is not underweight, and is still gaining you should be feeding him less. You can reduce slowly, and his stomach will adjust. Ask you vet where a good weight for him is. As for your dog with struvite crystals, Innova is a fine food. However, lots of things can cause crystals, and some dogs are easily helped by foods, and some are not. Most need at least some supplements. I would tell you that spring water has minerals just like tap water, so that isnt helping. You should use DISTILLED water. You should also get your dog on Cranberry pulls, and Berry Balance (by Solid Gold, check online or at store) as it has cranberry, asorbic acid, and marshmellow root--which are all conducive to good urinary health. You could also consider some vitamin C. These things will help. A dose of apple cider vinegar as a supplement (like a teaspoon or a few large drops) can help too. Food along is not enough. That "prescription" food you are trying now will "work"--but only in the sense that it will mask the problem, not fix it. I suggest strongly staying on the Innova, and adding the Berry Balance, Cranberry pills, Vitamin C, apple cider vinegar, and Distilled water. Also make sure your dog is getting enough water--for example an 8 pound dog needs a cup of water a day! So make sure your dog is drinking enough and make sure you are taking her out often enough--you don't want her to have to "hold it". Good luck!

    I also wanted to add, that Innova is great, I also use Wellness Core, and therefore you could use EVO, or Nature's Variety. THey would all work well.

    A few more tips.
    I would use the food, with the berry balance and 1 cranberry pill a day. I would add some water to the food (or buy the same brand canned to add more moisture and add that), to increase water intake. The more water they drink the better! I would add Apple Cider vinegar to their food or water, or use an eye dropper to put it in their mouth if they dislike the taste. I would also reduce quantity b/c overfeeding is never good, and high blood sugar never is a good thing! I would also add the Vitamin C. i would definitely not use the "prescription" foods as they mask the problem and symptoms instead of treating them. I would finish all antibiotics and start using distilled water. As things improve, you can always use the berry balance OR the cran pills. YOu can even try another supplement by Wysong later on. Some dogs use the Berry balance or cran pills for life. Some just need it for a while after to get their system back on track. It can't hurt to give a cranberry pill daily--I do so for mine as a preventative measure. The distilled water, you could stop using after a while if things go back to ok.

    For anyone feeding prescription food, it is true you may appear cured--but please note, that these food don't cure the problem, so much as they just mask the problem and the symptoms so you falsely believe you are ok. Stop eating the food, and the symptoms will come right back. Its better to get off that junk, buy healthy food, supplement as stated, and treat the problem.

    Also, if you wanted to get really wild, you could buy pH strips and test their urine daily for pH--you want their urine to be acidic. You could also wipe them after peeing with soap and water.....but that may be going too far for some!

    here is the wysong link http://www.wysong.net/products/pH-do...supplement.php
    Last edited by elenajas; 04-11-2009 at 05:04 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Make sure your bottled water is Distilled, not Spring water. Unless it is distilled, it has lots of minerals.
    I wish my vet had told me this. I just came back from the store with several gallons of distilled water.

    It sounds like your dog has struvite crystals as you were sent home with antibiotics. Script food isn't important in treating this type of crystal. Treating the infection is. Take all the pills and go back for the follow up urine culture. Make sure she drinks plenty of water to keep the crystals flushed out. Sassy had to have two courses of antibiotics to get rid of the infection. We were lucky, it can take a long time to resolve this infection.
    How do you find a vet who will do this? The two I've talked to suggested the diet would solve the problem. Any tips on finding the right vet for this condition?

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    Re: Crystals in urine

    Thank you so much for your responses. It has given me alot of "food for thought".

    First thing I will do is switch to distilled water. I had never heard of crystals in urine - so I was kind of shocked to hear our dog has this. I have been researching since my post, and had found about the berry balance, and will begin to use that after we finish the round of antibiotics. I will switch to distilled water too. (that may even help the cockapoo's tear stains). And yes, I have been feeding them the same quantity of Innova as I had with the Eukanuba that we had switched from. He (the Golden) was pretty lean at 75 lbs, and now at 89, he is looking a bit wider. I will lower their portions, although I have put their food in a bin and don't have quanities to refer to. The Golden gets about 2 cups 2x daily, and the cockapoo gets about 2/3 cup 2x daily- and also tries to steal from her brother's bowl. I will lower the quantities, and exercise them more.

    I called the pet shop that I get the Innova from, and he told me to switch them both over to the Innova Senior formula. The Golden is 6 and the cockapoo is only 2. Does putting them both on a Senior formula sound ok to you guys?

    Thanks again for your advice - I look forward to your replies.

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