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Wow, the "Crystals in Urine" thread is very educational, but I did not want to hijack that thread. My dog has/had a UTI and some unidentified parasites (could be related, or maybe not?), and I would be grateful for a little more guidance. I hope it's okay to post my situation in a separate thread.

A few weeks ago, when I went to pick up my dog from day care (he goes once, maybe twice a week), they told me he had blood in his urine. When he next went, I saw that indeed he did. (I had not seen it until then.) Other than that, Riley does not have any other UTI symptoms--not more thirsty or less thirsty than usual, no fatigue, no apparent pain, not wanting to go out any more or less than usual--just his normal energetic self.

The next day, I took him (and a urine sample) to the vet, who found crystals in his urine and a too high pH. He was on anti-biotics for 10 days and just completed 3 weeks of an acidifier.

After a second urinalysis about a week after the first, the vet noticed there were still crystals but also eggs in Riley's urine. Urine was sent to a lab in California (not sure why) and when they couldn't figure out what the parasite was, the vet sent a sample to the University of Missouri Vet Medical school. (I live in St. Louis.) THEY couldn't figure out what the eggs were either. Apparently nothing that is normally found in the bladder or kidneys. (Crikey - Do I need to send a sample to a lab for humans??)

At least my vet said the second sample had fewer eggs, so -- just for the moment -- he's setting this aside, since Riley acts and looks fine. His more immediate concern is that Riley's pH is still too high, and there are still crystals, so the vet is going to put him on either a specialty food--SO or C/D.

Now, based on the "Crystals in Urine" thread and other reading, I'm wondering if changing the food is really going to accomplish anything at all, long term.

I also think I need to get my vet to pinpoint the exact bacterium causing the infection. He never did say to me what exactly Riley had. (Maybe he just saw the crystals and thought "antibiotic", for all I know.) Perhaps 10 days of antibiotics was not enough, or maybe it was not the best antibiotic? Could that be?

I'm also thinking of trying a bit of oil of oregano to help kill off whatever is there. Anyone here had luck with oil of oregano as far as killing parasites and bacteria? How about UTI-Free?

And back to the food issue: Riley's been eating Natural Balance Fish and Sweet Potato for a couple of years now, and I hate to give it up, since it's the one food that he's never thrown up or had problems with. (With other foods, even premium brands like Eagle Pack, etc., I could always count on him to throw up 2-3 times a month.)

And then, when I looked at the ingredients of Royal Canin SO, I thought to myself, surely--if this type of diet really is warranted, even if only short term--surely I could make something comparable at home, maybe leaving out the corn and putting in rice or something? So final question: Does anyone know how I could make a home-made version of something like SO or C/D? I saw a couple of suggestions on other web sites, but they didn't look anything like the specialty products, in terms of ingredients or composition.

Royal Canin S/O: Rice, ground corn, chicken fat, chicken meal, corn gluten meal, natural flavors, dried egg powder, salt, cellulose powder, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, taurine, vitamins, some minerals, etc.

Thank you for any help. I know this was a long post.

BTW, if any of you are in the St. Louis, MO area and have a fabulous vet you like, please let me know. Thanks again.
 

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I dont know if it would hurt to try your own little homemade parasite remedy..If the vet cant see what they may be then you never know.

The C/D or S/D Precrisption Diet is awesome. My dogs havent had crystals in their urine but my cat did and I love the food. I know with that food I dont have to worry about him getting blocked.

I dont know how bad crystals in the urine is for dogs but in cats, its horrible. They cant go potty and it almost killed my cat. They had to flush his kidneys out and he almost did not make it. But ever since, I have kept him on his C/D or S/D, I cant never remember which it is, he has had no problems. I even feed it to my other cats just to be on the safe side lol.

Sorry for your baby and I hope this helps.
Best of luck!
And if you are ever in Clare MI, there is the best vet there! He is a miracle worker and does not give up!
 

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First off, when Stella had her UTI w/struvite crystals, she did not have blood in her urine. She also did not have any sort of parasite eggs (?) She was put on an antibiotic for longer than 10 days. More like 2-3 weeks. I don't remember what kind of antibiotic, tho'. Her PH at the time of the UTI was too high. The vet wanted me to also put her on Royal Canin SO. I did buy a small bag, but decided not to feed it to her. After my research, I did decide to stick with Eagle Pack Holistic Select Anchovy dry and also use various great brands of can food mixed with alot of water. I also used Solid Gold Berry Balance (am still using it). Stella and my other dogs also get a supplement called Wholistic Pets Canine Complete Joint Mobility.
Well, when Stella went back to the vet after the antibiotics round, he said that she still had a few crystals, but her PH was neutral now. He said to keep an eye on her but to not worry about the remaining crystals at this time (unless of course I notice symptoms) because sometimes a dog can be okay and still have a few crystals. I also test Stella's urine with some PH strips that I ordered from Solid Gold. She is remaining in the 6-7 PH range with 7 being neutral. I have never used UTI-Free but have heard of it and would consider using it. I've also never used oregano oil and I'm not one to homecook for my dogs (I'm not even much of a cook for my family lol!). So far Stella seems fine. I hope I really never have to feed her the SO food, but I would if it meant life or death! I'm sure this wasn't much help to you and hopefully someone with more experience will answer your questions. I'm certainly not a vet! Good luck to you and your pup! :)
 

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Thanks for the responses, Stella, Luci, Desi, and Liberti! I forgot to mention that Riley is about 5 and a half and has never had a UTI problem before. Also, the vet saw a bit of sediment in Riley's urine, so the plot thickens. I gather that a diet good for eliminating crystals may be bad for a dog who might be developing bladder stones. :confused:

Thanks for mentioning the Berry Balance, I forgot about that. That sounds like it would be helpful. But yesterday,when I asked my vet about giving Riley cranberry capsules, he said not to, that he didn't need them since he was going to be on a special diet. (He's still deciding between C/D and S/O. I'm supposed to pick it up on the way home from work today.)

So maybe I'll try a month or two of the crappy looking (yet UTI-friendly) food, and if he's doing better, I could then try to switch back to the Natural Balance Fish and Sweet Potato but add in some Berry Balance?

Or, if he does okay on the special diet, and I can figure out how to make it at home without the corn, I could go that route plus add in some Berry Balance.

As for the parasite eggs--I think I may try a bit of Oil of Oregano for a couple of weeks (a drop or two per day in his food) to see if that helps kill whatever is growing in there....
 

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No problem. And your dog is really cute! Stella is 8 years old and as long as I've had her (3 years) this was her first UTI. Like I said before, I attribute it to high-protein dry only while barely drinking water! Bad mom! Anyway, feeding the presc. food is a personal choice and you are right to make it. BTW, just to let you know, there are other foods on the market that are good for urinary health. I don't know if they would be for your dog's situation tho'. Some are Flint River Ranch Trout & Sweet Potatoe, and Flint River Ranch Lamb & Rice. There is also a food made by Wysong that is actually a presc. food but I'm not sure what it's called exactly. I'm sure if you googled it would come up. Good luck! :)
 

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Parasite eggs? I searched "parasites in dog urine". The first page that came up from capcvet sounded promising but it only came up in cache and THEN I couldn't cut and paste. Apparently there are some nematodes that secrete eggs through the urine. Eww. Here are the names.
Pearsonema plica (=Capillaria plica)
Dioctophyme renale

It does seem this nasties are fairly common and the places you have been for help would have crossed them off the list - before you get too freaked out!

Wiki has an articlehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capillaria_plica

I think you need to go back to the starting point, have the vet take urine through a sterile needle, spin it in house to look for crystals and then send the sample out for culture. And any eggs need to go to the nearest university for a look see. Try parasitology not medical. Your sample could be contaminated and if it sits at the vet crystal will form.

I would feed the crummy script food for now, you don't know what you are dealing with right now and going to a regular kibble could be a bad move. Trying to make up a recipe on the spot is too stressful, you need time to work something up if you decide to do so.
 

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Thanks for the response, Kathyy. My vet originally told me that there were only a handful of parasites found in the kidneys/bladder, so it would probably be easy for the lab to identify what Riley had and then recommend treatment. But then, the California lab couldn't identify it, nor could my own vet...And this slam-dunk case became (according to my vet) more complex...

Update: It turns out that Univ. of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine says they did not see parasites in the urine sample they were sent. My vet felt they were still there, or he would not have sent the sample. We'll be doing another sample down the road.

In the meantime, I'm gradually switching Riley to S/O--which I understand from my research is probably not something he should be eating long-term, but for now could help.

I'm still suspicious as to how it is that no one--not my vet, not the vet tech, no one--seems to have a clue how to make UTI-friendly dog food at home. Something to help minimize stones and struvite crystals while being nutritious. Crikey--what did vets recommend before C/D and S/O came on the market, I ask you?:rolleyes:

I'm also adding more water to Riley's kibble, to get more moisture in there. I'd been moistening his regular kibble with a spoonful or two of water before, but I think it probably was not enough. Especially since he only visits the water bowl 2, maybe 3 times a day. (Though he drinks a good amount when he's at the bowl.)

I've also realized that my work schedule (which can't be changed) probably doesn't help. There are at least 3 days a week when I'm gone for 10 hours and he just has to hold it.

Come to think of it, he seems to have an iron bladder. He'll often hold it overnight (say, 8 hours) and in the morning, he wants to play or eat rather than go outside and pee right away. He pees fine; it just often takes him 10-12 hours before he *really* feels the urgency. So, all in all, I can see that his urine is getting plenty of opportunity to concentrate and wreak havoc inside his little bladder.

As for herbals--there are a number of items out there, but without a holistic vet, I'd be leery of using some of them. The Berry Balance actually looks good, and fairly safe, so eventually I can see adding that to his food (but not to S/O).

Thanks again for your responses. If anyone has any additional suggestions or comments, please post, thanks!
 

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Good to read more about this--am working on the struvite crystal issues with my Bichon. She doesn't really like the s/d food and to be honest--it doesn't smell the best--but I will use it for the short term and keep researching and probably get one of the other foods. Cherie has not been a good drinker either--unless playing hard--so I can see that is a common problem. I've heard about the parasites in the bladder--heard that antibiotics were being used--but don't know what kind they were. I know that black walnut tincture is used in humans for parasites--but don't know about applicability to animals--perhaps a health food store specialist might know. I had also heard of a homeopathic treatment for crystals--am going to track that info down and will post again once I get it. Good luck!
 

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Now, based on the "Crystals in Urine" thread and other reading, I'm wondering if changing the food is really going to accomplish anything at all, long term.
A lot of people comment negatively on the ingredients in these foods. From my perspective--as someone whose dog had to have a bladder stone removed via surgery last November--I am very happy with the SO diet. Cupid likes the food. He's been on it since November.

I had them do a urinalysis last week to check how things were going. No crystals. So I'm happy.

I haven't heard about a homemade version, but if there are any recipes out there, I'd love to see them.
 

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Those parasites are a mystery! Maybe there was contamination somewhere.

Go check out B-Naturals. This article is about some of the crystal variety.http://http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/?s=crystalsThe newsletters are full of great information and you don't have to buy anything. The script food is just food and it is nasty stuff that doesn't promote general health it is just trying to provide specific conditions that SD thinks will help keep crystals from forming. If the crystals are due to high pH due to UTI then taking the UTI out will take care of the crystals in most dogs no script diet needed. Dr. Strombeck's book has specific recipes for crystals and there are recipes from his book are floating around the web. My vet actually gave me some recipes from the book for Sassy's kidney disease. Easy to do, 1 meat, 1 starch, calcium source and vitamin source. If the crystal is a different type then YOU can easily formulate recipes that will do just as well as the SD stuff. You really can. There are on line nutritionists that can work with your vet to formulate recipes as well.

Stick with the script food and read and google and research. Give the dog lots of fresh water. Soaking the kibble is an easy way to get that water in there. Here is a little calculator to help estimate how much should go in. http://www.mycockerspaniel.com/h2o.htm
 

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Hi, All, thanks again for all the input.

Here is where I am right now. In the past couple of weeks, I've slowly been shifting Riley from the old food to the new, so that today was his first day of absolutely nothing but S/D. (No treats, other dog food, etc.)

My vet wants him to be on S/D for two weeks, after which we will check the urine. I'm going to specifically request a full urinalysis, so that we can see if there is any bacteria in the urine and, if so, what kind.

Kathyy, I've been reading the Strombeck book (got it from the library) and realize now that there are several different types of diets, depending on what kind of crystals are present, whether there seem to be associated kidney issues or not, and so on.

So it's crucial, from my POV, to really try to nail what is happening (e.g., type of crystals or stones) and what the cause is.

  • If it's a bacterial issue, you've got to eradicate the bacteria to really fix the problem, not just rely on a special diet (as Kathyy pointed out)
  • If it's not bacterial, but is something that might be improved thru diet, knowing what the problem is will help you determine the most appropriate diet. "One UTI diet does not fit all."
 

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And water. Lots of water.

Find out what sort of crystals you are dealing with. That is the very first step. Some are from high pH and infection some are from a defective metabolism. You could have to do repeated urine cultures and antibiotics or limit purines or limit oxalates. The wrong approach isn't going to help the dog and is going to empty your bank account!

I don't do well with the vet telling me all the results over the phone and prefer to get a print out of them to look at my leisure.
 
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