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Discussion Starter #1
I just found out my dog, Kiri, has struvite crystals. I feed her raw patties by Healthy Paws, a company in Toronto, Ontario. It's based on the B.A.R.F. diet so it includes fruits and veggies. I feed her raw because I believe it's the most natural diet for a dog; although I take advantage of the pre-made raw rather than doing it on my own. So when I got the diagnosis, I was very surprised.

So from what I've read, it's mainly a result of a bacterial infection and also due to diet. The vet recommended Royal Canin Urinary SO but I refuse to feed it. It has no meat other than pork by-products and salt - which is, I know, to encourage the dog to drink. But even though the doctor says I'll have to feed it for only a few weeks, I shudder to think of what the results would be. Anyway,, I was looking at Wysong's Struvatrol (sp?) and it doesn't have salt and it has meat....plus some herbs which are supposed to maintain urinary health. I called Wysong and they told me I'd have to fax a prescription from my vet to order this food. I work at this animal hospital and have been told by co-workers and vets alike that I should be feeding my dog dog food and am worried about the backlash I'll receive for buying another Rx food.

That is beside the point however. My question is, has anyone had any experience with struvite crystals? What arethe chances of it recurring? I knowthat if they don't go away, surgery may have to be done. For those with this kind of experience, what did you feed your dog? Are there any natural remedies for this problem and one that may prevent it?
 

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http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/bladder-stones-crystals/

They have some really wonderful articles here, and I read this one on struvite crystals and it is very informative. It mentions cranberry juice capsules can help prevent further infections. And gives some really good info on a proper diet.

I would look into the premade raw diet you choose. I am wondering if the mineral content might be too high. Look to see if they are using sythetic minerals or natural sources such as sea meal, alfalfa, or kelp. The natural sources tend to be safer, there isn't as much of a chance of over supplementing.

Keep in mind that most premade diets are not FDA approved. Not that I have a lot of great things to say about FDA, but it does at least set minumum and maximum guidelines for dog food.

You might be better off researching how to prepare your own raw meals.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks very much DobManiac, that website is full of information.

You make a good point about premade raw diets not being FDA approved. I will look into that.

I talked to another vet at the animal hospital where iwork and he said not to worry about her food as struvite crystals arise from bacterial infections. Which is true but should I be worried about dissolving the existing crystals? I asked him towrite a prescription for me for the Wysong Struvatrol Rx diet and he said to wait until the antibiotics are finished and then he'll write one for me.
 

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I have read that adding a bit of Apple cider vinigar to the water will help with problems like this since the infection results in the urine becoming more alkaline and the acid from the ACV helps find that balance. Also with adding a bit of vitamin C and cranberry extract. There are plenty of websites about it out there.. Good luck and let us know how it goes..:)
 

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Once the infection is gone the crystals will stop forming as the urine's pH will have dropped to normal. I so suspect the high minerals in premade raw aren't the best thing to eat. You could drop that down by simply adding in plain ground meat if you liked. I put my raw fed dog's food in a bowl and fill it with water to force more water in him too. Water and getting that infection GONE are the keys here.

I don't know about ACV but just because a food is acidic doesn't mean that it will acidify the urine. This old thread from K9Nutrition discusses this.
http://http://onibasu.com/archives/kn/117089.html
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi there!
The crystals and the infection are GONE! Thank you to DobManiac, Digitsmama and Kathyy for your replies. Kiri had a urinalysis done today and her ph is down to 5 and no crystals at all. Yay! She'll be on antibiotics for another 5 days.

I didn't change her food but I did get Wysong's Biotic ph- which is a supplement that claims to acidify the urine. I also added water or broth to her food and water to increase her water intake. I guess it worked! I think I will investigate further into making my own raw or adding more meat as I don't want this to happen again. I've been getting varying opinions on how long it takes for struvite crystals to form...Kiri was eating Canine Life for a year and then I changed to the premade raw mid-December 2008 but I've read that they could form in as little as two weeks after they've gone (i.e. another infection could begin). So I'm not sure whether I should continue adding the supplement for a little longer or just keep her water intake up.

I'm sure that nothing will happen with Kiri or my two cats after June 17th as that is when I'm eligible for discounts where I work...sigh...I know I probably said that before but I just saw my outstanding balance....cry.

I appreciate all your help!!!
 

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Am happy to hear the infection is gone.:D You could also look into the Nature's Variety raw patties. Those are AAFCO approved.
 
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