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Question Dog with stones - cranberry pills?

 

 Mike
(@Mike)
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Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 6
Topic starter  

My 8 yo female Cavalier had stones about a year ago and we had them removed.

They are back already. My vet tried switching her over to Royal Canine Urinary,  but at $80/bag, and my 2nd dog wanted to eat the same, that got way too expensive.

Are there any cranberry supplements you would suggest that would lower her urine PH? Or any other supplement?

We feed them Whole Earth Farms grain free, which has about 24% protein, and have fed them the same for about 7 years.

She has a Vet appt Monday, but I would like 2nd opinion/options.

Thanks.

Pet Type
Dog
Pet Name
Sadie

QuoteSolved
(@karel-carnohan)
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Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 2
 

Hi.

I am sorry about your pup. Urinary diets are effective in helping prevent stones from forming but not always. There are key things to understand:  it's important to know what KIND of stones they are; are they struvite? calcium oxalate?  Some crystals and stones form in alkaline using and some in acidic urine. And, unfortunately, some stones are a combination of minerals. But the most important thing to realize is that crystals and stones form in concentrated urine so feeding your dog canned food with lots of water can help. 

So please find out from your vet what type of crystals or stones are forming. If struvite (which form in alkaline urine) there are supplements that will acidify her urine. In addition, struvite crystals have phosphate in them so researching diets with lower phosphorus and magnesium, which the urinary diets have, is important.

My advice would be to change to a canned diet and make sure she drinks plenty of water. Please follow-up with your vet and express your concerns about the cost of the urinary diet; maybe she has alternatives. 

One last note, some dogs and cats are pre-disposed towards urinary stones (uroliths) which makes it harder to control. There are some non-invasive therapies that can sometimes break-up stones using sound waves. Ask your vet about this.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Karel

 

 


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 Mike
(@Mike)
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Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 6
Topic starter  

thank you, I am pretty sure Struvite, but I will verify Monday.


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 Mike
(@Mike)
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Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 6
Topic starter  

I have confirmed struvite stones.

The vet put her on a Purina Pro Plan (canine UR dry) diet, that may help breakup the stones.

Suggested that we check in 3-4 months and see if they are dissolving first before recommending another surgery. He did not think the cranberry was doing anything and didn’t suggest any other supplements.

Do you think any other specific supplement would help speed up the stones dissolving in addition to the diet?

thanks.

 


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 Cherie
(@Cherie)
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Joined: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 3
 

If you are stuck with dry for awhile maybe you could add hot water a couple of minutes before serving so that it can soak in and add water to the meal? Just a thought from another RV Cavalier owner. 

I’m with you. At $80 a bag I would be hoping for a better quality of food than Purina Pro Plan. I feed human grade fresh food for less money than that.


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 Dr Karel
(@Dr Karel)
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Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 1
 

I apologize for the late reply.

There are supplements that acidify urine. If the stones don't dissolve, ask your vet about them (there are several). Two important questions: 1) did your vet retrieve any stones and send them in to be analyzed? 2) Was a urine culture done to see if any bacteria was present?

Stones can be a combination of minerals which makes dissolving them tricky. The other common mineral is calcium oxalate and sometimes too high acidity can prevent dissolution. So, combining supplements with urinary diet is a bit risky if you haven't sent the stones in for analysis. I suggest trying the diet (strictly only the diet; no other food) for an extended period of time and reassess from there. Purina recommends NOT using an acidifier with its diet - it can reduce the effectiveness. 

Also, one of the most common causes of reoccurring crystals and stones is bacterial infections. The best way to find out if there is an underlying urinary tract infection is to culture the urine. 

I would not use dry food. Purina has a canned urinary diet. I realize the cost is higher but surgery to remove stones is something you want to avoid. You can add water but there is just more "junk" added to dry food (binders etc).  These diets do work.

One thing you can do at home is to use pH strips to test your dog's urine. It gives you a view of how the diet is working. Any pharmacy has these and they aren't too expensive.

IF you do need to do surgery make sure the surgeon saves the stones to send in for analysis AND takes a sample of the bladder wall to culture for bacteria. This is valuable information.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Karel


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