Struvite crystals- Rx diets?!

Discussion in 'Dog Food and Recipes' started by mkj2013, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. mkj2013

    mkj2013 New Member

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    Addie is having a raging UTI, she's been on Clavamox for 14 days and the blood went away, but she still has an insane amount of crystals in her urine. The first culture and sensitivity we sent off showed enterococcus, the second one should be back in a couple days.

    I'm afraid the next suggestion will be a prescription diet. Am I crazy to be seriously avoiding this? She's on Wellness Ocean Formula now and it really works for her (besides the antibiotics giving her major GI issues). She cannot tolerate chicken, and I don't want her on corn. Are the only bladder specific diets from company's like Hill's and Purina?:(
    Oh, and she gets cranberry as well as probiotics and ACV..

    And here's a pic of the little gremlin, just because!
    [​IMG]
    Sorry it's so big:doh:
     
  2. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I took care of a dog a few years ago who had crystals in his urine. I seem to remember that not all crystals are caused by the same thing, so while a diet change may help one type, it won't necessarily help all types. That's why, of course, you have to know what kind of crystals your dog has.

    I know with this dog we didn't put him on prescription food, but I don't remember specifically what we did do.

    I'd recommend just chatting with your vet about what is it about the prescription food is better for a dog with crystals, and see if you can get that same benefit elsewhere. For example, maybe the prescription foods are better because they're lower in protein; so maybe you can find a Wellness variety that's also lower in protein and see if that works.

    You could also talk to him about the long-term prognosis. If you HAVE to put him on prescription food, are you going to have to feed him that for the rest of his life? Cause for one thing, that could get really expensive. Let the vet know that you're concerned, and would like to wean him off the prescription as soon as you can.
     
  3. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    My aunts pom had both kinds of crystals (they were doubled up on top of each other) and her vet suggested Rx food. Her dog however would not touch it. She switched to raw and has been great since.
     
  4. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    There was a series of articles in Whole Dog Journal about crystals and how to treat them - I'd def check it out!

    My girl, Ziva, has had issues with struvites. For us, switching her food to one with more moisture has been incredibly helpful. We feed Honest Kitchen, usually Thrive or Keen. :)
     
  5. MandyPug

    MandyPug Sport Model Pug

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    Pug people seem to swear by Honest Kitchen for dogs with stones. They have an all fish formula too.
     
  6. mkj2013

    mkj2013 New Member

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    I'm glad to hear there are other options, I really don't want to go the Rx route.
    I wish I had access to Whole Dog Journal:(
    The sticky part is I work for the vet, and really like him- but he is not a fan of raw diets, so I just don't want to get into that because of a medical issue.. Idk I have issues with confrontation though hahah
     
  7. mkj2013

    mkj2013 New Member

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    Really!? Hmm, off to research!:p
     
  8. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    not sure if this was the one mentioned, assuming it is though:)

    WHole Dog Journal

    http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/13_4/features/Detecting-Urinary-Stones-Dogs_16215-1.html

    whole article is good but this is relevant for sure

     
  9. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    I might be going off on a limb here - I know that for cats, you don't want to feed much fish because it can aggravate urinary tract issues. It's not going to CAUSE crystals/infections per se, but if the cat is already prone to such things, too much fish will only make it worse. Would I be crazy for thinking the same could be said for dogs? Maybe a different protein source would help?
     
  10. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    Oh and for UTI's I would try D-Mannose. Its the sugar from the cranberry that is the actual part that works to help stave off UTI's.
     
  11. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Have they done a culture and sensitivity test on her urine? It might determine if a different antibiotic is more appropriate.
     
  12. mkj2013

    mkj2013 New Member

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    Yes, enterococcus is supposed to be susceptible to clavamox- so not sure what's going on there, that's why we collected and sent another yesterday

    And thanks for that article GM!!!
     
  13. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Has she had an x-ray to look for stones?
     
  14. mkj2013

    mkj2013 New Member

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    Yes, nothing there.
     
  15. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    The first thing I would do is start floating your dog's food every meal. Add water to it every meal. Like... a lot of water. If she doesn't drink the water to get to the food and manages to just pick the food out of the water, add the water earlier and let the food soak up the water - it will turn all puffy and big. You need to increase her water consumption.
    I would guess that's why Honest Kitchen works for people - having to rehydrate it means adding water and increasing water consumption in the dog's diet, and that's huge in helping fight off stones and crystals!

    Then I would ask for Baytril instead of Clavamox. Clav is a cephalosporin, and Baytril is a fluoroquinolone, so they will attack the bacteria differently. If Clav isn't clearing it up and it's Enterococcus, time to try a fluoroquinolone instead.

    No more blood makes me think you probably don't have bladder/kidney stones, but it's a possibility... your other option besides changing diet is to do an x-ray and if there are stones do bladder surgery to remove them, then send off the stones to be analyzed so you know exactly what you're dealing with and how to combat it in the future.


    Struvite crystals, and stones, can be dissolved with diet. You'll be looking for something low in protein, low in magnesium and calcium, and low fat. Technically you're looking for something low in a particular type of protein, but I can't recall exactly what the deal is. I know there aren't many commercial foods that fit the bill outside of the crappy Rx diets. =/


    So, yeah. First add water to her food. Get her to drink more. You can purchase low sodium chicken broth and add a little to her water dish too, get her to drink more that way. Make sure she has plenty of opportunity to go out and pee throughout the day, too. Then try the Baytril. Hopefully that will resolve the problem for now and in the future.

    There are a few holistic blends you can add to her meals to help prevent it in the future too. Cranberry is a good one, this is the one I use for Auggie:
    Tinkle Tonic
    My holistic vet recommended it to me and I was pretty much desperate to do anything to keep Auggie from getting bladder stones again, so I bought it. We've been free and clear since his bladder surgery, though I do have a urinalysis run every two to three months now to make sure we're still all good. Several of these ingredients are mentioned in Dr. Pitcairn's Natural Health book as being good for bladder health so I know it's not random mumbo-jumbo (unless you think all holistic medicine is random mumbo-jumbo haha.)


    ETA: Just saw your post about the x-ray, so disregard all that. I would switch to the Baytril. Enterococcus can be resistant to one or even both types of typical antibiotics. If the Baytril doesn't work you'll need to explore a different route. I don't remember the name of the stuff that has to be used if it's resistant to both antibiotics. It's given as an IV IIRC.
     
  16. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Honestly? Stand up for your dog. I work for a vet that is all over rx diets, too, and thinks grain-free and raw diets are crap, but I still feed my dogs what *I* think is best for him - not just whatever will win my boss's approval at work. He knows by now that I won't stand for his crap when it comes to my dogs.
     
  17. mkj2013

    mkj2013 New Member

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    For the most part that's how I operate now, he doesn't really care what I feed. But when it comes to addressing a medical issue I think it'd just be uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong though, I'll only do what I think is right for her:)

    And thank you all for the info, very helpful!!
     
  18. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    This. One of the biggest things for preventing UTIs/crystals/etc is a moisture-rich diet. A dehydrated/rehydrated diet, canned food, and raw food are all extremely high in moisture, so try adding some of these to her diet (or switching her food completely), and, like Beanie said, floating the kibble. Many dogs and cats don't naturally drink enough water to keep themselves sufficiently hydrated, and to keep their urine sufficiently diluted.
     
  19. mkj2013

    mkj2013 New Member

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    Ok, I'll start by floating her kibble- and see if that helps first!
     

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