Benny has always been so healthy and the last few months it's been a roller coaster. He will be 6 years old October 20th, and is a puppy of the mother bully who is no longer with us. In May he could not urinate and we had to rush him to Animal ER where his bladder was about to burst. Watching him around the yard, I thought he was having trouble with constipation but after watching, there was no urine coming out, which is what he was trying to do. From trying so hard he shoved the stones all the way into his urethra, luckily they were able to flush them back into the bladder where they only had to do one procedure. The stones were sent to be analyzed and came back struvite, which are caused by the amino acids and he is to have a low protein diet, which he was put on a prescription Science Diet U/D. This food caused him to have watery stools and messed his GI track to where the mucus lining was being effected and he was having blood in his stools. The vet then said to feed him some hamburger and rice until we find him something that will work for against the stones and also not mess up his GI tract. He was only on the burger and rice for a week and a half and then he now has the stones again. He is supposed to be on a low protein diet because it's the amino acids his system cannot digest.The vet is yet to find answers for his diet. I have looked every where on the internet and called several companies regarding dog food with no luck. So 4 months and $4000 later, we are having the same surgery today! This time they were afraid he really lodged his stones in his urethra because they were stuck in the actual bone of the penis and we were looking at having a part of his penis removed. He had to be transferred from our regular bed to Board Certified Surgeon yesterday, and thankfully they were able to get the stones to move back without altering him and he will be having the surgery this afternoon to remove all of them from the bladder. They are going to send his stones to be analyzed again to see if there is more of something else. We are told he will always have a problem with these and plan on more surgeries, unless we find a proper diet. Since he was a puppy I had been feeding him,Nutro's Natural Choice Chicken, Rice Oatmeal for years. without problems. Then the U/D special diet did not work for him and I found very odd too is that the U/D does not have a trace of a normal food item in the ingredients, it's all chemical! I really need help with finding him the right low protein diet that will not cause anymore havoc to his system. I am willing to cook for him him every day if that is what I need to do! I hate seeing him go through all of this. Please help!
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@Twice. She's one of the nutrition gurus here and prepares her Abby's food diligently everyday. Hopefully she'll chime in soon.
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What I have found out is that they are formed because the urine has a high alkaline PH level, and need to reduce the protein as your vet has said, plus they can be from a bladder infection also. There are foods that are from Hill prescription diet C/D canine urinary track health and Royal Canin also has one for urinary health diet. Both foods are not that great for bullies. Some people will opt to raw feed. I think @Twice or @cowsmom can help you with this. If you opt to feed your dog a homemade diet, make sure you provide protein, grains, and fruits or vegetables. Foods high in acid can help prevent struvite stones. Acidic foods include chicken, beef, eggs, fish, pork, cottage cheese, yogurt, and all seafood. Apples, bananas, and pumpkin also are good to include in a homemade diet.
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I just got a crash course on bladder stones last december and I really had nobody to help me exept what I found from the internet, so I'm happy if I can help you and Benny.
First I have say that you do not have to feed him low protein diet, especially now that his stones are being surgically removed. It's better that he gets high quality natural protein. That Hill's is crap and doesn't even work. There's nothing in it that you can even hold in your hand by it self!!!!
The best thing for him would be raw diet, maybe without organs, but there are other options. Yes, you read it right, raw food and your vet says low protein. It so infuriates me that the vets don't know squat about dog nutrition. There's an exellent link in your private inbox. It has a lot of good information on nutrition with different type of stones.
My Usko is prone to develop urate stones that occur in acidic urine, if your bullie has struvite stones, they occur in alkaline urine. Meat makes urine even more acidic and yet I feed my bullie raw food and he's doing great, no stones since the op. We make the urine more alkaline with baking soda. You need to bring his urine pH down, vitamin C and cranberry can do the trick.
Has the vet checked his urine pH and if he has inflamation? Balance is everything here. You need to buy a pH-meter and check his urine pH weekly. Aim to around 6,5-7,5.
Good luck with the operation, it's really for the best now, so you don't have to worry about dissolving the stones only preventing them. Let me know how everything goes.
ok here is what i could find on this on the web. looks like maybe canned food or raw is a good option for you at this time. ill see if i can research some more about a kibble to help. i hope he gets better soon.
I recommend discontinuing all dry and canned food and feeding only "real" food that includes raw vegetables, greens and some fruit. The meat can be cooked, but I recommend raw. No grains at this time. You could substitute lentils or beans for the dry food, if need be (budget-wise). So a meal could consist of 1 part meat, 1 part lentils, 1 part vegetables. Supplement with digestive enzymes, essential fatty acids (fish oil), and grapefruit seed extract (dosage is 1 drop per 5 pounds of body weight per day, which would mean 20 drops per day for your dog - so if feeding two meals. your dog would get 10 drops mixed into each meal). Continue the Vitamin C. Be sure and stir the Grapefruit Seed Extract into the food. It's bitter to our human taste buds. I include it in my dog's food, and she never seems to notice.
Dry food is a major contributor to urinary tract disease in both dogs and cats, so I agree with Sarah to get rid of the dry food. "Light" dry foods are even worse because they are higher in fiber and carbohydrates--and that makes them even more fattening. They key to both weight loss and preventing UTI's is eliminating dry food.
Meat should be the basis of the diet; even veggies and fruit should be used with caution. This is because meat is naturally acidifying to the urine, while all plant products are naturally alklanizing. Horses and cows have a urine pH around 8 and that is due to their diet. Dogs get a double whammy because when bacteria get a foothold in the urinary tract and cause infection, that in turn causes the urine pH to rise; and the normal components of urine that form struvite stones will start to precipitate out at the higher pH.
Canned food is a better choice, if you are not ready to commit to homemade or raw food. It is far less processed than dry kibble. Canned foods generally contain much more protein than dry foods, and of course they help push more fluid through the bladder, which is another key to preventing infections. But of course, real, fresh foods are always the best bet for both ourselves and our pets!
Last edited by cowsmom; 09-19-2012 at 06:53 AM.
I am of no help,,,, but the guru was here (cowsmom) but @Twice may be able to help too
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Good luck, and I hope your pup feels better, my only thing is if you need to test the dog's ph you can get a ph test kit for relatively cheap anywhere they sell tropical fish.
Benny's surgery went well. He's a real trooper. As for the vets suggestion for preventitive...I'm so disappointed.
Again the vet suggested the U/D diet and I said no. She wasn't too happy, nor the two other vets on his case. They area all pushing the diet. Then there is a twist in his case...after telling me struvite they are saying cystine stones, which I was thinking were the same thing but in either case the diet they want them on is all the same crap, but my plan of prevention is different. Cystine stones are formed because of a genetic defect, which they did not tell me, I happened to find this out myself from searching the internet. And it's very rare, like 1%. The condition is called Cystinuria. Has any one heard of this condition? It's funny that the vet didn't tell me of this either. I am so disgusted that they are clueless, or they probably do know it's all about the operations for them. I did get a name and number of a vet that has special interest in urinary problems of canines so I will be on the phone with him today. I also contacted a company called Darwin's Natural Pet Food it's a raw diet. I have read nothing but great reviews. I requested a diet consultation from them. So while I'm waiting to find the right diet I opted to get a small back of Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula since the protein is a high quality, but not an animal protein...this is just until I can figure out what to feed him. I'm also ordering probiotics, vitiman C and cranberry supplements and going to monitor his pH. I don't even understand why the vets do not talk about supplements!
It was never suggested that he be monitored for stones from his first surgery. They only had him come in for a two week follow up and that was it. Now this time they are telling me he will need image monitoring every 3 to 6 months. Why wasn't this done before?! But I want every 2 months since this happened within 4 months. Also they said if they do see stones in the bladder they can do lithrotripsy where it is a high volume sound wave that sends a vibration to break up the stones, then then lift the dog up and push on the bladder to squeeze the urine and the stones out. Again, this should have been done before? Very frustrating to say the least.
I am glad you are looking for other ways diet wise to help. But if you have to feed hills in the end that is okay too....but I do hope you can find the alternative that prevents reoccurrence.
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I grew up believing that doctors were supposed to have all the answers. Now between my own health issues and Abby's kidneys I know better. I think a lot of the time the doctors are just guessing. I do my own research kidney disease and bring what I've learned to the doctors. Sometimes they say ":yeah, I thought of that" or "no, it won't help in this case" and I've even heard "I've never even heard of that" and they ask me to send them info.
It would seem to me that you've already found something to feed him... there is nothing wrong with a vegetarian diet for a special needs dogs. I would even say there is nothing wrong with it for normal, healthy pups. Companies are popping up all the time who sell nothing but veggie blends for dogs. Some will argue that point with me but my evidence is clear. Abby is THRIVING on sweet potatoes and other veggies. Thriving to the point that even her doctors are amazed.
I've just finished reading a book on holistic canine kidney health and the doctor in it recommends lystimachia for both treating and preventing bladder stones. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR before you try it but he makes some very good points with some solid numbers to back them up. From my own research and personal trials you might want to add a vitamin C complex or at the very least a B6 supplement.
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I would not use vitamin C in this case. Vitamin C is an acid and it will make his urine more acidic. Vitamin C would of been perfect for struvites, but not with cystine stones. Cystine stones like urate stones form in acidic urine and struvites in alkaline urine.