This is so long but please if you have the time, read it. I’m a scared new bulldog mom and my baby isn’t feeling well!
Alright..so here we go!
A little history first:
We adopted our 3 year old English Bulldog, Mush, in October of last year from Ohio. She had a horrible ear infection, was 15lbs over weight, had flees, tape worms and wip worms. (I know…) Up until this past Tuesday (June 4th) she has lost 11lbs, worm flee free and her ear infection is under control…Unfortunately her ear infection was so bad and so improperly taken care of before we got her that we have concluded only surgery will fully remove the infection (separate conversation entirely). She is currently eating 1 ½ cups of blue buffalo grain-free healthy weight twice daily and we have had no issues. She is completely house trained to the point where my boyfriend and I joke around that we think she would be mortified if she ever went to the bathroom inside.
Now the issue:
Tuesday, June 4th we came home and mush had peed on the carpet. It was very suprising of her but no big deal…I grabbed some paper towel and began to dab before applying cleaning spray. No issue.
Wednesday, June 5th we were all sitting in our living room again and she got up right in front of us and began peeing in the same spot. This time when I went to clean it up, it was pink. My thoughts were “Okay something is wrong. This is traces of blood.”
We made an appointment with the vet on Thursday for Friday at 2pm and this is what happened.
We go to Banfield Animal Hospital and every time we go there there’s a different vet. (side question: is this the way animal hospitals work?) At the vet we told them everything that happened and they suspected a UTI. They did a urinalysis test, urine sediment exam, urine specific gravity and I know they tested PH as well.
Results: She had bacteria in her urine as well as crystals. My vet told me that mush will be going on Amoxicillin 500mg capsules 2x a day for 14 days (fine..no problem there) AND (here it comes!) change her diet forever to Royal Canine to get rid of all the crystals. I then reminded my vet that we were discussing the eating habits of an English Bulldog that had already had one major facial swelling allergy attack from a still unknown trigger. I told her that mush has never had any issues with her dog food and ALSO that she needed to be on a dog food that will aid in weight loss since she has an elongated soft pallet and when she was 10lbs heavier, it was a lot harder for her to breathe. She told me she had the perfect food for me, once again, now more specifically Royal Canine for food sensitivity. So my boyfriend stayed with Mush as my motherly instinct and b.s. detector kicked in and I went to go grab a bag of mushes current dog food from one of the aisles (banfield is in Petsmart). I compared both foods together and instantly found a few ingredients that I didn’t like. Now comes over one of the technicians and I ask her what specifically about this Royal Canine food will get rid of the crystals in Mush’s urine that mush’s current food (blue buffalo) doesn’t have? She stumbled, mumbled and began to get nervous. Between all of the verbal diahrea, the only thing she could say is “its not what IS in the food, but what ISN’T in the food.” What? So what isn’t in blue buffalo that is in Royal Canine that can get rid of crystals? (I’m sure by now you know why I am writing this..pure confusion.)
So I went with my instinct and said no to the Royal Canine. Ten minutes after leaving the vet, I get this voicemail….get ready!
Word for word:
“Hi Alexa, this is Dr. **** calling from Orchard…ahh.. Banfield Pet hospital..sorry about that. Um..I heard that you had some issues with the diet and um I just wanted you to understand though that those urinary crystals canNOT go away without a prescription diet. So I’m not trying to you know, be pro royal canine, I’m really..thats the only way that those crystals are going to come out unless you want to go to surgery with your dog. Um, regular diet are not going to dilute those or break them down in anyway shape or form. Um..if you have any questions about the diet, please look up online and look up the prescription diet for the one that I gave you um or just call us back, alright? If you have any other questions. Thank you!”
So I start doing my research. I find out that Banfield and Royal Canine are both owned by Mars Inc. (yes mars bar). Ridiculous. I did some research and today I bought organic cranberry capsules and organic apple cider vinegar for mush. I didn’t want to do anything without knowing THE TYPE OF CRYSTALS! She never even mentioned what kind. So I called up the vet this morning and was told that I would receive a call back to discuss this with the vet…After a missed call, I ended up calling back and demanding to know the type of crystal. Struvite and Oxalate Crystals. Now I’m lost. Completely lost. Low PH, High PH.. do I want her pee more acidic, less acidic, less protein, more protein for weight loss, less oxalate…holy cow someone help me!
I just want to know what to do and I can’t ask my vet…my old vet I should say. How to I get a food with less protein but keep mush losing weight? How to I find a food with less oxalate? Do I get wet food? I eat Paleo so I’m 100% willing to go raw food for my pup but I’m so worried I wont be giving her enough nutrients!
Please if there is someone out there that can personally help us make the right choices for our pup or atleast point us in the right direction, I will be forever in dept. This poor dog has been through so much and shes the kindest cutest little mush (I know, I’m biased). I just feel so bad for her.
Thank you for reading my novel.
-Lex and Mush
There is a part of your heart not alive until a bulldog has entered your life.
Nitschke (2004-2011) and Banks (2005-2014) -- My angels
Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings
Oh, yikes. I'm sorry Mush has this infection. It seems obvious that the vet is getting you to buy Royal Canine b/c, well, she works for Banfield, which is connected to the Mars company. I think you need to see a vet who knows more about bullies. A second opinion is in order, that's my thought! I know it's the weekend and may be difficult to find one right now. I know others will come along to help with this soon!! Hang in there. Meanwhile, keep giving her the antibiotics and hopefully Mush's symptoms will alleviate soon.
ok there are several threads here about struvite crystals you can find in the search engine but here is some of what was said in the other threads. i hope they dont mind me copying and pasting what they said
That's easier to handle, you don't never ever need to feed that crappy food.
I would advice you to
Get a electrical pH-meter and monitor her urine pH regularly. It should just below 7Bathe and groom your dog on a regular basis
ReplaceYour dog's drinking water with fresh water at leats once per day
Give your dog urination breaks as frequently as possible
Add water to your dogs food to increase it's fluid intake
Remove leftover food from the bowl
Provide your dog with appropriate portions of healthy, all-natural and clean food, Fromm is just fine
Wash your dog's water and food bowls on daily basis
Give your dog Cranberry and vitamin C
You can't fix stuvite crystals with a change in diet if he's already eating quality food that supports his immune system. Stuvite crystals are actually common in dogs and cats. It's not a health problem unless it becomse a UTI and then you need to fix it - And no, prescription dog food will not fix the UTI... silly vet. A lot of times, a vet will prescribe a low-protein food in addition to anti-biotics to help pass the crystals when UTI is present. That's fine. But that diet should be very temporary. Not permanent change. You'll be asking for more health trouble if you make this permanent.
If your dog is prone to stuvite crystals, you can either do pH tests often (same time everyday) to monitor his pH levels (if it creeps up close to 8, a UTI may be coming and a vet notification is needed) or you can give him some probiotic supplements to balance him out.
Okay, I have to admit, I'm not well experienced with stuvite crystals except for my mom had a dog that had it.
Actually more protein makes urine more acidic. Struvites are normally caused by UTI. Infection raises urine pH, and struvites are formed. You need to make her urine more acidic and that can be done with more protein, vitamin C, cranberry and other acidic foods and such. You just need to know her pH and you can check it with strips or an electrical meter. Check the website dogaware. There you can find a lot of good info on differnd kind of stones and how food is the best medicine. I do not recommend Hill's, raw or home cooking is much better, but you have to do your homework.
I can't give any better advice than what is in dogaware. This following is from that article of Stuvite stones...
"Struvite crystals do not require a change in diet. Because struvite crystals do not pose a problem unless the dog has a urinary tract infection, there is no required treatment for crystals, including dietary changes. If the dog does have a urinary tract infection, a prescription [replacer_a] will not cure it.
If your veterinarian finds struvite crystals in the urine and suggests a diet change , you'd be well advised to find a new vet. You have to wonder how many other things he or she is misinformed about. It isn't just a case of not keeping up with newer research; this recommendation is just plain wrong."
I would definitely find a different vet. I would check out our recommended vets page and see if there is one close to you: http://www.englishbulldognews.com/co...-Veterinarians . If not, I would call around and see if you can find a local vet experienced with english bulldogs. It really can be hard to find a vet that you'll feel confident about, but some calls may pay off.
I don't have experience in the other stuff, but these guys have already tagged some people who should be able to help!
I am thrilled to hear that Mush has such a dedicated and informed and willing to go to the end of the earth Mama !!!! This being said I used to work for a Veterinarian who constantly pushed Hill's Science Diet.. I asked why ? I am annoying that way. He said " They give me the best Kick-backs" I made my normal angry-confused face. He explained that in Veterinary School the Doc's to be have so many things to learn about so many animals that nutrition is very very often over-looked while at the same time big company's are parading up and down the halls trying to get NEW Vet's to PUSH their product. I was absolutely horrified. I loved this man and respected him but this was insane!
Granted that was 10 yrs ago but seems to be still true... If a Veterinarian places a Cruise .. over your pets well-being, please find a new Vet.
Mush you have a wonderful mommy !
Hi there! You've received great advice. Hopefully the other members that were tagged will stop by and provide their opinions.
And good for you trusting your motherly instincts. Royal Canin won't do her any good! Unless I missed it, you should first find out what type of crystals they are because there are different strategies for each. That's all I can say as I have no experience. But other members have so they'll help with all they can.
Mush us such an awesome name and absolutely beautiful! She's lucky to have found such a great mama!
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"I am normally not a praying man, but if you really are up there, please save me Superman!'' - Homer J. Simpson
You'll get a lot of quality advice here for sure. When we went through this a vet tech said the Hill's c/d or s/d clears crystals because there's just a lot of sodium, which makes dogs drink more. Pathetic. (And ethically questionable, if you ask me!) That said, we did stay on that for awhile without reactions or weight gain. But that's all in the past now!
I know it's probably costing you tons, but I agree with everyone here about the second opinion. Banfield should transfer all the initial urine work to a new vet as the type of bacteria will determine the best course for antibiotics if this first round doesnt work. You shouldn't have to repeat the initial tests.
What a beautiful dog!
I can't help on this subject but you definitely need a new, bulldog knowledgable vet. You r obviously a wonderful mama who is smarter than most of us who listen to what the dumb vets say and think they know all. Sadly they get kickbacks on the food they push and even good vets don't always now much about nutrition which is too bad. Glad you r here! I hope some of this info helps you guys!
@MushiesMom you my friend are one smart cookie and all the advice that has been given here is spot on in my opinion, and to @cowsmom she has gone the extra mile to really give you great info.
Mushie is as beautiful a bully as they come. I'm very happy to meet such a caring young bully mama as yourself
Life is like a box of chocolate covered
I agree with everyone's ideas and advice above , and great information from Cowsmom. I'm sorry I don't have any experience with this, so don't have any advice or wisdom to share, but am sending love, hugs and prayers your way that Mush ( cute name. Love it) feels better soon. My two guys came from the breeder on Royal Canin, and when I asked him if it was a good quality food, he told me yes, I know that the breeder gets the food for free for promoting it, because when I brought them home, I received two big pails of the food with coupons, I also asked my vet and she assured me it was a good quality food as well, and she also sells it in her office. I am sure that the company gives them a kickback for pushing this food. I did my own research when after reading the label and not liking some of the ingredients found in Royal Canin. There are a lot of fillers, grains, and corn in this food. I went on the Internet and started researching dog foods and that's when I found the EBN website which had the dog food ratings, and found out that Royal Canin is only a 2 or 3 star food. That's when I switched my guys to the Fromms Beef. Good luck finding a food that will be good for mush, and please keep us posted on how he's doing.
LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.