What Are The Causes Of Bladder Stones On Dogs
Bladder stones are usually caused by one or more of the following:
- The dogs breed.
Usually, if your dog is one of the breeds who are more likely to have bladder stones, then it could be a bit of bad news for you.
Dog breeds who are likely to have bladder stones are the following: basset hound, welsh corgi, pug, miniature schnauzer, Dalmatian, Pekingese, cocker spaniel, dachshund, bulldog, Shi Tzu, and a beagle.
The usual reason for this is that most of these dog breeds are prone to abnormal urine pH levels as well as their genetic history. They also tend to be more prone to urinary tract infections.
- Getting dehydrated.
If your dog doesnt get the hydration that they need, their pH levels may be unbalanced. This can have an effect on their metabolism rate as well as on their overall diet plan.
If their pH levels become unbalanced, crystal stones can form in their bladder. The ideal pH level of urine for dogs should be at least lower than pH level 7 so that it will be able to dissolve the crystals that form in the bladder.
- Bacterial infection.
In some cases, if your dog suffers some bacterial infection then they can possibly be more susceptible to getting bladder stones. Consider asking your vet to get your dog examined to know if they have a bacterial infection that may possibly be the cause of the bladder stones.
Efficacy Of Natural Urinary Stone Remedies In Dogs
The effectiveness of natural remedies to remove urinary stones already present is not well documented. However, changes made in your dog’s diet and herbal supplements and remedies to promote your dogs urinary tract functioning and prevent bacterial infection may be useful to prevent stones or prevent recurrence of urinary stones in dogs that are prone to urinary tract disorders.
Signs Of Urate Stone In Dogs
The symptoms of urate stones in dogs resemble cystitis or a bladder infection. Among the most common symptoms are blood in the urine, straining to go to the toilet and neurological impairment where a liver shunt is involved. These symptoms occur because the uroliths rub against the bladder walls, damaging the tissue and causing it to bleed.
Alongside this, uroliths can cause the bladder to swell and obstruct urine from passing through. If your dog has a large urolith or several small uroliths, they may obstruct the bladder, which can cause the bladder to be unable to empty itself fully.
Where an obstruction is complete, your dog wont be able to go to the toilet at all. This can be fatal, so your dog will require immediate emergency treatment from your veterinarian. Fortunately, urate stones are one of the few bladder stones that can dissolve.
So, to summarize the symptoms to look out for:
- Straining when going to the toilet
- Blood in the urine
- Drinking and urinating more often
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Homeopathic Remedies For Bladder Stones
Homeopathy can offer additional support to your dog. Consider these remedies.
Cantharis One of the principal remedies for stones. Your dog will strain to urinate, oftentimes eliminating drops of blood-tinged urine.
Aconite If you notice early signs of a urinary tract infection, especially if theres a fever.
Causticum Useful for an older dog with incontinence, leaking, dribbling and straining to urinate.
Natrum muriaticum Your dog has excessive thirst. Urine is pale and copious. Nat mur is the remedy to consider for clearing out the kidneys. Large amounts of cloudy urine may pass after starting this remedy.
Berberis For a dog with back pain, especially near the kidneys. This is an excellent remedy to consider specifically for oxalate crystals.
How To Give Homeopathic Remedies
Buy remedies in a 30C or 200C potency. Choose the remedy that best fits your dogs condition.
- Put 2-3 pellets in a 1/4 cup of spring or filtered water.
- Stir vigorously, then use a dropper or teaspoon to place some of the remedy on your dogs gums. That is one dose.
- Dosing frequency: For 30C potency, dose twice daily for 5-7 days.If using 200C, dose once only, and wait to see improvement.
- Dont refrigerate the remedy. Make up a new water solution daily.
Formation Of Stones And Crystals In The Bladder
Occasionally, stones and crystals can form in the bladder. These rock-like formations are made of minerals that have settled in the dogs bladder.
There can be a single, large stone or several smaller stones. Usually, a mixture of stones is present.
The clinical signs of stones include blood in the urine and straining while urinating. The condition is assumed to be painful, as people with bladder stones report pain.
Sometimes, these stones can cause an obstruction. This obstruction can be partial and will cause the dog to urinate more frequently.
Complete obstructions will eventually lead to the rupture of the bladder and are considered life-threatening.
No one knows exactly how bladder stones form, but there are many theories. Most of them are related to diet, so a change in your dogs diet is often recommended.
There are several minerals that dogs prone to kidney stones should keep at a minimum.
Usually, bladder stones can not be diagnosed based on clinical signs alone. Sometimes, bladder stones can be palpated with the fingers.
An x-ray is required to see the stones inside the bladder, though. One or more tests may be necessary to see the stones properly.
There are a few treatment options for bladder stones. One is surgical removal, which involves surgery to remove the stones.
The other option does not involve surgery. In addition, the stones can sometimes be dissolved using dietary changes alone.
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Home Remedies For Bladder Stones In Dogs
Bladder stones in your dog can be a scary problem. Because your conventional vet will probably tell you the best option is surgery.
Sometimes that may be true, if your dog has a severe case. Other times your vet may offer some more conservative options. You can read about all the conventional treatments in Bladder Stones In Dogs: Is Surgery The Only Option?
But there are cases where you can use diet and home remedies to manage your dogs bladder stones.
Read on to learn how you can avoid surgery and prevent your dog from getting bladder stones again.
Feed Your Companion A Therapeutic Diet
Commercial therapeutic diets are the best option for reducing the development of most types of stones, says Heinze, who is board-certified in veterinary nutrition.
Home-cooked diets are usually a second choice for dogs that cant eat a commercial diet, rather than the first choice for stone prevention, because they cant undergo the kinds of testing that commercial therapeutic diets do to ensure that the urine produced has the greatest chance of reducing stone risk, she says.
Therapeutic diets work by providing less of the substances that form the stones, Su says. Some of these diets are designed for prevention of stones, and some for dissolution of stones , so make sure the pet is monitored by a veterinarian while on these diets.
The type of diet your vet prescribes will depend on the stone. For example, for dogs with urate and cysteine bladder stones, your vet will recommend specific lower protein therapeutic diets that promote alkaline pH and reduce intake of stone precursors, says Larsen, who is board-certified in veterinary nutrition.
To prevent calcium oxalate stones, the prescribed diet will likely have moderate levels of protein, calcium, and phosphorous. And it may have increased sodium chloride or higher fiber, explains Dr. Joe Bartges, professor of medicine and nutrition at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia in Athens.
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Homemade Dog Food For Struvite Bladder Stones
Theres no need to use prescription urinary dog food for dogs with urinary stones. Here are a few of the best homemade dog food for struvite bladder stones that will help your dogs urinary health if he or she suffers from urinary stones. In addition to having good amounts of protein and vitamins, these recipes also provide traces of other nutrients as well as a good amount of good fat.
A healthy diet will prevent the formation of urinary stones if your dog is well-fed and healthy. Below are some homemade dog food recipe for struvite bladder stones
Prescription dog food can be prescribed for urinary SO . In some cases, these dog foods harm bone health due to their low mineral levels, so check these alternatives.
Signs & Symptoms Of Bladder Stones In Dogs
Dogs with very small bladder stones will not always exhibit symptoms. Often, these small stones will pass through the urinary tract without being noticed, especially in female dogs. However, larger stones may interfere with urination or irritate the lining of the bladder or urethra. Signs and symptoms include:
Discomfort and difficulty urinating
Urinating small amounts very frequently
Blood in the urine
Pain in the abdomen around the kidney area
Change in energy level
Its important to note that not all of these symptoms may present themselves. Pain may be the only indicator that bladder stones are present, so it can be difficult to diagnose.
Its nonetheless important to figure out if your dog is suffering from this ailment: if left untreated, stones can cause blockages, chronic urinary tract infections, and be potentially life-threatening.
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Treats For Dogs With Bladder Stones
Amber is an expert in canine cancer, behavior, and nutrition, and has written extensively about dog health and training. She works with clients to offer counseling, nutrition advice, and education on a wide variety of topics related to dogs.
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Dogs prone to developing bladder stones need treats based on the type of stone they have. Any treats you give your dog should help reduce the risk of developing additional bladder stones, and in some cases, the correct treat may even help dissolve stones.
Feed Foods That Help Prevent Bladder Stones
Whatever your dogs condition, feeding a fresh, whole food diet is the healthiest strategy. Avoid highly processed, starchy kibble diets, especially if your dog has struvite stones.
And this includes prescription diets your vet might try to persuade you to feed. These diets might help short term but they offer very poor nutrition for your dog.
Instead, here are some dietary recommendations for the different types of stones. Homeopath and Certified Canine Nutritionlist Brenda Tobin DiHom, DVetHom, Cert CN offers the advice below on diets for struvite and calcium oxalate stones.
Food To Manage Struvite Stones
Dogs develop struvite stones when their urine is alkaline and saturated with magnesium and phosphate. Struvite stones usually stem from bacterial infections. Dogs who produce a high concentration of urea may be more susceptible to struvite stones. Thats because bacterial urease converts urea to ammonia, a component of struvite.
Animal proteins are acidifying. So, to manage struvite stones, feed your dog a raw meat based diet with other acidic foods.
INCLUDE Acidic Foods For Struvite Stones
- Veggies collard, mustard greens, sweet potatoes, okra
Food For Urate Stones
Dogs like Dalmatians who are prone to urate stones need to eat low purine diets. Feed a fresh, whole food diet focusing on low and medium purine foods from the list below. Avoid high purine foods.
FEED Low and Medium Purine Foods
AVOID High Purine Foods
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Hills Prescription Diet C/d Multi
Easily one of the most popular brands of prescription pet food, Hills is a company that many veterinarians trust. If youre looking for a prescription canned food that is formulated to support your dogs urinary health, consider this Hills Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Urinary Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew.
Here are the main options for treating bladder stones:
Dietary dissolution is the preferred treatment for many veterinarians because it is non-invasive and it can help prevent stones from reforming in the future. Keep in mind that not all stones can be dissolved through dietary changes youll need to ask your vet if it is possible.
Dietary dissolution can also be a fairly slow process, taking weeks or months to dissolve a large stone. If your dog is at risk for urethral obstruction during this time, you may want to take a more direct approach to treatment.
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Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Ox/St Canine Formulas are made with high-quality ingredients and formulated to help reduce the risk of urinary stone formation in dogs. The science behind our therapeutic diets represents a collaboration between Purina nutritionists, researchers and veterinarians.
- Promotes a urinary environment unfavorable to the development of both sterile struvite and calcium oxalate crystals
- Helps dissolve sterile struvite stones*
- Helps reduce the risk of both sterile struvite* and calcium oxalate stone recurrence
- Promotes increased urine volume to dilute the urine
- UR Ox/St canned diet contains significant moisture, contributing to total water intake
- High quality protein
* Most struvite stones in dogs are caused by urinary tract infections. In the case of non-sterile struvite stones, it is important to discuss antibiotic therapy with your veterinarian in addition to dietary management.
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Sample Recipes Food For Dogs With Bladder Stones
Dogs are prone to developing bladder stones, and a low-purine diet is one of the best ways to help prevent them. In this article, we will provide some recipes for food that is low in purines and easy for dogs to digest. Dogs are prone to developing bladder stones, and a low-purine diet is one of the best ways to help prevent them. In this article, we will provide some recipes for food that is low in purines and easy for dogs to digest.
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What Foods Should Dogs With Struvite Crystals Avoid
You should avoid feeding your dog foods made with grains including corn, rice, and wheat. Grains create alkaline urine in dogs that make them more susceptible to developing struvite stones. An alkaline ph is necessary for struvite stones to form and cant form in acidic urine. Additional foods to avoid include:
Vinegar thats not distilled like organic apple cider vinegar found in some foods, should be avoided.
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What Are The Signs Of Calcium Oxalate Bladder Stones
The signs of bladder stones are very similar to the signs of an uncomplicated bladder infection or cystitis. The most common signs that a dog has bladder stones are hematuria and dysuria . Hematuria occurs because the stones rub against the bladder wall, irritating and damaging the tissue and causing bleeding. Dysuria may result from inflammation and swelling of the bladder walls or the urethra , from muscle spasms, or from a physical obstruction to urine flow. Veterinarians assume that the condition is painful, because people with bladder stones experience pain, and because many clients remark about how much better and more active their dog becomes following surgical removal of bladder stones.
Large stones may act almost like a valve or stopcock, causing an intermittent or partial obstruction at the neck of the bladder, the point where the bladder attaches to the urethra. Small stones may flow with the urine into the urethra where they can become lodged and cause an obstruction. If an obstruction occurs, the bladder cannot be emptied fully if the obstruction is complete, the dog will be unable to urinate at all. If the obstruction is not relieved, the bladder may rupture. A complete obstruction is potentially life threatening and requires immediate emergency treatment.
Royal Canin Urinary So Diet Dry Food
- First 5 ingredients: Brewers Rice, Corn, Chicken Fat, Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice Flour
- Type of product: Veterinary Diet
- Life stage: Adult
Out of these Struvite, Oxalate, and Urate stones occur in the majority of dogs. Cystine and Silica stones occur almost exclusively in male dogs. Some of these crystals could be dissolved while others can only be managed by a proper diet and medication. In the latter cases surgical intervention is always necessary.
Struvite crystals form when urine is alkaline, while Urate and Cystine crystals form in acidic urine. Research shows that Calcium Oxalate can form in both acidic and alkaline environments. While it was shown that bigger Oxalate crystals form in acidic environments the mechanism of how this happens is still unclear. However, the formation of oxalate crystals can be mitigated by reducing the concentration of ions and metabolites in the urine that are necessary for their formation.
Silica uroliths can be prevented by diets that are low in whole grains, cereals and vegetable material. These ingredients, particularly grains and cereals commonly accumulate silica.
Silica uroliths are also often associated with Calcium Oxalate. It is therefore suggested to avoid urine acidifying, oxalate-rich foods that can increase silica precipitation and stone formation.
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Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Ur Urinary Ox/st Canned Dog Food
Main Ingredients: Chicken, Water, Rice, Meat by-products, Liver
This therapeutic diet is specially formulated for the treatment of struvite and calcium oxalate stones. It keeps the urine diluted to prevent the mineral deposits that result in crystal growth. Also, its low fiber and high moisture levels are well suited for dogs with compromised kidneys.
It is a pea-free food perfect for dogs with a sensitive digestive system. Whats unique about this dog food is that it has more protein than most therapeutic diets. If your dog is underweight, a low protein diet can be harmful, but this particular product is ideal since it keeps the dog energized and the urinary tract healthy.