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Opinions on urinary issues


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Currently my dogs' pee problems are resolved (knock on wood) but I really wanted to get other peoples' opinions on the situation.

Where I work (Veterinary practice) we see A LOT of urinary infections/crystals. Almost all the time it is triple phosphate crystals. Years ago we used to see maybe a couple a year. Now we see a couple a week. One was a puppy that wasn't weaned yet!!!! I really am curious what the cause is. We do have "hard" water in this area. With some dogs simply giving them distilled water is enough to solve the issue (along with antibiotics). With most dogs the food needs changed also (prescription food).

I know that triple phosphate crystals prefer alkaline urine. I do think a lot of dog food is so plant material based that it makes your pets' urine too alkaline and that encourages the formation of triple phosphate crystals. But I can't say that it is one specific brand of food, it almost seems to be all of them, grocery store food, pet store food, high dollar food are all represented. So I think that if it is the food it is something that almost all the companies are doing (one specific ingredient? one specific preservative?)

Perhaps a homemade diet or a raw diet would be the solution?

I also know that genetics play a roll but all four of my Borders are (somewhat) related and the first two had no issues what so ever. My youngest Border had issues from puppyhood on but my male started at age 7.

Some vets say that recurrent UTI's cause crystals. Other vets say that the crystals caused the UTI.

I wish a university would do a study. I'd be happy to collect information.

Perhaps there isn't one easy answer but I am curious why it is so common.


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I think that if it is the food it is something that almost all the companies are doing (one specific ingredient? one specific preservative?)


Well, the one thing that comes to mind that all kibbles have in common regardless of overall quality is carbs.


Since dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbs, it begs the question whether there could be a heretofore unidentified detriment. So that could be one place to look.


I suppose another thing all kibbles have in common is that they're cooked.


Have you ever noticed that any of the dogs coming in w/ UTIs have been on home cooked or raw diets? If it's not something you've paid attention to, it might be a place to start. Mebbe even ask other people in the practice to pay attention to what the dogs are eating.


I'm only thinking out loud as I don't recall any of my dogs ever having had a UTI, even prior to my going raw in 2000, so my personal experience isn't very helpful. And I've always lived in areas where the water's pretty hard.

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I think that would be an excellent question to pursue.


The only dog that I have had with UTIs is a female sheltie mix rescue - and she did not have her first UTI until she was 15 years old. The vet ascribed her UTI to a juvenile vulva - as it is inverted.


Regardless, I am sure diet plays an important role.

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I would also wonder if awareness is part if this. If your dog is outside then you've not going to notice the symptoms if a UTI like you would with an inside dog. Growing up we never would have noticed anything until there was a major issue as our dogs were outside and we wouldn't notice the excessive drinking and peeing.


I've only had to deal with it twice in my dogs. Once I caught it early on after my dog woke me up 3 nights in a row in the middle of the night to go out to pee. The other time was when Kipp had cancer and was on drugs that knocked out his immune system. They've been fed a variety of foods - raw to kibble to homemade.

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HHmmm, thanks for the ideas. None of the dogs have been on either raw or homemade. Not too many people in this area do that. We do have a client with two related dogs that both have issues with triple phosphate crystals. She is moving to Ecuador and they do not carry prescription food there. We have been looking at homemade diets but the one she tried didn't seem to work as the dogs still had a high urinary pH even when she added urinary acidifiers to the diet. She is going to try again this time adding vitamin C. Perhaps cranberry pills would be a good choice.

Maybe awareness does play a roll too. This used to be an area where dogs were mainly outside dogs. Now they are mainly house dogs. We did have a client who had a beagle (an outdoor dog) that by the time he noticed she had a problem she had so many bladder stones that if you picked her up and jiggled her I swear I thought I could hear the stones rattle! Maybe years back, dogs died of other things before the stones got that bad.

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