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Struvite Crystals, Utis And Stones

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So Brandi has just finished a ten day course of antibiotics for a suspected UTI. We went back for a check yesterday and, although the white and red blood cells are down in her urine, the struvite crystals are still there. So this means either a different sort of UTI or bladder stones. We are going back to the vet on Thursday or Friday for an ultrasound and for them to do a urine culture for a final diagnosis.


Obviously I'm hoping for a UTI that is relatively easily fixed.


If, however, it is stones, apparently the way I need to treat her is through a prescription diet for the rest of her life. The ones recommended are either Hills or Royal Canin. I'm unhappy about both of these foods.


Hills prescription diet ingredients:

Whole Grain Corn, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Mill Run, Chicken Liver Flavor, Lactic Acid, Calcium Sulfate, Soybean Oil, Flaxseed, Iodized Salt, L-Lysine, Choline Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Potassium Chloride, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid, Phosphoric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.



Royal Canin Urinary S/O ingredients

rice, maize flour, animal fats, dehydrated poultry meat, maize gluten, minerals, hydrolysed animal proteins, vegetable fibres, egg powder, soya oil, fish oil, fructo-oligo-saccharides, marigold extract (source of lutein). ADDITIVES (per kg): Nutritional additives: Vitamin A: 11500 IU, Vitamin D3: 1000 IU, E1 (Iron): 45 mg, E2 (Iodine): 3.5 mg, E4 (Copper): 10 mg, E5 (Manganese): 59 mg, E6 (Zinc): 195 mg, E8 (Selenium): 0.06 mg - Preservatives - Antioxidants. ANALYTICAL CONSTITUENTS: Protein: 18% - Fat content: 17% - Crude ash: 6.6% - Crude fibres: 2.2% - Calcium: 0.5% - Phosphorus: 0.5% - Sodium: 1.2% - Chloride: 2.26% - Potassium: 0.8% - Magnesium: 0.05% - Sulphur: 0.3% - Urine acidifying substances: calcium sulphate (0.55%), DL-methionine



The girls are currently on TOTW Pacific Stream which is great for them both and doesn't make Paige's tummy react. However, I've read that foods high in salmon can cause struvite crystals (not sure its true or not - anyone?): if so, I'll have to find something else. But I don't want to move Brandi onto one of the the above to diets for life, which is what I'm told I might need to do.


Does anyone have any suggestions or alternatives? Obviously until I get a firm diagnosis (not till Thursday) no decisions can be made, but I'd like to start researching.

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Did you submit a fresh urine sample and did they run the u/a immediately? Why didn't your vet snap a quick rad?

Edited to add-

Struvite crystals are not an uncommon finding and usually are not a problem unless there's a bacterial infection. did you ever culture the urine?

Edited by tbhounds
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Fritz has had them and I've added 2 tsp. Bragg apple cider vinegar + 1tsp. raw organic honey (with water too) to his TOTW off and on (we do it for a week once a month) and that has helped ward off any recurrences.


We discussed at length the possible need to change his diet if that didn't help. If that day ever comes, I'll be cooking for him. He'd have diarrhea forever if I gave him any of those prescription foods! Thankfully our vet is also big on natural foods, so she has no problem with me cooking for him if he needs something different.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Even straightforward bladder infections can take longer than 10 days of antibiotics to resolve. I think it's a good idea to do the culture and ultrasound, but she may just need a longer course of antibiotics. Regarding struvite stones and diet, in the vast majority of dogs, struvite stones/crystals are secondary to bladder infections, and preventing infections is more important than any particular diet. There was a lot of good info posted about this in your previous thread, especially the article that tbhounds and I both provided a link to.


ETA: What was her urine pH? And how is she doing? Has she had any more accidents, or is her urination back to normal?

Edited by JJNg

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice


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Hi everyone. Thanks for all of the previous information, and your help here. I'm trying to process a lot of stuff and my head is spinning (I'm better at postmodernism, so this is all a steep learning curve). I think I get everything, but I'm trying to balance that with what my vet is saying which is effectively, if it's stones, she'll need to be on one of the above diets for life, which horrifies me. So I'm trying to work out if worse comes to worse, whether I can bounce ideas back at him. I think he's quite receptive to my own research, especially because I've been the one educating him a bit about various greyhound things (like corns vs warts), but I need to be relatively well prepared.


The urine sample I (Brandi) provided was collected half an hour before analysis before I loaded her into the car.


Brandi is not very well today at all. Not her usual bouncy self. She has had no more accidents in the house, but her urine is still dark and she seems to be uncomfortable urinating. Poops are normal. This morning she was chasing grass to eat on her walk, and there was a lot of gut activity and noise. She ate some breakfast but reluctantly (not like her, she is a food hound), and then I found vomit. I think it was after she was walked but before breakfast - bile and a treat with some grass. She's also been pacing and unable to settle. Rang the vet. He says to fast her and keep an eye, especially for bloat. If she worsens, straight to the vet and she'll get straight in to see him. If not, fast till tomorrow morning and see what happens. Bloody diarrhea or mucous means a vet trip. Paige is also anxious,which isn't good.



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She settled down yesterday and we kept an eye on her. She's in today for an ultrasound and urine culture so hopefully by this afternoon we'll have a clearer idea about what's going on. She was fasted for 48 hours which settled her stomach and she's on chicken and rice which seems to be working, although both dogs seem to prefer whatever is in the other bowl. So fingers crossed all goes well today and we get our goofy, silly Boo back with us.

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No stones!!!!!


Ultrasound clear, everything normal and groovy, although the neck of her bladder is in her pelvis which might cause some issues later on in terms of bladder capacity and incontinence. Which is to be expected in some older dogs anyhow.


So, urine culture to come back early next week, but we're hoping it's just the crystals to deal with, which is going to be increasing the acidity of her urine. Phew!!! Weight off my mind! (And my bank balance. Ouch!)

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Final update: urine culture clear. So we're waiting a couple of weeks then taking another sample just to be absolutely sure. The vet doesn't seem too worried about the crystals though I'll be trying to increase the acidity of her urine and we'll go from there. Thanks for all the support!

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