Struvite and Calcium Oxalate Crystals, help? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Struvite and Calcium Oxalate Crystals, help?

Hello all, I just got back from the vet and just received some shocking news. I had taken in a urine sample because I thought Nyx might have a UTI. I found out she has both struvite crystals and calcium oxalate crystals in her urine. The vet told me it was very rare to have both and also rare to have any crystals in such a young puppy (4 months). I had taken her to vet last month because she was having diarrhea and the vet concluded she was grain-intolerant. I switched her from Blue Buffalo puppy to Taste of the Wild Grain-free puppy food and she seemed to get better. Now, the vet tells me she has to be on C/D Science Diet because her body can't metabolize food correctly, and might have to the rest of her life. The first ingredient in the C/D is whole grain corn and only has by-products. It doesn't seem like a very good food, especially compared to what I was feeding her. And she's not allowed to have any kind of treats. The vet has her on antibiotics now to clear up the crystals. Has anyone experienced anything like this? And know about food and treats besides the C/D? I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and could use any advice. Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 07:48 PM
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I'm bumping this because I hope someone can help.
I don't know anything about urine crystals or UTI's but your vet's advice seems contradictory to me, and the food suggestion is less-than-ideal IMO.
Also, your puppy is only 4 months old
I do hope you can get some answers.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 09:41 PM
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I don't know much about crystals in dogs but we just went over it in class a couple weeks ago for cats. It happens usually because of a build up of minerals and to concentrated urine. Increasing the intake of water can be helpful either with giving more water or wet food or dampen dry food. I'm gonna go track down my notes
ETA avoid fish in the food if possible

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 10:04 PM
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Go to the DogAware site below in my signature. There is excellent information about crystals, causes and about diet. Most vets just know what Science Diet and Hills salesmen tell them about feeding that stuff and they are not made to be fed for life.

Best of my memory, the crystals, struvite anyway, are actually caused by the UTI.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 12:52 PM
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I would probably try to see a specialist before putting a puppy on a life-long prescription diet.

That said, I have a cat with FLUTD, a similar problem with crystals. I was determined not to put her on prescription food. I tried everything, all the suggestions from natural vets, etc. All of it failed, and she had flare-ups, which are very painful. Also, the more they have episodes, the more likely they are to have more.

I ended up with a happy medium - she eats one meal a day of her prescription canned food, and her other meal is regular EVO canned. That keeps her from having episodes. If I could avoid the prescription food I would, but I have to do what keeps her healthy.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 02:52 PM
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I would highly recommend seeing a specialist soon.

The struvite stones are caused by an infection and diet will not make a difference.

In the spring of this year my 8 year old male Rex presented some blood in his urine and I immediately took him and a urine sample to my vet. He was started on a two week course of Amoxi and the infection appeared to clear up immediately. He appeared fine until the July 4th weekend. He had never had an UTI before.


On the July 4th weekend I noticed some straining and immediately took him in. Long story short a blockage. My vet in Olympia was able to get the urine out and relieve him for the prompt drive to a surgical facility in Oregon as they had a soft tissue specialist surgeon on over the weekend. They ran him thru a series of tests upon arrival Saturday evening and determined stones were causing the problem. They put him on fluids overnight and did successful surgery on Sunday and released him Monday morning and he has been on the mend since.

There were bacteria in the bladder and urethra so another two week course of antibiotics followed. We are still waiting on the results from the lab the stones were sent to. However, the specialist surgeon highly suspects struvite and thus probably no changes in diet. Just close monitoring with urine cultures until we are certain the infection is gone.

In an abundance of caution we are keeping Rex on a cooked diet until the results from the lab that has his stones is back. There are cooked diets just as effective as the Science Diet but a whole lot better nutritionally for the dog.

Bottom line you need a specialist and soon.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 03:30 PM
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 04:06 PM
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Excellent articles!

As always when Linda posts something it is worth reading.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 06:20 PM
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For the record, some prescription diets can be fed for life. CD happens to be one of them. And I had a Dobe who ate Hills CD for the last 6 years of his life--it took care of the problem that caused his urine to have too high a pH (over 8.0--way too alkaline--caused struvite crystals and hematuria. The CD took care of the pH problem and since there weren't a ton of crystals the hematuria stopped as well.

My dogs don't have problems with grains--so I don't have to feed a grain free diet and not all dogs do well on a "grain free" diet--a friend of mine had to take a bitch off the grain free food she was feeding to four dogs because the bitch just wasn't tolerating it--she tried a couple more highly rated grain free kibbles but found that the bitch was very hard to keep weight on so ended up back on a more mid range kibble--the weight loss and dull coat cleared up promptly.

The other thing to consider is the fact that some dogs just don't do well on some foods--one of my dogs had one brief problem with a limited ingredient food that I inherited a couple of bags of--took less than a week on it and he had struvite crystals and blood in his urine--I remembered that I'd read a couple of complaints about this particular food on one of the dog lists--I took him off of it and the other two dogs who didn't have problems with that food at all finished it up--the other dog went back to the food he's been on since he was weaned--that was a couple of years ago--no other problems since.
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