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Old 09-23-2012, 04:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Grain-free (or at least corn-free) food for UTI?

Hello again all,

I was wondering if anyone had a recommendation on a good grain-free or corn-free food for a dog with persistent urinary tract infection(s)?

I know there are a variety of prescription foods offered at most vets' offices, but they tend to be full of filler and extremely low in protein. I understand less protein might be useful for a dog with a UTI (or so I have been told), but Willow is still a puppy (6.5 months... I am trying to find a balance between treating the infection and promoting healthy growth.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I really don't know of any reason why a lower protein food would be indicated for dogs prone to UTI's. Higher amounts of meat protein are associated with lower urinary pH, and higher amounts of grains/carbs are associated with higher urinary pH. Lower protein makes no sense for pups or for dogs who tend to get UTIs... at least, not insofar as I am aware.

If your pup has been treated and the infection has not cleared, it is time for a culture and sensitivity test... this will determine which pathogen(s) is/are causing the problem and identify which antibiotics will be most effective. At the conclusion of treatment, a re-check is indicated to make sure the meds have done the job. It sometimes takes trying different meds or using meds for a longer period of time to actually deal with a UTI.

If your girl is not spayed yet, it might be in her best interest to wait until after her first season if you do intend to spay. Bitches spayed prior to their first season have a higher rate of UTIs.

I would keep this pup on one or two Solaray CranActin capsules per day, at least until this issue was resolved. I had difficulty taking my girl off this... I was giving it for persistant vaginitis, and when I would eliminate it she would either get a bout of vaginitis or (one time) a UTI... I suspect that her body came to rely on the help the CranActin provided, but it wasn't a big deal to just keep her on this.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.

She had another urinalysis done today. No more white blood cells in the urine, but she has crystals and a pH of 8 (so on the basic end of the scale, rather than acidic). Would you recommend less protein in her case? Note: She's had two tests done in the past two weeks, and both showed a pH of 8. She's currently being fed a grain-free salmon and sweet potato formula dry dog food.

Oh, and she was spayed a couple days before I adopted her (she would have been 5 to 5.5 months old at the time). Most of the shelters around here won't release dogs until they've been altered.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desy View Post
Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.

She had another urinalysis done today. No more white blood cells in the urine, but she has crystals and a pH of 8 (so on the basic end of the scale, rather than acidic). Would you recommend less protein in her case? Note: She's had two tests done in the past two weeks, and both showed a pH of 8. She's currently being fed a grain-free salmon and sweet potato formula dry dog food.

Oh, and she was spayed a couple days before I adopted her (she would have been 5 to 5.5 months old at the time). Most of the shelters around here won't release dogs until they've been altered.
Aw, that's a bit early - I can't imagine spaying Jaina right now. She's gaining at least two and a half pounds at this point.

Don't know anything about the diet and urinalysis/protein stuff. Just wanted to send some warm thoughts your way!
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Aw, that's a bit early - I can't imagine spaying Jaina right now. She's gaining at least two and a half pounds at this point.

Don't know anything about the diet and urinalysis/protein stuff. Just wanted to send some warm thoughts your way!
I would have preferred to have waited at least a couple more months before spaying. I'm not sure I would have waited until after her first heat cycle, but certainly closer to 7 months.

And thank you for the warm thoughts!

Also: Did you name your dog after the World of Warcraft character? I've never seen the name Jaina (at least not that spelling) anywhere else. hehe
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desy View Post
Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.

She had another urinalysis done today. No more white blood cells in the urine, but she has crystals and a pH of 8 (so on the basic end of the scale, rather than acidic). Would you recommend less protein in her case? Note: She's had two tests done in the past two weeks, and both showed a pH of 8. She's currently being fed a grain-free salmon and sweet potato formula dry dog food.

Oh, and she was spayed a couple days before I adopted her (she would have been 5 to 5.5 months old at the time). Most of the shelters around here won't release dogs until they've been altered.
The high pH is likely to be the result of a bacterial infection, and the crystals are likely to be a result of the high pH.

There would be no reason I could think of why lowering the protein level in her diet would have any benefit.

Which food is she on?
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Someone just told me this evening that a veterinarian said potatos in grain free foods aren't helpful w/regard to struvite crystals(there are different crystals) if that is the type your girl has....I've a friend going thru a crystal thing w/her girl- she's also on cranberry pills to help lower the alkaline level.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q734 View Post
Someone just told me this evening that a veterinarian said potatos in grain free foods aren't helpful w/regard to struvite crystals(there are different crystals) if that is the type your girl has....I've a friend going thru a crystal thing w/her girl- she's also on cranberry pills to help lower the alkaline level.
She's been on the grain-free salmon/sweet potato since I got her (prior to the UTI diagnosis). Just wanted to clarify. I haven't made any changes to her normal diet (other than adding a couple supplements) to combat the alkalinity of her urine or the crystals other than adding water to her food.

I am definitely going to get some cranberry pills/tabs/powder. I'm hitting Costco this weekend anyway, so I will check their vitamin department.

-----

As for what food I am feeding her: Nature's Domain Salmon and Sweet Potato. It's the Kirkland grain-free from Costco.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I love Willow, and you seem very diligent.
Food choice tends to be a hot topic with Dobes. A lot of us have had to go through a few different foods before hitting on the right one.
You are right for avoiding the vet foods for sure.
I can't make any suggestions on the UTI issues, but just want to send some encouragement. Sometimes the process can be frustrating.
Good luck!
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I love Willow, and you seem very diligent.
Food choice tends to be a hot topic with Dobes. A lot of us have had to go through a few different foods before hitting on the right one.
You are right for avoiding the vet foods for sure.
I can't make any suggestions on the UTI issues, but just want to send some encouragement. Sometimes the process can be frustrating.
Good luck!
Thanks for chiming in!

I am doing the best I can on a somewhat restricted budget. I am willing to put money into trying different food, but I don't have a lot of resources for experimentation. This is why I am asking for peoples' recommendations so I have solid reasons for trying one food versus another.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'd be inclined to try supplementation before switching her food. Nature's Domain is a pretty decent food.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Have I given you this information? Have given it to several and can't remember if you were one of them.

Hope these help you.

DogAware.com Articles: Calcium Oxalate Stones

DogAware.com Articles: Struvite Crystals & Stones

DogAware.com Articles: Urate, Cystine and Less Common Urinary Stones

About the middle of the page in the last link is:

"The Side Effects of Low Protein Diets

Without sufficient protein in the diet, protein is pulled from muscles to meet the body’s requirements. Because they are nutritionally inadequate, low-protein diets should never be fed to puppies or dogs who are pregnant or nursing, and they can cause health problems if given to adult dogs for prolonged periods. Hill's u/d is drastically low in protein (dry food has less than 10% protein as fed); Royal Canin SO is also low in protein (14%), though not as bad as u/d. In both cases, the canned varieties have a little more protein than the dry.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual (9th Edition, 2008), “The signs produced by protein deficiency or an improper protein-to-calorie ratio may include any or all of the following: weight loss, skeletal muscle atrophy, dull unkempt coat, anorexia, reproductive problems, persistent unresponsive parasitism or low-grade microbial infection, impaired protection via vaccination, rapid weight loss after injury or during disease, and failure to respond properly to treatment of injury or disease.”


Ultra-low-protein diets have been linked to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in English Bulldogs, Dalmatians, and other breeds..." For the rest of the article, check out the last link above.
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