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struvite urolithiasis and raw

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your dog's diet, please contact your vet!

  
Cassie- 6/9/2000-10/- 14/2012

Feed me!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 18, '10 6:57pm PST 
A friend of mine's dog was just diagnosed with struvite urolithiasis, she's been on seven different foods and continues to have chronic bladder infections/utis. The vet wants her to start the dog on Royal Canin Urinary SO diet and as she's a knowledgeable dog owner, she doesn't want to go there. Would raw be safe to try due to the protein content?
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Nibbler

I love love!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 18, '10 7:35pm PST 
Hemi had the same thing. He also was recommended Royal Canin SO. I got a big bag as he was meant to be on it for at least 3 months. I couldn't even finish the bag... he got 2 ear infections while he was on the SO. It's basically the reason I switched to raw.

I think for Hemi, he has grain allergies. And SO has a LOT of grain content. Corn if I recall correctly. So switching to that actually made it worse for him.

But all I can say is that Hemi has been on raw for about 3 months now and has been great. No more ear infections, a nice strong urine stream. Part of the issue with urinary and bladder infections too is that some dogs aren't well hydrated. Like Hemi, he's not a big water drinker. But feeding the raw means that there's a lot more water content in the food than in kibble and canned food. So it has more of a flushing effect.

She could also supplement with cranberry powder, probiotics and vitamin C, those all help prevent new infections.

But I really think that vets telling people that because a dog has a bladder infection, that they need to be on a special "diet" for the rest of their lives is complete and total bonk. Especially when that special diet has ground corn as one of the first ingredients. Bonk. I'm a little passionate about the issue because I was so frustrated with what Hemi had to go through when he was on SO. That's just my experience though, some dogs are probably fine.

Anyway, I understand the argument that dogs with urinary problems should avoid high protein contents. But at the same time, if that was true, if that was a real cause and effect relationship, wouldn't every wild dog/coyote/wolf have urinary problems? But they don't. I think the special vet "diets" are just a way to treat the systems, not the problem, which boils down to (IMO) nutrition. And vets are not nutritionists.

Anyway, that's just been my experience. Good luck either way! wink
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Nibbler

I love love!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 18, '10 7:38pm PST 
Sorry, meant to say, "treat the symptoms" not "systems"
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Riley CGC- DSA

Designer Mutt!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 18, '10 8:13pm PST 
I agree with Nibbler!
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 19, '10 7:07am PST 
New article posted on dogaware on the subject.
http://www.dogaware.com/articles/wdjstruvites.html

Agre e, hydration and aggressive treatment of UTIs, not script food for this problem. Cheaper to cook or feed raw than that stuff and it is far more appropriate.
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Precious

763369
 
 
Barked: Sun Nov 21, '10 9:13am PST 
I would do research before switching to raw food when a dog has struvite urolithiasis. There's a yahoo group called K9 kidney diet dedicated to nutrition and topics related to dogs with kidney and bladder problems, including recipes for home cooked foods. I am an advocate of raw diets, but the problem with them and dogs with bladder crystals is it's very tricky and may be worse if not correctly balanced. The thing with struvite urolithiasis is the pH in the bladder may be too high, so acidifying the urine with a cranberry powder may help by keeping the ph lower and also prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder. But the struvite crystals come as a result of having too much phosphorus being filtered through the urine, without a binder, resulting in the formation of crystals. Phosphorus is found very heavily in animal meats, all of them have it, some more than others, but it's always high in animal protein. Raw diets being heavy in animal protein have even higher concentrations of this. I agree that vet specific diets are pretty crappy food, look at the ingredients, but the ones to prevent bladder stones do usually work because they have low animal protein content, which means low phosphorus, and are balanced with calcium, which will bind phosphorus in the urine to prevent formation of crystals. This is why soy is the primary protein source in those kinds of foods. Now the old school of thought is to limit animal protein, thereby limiting phosphorus. But now it's more of a balancing proportion thing using calcium carbonate to bind the phosphorus. Now you can still feed raw food diet, but I would get a recipe from a holistic vet to get the proportions of animal protein and calcium carbonate right. And you'd need to do urinalysis every month for at least six months to make sure you're balancing everything correctly. A lot of people have great success with raw diets, but I also know people with dogs with bladder stones that are fed only raw and keep developing the stones again. So I urge you do research struvite urolithiasis nutrition online, and join the K9 kidney diet group on groups.yahoo.com. Wealth of info there. Good luck!

Jennifer
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Sun Nov 21, '10 5:58pm PST 
Nearly all struvite stones are due to infection. Take care of the infection and the stones will not form because the urine goes back to the proper pH. Feeding low phosphorus isn't necessary for this issue. Offering lots of water and opportunities to urinate are necessary.

Sassy had struvite crystals during her first UTI. It took ages for her urine's pH to go down through 2 courses of antibiotics and 3 expensive urinalysis but it did and the crystals were gone. She was fed her low phosphorus/high protein kidney diet throughout. UTIs can be much more stubborn than hers was too.

Max's diet is mostly fat and protein. I manage it so he gets the recommended amount of phosphorus and calcium, even fed raw you can feed the NRC levels of those. In fact the diet is designed to do so. 10% bone gives exactly the right amount of calcium which is less than premium kibbles provide. A dog on a kidney diet, not so much. Sassy got the same amount of protein as Max, same amount of calcium but half the phosphorus feeding all meat protein but no bone.
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