Female with crystals in urine

mboston_gwJuly 6, 2009

My 3 year old Minilabradoodle has been having problems with blood and crystals in her urine. She went on one round of antibotics and that did nothing so we went on another type (Cephalxin or something like that) for 2 weeks. The doctor had me put her on Royal Canin S/O food but now I am reading that this is not a good food to have her on and that from an old post I read that Meaghan said it was not necessary to change the diet for crystals (or maybe I misread what she meant). Andi was not showing any signs of problems except that I was finding a pee stain on her bed that seemed to have a tiny bloody spot in it every few days or so. Other than that she was going potty on her routine schedule but not dribbling or showing signs of pain or discomfort. She didn't actually get to the point of stones.

Now I am wondering if I should ask about another type of food - she is eating dry RC.

Another issue we have had in the past and are now trying to fix is that she throws up her Heartgard. Sometimes it is later in the day or the next day she will spit up but the last two months we first found the chew tablet almost whole and this month when DH broke it into pieces, she threw it up within minutes. We checked into giving her the liquid Ivermectin but I am afraid of overdosing her. Does it need to be suspended in another liquid. When they were pups, my DIL worked at a vet and she got it for us, mixed in a liquid vitamin. Andi never threw it up. What would the dosage be for a 30 lb dog?

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Our female dog had crystals in her urine. After treatment the vet had us change her to Prescription Diet C/D Canine dry dog food, which is the only thing she eats now, no table scraps. She hasn't had a problem since.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 1:46AM
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Struvite aka triple phosphate crystals are pretty common and not a problem in and of themselves, but may indicate a UTI. I never put animals on Rx diets for struvite crystals. If a urine culture and sensitivity was not done, I'd get one now. Just because the vet switched antibiotics doesn't mean either one will kill the particular infection your dog may have. I've seen LOTS of UTIs that were not sensitive to cephalexin and other common antibiotics.

STONES are a different beast entirely- gotta get rid of those. You can see struvite stones on radiographs, but other stones are radiolucent, so ultrasound or contrast radiology might be indicated.

If your dog is no longer having any symptoms, I'd probably just check a cysto UA and a culture. If she is having symptoms, I'd do the UA, culture, and possibly radiographs or ultrasound (actually I cheat and sneak in an ultrasounded-guided cysto to look at the bladder while getting the urine) because the blood could be from the bladder. Unless she is not yet spayed, in which case she could have other issues. Depends on the dog's current symptoms and PE results.

Can't give dosage for oral ivermectin, but since heartgard is ivermectin I wouldn't use it anyway- it could be the drug causing the problem. You can try Advantage Multi which is a topical flea/heartworm/intestinal parasite medication. Since it is administered topically, no chance of throwing it up. Or switch to Interceptor which is not an ivermectin-based product. Doesn't make much sense to me to switch to another form of the same drug that your dog is having troubles with.

Hope it helps!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 11:11PM
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The vet should have cultured the urine to find out what kind of bacteria is causing the infection. Then s/he can identify the correct antibiotic to use.

As for crystals and food - if the crystals are struvite you might consider an acidifying oral supplement like Methio-Form or Ammonil tablets instead of the prescription diet food which contains the same ingredient.

Also, I've read that it's preferable for cats with urinary tract issues to feed canned food and avoid dry. The extra water content is helpful in keeping the crystals flushed out before they cause irritation and infection. I'm wondering if it's the same for dogs - you might want to google that.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 11:22AM
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What about calcium oxalate crystals? Our dog (82 lbs) had a bladder infection in 2007 that cleared up with antibiotics and had been fed RC S/O ever since. At the time, they said he had this type of crystals but no stones (confirmed with an xray). Are there any cheaper alternatives, or can I buy a regular kibble with low this or that in the ingredients? His food is $40 for a 16 lb bag which he consumes in a month or less. It wasn't a problem ( financially) until our cat was diagnosed with kidney stones and CRF. His (cat) bills keep coming, and I'd like to cut expenses somewhere. I now buy the subq fluids at Costco for the cat with a substancial savings, but I wonder if there are alternatives for the dogs food? I can't seem to find any info online.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 3:33PM
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We are due to go back for a urine recheck this week. I will ask about a culture and sensitivity. Amazingly, she has not thrown up once since starting this new food and is her eating habits have completely changed. We always said she had an eating disorder because she would never eat until her brother had finished his dish of food and then she would go lick his dish then go eat from hers. She was the runt of the litter and we think she just got the leftover food that fell out of the bowl. Now she eats her food and goes and stands by her brother since he gets more food cause he is bigger, he takes longer to eat. We don't let her have his food as he is still on Nutro. I also have not seen any spotting as I had seen before the medication.

I hate the idea of her only being able to have this type of food for the rest of her life. I know...she's a dog, but no...she's my baby and I would like different flavors for her. I know you shouldn't switch back and forth but we have always done that with our other pups and they lived to be 14 and 18.

We did get the liquid Ivermectin. We gave it to her suspened in a liquid vitamin and she didn't throw it up. We might try the other once we run out of the Heartguard that Amos is still taking. It's funny how one has certain problems and its brother/sister doesn't. Amos is now showing signs of skin allergies while Andi doesn't. Then again, Amos has a bluish cast to his skin and Andi doesn't.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 9:57PM
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We got a good report today. No crystals or blood in her urine. They were Struvite crystals. Since she is doing so well on the RC SO 14 I think we will keep her o it for the time being. She had been throwing up the Nutro about once a week, sometimes more often and as I said, really didn't want to eat it. Hopefully she will continue to do well. She seems to feel better, more playful all day long,not just at night when she plays with her Daddy.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 7:16PM
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There is no need to acidify urine or to place a dog on a special diet to prevent struvite crystals. Again, they are NORMAL.

Struvite STONES are caused by infection- clear the infection and put dog on s/d to dissolve stones or remove stones surgically if blocked. Also culture the urine and choose the appropriate antibiotic based on sensitivity results to prevent stones from recurring. Then recheck urine culture after stones are removed/dissolved and antibiotics are finished to make sure infection is gone. Once infection and stones are cleared, there is NO need for special diets or urine acidifiers.

Since there is no infection and no stones, there is no need for the Rx diet. Obviously the none Rx diet wasn't agreeing with your dog, so I'd change it, but there is no need for the Rx diet. Glad she got a clean bill of health!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 3:14PM
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