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Urinary tract crystals

Struvite crystals are the most common type of canine urinary tract crystals. Dog struvite stones or crystals are frequently associated with dogs who suffer from urinary tract infections and result from bacteria and mineral deposits that accumulate in the urinary tract.

While some studies suggest that as many as half of all dogs may have a small number of crystals in their urinary tract, most will never show symptoms. They will remain healthy and their crystals undiscovered unless their presence is revealed by a urinalysis.

Symptoms

As already mentioned, many dogs never display any symptoms of having struvite stones. They are often only discovered during routine physical examinations relating to other health conditions.

Symptoms where they do occur include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Straining to urinate
  • Clear discomfort when urinating
  • Increased urination involving small amounts of urine

About dog struvite stones

In more than 98% of cases, struvite stones are caused by a bladder infection. Instead of being expelled in the urine, salt collects around bacteria that create a high alkaline pH in the bladder. This forms struvite stones or crystals. With the passage of time, these gradually increase in size and can ultimately form stones.

Certain breeds of dog would appears to have a greater disposition towards developing struvite crystals than other breeds. These include the Bichon Frise, Cocker Spaniel, Miniature Schnauzer and the Shih Tzu. However, recent studies show that currently some 25% of cases involve mixed breed dogs.

At greater risk would appear to be female dogs, puppies and senior dogs who are in any case more likely to suffer from urinary tract infections. Some 85% of cases of struvite stones affect female dogs.

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Treatment of struvite stones

As already mentioned, struvite stones are generally caused by urinary tract infections. They can invariably be treated without surgery and normally without dietary adjustment.

Acidic urine helps prevent bladder infections. Since meat is the best and most natural producer of acidic urine, a homemade diet is likely to help prevent struvite stones ever forming even if your pet does develop another UTI.

Once any dog has developed struvite stones, it is considered at high risk of a recurrence. Water is considered an important if not the most important nutrient in avoiding this.

You should encourage your dog to drink more water. This is considered key to preventing further dog struvite stones. Encourage your dog to drink as much as possible by including a flavour enhancer in his or her water bowl if necessary.

Incidentally, it is recommended that you use only distilled (steam-distilled) water in order to prevent extra mineral intake.

If you would like to consult with me on your pet’s dog struvite stones, please book a consultation. I will work with you to create a bespoke diet and feeding guide for your best friend.

Gerald Pepin

Gerald Pepin

Canine Nutritionist

Gerald Pepin is a qualified canine nutritionist, writer, speaker and homemade dog food advocate. Gerald believes that good nutrition can improve or cure most canine health problems and that the natural way is always the best way when it comes to healing man's best friend. A life-long lover of German Shepherds, Gerald and his wife The Dog Chef have two GSDs and live in rural Somerset.

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Better Food, Better Health

Fresh food has been proven to improve dog health.
Know exactly what's in your dog's food.
80% of canine health issues can be improved with healthy food.
There are no chemicals or artificial additives in homemade food.
Life expectancy has been proven greater with fresh food.

Do you really need any more reaons to improve your dog's diet?

Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Better Food, Better Health

Fresh food has been proven to improve dog health.
Know exactly what's in your dog's food.
80% of canine health issues can be improved with healthy food.
There are no chemicals or artificial additives in homemade food.
Life expectancy has been proven greater with fresh food.

Do you really need any more reaons to improve your dog's diet?

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