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  #1  
Old 10-06-2010, 08:02 AM
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Default Calcium Oxalate Crystals

So Skye's most recent C & S is back and its showing she no longer has an infection but the lab found calcium oxalate crystals in her urine.
The vet wants to put her on Hills u/d but as far as I can tell this isn't going to help if she already has stones it will only help to prevent more. Also this diet can lead to protein depletion so not all that happy about having her on it long term!
Now being a worst case senario person I am I am now thinking she needs majory surgery to make her better.
I now I have read of others with bladder stone issues (cant remember who) and not even sure if its the same kind of stones (not even sure skye has stones or if its just crystals?) but any advice would be great.
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Last edited by diggydog; 10-06-2010 at 08:06 AM. Reason: adding more information
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Calcium Oxalate Crystals

My mini-schnauzer Gretel also has had calcium oxalate crystals, and stones as well. She has had two surgeries to remove them. Now, if Skye has only crystals but no stones, it may be possible that the diet will help, but that particular type of stone does not respond to diet, surgery is pretty much your only option for getting rid of them. HOWEVER, the U/D diet is NOT good for a dog who is also diabetic. If I'm not mistaken, there are too many carbs and not enough fiber. It becomes a real balancing act to find just the right diet for a dog who's diabetic and also has bladder stone issues.

Has Skye had an ultrasound or xray of the bladder? That would be the only way to tell if she has any actual stones.

Gretel's bladder stones occurred first and she was put on U/D, but a year later she became diabetic and the vet immediately took her off the U/D and put her on W/D. Our vet actually called the Hill's dog food company and talked to them about the best kind of food for Gretel, based on her various health issues.

Then to help with her urine ph level, hopefully preventing more stone formation, she put Gretel on Tricitrates Solution which is added to her food twice a day. Just in case your vet decides to try the Tricitrates, let him/her know that it comes in a sugar-based and also a sugar-free formula. You'll obviously want the sugar-free one.

If Skye ever does get to the point of needing surgery to remove stones, I will tell you that Gretel recovered very quickly from both of hers. After several days, you would never have known she had surgery, in fact I had to watch her closely to make sure she didn't jump up on the furniture, or chase a squirrel or something.

I wish you luck with Skye and if you have any other questions, I'll be happy to answer them as best I can.

Carolyn
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: Calcium Oxalate Crystals

Thanks Carolyn

Skye is a mini schnauzer as well and from what I have read they are prone to this! I am lucky that Skye is not diabetic ( Alife is my diabetes boy) so the u/d should be ok for her.

We haven't had ultra sound or x ray yet but that's next on the list. We are hoping that its just crystals at this stage but I think its likely she has stones as well (just a feeling I have)

If your using Tricitrates Solution then is it possible that I could keep Skye on her current food and just add this or is it really important to change to the u/d?

It took me a long time to find a food that skye will eat and not cause her an upset tummy so not all that keen on changing her food.

Thanks
Allison
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Calcium Oxalate Crystals

Hi Allison,

Sorry I was confused about Skye. I knew I saw you quite often on this diabetes forum but forgot it was Alfie that was diabetic. Well, at least things hopefully won't be so difficult for Skye, not having to factor in diabetes!

I'm not sure what the vet would want to do as far as keeping her on her regular food. I just know that when Gretel started with bladder stones the vet immediately switched her from grocery store food to the U/D. I don't remember if you said what kind of food Skye is currently being fed. I think the vet will be the best one to tell you, if not the brand, at least what you should be looking for in a dog food. And you certainly could mention the Tricitrates Solution to him, he might want to try that as well; maybe by using that, you wouldn't have to change from the food she's currently eating.

When Gretel had her first surgery, I really had my fingers crossed that when they did an analysis of the stones that they would turn out to be the type that responds better to a special diet, but unfortunately that didn't turn out to be the case.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that Skye doesn't have any actual stones yet, and won't need any surgery.

Carolyn
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Calcium Oxalate Crystals

Thanks Carolyn I am keeping my fingers crossed as well but if she does have stones I would rather they get them out as soon as possible.
I will ask my vet about the Tricitrates Solution but I am going to look into home cooking as well.
If its not 1 thing its another with my dogs!
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: Calcium Oxalate Crystals

Yes, absolutely, if she does have stones, it's advisable to have the surgery as soon as possible - depending on the size of the stone(s), and especially with the type of stone that doesn't typically respond to a special diet once they've already formed. If you delay surgery then there's a chance that one of the stones could create an obstruction which would be an emergency situation.

With Gretel's first surgery some of the stones were almost the size of small marbles. The stones removed during the 2nd surgery were very tiny but with very rough looking edges that could have caused a lot of pain on urination if they had gotten that far.

I'll be watching your posts to see how things go for Skye. Good luck!

Carolyn
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Calcium Oxalate Crystals

Hi Carolyn,

I started Skye on the Hills u/d - my vet said that it would help to prevent the formation of new stones and also reduce the size of any existing stones if she has them and so he wants to delay the x ray for her.

I was under the impression that calcium oxalate stones would not reduce with a special diet so am keen to have her in for an x ray but he thinks that we should keep her on the u/d for a few weeks and then re check to see if she still had the crystals in her urine before we go and do an x ray as she may only have crystals just now.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:06 PM
AlisonandMia AlisonandMia is offline
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Default Re: Calcium Oxalate Crystals

It is my understanding too that the special diets are aimed at struvite stones - that is struvite stones can be actively dissolved by changing the chemistry of urine via diet. As far as I know the only way that calcium oxalate stones can come out is either being passed spontaneously or by being surgically removed.

I think I've read something somewhere about being able to (maybe) help to prevent the formation of calcium oxalate stones by avoiding certain things in the diet - high oxalate vegetables, I believe, but that beyond that there is not much that can be done diet-wise when it comes to calcium stones.


I will check up with some people who know more about this than I do and get back to you.

Alison

PS: Here's a link to some info on bladder stones: http://www.peteducation.com/article....2+1634&aid=400

And a link to info on the Hills U/D:

http://www.nutrecare.co.uk/Product-1...iet-canine-u/d

They claim it can help prevent calcium oxalate stones (but not affect existing stones) - presumably because the increased saltiness leads to more drinking and urination and therefore more dilute urine - concentrated urine is a real breeding ground for stones.

Last edited by AlisonandMia; 10-15-2010 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Calcium Oxalate Crystals

Alison is correct in her information regarding the different types of stones.

After re-reading your original post, I'm assuming that Skye had a urinary tract infection? Gretel had repeated UTI's, probably over the course of at least 6 months, until finally the vet decided to xray and found the stones, which by then were quite large and could have caused a major problem if one of them had caused an obstruction as they were too large for her to pass.

This is just my opionion, but since you're saying the lab already identified the crystals as calcium oxalate and if she's had a UTI, I too would not want to wait to have an xray. Stones will definitely cause UTI's and if she does have that type of stone, the diet will not dissolve them, so is seems that it would be better to find out now so that you can more quickly decide what your next step will be. And if it turns out she doesn't have stones, at least you'll be able to breathe a sigh of relief that much sooner!

Will be keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Carolyn
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Last edited by CoolGram; 10-15-2010 at 09:01 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:58 PM
AlisonandMia AlisonandMia is offline
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Default Re: Calcium Oxalate Crystals

I wouldn't wait on the x-ray either. I wonder if the vet is trying to save you money by trying something cheaper (but not as conclusive or as good - in fact something that almost certainly won't help) first? Maybe if you were to say you would rather know and have the x-rays done now whether he would change his mind. Could end up saving you money (and misery) in the long run.

If by some chance the x-rays come back clear then you would have peace of mind and could concentrate on just stopping those crystals becoming something more serious. I guess there is a slight possibility that she actually passed a stone (maybe the only one) a while back during that episode that looked like some sort of blockage.

Alison
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