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Hello. I have been doing research to find a new food for my boys. I have two bichon frise, Gizmo and Gadget. Gizmo is 5. Gadget is 3.

Gizmo is from an Amish puppy mill and has about 30 food and environmental allergies. He gets two allergy shots every month and takes children's Benedryl twice daily. :frown:

Gadget is from a reputable breeder and would be show quality except for his slight underbite.

Since they come from such different backgrounds, I was extremely surprised when the vet found struvite crystals in both dogs at their annual exams. :confused: The only thing that it could be is their diet.

When Gizmo's allergies were first diagnosed, the vet recommended Science Diet z/d Ultra. It seemed to control the allergies, but Gizmo was lethargic and frequently refused to eat. He was under-weight. When I got Gadget, I decided that once Gadget no longer needed puppy food, I would put them both on the same food. After research, I decided to feed them Orijen. I also added canned venison from Evanger's because venison is one of the foods Gizmo can tolerate well. The change in Gizmo was astounding! He gained weight, loved the food, and wanted to play! So, when the vet wanted to put them on a Science Diet for the struvite crystals, I refused. There has to be something better!

The vet the prescribed a powder to acidify their urine. I have been giving them that for only one week, and Gadget has developed awful tear stains and they both have had diarrhea. :frown:

I now realize that they have been getting way too much protein. Hopefully, someone here will be able to suggest an alternative to the Science Diet.

I realize that this is very long. Thanks for taking the time to read it all! :wink:
 

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Hello. I have been doing research to find a new food for my boys. I have two bichon frise, Gizmo and Gadget. Gizmo is 5. Gadget is 3.

Gizmo is from an Amish puppy mill and has about 30 food and environmental allergies. He gets two allergy shots every month and takes children's Benedryl twice daily. :frown:

Gadget is from a reputable breeder and would be show quality except for his slight underbite.

Since they come from such different backgrounds, I was extremely surprised when the vet found struvite crystals in both dogs at their annual exams. :confused: The only thing that it could be is their diet.

When Gizmo's allergies were first diagnosed, the vet recommended Science Diet z/d Ultra. It seemed to control the allergies, but Gizmo was lethargic and frequently refused to eat. He was under-weight. When I got Gadget, I decided that once Gadget no longer needed puppy food, I would put them both on the same food. After research, I decided to feed them Orijen. I also added canned venison from Evanger's because venison is one of the foods Gizmo can tolerate well. The change in Gizmo was astounding! He gained weight, loved the food, and wanted to play! So, when the vet wanted to put them on a Science Diet for the struvite crystals, I refused. There has to be something better!

The vet the prescribed a powder to acidify their urine. I have been giving them that for only one week, and Gadget has developed awful tear stains and they both have had diarrhea. :frown:

I now realize that they have been getting way too much protein. Hopefully, someone here will be able to suggest an alternative to the Science Diet.

I realize that this is very long. Thanks for taking the time to read it all! :wink:
Who told you struvite crystals are from high protein?

By the way crystals are not that abnormal or problematic, rather the stones are.
 

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The crystals your dogs have are genetic and a breed predisposition in bichons. Crystals found in these guys can and often do turn to stones so it's something that needs to be addressed. RX diets work but I personally wouldn't feed them. Hopefully someone on here with experience speaks up to what kibble they feed.
 

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In the absence of an infection, which is a major cause of strovites, plenty of water and low carbs is the best you can do if the dog has a genetic predisposition.

I always notice that people with small dogs have teeny tiny water bowls. Get a big bowl and change it often. Dogs like fresh water. I would even consider getting a cat waterer to induce them to drink.
 

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Danemama...what qualities does that RX food have that makes it work? What should someone look for when trying to find a replacement food?
 

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Danemama...what qualities does that RX food have that makes it work? What should someone look for when trying to find a replacement food?
Depends on the actual brand, but most limit minerals to create an acidifying diet, since struvite crystals are formed in alkaline urine.

What I suggest the OP do is feed a high moisture diet (canned/raw/homecooked) since some dogs just don't have the natural instincts to drink more water even if it is fresh and changed regularly.
 

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Depends on the actual brand, but most limit minerals to create an acidifying diet, since struvite crystals are formed in alkaline urine.

What I suggest the OP do is feed a high moisture diet (canned/raw/homecooked) since some dogs just don't have the natural instincts to drink more water even if it is fresh and changed regularly.
Would using a water fountain type waterer help increase their likelihood to drink more since the water is flowing?
 

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I always notice that people with small dogs have teeny tiny water bowls. Get a big bowl and change it often. Dogs like fresh water. I would even consider getting a cat waterer to induce them to drink.
Shoot. I change Ania's water bowl in the house every day. She STILL waits until I let her outside and drinks a disgusting combo of rain water that has gathered in random receptacles (ie: tarp, empty planters, etc), mud puddles, and pond. I guess she's building up immunities...? :biggrin:
 

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we have a fountain water bowl inside, and a ceramic bowl inside that gets fresh water twice a day. my dogs STILL would rather go outside and drink "bucket water"
i keep a 3 gallon bucket of water outside. i dont dump it everyday, honestly sometimes i forget its even out there and it will have moss and leafs in it. its the dogs favorite water. LOL
 

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Add vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to your dogfood. It will acidify the urine. Add it gradually so as not to induce diarrhea. Preferably in capsules to open & dump in food.
 

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Add vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to your dogfood. It will acidify the urine. Add it gradually so as not to induce diarrhea. Preferably in capsules to open & dump in food.
That is a good idea, also some organic apple cider to the water, it might get them to drink a little more and it might acidify the urine. Buy some test strips and monitor it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The crystals your dogs have are genetic and a breed predisposition in bichons. Crystals found in these guys can and often do turn to stones so it's something that needs to be addressed. RX diets work but I personally wouldn't feed them. Hopefully someone on here with experience speaks up to what kibble they feed.

Thanks, Natalie. I am concerned for exactly the reasons you stated. I know that RX diets works, but I really do not want to feed them that.
 

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... I suggest the OP do is feed a high moisture diet (canned/raw/homecooked) since some dogs just don't have the natural instincts to drink more water even if it is fresh and changed regularly.
This sounds like good advice. Is there any particular brand you would recommend?
 

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Thanks so much for your help.

I really appreciate the replies to my question. I am still at a loss as to which food I should be giving them though. Keeping in mind the fact that I do not have the knowledge (yet) to feed them raw or home cooked, it seems that I need to be feeding a canned food???

Suggestions???
 

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I really appreciate the replies to my question. I am still at a loss as to which food I should be giving them though. Keeping in mind the fact that I do not have the knowledge (yet) to feed them raw or home cooked, it seems that I need to be feeding a canned food???

Suggestions???
Raw would be best, so if you're interested send me a private message or pop over to the raw forum for learning the ropes. It's not as hard as you'd think, and it's cheaper than any kibble that's worth feeding.

As far as canned food goes I would let others help you there since I don't feed processed diets. Off the top of my head Orijen, Acana, Merrick, Evangers, Wellness, and some others I can't think of. Keep in mind that canned food is also lower in protein and all the other nutrients because of the water content (same with raw foods). So you don't have to worry so much about higher protein levels. The biggest downside to feeding canned is that teeth build up plaque faster and it's very expensive.

Thanks, Natalie. I am concerned for exactly the reasons you stated. I know that RX diets works, but I really do not want to feed them that.
Yes, going with something that is more appropriate and natural will be ultimately better than an RX diet that is full of cheap fillers. You're headed in the right direction!!!
 

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Amazing, isn't it? My dog is the same way! He'd rather go outside and drink out of a 5 gal bucket than drink out of his bowl inside that I put filtered water in (because he has kidney problems)!
 
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