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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I think I posted in the wrong section yesterday when asking for help, so thought I'd try again! My dog has been diagnosed with cystine crystals (the x-ray showed no stones, but I've since read that they are opaque and there's a chance they are there but just not seen) anyway, I know there's no cure and that no one diet has been proven to help, but from the research I've done so far, the more I read the more I'm convinced a raw diet would be best. The thing is I've read that fresh veg should be given and I'm wondering if anyone on here has had success with feeding their cystinuric dog and if they add veg what ratio? At the moment I'm adding water to his food and encouraging him to drink between meals, which from what I can gather is the no. 1 priority.

Any help would be appreciated!
Thanks
Sarah-Jo
 

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Hi and welcome!

You are on the right track of adding water to his diet. I float my BRTs meals in warm water every single time he eats. So, yes...keep adding a lot of water. The more dilute the urine the better. The more the dog empties his bladder the better.

How did your vet come to the diagnosis? What is your dogs urine pH? Where there crystals in his urine?

I am not very familiar with this type of stones and need to go read a bit...

However, read the link in my signature. It is a post I wrote up about urate stones. I think if you follow this type of modified BARF diet it will help. I will post more in a bit! :smile:
 

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Okay...so I've found that you are wanting to feed a low protein diet.

Not sure I totally agree with this as a low protein diet can cause problems. It's in a lot of literature to feed a low protein diet when a dog has urate stones too. However, with urate stones it's not how much protein, but the TYPE of protein that you feed that counts. I must feed proteins that are low in purines. Duncan still has a good amount of protein in his diet, he just eats a lot of eggs, which are purine free. My problem is I don't know if purines affect cystine crystal formation. From what I can find I don't think it does.

I did find that you need to be sure and keep your dogs urine alkaline. I must do this for my dog too. I feed a veggie puree (or cooked veggies) and fruits using ones that have an alkaline affect on the urine as well as ones that are low purine. Here is a chart of veggies and other foods that are alkaline: Detailed Listing of Acid / Alkaline Forming Foods

Another thing I would recommend is to purchase some urine pH testing strips. I got mine at a local pharmacy. When Duncan was first diagnosed I tested his urine pH daily (several times a day because pH can vary). I tested the first mornings urine and then several other times during the day. This way I got a feel for how his urine fluctuated and what the average pH was. With all the veggies he has to eat his urine is pretty constant at a pH of 7.0. I know that if you have trouble achieving an alkaline urine naturally, the vet has medications your dog can take to help with this.

Is there currently cystine crystals found in your dogs urine? If so, until you get his diet figured out I would take frequent urine samples to your vet for analysis.

So, it seems that a low protein diet (don't really like this), and keeping the urine alkaline and dilute is key to helping prevent this type of stone from forming.

Keep me posted on how he is doing! :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thank you for taking the time to help, really appreciate it. I first noticed a problem when I saw blood in his urine when he was peeing, we went to the vet who suspected uti and treated with antibiotics, it seemed to go away but kept reoccurring so afte 4 months going back and forth the vet decided he wanted him x-rayed. The level of cystine crystals found were of concern....my vet initially wanted us to feed Hills u/d but I was far from happy with the quality of ingredients. I read as much as I could about the condition, seeing that some said low protein and others it's more about the quality of the protein than the %. As there is no cure and no diet proven to help I decided it was more about the quality of the protein too. It seems that quality dog food in the US is found far easier than here in the UK but I finally settled on a decent quality canned food, the first ingredient being 70% fresh meat. It's not that I'm not happy with my choice in thinking again about raw, but more that it's not right...a diet of tinned meat which is more like soup by the time I've added water, it's more about the chewing/digesting/teeth cleaning etc that I think he's missing out on??

I have added green veg to his tinned food too, mainly finely chopped but I'll go and have a look through the list you posted a link to, hadn't seen it before so that's a great help thanks. Think I probably need to be pureeing or cooking them slightly though.

I did buy some ph papers and have tested many times, it has always shown at 7 or 8, it was more for curiosity than anything I've read it's a bit of a last resort to start trying to adjust to get levels right, but that was adjusting levels by adding drugs, not by doing it naturally...so that list will be a big help to us.

After my vet suggested Hills I must admit I bolted for the Hills and as I have been sort of happy managing it with tweaking his diet and adding water, I've not seen any blood since, I've not been back to the vets either, it's been probably just over 2 months since it was diagnosed.:embarassed: not sure how often to get him tested but I have been in touch with the University of Pennsylvania and am seriously considering sending urine and bloods across soon.

Thanks again for your help, think I've gone way off topic here sorry! but I'm going to go and have a look at that list now

Sarah-Jo
 

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I think you are on the right track with the quality of the proteins your feeding. I fill (literally, to the top) my dogs bowl with warm water at each feeding, so I know what you mean about it not feeling "right". But...if your dog is doing well with it and his urine and pH is looking good then I think you have something to be proud of. If he can have meats (my BRT can't have a variety of meats due to the purine content) I would then for sure be doing a BARF diet with added fresh meat and RMB. Nothing beats the work out and the clean teeth that a RMB provides.

When I do veggies I do them two ways. When in raw form I puree them really well in a food processor, turn them into a liquid. I also will feed them after cooking them some and then cut up into pieces. I do both, so he can have a bit more variety. I don't know if he really cares, but it makes me feel better! LOL....

Sounds like your pups urine pH is really good! 7-8 is really alkaline.

How did your vet come to the conclusion that the stones where cystine? There are several different types of stones. I would ask to have your vet run a urinalysis on your dogs first mornings urine to see if there are any more crystals as well as the specific gravity to see how dilute. The more dilute the better.

Sounds to me like you have everything under control! That's awesome! :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When the vet carried out the x-ray he took a urine sample and sent it off. I had to wait a few days and was then told about cystine crystals being found. I don't know anything else about the urinalysis they did, nothing about what levels were found. I think you're right, I'll get one of his first morning free-catch and get them to send it off asap.

I gave the boys a chicken wing at tea time last night, Baxter (without the crystals) wolfed it down, barely touched the sides. George (with the crystals) looked at me as if I had 2 heads "what do you expect me to do with that?" look on his face :lol: Its funny because he is VERY food motivated and always telling me he's starving! I did a quick search using phrases like 'refuses raw' 'won't eat raw' but nothing comes up...wonder if it's a case of him going without for longer, in the end I gave him his normal tea! I did read about a 24 hour fast before starting, that might help, just out of character for him not to eat something, anything!

Thanks again for your time
 

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Was this their first time eating a raw chicken wing? If so, it can take a bit for them to catch on. My GSH Pointer looked at me like I was crazy the first time I handed her a chicken back...it took her a while to figure out that it was actually food! LOL! The 24 hour fast can help with that as they are usually really hungry when it is finally time to eat.

And, you never know...maybe George likes his tea! Duncan loves his soup....drinks it up with gusto! :becky:

I think it would be a good idea to have his urine looked at again. This way to you can see if there are actually still crystals. If there are, then you can possibly adjust something...but if no crystals are present then you at least know your doing something right and it's helping!

Keep me posted. :smile:
 

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Im so glad to see you here Sarah-Jo!!:biggrin:

And I told you that Sara would be MORE then happy to help with anything/everything needed!!:happy:

I hope you are able to figure this all out!:biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It was only the second time they'd been offered wings, the first time was a fare few months back and they were exactly the same then. They have had other raw bones before which George just barks at and Baxter gets tucked in. Bones and new toys are the only thing they ever squabble over, so unless they eat them fairly quickly it can be difficult having to keep them in separate rooms, especially when George doesn't seem interested in them at all.

I will see how we get on with the urinalysis and have a re-think if necessary! Might just need to invest in a toothbrush for him for my own piece of mind :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just wanted to share my news! Had George's urine tested today and there are no crystals!!! Not sure whether to be excited or more confused?! I've read about false negatives, so going to have a further look into it in a bit, without worrying too much! Bonus aswell he's thoroughly enjoying the RMB's he's been having lately :dance:
 

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Just wanted to share my news! Had George's urine tested today and there are no crystals!!! Not sure whether to be excited or more confused?! I've read about false negatives, so going to have a further look into it in a bit, without worrying too much! Bonus aswell he's thoroughly enjoying the RMB's he's been having lately :dance:
WOOT!!!:dance:

That is too awesome!!:thumb:

And I will be thinking of you guys, that it will NOT be a false negative...but a true negative!!!:biggrin1:
 
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What great news!! That's awesome! I doubt it's a false negative. I'd be proud as what your doing is working! :rockon:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thought we were doing so well ;( gutted to report George was admitted for emergency surgery yesterday. he'd been forming stones and they'd blocked him weeing. picked him up this morning he's still very groggy and not wanting to eat or drink but just sleep. not getting any support from the vet, they're still banging on about feeding him the awful rubbish that is hills. just wish there was a positive solution ;(
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I know what you mean about not giving in to hills! its so frustrating to have such a lack of support for trying to find an alternative to it, I'm a member of an online support group of people with dogs suffering from this condition and they've been brilliant, i told my vet I wasn't a fan of the prescription diet and he said I'm not a fan of having to operate when he blocks (might as well have said when you've caused him to block.) i said there's no proof this diet works and he said he can only go by his guidelines, which is fair enough but I don't agree. my family are saying what do I know?and the whole horrible mess is so upsetting I just don't know what to do. damned if I put him on it and damned if I don't ;(((
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes increased water is no 1 priority.

Most of the members posting with knowledge are based in the US and rate the drug Thiola, not sure on it's availability over here, got our check up tomorrow so will ask what other options are available over here, but don't think the other drugs are without severe side effects. I'm going to book him in for castration asap as in some breeds (although not bulldogs) it has been proven to cure it, so worth a try. Apart from that they just say diet alone doesn't keep crystals and stones of this type away, so going onto hills would not only be unlikely to help combat the stones but make him likely suffer with the horrible side effects of being on the crappy food :/
 

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Yes increased water is no 1 priority.

Most of the members posting with knowledge are based in the US and rate the drug Thiola, not sure on it's availability over here, got our check up tomorrow so will ask what other options are available over here, but don't think the other drugs are without severe side effects. I'm going to book him in for castration asap as in some breeds (although not bulldogs) it has been proven to cure it, so worth a try. Apart from that they just say diet alone doesn't keep crystals and stones of this type away, so going onto hills would not only be unlikely to help combat the stones but make him likely suffer with the horrible side effects of being on the crappy food :/
Hi there!
My siberian husky was just diagnosed with cystine stone too 😩 i was wondering how your dog is doing and what you ended up doing regarding his diet. I know its been many years since you wrote this but I too would rather not feed my dog the prescribed food.
Also, what online group was it you joined?
t
 
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