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Our great dane was having some incontinence issues so we took her in and had her urine tested. The results came back that she had Struvite, which our vet explained to us as Magnesium Ammonium Phosphate crystals in her bladder. He said this was caused by her ph level being too alkaline (at 7.5) and she needed to get more acidic levels. He wants it down to 6-6.5. Of course, this means putting her on the dreaded Science Diet... specifically Prescription Diet c/d for urinary tract health.

Our question is, is there anything we can do to get her ph more balanced without taking her off of her PMR diet? We love our vet, but he isn't knowledgeable when it comes to raw. He isn't against it, he just doesn't know about it. Should we try to find a vet that is more pro-raw and get a second opinion? The dog has always had a sensitive stomach and we don't want to have to deal with the runs. Also, the ingredient list on the dog food bag makes me feel a little sick when i read it. I just can't feed her that crap after all the research I've done on a raw diet. Please Help!
 

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i feel your pain. Is it that white stuff like dried up glue that will kill them if they eat it too long?

there is a recent thread about struvites, have you seen it?
 

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No, it's just kibble, but I still don't want to feed it to her. We bought the small bag, but we aren't opening it yet. We pretty much just bought it to get out of the office without a fight.
 

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No, it's just kibble, but I still don't want to feed it to her. We bought the small bag, but we aren't opening it yet. We pretty much just bought it to get out of the office without a fight.
Oh my goodness I've done that. i bought a 20 pound sack of Science Diet for a 10 pound dog because "that's all we have in stock."

I ended up feeding it to the squirrels.
 

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Solid Gold Berry Balance or cranberry pills
We had bladder stones over here and the science diet made her very ill and itchy.
 

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The prescription diet DRY actually helps to cause stones and infections because it causes dehydration (or something) and wont flush the bladder enough-urine(vet told me this).
On websites you will see that the dry is the worst thing you could buy if you do decide to do prescription bladder diet.

edited to add: We fed her prescription wet. One time we fed her a bowl of dry - next day she peed blood. Antibiotics
Next month gave her another bowl of dry - peed blood. Repeat a million times before I caught on

Dry is baaad news.
 
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Eugh Science Diet, my vet always tries to push that stuff on me for my cats because they both have suffered with struvite crystals in the past. The things I have learned about struvites thus far is keep the bladder flushed by adding lots of moisture to the diet, and the proper urine pH ranging betwen 6-6.5, some people talk about mineral concentration too, but different vets say different things. And also some people suggest to stay away from any fish. One thing I did in the past to acidify the urine is cranberry pills, I got the capsules and broke them over the canned food. The capsules are better I think than the actual pills because the pills have extra ingredients that make it taste bitter while the capsule powder doesnt really have a taste imo. To stick with PMR you can always try sprinkling a capsule onto each meal to help acidify the urine. However, I dont know what the actual dose would be, Iv been told you cant really overdose on cranberry pills, but maybe someone on this forum would know the dosage further. I would definitley return the science diet though. If you need to put him on a vet diet to dissolve the crystals I would go for the Royal Canin Urinary S/O cans, they are designed to dissolve struvite crystals, and even though their ingredients arent amazing either, I would choose them over science diet any day. And RC has guaranteed pallability (sp?)
 

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plus one of the ingredient is PINE TREE (sawdust). How nasty is that? It's like me going out to the park and eating the bark of a tree.
 

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What i have heard (not sure if this is true) is that cranberry will help keep the crystals from forming, but won't help dissolve them after they exist.
 

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Whatttt, science diet has pine tree in their food, I never knew that, I always stop reading after all the by-products. And your vet only prescribed the dry food? Thats silly, that wont do anything to help dissolve the crystals, they need lots of water to help flush and dissolve the crystals.
 

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Whatttt, science diet has pine tree in their food, I never knew that, I always stop reading after all the by-products. And your vet only prescribed the dry food? Thats silly, that wont to anything to help dissolve the crystals, they need lots of water to help flush and dissolve the crystals.
That's what i was thinking - the dog I had with bladder stones was on the canned stuff = she weighed 8 pounds and i put at least 2 cups of water in each time i fed her. That poor dog peed constantly. But it was clear!
 

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Whatttt, science diet has pine tree in their food, I never knew that, I always stop reading after all the by-products. And your vet only prescribed the dry food? Thats silly, that wont do anything to help dissolve the crystals, they need lots of water to help flush and dissolve the crystals.
There is pine tree in the royal canin too. We quit all of it for raw and her bladder problems all miraculously stopped. I honestly blame the pet food industry (we all do I'm sure) and my vet for pushing me to use the crappiest food just because she's brainwashed about it. I am CONVINCED my dog suffered for years just because my vet insisted this food would help her.
 

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I live in Canada, I think the ingredients for the american and canadian RC differ, I could be wrong, but Iv never seen pine in their ingredients list. Its made in a plant in Guelph, Ontario instead of being shipped from the USA. And I totally agree, my cats have been on the RC urinary s/o and preventive for about a year now, and I am just weaning them off of it now, I am a bit nervous about it cause I always get terrified they are going to get crystals again, my male had a blockage last september which he almost died from. But I have been contacting holistic pet food companies for a few weeks now and found one that has the proper pH levels and ingredients. Eventually, I hope to switch them to pre-made raw, and then to PMR.
 

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I have no idea if this would help at all I would do my own research if it helps with crystals, but Teagan has incontinents I went the whole vet route and finally said screw you, but my herbalist suggested belladonna tables and they have worked wonders.

I go and see the herbalist again and I will ask if the belladonna wil help with crystals
 

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I live in Canada, I think the ingredients for the american and canadian RC differ, I could be wrong, but Iv never seen pine in their ingredients list. Its made in a plant in Guelph, Ontario instead of being shipped from the USA. And I totally agree, my cats have been on the RC urinary s/o and preventive for about a year now, and I am just weaning them off of it now, I am a bit nervous about it cause I always get terrified they are going to get crystals again, my male had a blockage last september which he almost died from. But I have been contacting holistic pet food companies for a few weeks now and found one that has the proper pH levels and ingredients. Eventually, I hope to switch them to pre-made raw, and then to PMR.
Like you, I was terrified to take Noodles off the food even though it was making her weird and lethargic and just...not right. And bad gas!
I thought she'd get a stone within months - it's been 4 official months on raw and her bladder got better! Finally lol! I feel silly for being so scared about the change but now I understand it's just trial and error and raw really did help :D
 

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The Canadian and American royal canin diets are different, on the American site the dry food doesnt even list chicken until like 5 ingredients in.

Noodlesmadison, yeah I was thinking of trying the premade raw from Natures Variety, because Iv heard that cats seem to respond to it quickly and can be switched cold turkey from kibble to it without them hating the taste. Just what has me a bit iffy is that vet diets, I think, are more addictive to cats because they add more things to make it ''taste better'' so the cats keep eating it. I just bought some holistic select cat food cans, and they eat them, but not as eagerly as the vet diet.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So what I'm getting from this is we need to add lots of water into her diet and maybe something like cranberry capsules to help balance her ph levels. How long should we do this before we get her urine tested again?
 

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I got her urine tested a month after starting raw
 

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It depends how bad the crystals were. It ranges anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months depending on the severity. My cat who got blocked, it was literally like sand in his bladder, when he got cathaterized, the crystals were at the bottom of the baggy like sand, it took 3 months to clear up. When my other cat had crystals they cleared up in a month. Yes, for sure extra water and cranberry capsules... since you caught it early she should be ok to be tested in a month. And I *think* that the acidity from the cranberry capsules could help to dissolve the crystals, but Im not 100% sure, vets always have different opinions on it too.
 
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