About two months ago, my 14-year-old Labrador had blood in his urine. We went from a diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infection to Prostate Infection, with antibiotics as remedy. We then arrive at a diagnosis of Canine Calcium Oxalate Uroliths.
It has been suggested that his diet and supplements be changed to overcome/control risk factors: Calcium supplements independent of meals;
Drugs: in the recent past he has taken SMZ/TMP (generic for Bactrim; Metronidazole (250 mg); Simplicef (200 mg). now he takes Deramaxx (75 mg);
Dry diet: Premium Edge Senior Dog Formula with Lamb, Rice and vegetables;
Vitamins C & D supplements, etc
My friend also has endured arthritis of his left shoulder and hip displasia within the past couple years. What do you recommend?
Thank you for your inquiry to Holistic Pet Info. We’ll first discus the uroliths. Calcium Oxalate is dependent on urine concentration, diet and supplementation. The only way to remove CalOx stones is surgically, if left in the bladder, continual bladder infections and bleeding will occur. I highly recommend having the stones removed, changing the diet to a wet formulation and possibly supplement with potassium citrate. The diet you are offering is excellent and well balanced but there may be some ingredients adding to the stone formation. Work with your vet on diet change, discontinue the calcium supplement and discuss offering the potassium citrate.
Signs of osteoarthritis can be alleviated by adding supplements to decrease pain and inflammation. Arthrisoothe Gold by Natur Vet and Arthroplex by Thorne both help rebuild damaged cartilage and reduce stiffness. Acupuncture is also a very effective way to reduce arthritic pain and increased endorphins improve the overall well-being of the animal. NSAIDS such as the Deramaxx he is currently taking also work for inflammation and pain, but liver values and gastric health must be closely monitored.
Canine Geriatric Basics by Thorne should help to support your dogs immune system, skin and nervous system as he grows older. This is a well-balanced formula that may be more convenient than individual dosing of supplements. It does contain a very low dose of calcium but may still work with his new diet change. Best of luck.
Colleen Smith DVM, CVA
Follow up Questions:
Greetings and thanks very much,
At this point my Lab only has calcium crystals. Surgery is not indicated. The effort to avoid calcium is a bit confusing, what with food & supplements I give him that contain:
Calcium reduced dried skim milk – Smoked Turkey Breast slices
Calcium Carbonate & DiCalcium Phosphate – Pedigree Breath Busters
d-Calcium Pantotenate – Pedigree Ground Beef & Cheese dinners
Calcium Pantotenate & Soy Protein Concentrate – Boca Meatless Burgers, Vegan
Calcium 10% daily value (for humans) – Alaska Sockeye Red Salmon
Help! What products/supplements have potassium citrate?
Are you aware of any Holistic Vets in the Wilmington, NC area?
Very happy to expand. Uroliths means stones so I concluded that was the initial problem. Calcium is absolutely needed for muscle contraction so you cannot eliminate it from the diet. Calcium oxalate crystals are very dependent on hydration, the more concentrated the urine the more likely a calcium and oxalate ion will bond. These crystals don’t dissolve with diet so offering a specialized veterinary diet for crystals and increasing his water intake is key.
I highly recommend discontinuing the processed turkey breast slices and the pedigree dinner as they both contain high amounts of preservatives. You may be able to continue the boca burgers and the salmon once he has cleared the crystals. If he continues to have concentrated urine the crystals will eventually bond to forms stones. Potassium citrate can be found at local drugstores but do not initiate it unless monitored by your veterinarian. You can find local holistic and acupuncture vets on www.ivas.org, www.tcvm.com, or www.ahvma.org.
Colleen Smith DVM, CVA