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Any vets? Diet for canine calcium oxalate stones?

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We have a small dog, a coton du tulear, who has just had surgery for calcium oxalate stones in his bladder. To prevent them, he has been prescribed Royal Canin Urinary SO. But I don't feel 100% comfortable with the ingredients list (corn is used as a filler, etc.). We've always fed him high-quality food and now suddenly it seems there isn't much choice but to switch to this food (or a similar one that looks about the same). It's important to avoid the stones, because they require surgery. But is there any other way to do this and keep him healthy? Is Royal Canin okay for most dogs and maybe I'm just nervous because I already researched his food and made a choice that had better, more natural ingredients overall? I don't know what to do. If Royal Canin means that all of his numbers, PH, etc. are good, that doesn't necessarily mean that the food isn't bad for him in other ways.


Any thoughts? I adore the vet, but he's not really a nutrition expert so he can't give me guidance beyond the prescription.



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When I worked for the vet we advised the importance of sticking with the proper diet to avoid recurrence of stones. I don't know about Royal Canin, we prescribed Science Diet C/D (I believe). We also had to attend lots of continuing ed in nutrition, so we knew the science to back up our recommendations. Your vet should be able to answer the nutrition questions you ask, imo.


We absolutely knew which pets had stayed on the diet and which didn't. the ones that didn't were more likely to relapse. Surgery to remove bladder stones, as I'm sure you know, is quite invasive. I was always amazed at the amount and size of some stones, they really do just look like smooth rocks inside the bladder. It's not usually the ones in the bladder that do the damage, it's the little ones that work their way through the urinary tract.


It's been years, decades since I worked for a vet, so I forget what the specials diets have or eliminate to make them better. Hopefully some of the more currently trained individuals we have here will chime in.

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You could ask them to see if there is a homemade diet you could feed. Most vets have a book on site that has homemade diets for various diseases. This is the one I'm thinking of: http://www.amazon.com/Home-Prepared-Dog-Cat-Diets-Alternative/dp/0813821495/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1328067329&sr=8-5


That said you could ask about using a different food and adding a cupplement, I think it is pottasium citrate but I'm not sure off the top of my head (pregnancy brain). That changes the ph of the urine.

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Our dog had stones removed last year. I was also not comfy with the food the doctor recommended due to all the fillers in it (corn) as we have a dog with severe allergies. I feed ours Blue Buffalo and after a year a recent xray showed no stones at all in his bladder, so far so good. I did some googling and found some recommendations for other foods that were high quality no filler foods that were ok for stones.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good luck on your search. I know when I was looking there was alot of info out there on google due to this being a common problem in certain breeds. There were some really good foods they recommended, but they were expensive.


Since you are checking into blue I thought I would add we feed ours the blue Wilderness variety. Our little guy is a year out from his surgery (his bladder was really full of these stones also) and on his recent xray's, he is still totally clear, so far so good. We were also told to make sure he gets plenty to drink to help lower ph in his urine also.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest Lynda2013

My 7 yr old female Cairn Terrier had surgery to remove Calcium Oxalate stones in May 2013.  She is doing well, except.....I HATE the Royal Canin SO canned food the DVM "prescribed". (I really have a problem with these - in my opinion - substandard foods - being classified as "Prescription foods").

I have been on a search for a healthy canned alternative - I cannot cook for her -  and have been looking at Merrick and Nutrisca brands, which are grain-free and contain low oxalate ingredients.


Which Buffalo Wilderness variety do you feed your doggies?


In addition to the stone problem, her skin allergies are back (and I'm thinking it may be the corn in the crappy RC food....another reason I want her on something else.  Cortisone shots/pills to relieve her itch, cause her ALK levels to rise, and I know that is not GOOD!!


Thank you for any input!!  Much appreciated!!

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  • 6 months later...
Guest debramillet

One of my dogs, a maltese bichon, was diagnosed 2 yrs ago with calcium oxalate stones at the age of 6 1/2. They were surgically removed and he began eating Royal Canin S/o. Ayr and a half later, last Oct, the stones returned and were removed again. Since then Ive put him on  a diet of rice, a vegetable, carrots or peas, and usually chicken but once in awhile hamburger. I check his urine ph every morning . To add a little variety I give him ground turkey instead of chicken or hamburg and everytime I do this his morning ph is a perfect 7.0. When he has the chicken, hamburger it is always a 6.0 to 6.5. Ive come to the conclusion that the turkey is what is making the difference as everything else he has during the day rarely changes. For 6 months Ive kept track of everything he has during the day. The vets prescribed a vitamin powder, Balance IT to add to his food 6 months ago. I used it for awhile but it tended to give him stomach upset even when using 1/2 the recommended amount. I swithched to 1/4 to 1/2 of a chewable vitamin called Pet-tabs original formula. He grew up on this vitamin but around age 5 I stopped giving to him as I previously bought it from my vets office but they stopped carrying it and I figured his dog food, science diet, at the time, had enough vitamins in it. He also gets 1/2 K-Plus potassium citrate plus cranberry tablet everyday. They too can upset his stomach so I never go over a half and he's fine with that. For a snack he has a slice and a half of turkey bacon, loves it, and 2 or 3 small milkbone biscuits but elsewise 80% of his diet is the rice, vegetable and meat diet. The meat will now be 90% of the time only ground turkey as Im nearly positive that is what has made the difference in his ph. So far , so good. All dogs are different of course but Im hoping this might help anyone going through the stress of worrying about their dog as it seems to be working well so far for my best friend

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We have a part Dalmatian, which tend to get some sort of urinary stones--not sure of what type. He is on FirstMate Ocean Fish, grain free...which was recommended to us as something okay for Dalmatians. Turns out he is probably not subject to that problem, but it seems to be the only kibble he does well with in varous ways. It is lower protein, tends to be lower in common allergens, and no corn or course.

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  • 5 months later...
Guest rsl-90

Hi everyone, 


My name is Rhiannon and I am a final year veterinary student at the Royal Veterinary College in London. I am posting this message because I am currently taking part in some exciting new research into the genetic causes of calcium oxalate bladder stone formation in dogs, and desperately need suitable dogs to get involved! 


I require urine samples from dogs that have previously suffered with calcium oxalate bladder stones. If you think that your dog- or the dog of a friend etc- might be suitable then please get in contact. Following this, if your dog is suitable then I would send out a urine collection kit, along with a letter further explaining the research, a consent form and instructions. I would ask you to please collect a small sample of urine from your dog and to return it to the Royal Veterinary College via royal mail, in a stamped envelope provided.


For dogs that take part in this research, I would also be able to send owners the urinalysis results from their dog, for any owner that was interested. Please not that participant would need to be based in the UK.This might highlight any health concerns related to the urinary system, or might just bring peace of mind that your dog is healthy! Please be assured that all information is completely confidential.


If you would like to participate (and I would greatly appreciate it if you did!), please contact me via:


email: rleader@rvc.ac.uk

telephone: 07910487792


Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from you!


Kind Regards,

Rhiannon Leade

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