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Urinary + Crystals
Dog Urine ideally should be around 5.5- 6.0
What is a Urine Crystal? Tiny granules that irritate the bladder. More prone in male cats as it plugs the urethra and can be life threatening. May or may not be inclusive of a Urinary Tract Infection
What is a Bladder Stone? When the individual crystals build up over time forming small grains of sand-like material into stones, sometimes reaching over 1" diameter.
Formations of Crystals:
- Calcium Oxalate: Tends to form in less than 5.8 (Acidic) urine pH. Usually caused by dehydration, not absorbing minerals properly (chelated or proteinated minerals should be used in kibble products), or excessive intake of calcium, protein, sodium, or vitamin D. Other metabolic conditions such as some cancers, Cushings, or hyperparathyroidism may trigger the development.
- Struvite: Tends to from in more than 6.4 (Alkaline) urine pH. Made up of Magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate. Usually caused by food quality and/or dehydration
- Urate: Tends to form in cases with certain liver diseases. Acidic.
Things to consider:
ANY CHANGE IN FOOD WILL MAKE A CHANGE TO PH OF THE ANIMAL. Be cautious in frequency of changing diets too abruptly as it may allow pH levels to imbalance and cause urinary concerns.
What to do if possible Urine crystals/ Urinary Tract Infection/ Bladder stones:
- If ANY abnormal symptoms (blood in urine, difficulty urinating, passing minimal quantity of urine, straining with urination, licking genitals more frequently than usual) , seek veterinary care
- Increase water intake (try a pet fountain)
- Provide canned food as it contains high levels of moisture
- Feed less food more often. Instead of 2 meals a day or free feeding. Try 4 smaller meals a day. Large meals can trigger more alkaline urine pH.