Rx Diet + Lots of Water

Question:
My Shih Tzu could not urinate because he had stones in his bladder. His veterinarian removed those stones but they are calcium oxalate – the kind that will return without proper diet so they recommended Hill’s c/d Multicare. Can I still give him dog treats? I am sticking to this diet heart and soul, but he likes his treats, so is it OK? I do not want those stones to return. He was in a lot of pain.

Dr. Nichol:
When crystals in the urinary tract stick together they form stones (calculi). Some get big enough to irritate the bladder wall, leading to blood in the urine, straining, or a medical emergency involving a blockage of urine flow. Prescription diets are important for long term treatment but, for them to work effectively, they need to be the only food your dog gets. Hill’s Prescription Diet Treats are fine for any dog on any special diet.

Calcium oxalate bladder stones are a growing problem in pets. According to the Minnesota Urolith Center they’ve increased to 60% of canine balder stones and 55% of those found in cats. Described as an epidemic, oxalates are now the most common urinary stone in each species.

Middle-aged to older neutered male Shih tzus, miniature schnauzers, Lhasa apsos, and Pomeranians are at greater risk than other dog breeds for calcium oxalate stones. In Bichon frises it’s young adult males who have a higher incidence. Be observant; these stones can slowly grow in the bladder, kidneys, the ureters, or urethra. A dog who can’t pass urine may need surgery but many stones can be rinsed out of the bladder by a veterinarian who is skilled at a procedure called voiding hydropulsion.

You are certainly doing the right thing by feeding Hills c/d Multicare diet. Post-operatively, pets with a history of calcium oxalate stones need our best efforts at preventing reoccurrence. Increasing your dog’s water intake will be critically important. Feed his special diet in its canned form or add water to the dry. Chewable CitraVet tablets can further reduce the chances that your dog will face those miserable bladder stones again.

Each week Dr. Jeff Nichol makes a short video, blog, or a Facebook Live to help bring out the best in pets. Sign up at no charge at drjeffnichol.com. Dr. Nichol treats behavior disorders at the Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Centers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe (505-792-5131). You can post pet behavioral or physical questions at facebook.com/drjeffnichol or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.