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Urolithiasis / Stones in Dogs and Cats

Urolithiasis in Dogs and Cats / Stones in Dogs and Cats
Herbal remedies to help nutritionally address stone formation and to help address infections of the kidneys and urinary tract in cats and dogs.
Herbal treatments to prevent stone formation and to help prevent infections of the kidneys and urinary tract in cats and dogs.

 

In renal challenges, the kidneys need to be supported nutritionally to help faciliate rehabilitation but nutritional consideration must also be given to supporting organs, including the liver, cardiovascular system, immune system and autonomic nervous system.

Dog and cat bladder stones are formed usually as a result of a poor diet or metabolic dysfunction. When dogs and cats have bladder stones, they show urinary problems, including urinating indoors, outside of the litter box or straining to urinate, etc. and often experience accompanying pain and infection.

Bladder stones are urinary mineral deposits that gather in the urinary tract and crystallize over time. The crystals then build upon each other to create "stones" which commonly causes severe urinary tract irritation and pain during urination.

Eighty-five percent of the stones are formed in a dog or cats bladder, but they can also be found in the entire urinary tract. The kidneys, ureters (tiny tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder) and  urethra (the tube from the bladder to the outside of the animal) can all develop stones, crystal, gravel or calculi.

When a stone that has passed into the urethra is too large, it can cause a urethral blockage. When this happens, the dog or cat cannot urinate which should be considered a medical emergency. In addition to the crystal or stone blockage, toxins and waste cannot be eliminated in the urine from the dog's or cat's body. This typically requires an emergency operation to remove the stones from the urethra.

Common symptoms when bladder stones are present: 

Frequent urination with small quantities

Urinating in inappropriate places

Bloody urine

Discomfort and straining while urinating

"Dribbling urine" (may indicate a partial blockage of the urethra)

In cases of urethral blockage, a dog cannot urinate at all.

There are several different types of bladder stones, but the most common include: 

Struvite Bladder Stones

These stones are composed of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate and form in urine that has a neutral or alkaline pH level. They occur more commonly in female dogs and cats.

Calcium Oxalate Bladder Stones

These stones are found in certain breeds of dogs and cats as a result of a hereditary condition. These animals lack nephrocalcin, a calcium-binding glycoprotein, which inhibits the development of calcium oxalate crystals in the urinary tract.

Animals with Cushing's disease are predisposed to calcium oxalate bladder stone formation, due to elevated calcium levels in their urine.

Uric Acid Bladder Stones

These stones are formed almost exclusively in Dalmatians (about 80% of dogs with uric acid stones are Dalmatians) because of the inability of their livers to absorb uric acid. Two other breeds that can be genetically predisposed to uric acid bladder stones are Bulldogs and Russian Terriers.

Uric acid bladder stone formation can also be caused by a liver shunt. Have your vet check your dog or cat for the presence of urate crystals (which lead to uric acid stone formation), especially if your dog has been diagnosed with a liver shunt.

Common causes of bladder stones include: 

Diet: Diets that are high in protein and certain minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, may increase the chances of the forming of bladder stones.

Age: Older pets are more prone to develop bladder stones.

Genetics: Some dogs and cat breeds are more susceptible to bladder stone formation than others. Small dogs, such as the Pug, Pekingese, Yorkshire terrier, Beagle, Dachshund, Welsh corgi, Miniature Schnauzer, Bulldog, and Cocker Spaniel, are among those unlucky ones. And - as mentioned above, Dalmatians tend to have uric acid bladder stones.

Exposure to Cadmium: Studies have found that cadmium exposure increases the risk of formation of bladder stones in dogs. For domestic pets such as dogs and cats, cigarette smoke is the most common source of cadmium exposure.

Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections of the bladder can also lead to the formation of struvite bladder stones.

Lack of Exercise: Dogs and cats that do not get adequate exercise who do not get out enough to eliminate waste several times a day are also prone to develop bladder stones.

Organic Remedies - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets for this condition)

Herbal remedies have proven to be highly effective in the traditional and nutritional treatment of all types of stones including bladder infections and other urinary related problems, for its anti-bacterial, antiviral, antibiotic and antiseptic properties to reduce urinary tract infection, to help reduce pain due to its analgesic properties; as an anti-inflammatory to help reduce inflammation and to nutritionally strengthen the immune system, for the treatment of severe cystitis, urine retention that may occur with prostate problems and symptoms of burning urine.

Stix & Stones – (learn more) promotes improved kidney function, helps to treat urinary tract infections (bladder and kidney infections; for kidney and liver disease; tones and balances kidney, liver, intestine, pancreas, gall bladder function and health; reduces uric acid levels in urine; increases urination, blocks the formation of calcium crystals such as calcium oxalate and prevents them from entering kidney and bladder cells, provides pH modulation (urine pH balance); for urinary system disorders and pathologies and for hepatic insufficiency, helps to break up kidney, liver, gallbladder and bladder stones and gravel (active stones, crystals and as a preventative); helps to safely remove stones from the body. This product has been proven to be 94% effective at addressing urinary tract infections, and all types of stones, gravel, calculi and crystals in dogs and cats.

Break It Up  (learn more) helps to eliminate liver, kidney, bladder and gall stones, crystals, grains and gravel (calcium oxalate, struvite, uric acid, cystine, calcium phosphate and silica stones ) with less pain and safely removes them from the body; helps to treat bladder and kidney infections (urinary infections) and diseases, balances and normalizes liver enzyme levels, reduces uric acid and increases urination, for cystitis and prostatitis, infectious hepatitis and leptospirosis, Fatty Liver Disease, (hepatic lipidosis), Feline cholangiohepatitis, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS), Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infection (FIV), Leaky Gut Syndrome, Intestinal Dysbiosis and Intestinal Hypermerability. This product has been proven to be 90% effective at addressing urinary tract infections, stones, gravel, calculi and crystals in dogs and cats. 

Break It Up Meal Topper – (learn more) has been proven to break up to 94% of bladder stones, crystals, calculi and gravel within 2 weeks of use; may help address all types of stones, including liver, kidney, bladder and gall stones, gravel, crystals, grains and calculi, including calcium oxalate, struvite, uric acid, cystine, calcium phosphate and silica stones; adaptogen content may help work preventatively against future stone formation and urinary tract infection by helping to identify and nutritionally address cellular imbalances related to stone and infection cycles; adaptogen content may help address urinary tract infections, including chronic UTI’s by nutritionally helping identify and correct cellular imbalances and infection cycles; may help reduce the amount of cortisol and calcium produced in the urine and helps normalize pH levels in the animal body, which may be beneficial for dogs and cats suffering from chronic and episodic upper urinary tract and bladder infections and kidney infections; may help normalize liver enzyme levels, helps reduce uric acid, helps acidify urine and helps increase urination and may provide relief from prostatitis.

Tinkle Tonic  (learn more) treats prostate disorders, supports urinary tract and prostate health and reduces prostrate symptoms including Prostatitis and Benign Hyperplasia Prostate disease (BHP), promotes prostate gland health, a healthy bladder, urinary tract and bowel movements, reduces swollen and enlarged prostrate glands, promotes strong and healthy urine flow, relieves pain, discomfort and difficulty when urinating; for incomplete urination, increased frequency of urination or reduction in the volume of urine, relieves painful and strained defecation, increases circulation and strengthens the immune system; for urinary incontinence and weakened bladders.

Love Your Liver - (learn more) promotes the performance, health and repair of the liver, kidneys and bladder; adaptogen content may help identify cellular dysfunction and nutritionally work to restore liver health; may help facilitate liver cell regeneration and may promote renal and digestive excretion; may help provide protection and detoxification from insecticides, toxins, vaccinations, a diet which contains fillers, preservatives and chemicals; may help address anemia due to iron content; may help relieve symptoms such as pressure, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and flatulence; may help regulate kidney acid/alkaline levels; used holistically for hepatic lipidosis, Fatty Liver Disease (FLD),  Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS) and Feline cholangiohepatitis.

Other helpful suggestions: 

Ensure that your pet always has plenty of fresh, clean water

If pet does not drink a lot of water, give him additional fluids; add water to food. 

If your pet stays indoors, let him out every few hours to urinate.

Encourage your pet to drink water during a bladder infection as it is essential that the unwanted toxins are flushed out

Boost your pet’s immune system with immune system supplements

Feed your pet natural, chemical free food as commercial foods increase their risk of infection and weakens the immune system

If you do feed your pet commercial, processed foods, use a prescription diet prescribed by your vet

Walk your dog at least twice a day to increase the frequency of urination

If have an indoor cat, check that his litter box is clean and accessible

Line the litter tray with newspaper and use about a cup of litter at a time, changing it each time it has been used.

Conventional Remedies:

Depending on the type, size, number, and location of the stones, treatment may be different. For example, if the stones are in the urethra or the ureters, surgery may be necessary since urinary obstructions can lead to kidney shut down and death.

However, if the stones are in the bladder and they are struvite stones, there are other choices. For example, the stones can be eliminated by feeding your dog a special diet (low in calcium, magnesium and protein) together with dissolving agents in it. These agents will eliminate the stones by dissolving them and causing them to pass through your dog's system.

For dogs with uric acid stones, a diet that is low in purines may be recommended. Purines are found primarily in animal proteins and are metabolized into uric acid in the body.

Purine-rich foods include organ meats (e.g. liver, kidneys), seafood, and legumes.

Calcium oxalate stones cannot be dissolved and the only way to remove them is by surgery, after which supplements may be needed to prevent recurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

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