What causes crystals?? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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What causes crystals??

With so many dogs having crystals, does anyone know what is suppose to cause them and how we can avoid them in our babies?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 12:40 AM
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From what I have found out in my (tons) of research, is that crystals form when the ph of the urine is too high. High ph is normally caused by bacteria (such as a bladder infection). Bladder stones are what happens when there are lots of crystals that don't go away.
In my case, we don't know what exactly is causing the bacteria/infections in my dogs. (my guess is their bodies inability to properly rid of something< maybe the proteins> in the Canidae food) We had Jesters urine cultured 2 weeks before his stones were discovered. His culture came back "clear". He also came back clear last week, even though he has obvious crystals. The vet is now thinking there is something funky going on with the lab they are sending the samples to. She said in the last month ALL of the cultures she has sent in have come back clear, even when she knows there is obviously something going on. The culture is to show exactly what type of bacteria is present in the urine.
So my saga continues......


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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 02:20 AM
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Food company

what does the food company say about this?

My cat has had crystals and painful bladder infections. He has to eat special food with no ash. This meant no more treats for him either. But he is 18 and still doing well on the right food.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 05:23 AM
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Oh Katie, I am sorry that this has not ended for you guys! I got the impression from my vet that Lily's crystals were caused from her bodies inability to process certain minerals. But she always had an infection when she had crystals, so I guess I wonder which came first - the chicken (stones) or the egg (infectioin). All I know is that the vet perscribed diet and the distilled water has kept us crystal free for years now!

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 09:48 AM
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This is part of my frustrations.....my vet doesn't think a prescription diet is necessary. She says it works better for cats than for dogs. This is part of my reason for seeking a secnd opinion. My thought is that "doing nothing" obviously isn't working.... (which is what the vet suggested~Her only idea so far was to stop the canidae, which we have done).


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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 10:07 AM
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I agree Katie, doing nothing is not going make it go away! YOu will just end up with them back in the OR for stone removal. I am not a vet, but I really think that the distilled water and the food works! They dont get any other treats (well maybe I sneak one a week or so). and they get no table food except yogurt. I think it is very wise of you to get the second opinion!!
Kisses to the pups - hope they are feeling better.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 10:09 AM
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I will put distilled water on my shopping list!


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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 10:10 AM
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Katie, do you know if the infections are viral or bacterial? Have the urine samples been tested to determine the source of the infections? It seems that if that could be narrowed down somehow, it could be the best way to resolve this mess. I don't even know if that is possible - just thinking as I type.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 10:15 AM
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Kimberly~
Jesters urine has been cultured twice. Both times coming back "clear", meaning nothing grew to show if it's bacterial or viral. The vet is upset, thinking there is something going on at the lab they send the results to. The vet has had every single culture she has sent in the last month come back clear...which is impossible. So she doesn't know if it's the test tubes they are using, or the shipping method or if something is going on at the lab.
But it's frustrating to say the least. She wants me to bring him back next week to culture him again. I am just afraid the longer I wait, the more likely it is that stones will form again. And you can just send me to the looney bin if I have to pay for another stone removal surgery!


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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 10:33 AM
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Yes, I can see why that would be frustrating!

You said something about using another vet, right? They will use a different lab, won't they? It would be a hassle to try to start researching the source with a different vet and find out they use the same lab.

I was trying to work the giant jigsaw puzzle/problem backwards: Stones caused by crystals; crystals caused by infection; infection is bacterial or viral...

The strange thing is that the dogs have had two different types of crystals, right? Struvite is from a pH that is too high, isn't it? (Sorry for all the questions, I don't know enough to be sure of what I'm asking, and if I type them out, maybe they will trigger another thought/question for you too.) And Oxalate is from a lower pH if I recall correctly.

I was reading a while back about calcium being a factor with pH movement in the body. You aren't giving your dogs Tums, are you?

So, the oxalate crystals are from a lower pH and the struvite are from a higher pH. This is a really puzzling part in my mind. If your dogs are getting both of these types of stones, it would seem that it couldn't really be the food, could it? This would probably be the infection creating them. Then again, I don't have a clue. I'm still trying to sort through all the pieces of the puzzle.
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