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Oh, Pat, I am so sorry to hear of this extra worry.
Do you know what kind of stones that she gets? I spent some time on the yahoo group k9kidneydiet and they dealt alot with crystals and stones.
Generally speaking, struvite stones are from infections and responsive antibiotics must be given, whereas oxalate stones are caused from a hereditary defect in the ability to digest/process oxalate in foods. Many dogs come to this group who have had multiple surgeries and they find that the prescription foods given for this do not work. If it is oxalate, then they have a very special diet that you home prepare that you can follow - it is called FuzzerFood and if you join, you will find that in the files. They also give special supplements ONLY while trying to remove exisiting stones (then go off the supplements when the dog is back to normal), I am not trying to raise your hopes, but if it is an oxalate stone, then you **might** be able to dissolve it with this special diet and not do surgery. The problem is that you have to watch carefully until you know it is dissolved (I suppose occasional monitoring by xrays) and make sure the stone doesn't fall down into a tube and block the opening - then it would be an emergency surgery. I remember cases on their lists where they were able to avoid surgery by following this diet. If this is the situation, then the diet has to be followed for life. I re-state that a number of people tried giving the prescription food, only to have re-occurrences of the stones, but apparently had success on this diet.
I just mention this just in case it is an oxalate stone and if so, you might have other options than surgery. Of course, every case is individualized and would depend perhaps on the size of the stone, it's location, current pain, etc. But, I wanted you to know just in case so you could learn more before talking with the vet, especially considering her heart issues.
BUT, I am hoping all this is a big fat false alarm! Sending my well-wishes.
Last edited by Chasza; 07-09-2009 at 09:26 AM.