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Otis has Bladder Stones

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  • Otis has Bladder Stones

    We contacted your sight back in May 2013, and you all provided us with some very good advise. Except for developing bladder stones Otis has been doing pretty well.
    Otis is 13 years old, he has Cushing's Disease, and is also diabetic. In December,2014 he has surgery for calcium oxalate bladder stones. At that time my Vet recommended no change in diet. He was on Hills Digestive/Weight/Glucose Management (W/D) for his diabetes. At that time the Vet only recommended 1 ML of Potassium Citrate twice daily, which we have followed.
    This month, he had surgery again for the same stones, same Vet. I went to get a second opinion from another Vet to see what could be done to prevent a reoccurrence of these bladder stones.
    The second Vet agreed the Potassium Citrate was the correct medication, however, he felt we needed to change his diet to a urinary care food. I have gone back and forth with my current Vet concerning his diet, and she is persistent in keeping him on the Hill's W/D formula. She made a decision to change Otis' diet to a Hill's W/D Stew, and also told us to give him vitamin B-6 liquid once a day, and increase his Potassium Citrate to 1.5 ML twice daily.
    One of our problems is that we are both retired, and the cost of the Hill's W/D Stew is $36 for 12 cans. Otis is currently eating 1/3 can of wet, and 1/4 cup of dry W/D twice daily. The switch to the W/D Stew would require us to feed him 1 2/3 cans of food per day. With the increase the volume which he would be fed would raise our food cost by $3,600 per year. That does not include his other medications which would put our total cost of just medications and food over $7,000 per year. This does not cover his Vet visits or his quarterly ACTH test.
    The Vet also wants us to check his urine PH once a week using a swimming pool test strip. She stated that a good range would be between 7.0 and 7.5.
    After reviewing the ingredients in the Hill's W/D Stew, there are several food products that he should not have for the production on the bladder stones. The only reason she has for changing to the stew is that it has more moisture, and will make him urinate more often.
    Hill's U/D urinary care has all of the food products he should have based on the type of bladder stones he is prone to develop. The Vets concern is Otis being a diabetic, the U/D urinary care could affect his diabetes. I will call Hill's on Monday morning to get their advise.
    Does anyone out there have any solutions or suggestions on how we should proceed? As I stated earlier, you all were so helpful when we started with the Cushing's and Diabetes. He has now survived for 2 1/2 years because of your suggestions, and the knowledge you have passed to us.
    Betty and Carl

  • #2
    Re: Otis has Bladder Stones

    many of us have other priority's above diabetes

    for jesse its pancreatitis . so we did what we thought was best for that and regulated her blood sugar to that diet maybe a bit more challenging to do but doable

    the problem i see is you dont know how the new food will work with blood sugar . it could be a good fit but you wont know unless you try

    dont know if your testing blood sugar at home but it would be helpful with a change in diet and will save some money at the vet

    diabetic dogs are just about on every type of diet there is and most do well

    what are the current levels of blood sugar maybe post a curve if you would like
    Last edited by jesse girl; 12-12-2015, 01:35 PM.
    Jesse-26 lbs - 16.5 years old ,11 years diabetic, one meal a day homemade and a vitabone snack . 3 shots of Novolin( under the Relion name ) a day . Total insulin for a 24 hour period is 6.5 units of NPH insulin .
    Jesse earned her wings on 6/21/2021


    • #3
      Re: Otis has Bladder Stones

      I have a lot of handicapped rescue pugs, and because they tend to have bladder problems I have been thru this a lot!

      One little girl, Sarah, had the calcium oxalate stones and subsequent surgery twice. Each time with different vets. Each one wanted me to change her off home cooked to Hills UD. I refused.

      After interstitial cystitis and multiple infections, I was willing to try anything. She had been on potassium citrate, with cranberry , d-mannose, special home cooked diets. I figured that with a completely severed spinal cord I knew better than they what she needed. I was wrong. Finally succumbed to advice!

      I had never been able to get her urine to a good ph. We tried methionine to acidify, the potassium to modify as she had struvite stones as well. as the calcium oxalate. Had her consume copious amts of water by giving 1/2 cup water 4 times per day with a pinch of tuna in it....nothing worked.

      So we put her on Royal Canin SO, that was 2 yrs ago, she has not had an infection, no stones, and perfect ph ever since. I soak the 1/3 cup kibble in 2/3 cup water, and have not even used the potassium citrate since. I still keep her on cranberry extract, but other than that, she has been perfect. I occasionally give her a bit of chicken breast, but for a treat she mostly gets a few more kibbles. I cannot tell you how much I wish I had tried this 6-7 yrs ago. It would have saved us several thousands of dollars, and saved her the agony of surgeries.

      Now Sarah is not diabetic, but you can adapt any diabetic dog to most any diet you want within reason. I feed the moderate calorie version because Sarah gains weight so easily as she is in a cart and does not get as much exercise as most dogs. But for most the Royal Canin SO would be fine.

      I buy the strips for checking her urine (and several other pugs) at They run about $15 per hundred strips. They will show 10 different tests, incl ketones, ph, blood for infection, protein etc. The specific gravity is not accurate so just ignore it.

      I had been a strong advocate of home cooking, and still home cook for the majority of my pug herd. But in this instance, the prescription diet worked, and no one can explain why. We had a research institute that was doing a study on stones at the time look at Sarahs stones (both kinds) they went over the diet and supplements I was feeding and came to the conclusion that her metabolism was just "off". But she has had no trouble since starting the RC kibble.

      As Jessegirl mentioned, the many people on this forum can help you adjust the insulin, and requirements for a new diet. If your vet won't even think about it, get a new vet. While diabetes is a difficult challenge for dogs and owners alike, stones are no fun either. They can be life threatening!!

      Had one paraplegic pug several yrs ago with struvite stones when I rescued him. Vet said put him on Hills SD, which was supposed to dissolve stones. As it is only fed for a few months, I tried it. Just that it made the stones smaller for sure, just the right size to get stuck in his urethra and without emergency surgery and at great risk to his life, he would have died!! I have learned a lot since then, but no lesson was harder than that one.
      That was the same vet that told me to give up on my first diabetic pug because she would not eat a "standard" diet for diabetes. 3 yrs later I sent her a Christmas pic of my little Bella doing well as diabetic on a home cooked diet that did not in any way resemble what a diabetic dog "should" consume. I had to send her that pic because I never stepped foot in her office again.

      Sometimes with these vets, you have to put your dog first, go with your instinct and your dog will be all the better for it. That being said, I would try the prescription diet for the stones, and then adjust as needed for the insulin requirements. The Royal Canin costs about $40 per bag and lasts Sarah about 2 months or so. I am not sure what size your dog is, but it will be considerably cheaper than the canned.

      Take care, Joan


      • #4
        Re: Otis has Bladder Stones

        Thank you both so much for your input. We are in agreement that if the vet doesn't change the diet, we are going to change vets. It has been a very difficult week for us. On Monday, Otis went for the surgery to remove his bladder stones, and our 18 1/2 year old cat had to be put down.

        Thanks again,

        Betty & Carl


        • #5
          Re: Otis has Bladder Stones

          So sorry to hear of your cat passing. These bad events seem to come in tandem for some reason.
          Hope Otis came thru the surgery with flying colors! They really do seem to bounce back pretty well.


          • #6
            Re: Otis has Bladder Stones

            Very sorry to know that you lost your kitty...