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Hey you doodle owners!

My 5 month old goldendoodle went to the vet last Friday because he has been holding his pee for as long as he can, I noticed. He wouldn't go pee all throughout the night, and even in the morning when we all get up, he still wouldn't go pee. I would have to make him go and then he'd let it out. Also, he was licking there more than usual after he would potty. 

The vet did a test on his urine and said that he has quite a few crystal in his urine, making it painful for him when he pees. She is treating it like a bacterial infection first so we can rule that out. He had the same symptoms about a month ago, so I took him to our original vet. This time, I took him to another vet, who I trust a little more, and she gave him the correct antibiotics, which apparently the last vet did not.

Anyway, it's been since Friday that he's been on this medicine and it hasn't gotten better. She talked to me about the possibilities it could be other than an infection. She said some dogs produce more nutrients in their body and with certain foods combined with the more than normal nutrients, it could be causing crystals. 

Has anyone experienced this before with their dog? Crystals in their urine?

I just want him to feel better! I feel like if it's not one thing, it's another. :(

Any input would be greatly appreciated!




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  • A few members have had this issue and their pups outgrew it as they got older. Struvite crystals are common in many breeds and are not really an issue for concern unless there are recurrent infections or struvite stones develop. Diet does not have as much affect on the formation of struvite crystals as you might think. In addition to having a genetic component, it seems to have more to do with bacterial issues, from what I can figure out.

    Giving extra fluids helps, including wet foods. You might want to try replacing some of his kibble with a canned food, or a dehydrated raw product like Honest Kitchen. If he's not eating a good grain-free food from our Recommended Brands list, I'd switch to one.

    You will want to give plain, unflavored fat-free yogurt a couple of times a day anyway, important any time a dog is taking antibiotics. The yogurt may also help. Try sprinkling a few dried cranberries in the yogurt, that helps too. Cranberry capsules may help.

    Some past discussions with good info: http://www.doodlekisses.com/forum/topics/struvite-crystals-and

    http://www.doodlekisses.com/group/thefoodgroup/forum/topics/alright...

    http://www.doodlekisses.com/group/thefoodgroup/forum/topics/need-ad...

    http://www.doodlekisses.com/forum/topics/adult-dog-peeing-in-sleep-...

    • Thanks so much, Karen! I have learned a lot from you. Thank you for always helping me when I have questions about Dexter! I'm going to try what you suggest and I will give everyone an update on whether it gets better or not.

  • We have never had this happen to our dogs, but we have a cat who use to get crystals in her urine.  We switched to a very healthy grain free canned food and she hasn't had crystals in her urine since and that was about five years ago. There is just not enough moisture in dry kibble to process things properly for some animals. Try one of the healthy grain free canned dog foods(like Wellness Core Grain Free).  They are a little pricey but well worth not having to put your dog on any medications for this issue.

    Hope this helps!

  • Charli, my black doodle, had struvite crystals and outgrew it.  I followed exactly what Karen wrote below so no sense in repeating it. Hope Dexter feels better soon!!

    To keep her drinking fluids I boiled chicken, diluted the broth with lots of water and froze them in ice cube trays. She might not wanted to drink water but she loved having a bowl of that same diluted chicken broth in a bowl for her to drink. 

  • I haven't been on here in a week or so and just saw this- I'm dealing with a similar problem.  My puppy Benny is just over 4 months old and is on his third round of antibiotics for a UTI.  The vet told me that he, too, has excessive crystals in his urine.  If these antibiotics don't do the trick we are moving on to more extensive testing.  For now she has put Benny on rx dog food mixed in with his regular food.  I followed Karen's suggestions and am giving him yogurt twice daily as well.  He doesn't seem to be bothered so much by all of this- I think I'm more stressed out about it.  I notice him licking himself quite a bit but he doesn't seem to have a problem relieving himself- that he does over and over, as often as I'm willing to get up and open the door to the backyard.  What antibiotics is Dexter receiving?  I'm curious to see how different vets treat this.  I hope he is feeling better soon and you get the issue resolved.  It's so sad knowing that our pups aren't well.

    • Oh, and then I just found a link on here to why you shouldn't use rx dog food... I should've read that $70 ago... Guess I'll be making a phone call tomorrow.

    • This sounds exactly like Dexter's problem! I need to find his bottle and look at what the antibiotic is called. He was on it for ten days. It's been a couple weeks since he's been off of it, I noticed he was getting better but then today, I took a look at his private part because I noticed him licking again and it looks gross again! It looks slightly infected again. I will be taking Dexter back into the vet and we will do some testing. So frustrating! I feel so bad for the poor guy. How is Benny doing? Did you switch from RX to another food? 

  • I hope Benny continues to do well. Please keep us updated, and don't hesitate to start a discussion in TFG if you need some help choosing a food. :)

    • Thanks Karen.  I've been going through some past discussions from the food group and currently looking through your recommended list right now.  It's so helpful thanks for all that you do!

      • Hi Mandy,

        How's Benny doing? Has there been any improvements? Dexter finished his 4th round of antibiotics a couple weeks ago. We did another cultural test, and the results were that the bacteria is finally gone. They had found a bacteria that was resistant to most drugs. Anyway, Dexter STILL licks his private area after he pees. Seems like it's still bothering him! I'm just so frustrated! We have spent so much money trying to figure out whats wrong. The vet said the next step is an xray, and if that doesn't show anything then she will refer me to a specialized imaging center to see if he has a birth defect. =/. Right now, we have him on Taste of the Wild grain free food. He has been on it since Thursday. I haven't seen any huge progress, but that's because he hasn't been completely off his Kirkland brand yet for more than a day because I know I need mix the two before completely giving him the TOTW stuff. Thing is, we just ran out today (didn't realized he's eat so much in 5 days!), so I need to go get more today. Dexter is 7 months old now. He's had this issue for most of his life already and I feel like there's not much more I can do. The vet hasn't helped much. Let me know if Benny is getting better! I sure hope so! 

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