Like every breed, Dachshunds are genetically predisposed to a handful of medical conditions. One of those is Urolithiasis or Urinary Calculi, commonly referred to as Bladder Stones.
Stones can form anywhere throughout the urinary tract, but more than 85% appear in the bladder. Although stones can be quite serious, there is evidence that dietary management can help your Doxie avoid surgery.
Bladder stones are formed by minerals in the urine that create microscopic crystals. Over time those crystals may join together creating “grit” similar to sand. These tiny granules can eventually become stones up to 3 or 4 inches in diameter!
Some Doxies show no outward signs of bladder stones at all, and may be diagnosed by accident at a routine veterinary visit. Those that are symptomatic may urinate frequently, cry out when urinating, strain to urinate, have blood in their urine, produce only small amounts at a time, or lick their genital area afterwards.
If you notice any of these signs, seek veterinary care immediately. Urinary blockages are far less common in dogs than in cats, but can lead to life threatening emergencies.
When determining what course of treatment is best, your veterinarian will take radiographs and/or ultrasound images of the bladder, and collect blood and urine for analysis. These tests help determine how serious the problem is for your Doxie and what type(s) of crystals are causing the stones.
Based on these results, your vet will recommend surgically removing the stones, flushing them out of the bladder through a process called Urohydropropulsion, or treating them medically with diet changes.
Calcium oxalate stones usually require surgical intervention, while struvite and ammonium urate stones may be able to be dissolved through dietary management.
While prescription diets can take several months to work, they have been scientifically proven to do the trick. Your vet will determine which of these specially formulated foods is best to treat your Dachshund’s specific type(s) of stones.
Diets that treat struvite crystals typically contain lower than normal levels of large proteins, magnesium, and phosphorous. They also make the urine more acidic and contain higher levels of sodium to flush the bladder.
Although they are highly effective, they do not have balanced nutrition for long-term use, so after a few months dogs are usually placed on a urinary maintenance diet.
Increasing water consumption is also recommended for Doxies predisposed to urinary tract problems. Prescription canned diets and adding water or dilute broths to kibble can help accomplish this.
Filtered water contains far less minerals than tap water, so making the switch can also reduce the risk of stones.
H/T to peteducation.com
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