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Farm Dog: Urine Crystals UPDATE POST #8

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  • Farm Dog: Urine Crystals UPDATE POST #8

    So I have a 6.5 month old aussie. About a month ago I took him into the vet because he was excessively drinking water. Im talking about jumping in the bathtub desperate for water. Now I know its hot outside and everything but this, to me, was an irregular amount of water. So I took him in to the vet and he thought I was dumb and said, well it's hot outside. Duh. So he took a urine test and there were crystals in his urine. So, ruling about kidney stores because of his age, he thought it was a UTI. So I was given antibiotics and sent on my way. Well we had it recheck about 2.5 weeks ago and there was some improvement, but still have crystals, so I was given more antibiotics. Still drinking like a mad man and now started squating to urinate and nothing is coming out. Well I came back to school up in GA and took him in at the vet here to see if anything is any better. This vet suggested I drop him off and they are currently taking xrays, bloodwork, and another urine sample to see what is going on. Not cheap. But what do you think? Am I wasting a ton of money? I am just going crazy with his water obsession. And it worries me that he is trying to pee and nothing is coming out. But I am unsure what to think.. Its a mystery that I should find out tomorrow when I pick him up. But in the mean time, I am worried.
    Last edited by RockingN; Sep. 13, 2009, 10:47 AM.

  • #2
    No, I don;t think you're going crazy. His symptoms aren't normal dog behavior. Younger male dogs do sometimes squat to urinate, but urine comes out.
    Excessive drinking, some crystals present and trying to urinate and not able to are signs something isn't right.
    Could be a UTI...which can make it feel like there's a need to urinate often even if the bladder isn't full.
    Not sure what else...but am hoping the vet finds out what it is and that's it's easily fixable. (and not too expensive)
    PLease update when you get any news?
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!


    • #3
      I think that you are doing the right thing. My childhood dog started trying to urinate without anything actually coming out. She didn't actually end up having stones, but she did have the crystals - which the vet said would eventually have formed stones. She ate Science Diet k/d thereafter, which controlled the problems for her.
      My male dog does squat to urinate, but anytime they are trying to urinate without anything coming out I would take the to the vet for a checkup.


      • #4
        You are not over-reacting. Male dogs with crystals can form stones that will block the ureter. If the dog cannot urinate it quickly becomes a life-threatening issue. We had two crises with my rescue Standard Poodle. The first time they operated to remove the crystals, the second, they created a second opening, a urethrostomy, so that he would not obstruct. Don't ask about the cost.

        There are two types of crystals: calcium oxalate and struvite. As I understand it, the struvite can be dissolved with diet, but not the calcium oxalate. The CO stones need to be removed, usually surgically. Then the dog needs to be on a special diet to prevent recurrences.

        Good luck. U of Minn has a great site on stones in dogs.


        • Original Poster

          I am still waiting to hear news. They closed early today which is why he had to stay the night. The thing that confused me is that he could urinate just about anytime, but the moment we started playing and running around, he wouldn't be able to urinate every time he squated. Is this still a sign of kidney stones? Thats the only doubt in my mind. I was told he might have to change his diet. I have no objection to it if it helps!


          • #6
            Sounds different from my dog. Poor Charlie kept trying and trying, but he could not pee. They finally catheterized him to give him relief, then did surgery.


            • #7
              My dalmatian blocked when he was 1 and a half. Went out to pee, nothing came out...and off we went to NC State emergency (a Sunday of course)

              If your dog has crystals...it absolutley needs to be addressed. As stated by a previous poster..once a male dog blocks, it is a life threatening situation.

              We use only distilled water now (stones cannot form in that type of water) , I personally use a raw diet and 300mg of allopurinol daily to control the PH. He had Struvite Crystals....I don't think they will put you on allopurinol for the calcium ones...someone correct me if I'm wrong.


              • Original Poster

                So far I have heard that his blood tests look good. Does that eliminate kidney stones? I go in at 5 to get the total update, but thats what I know so far. Not really sure what that rules out?


                • #9
                  From my experience (with two occurrences of obstruction), they can sometimes detect stones on manual examination, but usually stones are seen on X-ray.


                  • #10
                    Just wanted to emphasize that a male dog straining to urinate is an emergency! Taking him to the vet was the right move. This is likely to be bladder stones (similar concept to kidney stones, but in the bladder).

                    Most likely, they will take x-rays to identify a blockage, and if they find one, then use a catheter to try and either flush them out or back flush them into the bladder. Some stone types can only be seen on ultrasound. If they can be flushed back into the bladder, the vet may suggest trying to clear them up with diet instead of surgery - they will try to get some out for testing to see if it is a type that can be dissolved. In this case, you will want to watch him very carefully while they are dissolving, as it may recur. The other option is surgery to remove the stones, or in the case of a dog with recurrent blockages, a surgery to create a new opening that bypasses the areas that cause male dogs to obstruct. As far as the intermittent problems urinating, we found that my dog had many little gravel type stones, and as he moved around and they shifted, sometimes he was blocked, and sometimes it cleared up

                    I suppose it is possible that it could be a UTI, and for your sake, I hope that is what it is. This does not change my PSA that a male dog that is not urinating should always see a vet immediately!!! This is not a "wait and see" event, this can cause a bladder rupture!! The male anatomy makes a blockage much more likely than in a female. On the plus side, 6.5 months is really early for a dog to develop a blockage, making it rather unlikely, although the crystals may indicate an issue.

                    As an encouragement, my dog blocked before he was 2 years old, and required surgery. Due to a medication issue, he blocked one more time a year later, but we were able to flush most of those out without surgery, and took him off of his medication. Since then, with a strictly controlled diet, he has had no further issues, and he is almost 7. We just watch him on a daily basis to make sure that there is no reduction of flow when he urinates, make sure that all of our pet sitters know to watch for straining, and give everyone that walks in the door instructions that the dog gets no treats, whatsoever, under any circumstances!! Also, we do regular urine samples to monitor for any crystals. Knock on wood, he has done very well, although it was a frightening experience at the time.