I took both my dogs to the vet (drop off appt.) today for their comprehensive exam. They are both female lab mixes, ages 8 and 5. The exam included a complete urinalysis, in which urine was collected and the pH was recorded.
The result is a lower urinary tract disease (L.U.T.D) in BOTH of my girls. Urine pH was 10 for both dogs, registering a dark brown/black color on the pH meter. I was told this is a bit uncommon as typically, on average, 1 in 6 dogs they see have this. The nurse said they both urinated normally with no blood present, no straining, and no "trickling," but the urine was dark yellow and pH through the roof (higher than 9, which is what their meter reads up to). They said LUTD can be a result of many factors, including: diet, decreased water intake, infrequent urination, stress, obesity, tumors, bacteria, virus, congenital problems.
Ok, I spoil the crap out of my babies. I am currently staying with my parents until I save money to buy a house, so someone is ALWAYS here to let them out into the fenced-in backyard. Everytime they go to the back door they get let out. I take them on walks, hiking, and to the beach on a regular basis (as long as it is not freezing cold out). They ALWAYS have fresh water available, and the NEVER get table scraps or even treats. I have been scared to give them any treats since all the pet food recalls.
I have some possible theories as to what the culprit is. First and foremost I blame their dog food. Buffalo Blue - weight control for one, senior for the other. Does anyone have any experience with this food? I heard it was a good one, but who the H*ll knows anymore with all this junk made in China. Second, I use one plastic water bowl (the rest are stainless steel); could the plastic harbor bacteria? I have since thrown this bowl in the trash. Third, we have feral cats in the neighborhood. A lady down the road feeds them, and they use the bathroom around the neighborhood - could my dogs have eaten their feces and picked up bacteria? Last, I use peanut butter to administer pills. Could this be the culprit? The nurse said no for the last two. Again, I think it may be the food. My parents are going to have their dogs tested too, and maybe after this we'll have more information to process.
Both my dogs are now on antibiotics (Clavamox 375 mg) and are eating Royal Canin for LUTD, a prescription food that absorbs/dissolves/prevents the urine crystals that lead to bladder/kidney stones.
I'm sorry for the long ramble/rant, but anyone who has advice on or experience with LUTD and its symptoms and causes, Buffalo Blue dog food, or Royal Canin dog food please help me out. Any info is MUCH appreciated!
I must admit, both dogs at the same time is kind of weird. If I were you I would switch to the royal Canin, there is no control on ingredients, with diets like Blue Buffalo or wellness or Natural balance and so many others. At least for now stay on the royal canin. My female also would get urine issues because she squatted to pee and would touch the pee cause she squatted to far down. Then bacteria developed. She also would have prblems if she ate certain types of food, such as pop corn for some reason. Are the dogs related?
When I look up into the sky, I think to myself, Wheres the ceiling?
IMO your dogs would benefit on a more natural diet. The very best would be a raw food diet. If this is not palatable to them, I recommend a food that would be as close to a raw diet as possible. It's not the protein in a diet that is hard on a dogs kidneys but the poor quality in grains and protein that put stress on their systems. I would look into a grain free diet since it been known to cause yeast infections. The sugar in the grains feeds the yeast.www.heavenlyblessingsconsulting.com Have a look at this site there is a lot of useful information . Let us know how your pups are doing. Good Luck
If your girls are unrelated then it does sound like an environmental or dietary thing. My first dog had chronic infections but I was told her physiology (she was "tucked up") may have contributed to excessive bacteria build up and I was to wipe her when we got home to keep the area clean. Now we have a dog with bowel issues and are feeding him Royal Canin HP. He has done well on it. We had to go through a few different foods to find his allergy. We live in Toronto and were told that the food is now being processed in Guelph using local ingredients. I can only hope that this means the quality of the food will meet better standards. Whatever keeps your girls healthy.
No, they are not genetically related, so that makes it all the stranger.
Update: I actually took a few pH readings at home and the pH was normal (~5). So I took the rest of the urine samples to the vet my parents take their dogs to for a second opinion. This vet said there is no sign of infection. pH normal, no crystals in the urine, and bacteria present was within normal range for "free catch" urine sample. My first vet said pH of 10 for both dogs and crystals in both urine samples.
Did I get scammed by my vet? I feel Banfield is either incompetent for not running the test again and the analyses were inaccurate, or worse yet they are trying to scam extra money out of me. Surely two clavamox pills and two feedings of prescription food would not clear up an infection THAT quickly, now would it?
The second vet said I could take them off the antibiotic and wean off the food and recheck in a couple of weeks. I hate taking them off antibiotics - have always heard that's bad to do. Is it going to hurt anything to keep them on meds if they don't really need them? Then there's that nagging voice in my head telling me if I DO take them off the meds and they really DO have an infection or one develops we could really have problems.
So I guess for now I will finish their meds and special food and recheck their urine myself until it is time for a follow up with the vet. I will get the tests the original vet ran and go over them with vet #2.
So I'm up to my eyeballs in this situation. Two dogs, two vets, many different opinions from family and friends, and I don't know exactly what to do. Thanks for your help as well.