It's frightening to see blood in your pet's urine. He may try to urinate frequently, but is only able to pass a small amount, although he or she is trying very hard, for longer than usual. You know your best friend has a problem.
It's possible for a dog or cat to have bladder stones (urinary calculi) without any symptoms at all. The stones might be discovered during a routine vet visit or spotted on x-rays.
What are Bladder Stones?
The stones can actually form at any point in the urinary tract, although most stones are found in the bladder. In dogs and cats, they may be found in the bladder, kidneys, ureters (urine is carried from the kidneys to the bladder in these tiny tubes) or urethra (the tube that goes from the bladder to outside the dog or cat).
The stones are formed of microscopic crystals which unite over time, eventually forming stones as large as 3″-4″ in diameter. Different breeds tend to form different types of stones. Struvite stones are composed of magnesium ammonium phosphate; other types are composed of calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate or other chemical compounds.
What Causes Animals to Develop Bladder Stones?
There are a number of possible factors, including genetic predisposition, urine pH, bacterial infections and the concentration of the stone constituents in the urine.
Struvite stones tend to develop when the urine pH is alkaline, with a pH higher than 7.0. Bacterial infections, or cystitis, play a major role in forming struvite stones as bacteria generally make the urine more alkaline. Since struvite crystals indicate a bacterial infection, the infection must be treated. Vets normally use an antibiotic.
Natural Treatments for the Bladder Infections Associated with Struvite Stones in Dogs and Cats
The most popular remedy used by Earth Clinic readers for treating a pet's bladder infection is organic apple cider vinegar. People have told us about many different ways to treat a pet with apple cider vinegar. They have used the apple cider vinegar either mixed with food or diluted with water, cranberry, iodine, vitamin C or sea salt.
Please check the Bladder Infection Remedies section to read about other natural remedies.
Other Types of Bladder Stones
Calcium Oxalate Stones and other types normally form in acidic urine.
Diet, Water and pH
Urine pH is strongly influenced by the pet's diet. A dog's normal urine pH is 5.5 to 7.0.
- Struvite stones and the bacterial infection make the pet's urine pHmore alkaline (above 7.0).
- Other types of stones make the pet's urine pH more acid (below 7.0)
- A food containing glucosamine may be helpful. Glucosamine helps to form a mucus lining inside the urinary bladder; this creates a barrier and helps to protect the bladder from the irritation caused by the crystals.
- Make sure that pets drinks plenty of fresh water.
Scroll down to read posts from Earth Clinic readers about natural treatments for bladder stones in dogs and cats. Please contact us to let us know how you treated your own pets.
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