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Dog with Bladder & Kidney Stones: Holistic Treatment

by Kate
(Granby, CO)

Jack with his

Jack with his

Back in May of this year, I adopted Jackson. He is a 15 yr old mini smooth haired Dachshund. He weighs 11.2 lbs. He has a great attitude and appetite to match.


He was surrendered to a shelter November of 2012. His person had died and a family member tried to keep him. Apparently he was peeing on the couch and the carpet. A rescue group transferred him to no kill shelter in December of 2012. He remained there until I adopted him in May.

He does have peeing issues in the house, which I manage through using pads in his kennel (the door is not attached), on the floor and on the couch. He has a ramp for the couch. He can sometimes go all night without peeing.

When he is up, he probably goes every 2-3 hours. I try to get him out to go before he uses a pad. I often wonder if he goes so much while I am home because, he gets a treat for going outside and for going on a pad. They all aren't productive.

Fast forward to September 2014. He was getting bladder infections frequently. It was brought to my attention that in male dogs this is a sign of bladder/kidney stones.

He had his teeth cleaned at the end of September and I asked my vet to please X-ray is bladder. The X-rays showed stones in his bladder and what looked stones in his kidneys. He had an ultra sound done the first week of October at a different vet. The ultra sound not only confirmed the stones in both areas, it also showed a growth attached to the wall of his bladder.

The vet doesn't think it is cancerous based on the way it is formed and attached to the wall. They took a urine sample via a tube inserted into his penis, and sent it out. It came back with no crystals or signs of infection. A previous urine sample I got from him showed a pH of 8.

I discussed laser surgery options and the vet suggested we go with the Royal Canin SO diet to see if the stones could be dissolved. Surgery was not advised because of the existing stones in the kidneys. The bladder stones could be removed, but if kidney stones moved to his bladder, we'd be back to square 1.

Up until last week I was adding a 1/4 tspn of D-Mannose by NOW products to his food. I keep seeing supplements with 75mg of D-Mannose along with Cranberry extract. The dosage on my bottle has 1tspn =2000mg. So the 1/4 tspn was way too much even though every thing I read on D-Mannose states an overdose situation won't occur.

Last week we had the 1 mo. follow up X-ray for the stones and nothing has happened....I will not put him through surgery because of the reasons listed above, and because of his age. I do realize an emergency situation could change all that. There are 3 stones that are clearly visible in the X-ray. Two measure 1/2" the other 1/2".

Is there an herb or remedy that can dissolve them?


An important FYI, 2 weeks ago, Jack was eating some dry SO kibble and bit into a piece that sounded extra loud. The next morning he had some mouth bleeding. I called the vet and made an appt. He ate his breakfast with no trouble. During the 3 hours I was at work,the bleeding started up again. The vet gave him a sedative to lower his blood pressure, that also helped stop the bleeding.

I mentioned supplements I give him-10mg Coq10 by vetriscience, 1/2 tablet of Nature's Bounty ProBiotic Acidophilus and fish oil. The fish oil was an immediate red flag to my vet. She consulted a book and confirmed her concern, fish oil can interfere in the body's ability to produce blood clots if given too much.

Guilty as charged.

I was breaking open a 1200mg capsule and putting it on his food once a day. I had given the same dose for years per a vet's instructions for an 18lb standard Dachshund I had. It never occurred to me there would be a problem.

My vet did a complete CBC and while the count was a little low, everything else seemed fine. She examined his mouth and couldn't find any type of cut. She did notice a tooth that was fragmented. Since he had his dental the month before and nothing was noted, she is thinking the kibble might have caused the damage. He stayed at the clinic until I picked him up at 5PM. There was no more bleeding until the following Monday.There was a blood clot and a little blood on a pee pad.

Back to the vet- extensive blood work done and sent out, results were fine. His mouth doesn't seem to bother him at all. I've put him back on Merrick and Nutrisca wet.

Comments for Dog with Bladder & Kidney Stones: Holistic Treatment

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Nov 04, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with Bladder & Kidney Stones: Holistic Treatment
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

November 3, 2014

Hi Kate,
From your history of Jack, a 15 year old mini-Dachsund, with bladder and kidney stones, a tumor attached to the wall of the bladder, and periodic, unexplained hemorrhage from the mouth, I agree that he is NOT a candidate for surgery. The 1/2" bladder stones will dissolve in 3-6 months if the pH of the urine is kept at 6-6.5. (The kidney stones will not dissolve. But kidney stones usually remain isolated in the kidneys, and will not cause as much of a problem as the bladder stones.)

You can buy pH strips from a pharmacy or from a pool supply store and monitor the pH of his urine yourself.

Here are my suggestions:
1. NO DRY DOG Food--->feed canned dog food (Merrick's and Nutrisca are good) with the addition of some raw meat, such as chicken, turkey, beef or lamb, (NO RAW pork or raw fish). This provides some 'natural' vitamin C into the diet. Heating or cooking destroys vitamin C. Dog food manufacturers, making cooked or processed dog foods DO NOT add any vitamin C to the food, because dogs make their own vitamin C. Except in the case of Jack, at his age and formation of stones and a tumor, being relinquished to a shelter at 14 years old, I suspect his immune system and production of Vitamin C is very depressed.

(if you wish to add additional vitamin C to his diet, make sure it is BUFFERED vitamin C, and NOT Ascorbic Acid. This is TOO acidic for a dog's stomach.) He would only need 100mg of buffered Vit C, (such as Ester C, or Mega C from Dr Belfield, http://belfield.com/product/mega-c-plus-8-oz-226-4-gm/ If you add Mega C, he would only need 100mg in his food TWO times daily. About 1/10 tsp, since ONE teaspoon contains about 3,000mg vitamin C, plus all the other vitamins and minerals that he needs.

Also, meat will help to acidify the urine and bring the pH down to 6-6.5.

2. Cranberry concentrate---> the best one that I have found is called 'Carpon' made by Dr Wendell Belfield in San Jose, California. The same company that makes the Mega C. http://belfield.com/product/carpon-100-tablets/

These are tablets that are easily crushed that you can mix into his food. Jack will need one tablet TWO times daily.

I have heard of using D-Mannose for urinary tract problems, but I am not familiar with using it for dogs or cats. In my opinion, the Carpon would be better.

3. Bleeding-->you wrote, " he had a complete CBC and while the count was a little low, everything else seemed fine."

The platelets were low? (platelets are a VERY important ingredient to help STOP hemorrhage) Or, the red blood cell count was low? Meaning he is anemic??

What was low?

If he is anemic, or in danger of becoming anemic, he will need some B-vits injections. Give him 0.1cc mixed in same TB syringe with .3cc of B-12. He may need one injection once a week, depending on how low his RBC and HBG count is and how much bleeding he is doing.
----------------------------------------------
4. Homeopathic remedy, Millefolium (yarrow) 6C or 12C potency is available at Health Food stores. It is an excellent remedy for hemmorhages of all kinds. You can dissolve one pellet in a 1 or 2 oz glass dropper bottle, succuss (or shake the bottle by hitting is against the palm of your hand. Give Jack 1/2 dropper by mouth two times daily. As he may be losing blood inside his bladder from the presence of the stones and/or the tumor.

The Chinese herb "Yunnan bai yao" is also excellent for bleeding. I DO NOT recommend using both a homeopathic and a Chinese herb at the same time. Yunnan bai yao comes in capsule form. Jack would only need about 1/4-1/3 capsule in his food two to three times daily.

Since Chinese herbs can sometimes have a disgusting taste, you might consider the homeopathic remedy first.

You can certainly continue the CoEnzQ-10 at 10mg daily, and the acidophilus, decrease or stop the D-Mannose and use the Carpon, and stop the fish oils.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.














Nov 04, 2014
Jacskon The mini Dachshund with bladder and kidney stones
by: Kate

Hello Dr. Tillman,
Thank you so much for all your info. I have ordered the Carpon, the Mega C from Belfield.com and the yarrow (6c) online. I have Jack's blood work results and his HGB is actually high 17.9-range 12.0-18.0 g/dL. RBC is 7.5-range 5.5-8.5 M/uL. His PLT is high 639- range 164-510 K/ul. His WBC is on the low side 7.2-range 6.0-17.0 K/uL.
They also did a PT test. The range was 7.1-9.1 sec. It was flagged out of range 6.8. There was a PTT test. The range was 10.-17.0. He was in range with 16.5 sec.
I need to correct an error on my part regarding the size of the stones in his bladder. Two are 1/4" and 1 is 1/2".
Also,an additional FYI, I give him about a tspn of 100% pure pumpkin to his PM meal. He gets mini Zukes and baked Zukes for treats. The Nurtisca wet food has no calcium carbonate listed, should I add some to it? The Merrick does list it.
Following your suggestions, does he still have the risk of a blockage like he did on the SO diet? Thanks for your time. Kate

Nov 05, 2014
My Online Vet Response For: Dog with Bladder & Kidney Stones: Holistic Treatment
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

November 4, 2014

Hi Kate,
You wrote,
"PT test. The range was 7.1-9.1 sec. It was flagged out of range 6.8....
PTT test. The range was 10.-17.0. He was in range with 16.5 sec.

If the PT (prothrombin time) is too low, that is actually a GOOD thing. It means that Jack has NO problem clotting.) Instead of taking 7.1 to 9.1 seconds to clot, he only took 6.8 seconds!

And his PTT (partial thromboplastin time) is good too.

But the stones, (and possibly the tumor), in his bladder may definitely cause some bleeding, and I am not sure why he has bleeding from the mouth. So, having the yarrow, (Millefolium 6C) on hand, will be great to have for emergency!)

You wrote,
"I give him about a tspn of 100% pure pumpkin to his PM meal. He gets mini Zukes and baked Zukes for treats. The Nurtisca wet food has no calcium carbonate listed, should I add some to it? The Merrick does list it."

If you feed BOTH Merrick and Nurtisca together, then he should get enough calcium carbonate. So, no need to add more.

Also, if his urine pH maintains at 6-6.5 with the addition of the pumpkin and the Zukes treats, then continue your same routine. If his pH stays above 8, then you will need to stop the pumpkin, (substitute psyllium seed instead) and stop the Zukes treats. Or try just stopping one thing at a time, to see which is causing the alkaline (above pH 7) urine.

You wrote,
"does he still have the risk of a blockage like he did on the SO diet? " Yes, I am afraid he does. When the stones get to a smaller size less than 4 mm, they need a wide enough space to pass through. Since a dog's penis has a rigid bone in one section, that area of the urethra is unable to expand, and is the most likely are for a stone to become lodged. Hopefully, with NO dry dog food, plenty of moisture in his RAW diet, and the vitamin C added, and the other supplements, he will be able to shrink the stones to a small enough size that they do not become lodged.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Nov 05, 2014
Raw food question
by: Kate

Regarding the additional raw food to be added to Jack's diet. How much would I add? He gets just about a 1/2 cup twice a day of the wet Merrick and/ or Nutrisca. Of the foods you suggested, is there one that is easier for him to start out on? If he were to have a reaction, would slightly cooking it destroy the vitamin C. As far as I know, he has never had any type of raw food.

Thanks.
Kate

Nov 05, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with Bladder & Kidney Stones: Holistic Treatment
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

November 5, 2014

Hi Kate,
If Jack weighs 11.2 lbs, he will need at least 250 calories per day. Since he is 15 years old, he may not burn off calories as fast as a younger dog, so he may not even need that many calories.

But this should give you a base on where to start to figure out how much to feed. Different meats have different calories, so if you are adding raw turkey, it would be a different amount than if you add beef. Start with adding in about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per meal.

You wrote,
"Of the foods you suggested, is there one that is easier for him to start out on?"
Match it to the Merrick's and the Neutrisca. If the Merrick's is chicken then perhaps use one that is mostly chicken. Or just add in some plain ground chicken. Yes, cooking it will destroy the Vitamin C, but you can cook it 'rare' just for awhile until he becomes adjusted to it.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.




Nov 05, 2014
Thanks!!
by: Kate

Dr. Tillman,

Thank you so much for providing me with great suggestions and in turn allowing me to continue to give Jack the best possible life I can. He has a lot of spunk for 15yrs. I think because I don't treat him like he is old, he is able to thrive.
I look forward to putting everything into place, and reporting back with some great progress.
Kate

Nov 06, 2014
My Online Vet Response For: Dog with Bladder & Kidney Stones: Holistic Treatment
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

November 6, 2014

Hi Kate,
You are very welcome, and remember to monitor his urine pH!

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Nov 07, 2014
pH strips
by: Kate

Hello Dr. Tillman.
Thanks for suggesting an alternative place to buy the pH strips, as my local pharmacy is no longer able to get them. I was directed to a spa store.
You didn't suggest how often I need to check the pH. This afternoon Jack's pH was a wonderful 6.2. This was the first time using the strips.
On Saturday I will be starting him on a 1/2 tspn of raw ground chicken, carpon and Mega C. I have not yet received the yarrow.
Thanks.
Have a nice weekend.
Kate

Nov 07, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with Bladder & Kidney Stones: Holistic Treatment
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

November 7, 2014

Hi Kate,
pH of 6.2 is GREAT!

It is best to check either right before meals or several hours after eating. If done close to meal time, there is an 'alkaline tide' that occurs in the body, as all the hydrochloric acid is needed in the stomach for digestion, leaving the rest of the body alkaline.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Nov 08, 2014
Follow Up - Dog with Bladder and Kidney Stones
by: Kate

Hello Dr. Tillman,
Simply put, I am confused. I've been trying to get educated as to what Jack is dealing with.
As you know, he was put on Royal Canin SO in an attempt to dissolve his bladder stones. There had been a previous urinalysis done that showed a pH of 8, suggesting he had struvite stones.
After a month of being on the diet, his bladder was x-rayed and the stones had not changed in size ruling out they were struvite stones.

My understanding is, the other type of stones form in an acidic environment. Which must be what Jack is dealing with.

If his pH stays in the acidic range of 6-6.5 ,I would think that would cause more stones to form or even cause the ones he has to grow. Here is the confusion. How does the Carpon (per the bottle-a natural urinary acidifier) and the low pH range not add to his situation?

Thanks for any info you can provide me, in helping me understand how all this works.
Kate

Nov 09, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with Bladder & Kidney Stones: Holistic Treatment
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

November 8, 2014

Hi Kate,
The other stones you are worried about are called 'Calcium Oxalate' stones/crystals. They are the ones that form in an acidic environment of 5-5.5.

Much lower than a 'normal' acidic environment of 6-6.5.

Trying to maintain a pH that is lower than 7 but not as low as 5 or 5.5 is what we are aiming for.

You wrote,
"After a month of being on the diet, his bladder was x-rayed and the stones had not changed in size ruling out they were struvite stones."

I disagree. Not changing after only *one* month, and having maintained the pH at 6-6.5, does NOT rule out struvite stones. It takes a minimum of at least THREE months, maintaining the pH at 6-6.5, to start to see a decrease in size.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Mar 08, 2015
Update on Jack
by: Kate

Hello Dr. Tillman,
As quickly Jack went on the carpon and bits of raw food back in November he came off of it. He is also not taking the Mega C. His pH bounce between 5 and 6. The vet is pretty convinced the stones are oxalate vs. struvite. At the suggestion of DogWare.com's article about dogs with bladder stones, I have been giving him Newman's Own organic beef (wet) for the past couple of months. He had a dental the beginning of January and his stones are the same size as when originally found in September of last year. I am giving him 1/2 of Renafood for humans , 1 -10 mg of Coq10 by vetriscience, 1/2 capsule of B-complex by Thorne Research (1/8 tspn) and 1 Probiotic Eleven capsule all 1 time a day.

I do cook for him and add calcium citrate to his food along with low oxalate vegetables. I do not combine the wet with the cooked because of the added calcium to what I make for him.

I get extremely frustrated with the low pH. I do make sure he gets extra liquids in the form of fresh chicken broth with slippery elm added. I am convinced the slippery elm is helping him feel more comfortable because he is able to go 6 hours without having an accident. When he does go, it is a lot. He does drink water through out the day. Not large volumes.

In the evening, for a treat I give him and his sister cooked frozen peas. I toss them for them to get. His sister is about 1 lb over weight and this is a way I am not adding lots of extra calories.
Today I read peas can increase uric acid....do I need to cut them out? He also loves cauliflower, another vegetable on the list for increased uric acid. He gets Zukes mini naturals treats as well.

Is there anything I can give him to raise his pH? He also has kidney stones. Thanks.
Kate

Mar 09, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with Bladder & Kidney Stones: Holistic Treatment
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

March 8, 2015

Hi Kate,
For maintaining a higher pH, you need to feed Jack more vegetables. You can add the vegetables to his diet, but I suggest you DECREASE the amount of canned food with beef, because meat with acidify the urine.

To support Kidney/Bladder and provide a Qi Tonic, (since he is an older dog I am assuming he needs a Qi Tonic, as I have not examined his tongue or felt his pulse), here are some vegetables and beans that should help: (and do not form oxalates)
asparagus
green beans
garlic
kidney beans
coconut
ginseng
red beans
yam
cinnamon

You can pick out 2-3 from this list and give it for a few days, then pick out 2-3 other items to add to his 'base' diet.

For example:

You could mix canned kidney beans sauteed with asparagus and garlic and mix with his base canned diet.

or

Cooked yams with cinnamon and steamed green beans mixed with his diet, and calculate the calories he might need for his weight.

Gingeng is a powerful Qi Chinese herb, and can be sauteed and mixed into each meal about 1/2-1 tsp per meal two times daily. If he objects to the taste, just decrease the amount so it is 'camouflaged'.

Stop the cauliflower, peas, and Zukes, and give carrots for treats.
It is ok to continue the chicken broth and the other supplements that you are giving. There are some more specific Chinese herbs that can be given for stones, but Jack would need an exam by a holistic veterinarian to determine what he would need.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Mar 30, 2015
Vegetables with oxalates
by: Kate

Hello Dr. Tillman,
When I was looking up vegetables that are high in oxalates, two of the ones you suggested were on the list. Green beans and yams. Is there a website specific to animals that would differ from ones for humans?
As always, thanks.
Kate

Mar 31, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with Bladder & Kidney Stones: Holistic Treatment
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

March 30, 2015

Hi Kate,
You wrote,
"When I was looking up vegetables that are high in oxalates, two of the ones you suggested were on the list. Green beans and yams. Is there a website specific to animals that would differ from ones for humans?"

No, I do not have a specific website that is specific for animals regarding vegetables that are high in oxalate. But here is a website that can give you much more information on oxalate stones in dogs.

Dr Carl Osborne from Minnesota State University is not holistic, but is VERY knowledgeable in all urinary diseases:

http://www.cvm.umn.edu/depts/minnesotaurolithcenter/prod/groups/cvm/@pub/@cvm/@urolith/documents/asset/cvm_asset_107726.pdf

His suggestion of adding Potassium citrate to the diet might be helpful to increase the pH.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.



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