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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help :confused: My 12 week old goldendoodle has been having lots of urinary issues. We've already treated him for a UTI and now he's been diagnosed with urinary crystals (I'm not sure which kind - this is all VERY new to me). The vet said all of the other stuff she checked his urine for came back normal (she did some sort of a count), but that the amount of crystals is pretty significant. Obviously, she wants to see us back in a few weeks to do a bladder x-ray to make sure no stones have formed, but she also advised me to change food ASAP.

She is unsure if the food is the issue, which is why she suggest I try something with less phosphorus for the next few weeks just to be sure before she recommends the prescription diet. Although I am not a huge fan due to all of the other added stuff. Right now he's eating Blue Buffalo Puppy - Chicken and Brown rice formula (which all of my other dogs have eaten during the first year of their life with NO issues). However; I am having a hard time finding a food that fits the guidelines she gave me.

The vet recommended that I stay away from fish, and possibly consider adult food as it may have less minerals - my only fear is that he is a growing large breed puppy and needs some extra nutrients (approximately 60 pounds full grown). He does not act sick, he is extremely hyper and active, he eats around 2 - 2 1/2 cups per day (although I did recently start adding warm water to his food to up his water intake) and is drinking plenty of water - not overly drinking but freely goes to his water bowl every hour or so. He drinks much more in the morning as we are crate training and he stays in the kennel at night. He does have his days where he has more accidents (pee's every 30-45 minutes), but it's not always a lot of pee. Then he has days where he goes for hours and is just fine (he also is able to hold it for several hours in his kennel while I am at work). He also seems to pay a lot of attention 'down there' as well.

The vet said that he does not appear to have any other symptoms and is overall very healthy and does not want to jump to 'worse case scenarios' due to how young he is and the fact that he is growing (he gained 8 lbs in 3 weeks), eating, drinking, and playing. I of course have googled his symptoms and came up with so many awful things :(, but am trusting to vet to try less invasive options first. Although, she did inform me that even the worst case scenarios were treatable especially in puppies.

We attempted Fromm (per vet's recommendation), even though it has more phosphorus than his current food, and he started peeing every 15 minutes almost and even peed on his bed - which has never happened before! Their customer service is amazing and the food appears to be high quality but it's seems to be only making my dog's issue worse. I have been researching everything I can for the past several days and Canine Caviar - Special Needs appears to be the lowest phosphorus, relatively natural and healthy, dog food that I can find commercially. I know all dog foods have good and bad reviews but I wanted to get some more opinions before I order (as no where in my area sales the brand).

Sorry for the long winded response - I am just trying to do what is best for my dog and would like all the help I can get!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@GitaBooks - He's my first goldendoodle as well as first large breed dog but he is such a delight and so sweet. I've always heard good things so I'm glad to hear you've also had a positive experience with them. I contacted the breeder to find out anything I could as far as the rest of his litter or if she has had this issue before but I have yet to hear back from her. The vet seems to think it may be due to him just being a puppy (for now) as he is still in the process of receiving different rounds of his puppy shots. He is not neutered yet. The vet recommended we wait until he is at least 6 months old but we plan to do so as soon as they tell us that we can! Thank you so much for your advice and I will most definitely keep everyone updated!
@Dawnben - Thanks for the link! I read it and called the vet with all my questions! Like I said, all this is very new to me so whenever she told me I instantly started doing research. Per the vet, he did not have any presence of bacteria or infection during this most recent urine and fecal tests; although he has been on two rounds of antibiotics previously for both a bacterial infection and then for a UTI. I actually called and spoke with the reps at Canine Caviar and their special needs formula is slightly acidic which the vet believes will help so we will see if it has helped any whenever he goes back in a few weeks!
@Rain & @crazy - Thank you both for all the information! I do think it's a little odd that he is having so many urinary issues; but am trying to gather all the information I can before making any drastic changes. He does not appear to have any adverse reactions or allergies to food thus far, but then again he's only 12 weeks and has only tried a few different types of food. I completely agree about the prescription diets so I tried to find something that was relatively close as far as mineral levels but still appropriate for a large breed puppy. I am going to try this new formula for a few weeks and see if his tests come back normal whenever we go back in a few weeks. If not, @crazy I may be reaching out to you for more information if you don't mind!
@KayWilson - I am almost positive it's struvite crystals, but I could be wrong because whenever she told me I just heard crystals and started freaking out (I had never heard of them before so was unsure of what I was dealing with). He was treated with antibiotics for bacteria about 4-5 weeks ago and once he finished those he was started on another round for a UTI. Whenever he went back three weeks ago both his urine and fecal exams were clear. He went back for his first round of puppy shots earlier this week and was diagnosed with the crystals then. She suggested I try to find a food on my own lower in phosphorus and magnesium than he was currently eating as she only suggested the prescription as a last resort if I could not find anything on my own (although the blue puppy formula he was on was only about .8% phosphorus). The Canine Caviar that I just started him on is around .16% phosphorus and the magnesium is somewhere around .009% (or something ridiculously low). It's recommended for large breed puppies as well and once his crystals are under control they even suggested that I add different proteins via some of their canned formulas which are apparently 95% meat. We're doing a bladder x-ray when he goes back for his next round of shots in 3 weeks to do some more tests (to see if the food change helped) and to make sure no stones have formed. I have been adding warm water to his food and giving him ice chips as treats as well as placing several water dishes throughout the house. I did not think of the frozen broth but I will definitely look into making those for him! As far as the other foods, I actually called each company to speak to reps for Orijen, Taste of the Wild, Wellness and Zignature and the phosphorus levels were all significantly higher than the formula he was eating before. We actually got a sample of the Zignature LID Lamb formula (as it was highly recommended by a specialty dog food store we go to), and although he loved it, his poo and pee had a much stronger odor and he was urinating more frequently again (similar to when he tried to Fromm, but not as severe). Although I haven't completely ruled them out I wanted to try a food (non-prescription) that was specifically for urinary issues first just to make myself feel better since this is all so new to me and am trying to follow the vet's instruction (per low ash, phosphorus, and magnesium). They also recommended we give him distilled water so I am looking into getting a brita picture as well (I think filtering it gets rid of a lot of the minerals in it that could be contributing to the urinary issues?) so hopefully that will help too! I did read a lot about adding a cranberry supplement so I plan to look more into those and hopefully start using those soon as well.

Thanks for all your recommendations! I am going to keep researching and keep trying things! Any more information or recommendations are appreciated as I am trying to learn as much as I can so I can do whatever I can to help him.
 

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@Philo Vance - I am grateful for any suggestions from anyone who may have more knowledge in this area than I do (which is likely not difficult as this is a new experience for me). I actually looked into Hills, Purina (this is what he came to me from the breeder with) and Royal Canin. Hills and Royal Canin were actually the first I looked into due to their prescription formulas but they were all around relatively the same as far as minerals go. I even looked into Eukanuba as well as my schnauzer came to use from the breeder on this brand and seemed to do well - all the formuals that offered lower phosphorus were 'senior' or 'light' and I didn't want to risk him losing out on too many nutrients since he is growing like a weed! I actually spoke with one of the reps at Orijen and they informed me that I would be hard pressed to find a commercial food with lower than around .8% in phosphorous due to AAFCO guidelines.

I started him on Blue from the breeder because I have been using it for years ever since my yorkie was diagnoses with pancreatitis several years ago and it was the only food that seemed to help keep it under control. He and my miniature schnauzer have been on it for the majority of their lives and have always been healthy (although I know each breed is different). I have actually been focusing more on the nutrients, as you suggested and will likely add extra ingredients (canned meat for protein) once we get the crystals under control.

Thank you for your input as it has made me feel better about searching high and low for a formula will low minerals - a lot of people suggested high quality brands and when I tried them they only seemed to make it worse. Obviously I am not saying they're bad, but with my dog's specific issue their mineral content was just too high. I am feeling pretty confident about the LID alkaline formula we just started as it is also recommended for large breed puppies (so their muscular and skeletal systems grow at the same rate) and is the closest as far as mineral content as the prescription formula (and much more affordable too - although to be honest neither are cheap) but my little guy is worth every penny!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@Larkspur - Thank you! & I completely agree! That's why I'm trying not to mix up things too much because fingers crossed this is a short-term issue. I spoke to his breeder yesterday and she was very helpful. She has not had this issue in any of her dogs thus far (although she was a small breeder and only breeds them once a year) but she did let me know that she was doing research and planned to talk to her vet so I'm hoping that's a good sign that this is not a result of poor crossbreeding. He's an F1 standard so his mom is a full breed golden and his father a full breed poodle. I don't claim to know too much about breeding but I do tend to so my research and felt pretty confident in the F1's as most of the F1b's and F2b's and mixed breeds breeding were where a lot of the health problems can come from.

I am not sure if Blue is considered 'high quality' or not but I think the only reason the Fromm caused so much of an issue was due to the high phosphorus content. When we tried the Zignature LID Lamb formula he gobbled it up so quick I don't even think he had time to chew! However the phosphorus was still higher than what he was eating so we had to keep searching. Neither made him sick, in fact he loved them, but they did seem to cause a flare in his urinary issue. We started him on the Canine Caviar LID Special Needs formula yesterday and he wasn't a huge fan nor does it have a ton of protein so I did some extra research on low phosphorus canned food and decided to add a couple of chunks on top and that did the trick! I'm hoping this new diet will help as it seems like something I can continue doing long-term if need be. Thanks so much for your input!
@Philo Vance - That's what was so weird to me whenever the Vet recommended he have lower phosphorus food - because his Blue formula was one of the lowest I could find initially! I checked out the link you shared and the food we just started him on wasn't listed but I did find a lot of helpful information from this site: DogAware.com Health: Non-Prescription Commercial Diets for Dogs with Kidney Disease

I got both the Canine Caviar Special Needs formula and the Solid Gold Green Trip canned food to add a few chunks as a toping and some extra protein since, as you stated, most of the formulas with more meat had more phosphorus so fingers crossed this combination will do the trick! Thank you so much for the information!
@crazy - I am so sorry to hear that you've had such a hard time with your Jessie but it seems like you really know your stuff so she's obviously getting the best treatment and I hope she continues to do well!

I have not looked into ACANA probably enough as I should. It was of course on a lot of the sites I've looked into due to being 'biologically appropriate' and obviously extremely high quality. I just did some quick research and while everything looks amazing the phosphorus levels are still a bit high in comparison to what he was on and what he's eating now - if this issue clears up; however I will definitely ask the vet about switching so we can keep promoting his urinary health. Thanks for letting me know about them because I probably would not have thought twice about reconsidering them for later, or if this new diet doesn't do the trick.

As far as PH the vet did not mention anything about his level so until I started looking into this I did not even realize how important it was. The formula we have him on now shoots for a slightly acidic urine so whenever I called the vets office I spoke with the office manger and she said she thinks that should help so I guess we'll try it for two more weeks and whenever we go back I'll ask her to test it and see! Thanks for pointing that out as well.

I also looked into cranberry supplements and got him one to try for the time being! I just hope all this stuff I'm trying it helping and doesn't end up hurting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
@Larkspur - I was unaware of the term 'designer breeding'. I honestly just got him because I had a lot of friends with goldendoodles and fell in love with them. I do believe that the more you cross breed mix-breed the more health risks arise, but I also have two purebred dogs who also have some common health issues that are specific to their breed so I think that can be said with any dog - I actually have a friend who refuses to get any dog unless their from the Humane Society due to all the dogs needing homes and her dogs have always been healthy and had no known issues. I personally just try to find a breeder who only does a small amount of litters, is knowledgeable and takes their time with making sure each puppy is healthy and well socialized. He was seen by her vet regularly (I have the paperwork) and by ours for a well checkup and every three weeks since. So far his other brothers and sister have no known issues so I'm hopeful he is just going through something that is treatable. Either way, healthy or not, if I wouldn't have gotten him them someone else would have and I'm grateful that I did because I know I will do whatever it takes to help him and make sure he's as happy and healthy as can be!

As for the cranberry, I remember my mother saying when I was younger (I had a lot of skin issues and allergies) that she would try anything at least once if she knew there was a chance it may help me! I don't have any human children yet, but Pav is pretty darn close so in my research I have not ran across anything regarding cranberry supplements hurting so if it helps, great, if not well at least I tried. My mother and grandmother also have experienced chronic UTI problems for the majority of their adult lives and they both swear by it so so regardless if it's due to other reasons other than the actual cranberry itself oh well, as long as it help!
 
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