Q:

How do you prevent kidney stones in dogs?

A:

Quick Answer

To prevent kidney stones from forming, feed the dog cranberry capsules, vitamin C and probiotics. Keep a source of fresh clean water always available. Kidney stones tend to recur often, so monitoring the pH of the urine and taking the dog in for regular checkups are both recommended. Encourage the dog to drink more water by adding small amount of sodium to its diet.

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Full Answer

Kidney stones are caused by increased levels of calcium in blood and urine, highly alkaline diets, urinary-tract infections and the development of uroliths. Some breeds are more susceptible to them than others, with the type of kidney stone varying based on breed. While they occur in dogs of all sizes and ages, small female dogs between the ages of 4 and 8 are more likely to develop them. However, kidney stones are more dangerous for male dogs, as their longer urethral passages are more prone to forming blockages.

Symptoms of kidney stones include bloody urine, vomiting and frequent infections. However, most dogs do not display symptoms, and their owners remain unaware until diagnostic testing is performed. Some kidney stones may be inactive, causing neither blockages nor growing. These do not require removal, but they should be monitored regularly. Treatment typically consists of medication designed to dissolve the stones.

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