Q. My 4-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Tessa, has been on a prescription maintenance urinary diet for two years now. We brought her to our vet after noticing bloody and frequent urinating along with more accidents in the house. She had a full work-up, with urinalysis, X-rays and ultrasound. She was found to have no bladder stones, but some struvite crystals and high urine pH.
I have lost my provider for this dog food, and it’s very difficult for me to get now. I live in a rural area and it’s a long way to the nearest provider. I’ve read about the diets and how they work, but I’d like a veterinarian’s advice. I was wondering if there is a homemade diet I could make for her?
A. It is important to keep urine pH normal in dogs that are prone to crystal formation. Basically, if the urine gets too acidic (high pH) there is a tendency for struvite crystals to form. If there is alkaline urine (low pH), oxalate crystals may form. These crystals can form stones or irritate the lining of the bladder.
Prescription veterinary diets that help keep the pH neutral have been formulated. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any homemade diet that will reliably control pH. However, you are able to order prescription diet, through a veterinarian, delivered to your door. Sometimes you may have to order larger quantities to minimize shipping costs. Companies such as Purina, Hills and Waltham all have urinary-neutral pH diets available.
The added cost of ordering this diet will more than offset the need and expense of future veterinary visits, as well as minimize the risk of bladder stones, which could require expensive surgery to correct.