My two Cavalier King Charles spaniels are both 10 years old. The female has been prone to bladder infections at times and treated. Recently, the male was diagnosed and treated for a bladder infection, and the vet found that my dog also has bladder stones and he suggested surgery to remove them. I was unaware of the bladder infection, as I attributed his frequent urination to the medication he takes for his heart condition. His medications are Furosemide (15 mg. twice daily), Enalapril (10 mg. twice daily) and Vetmedin (2.5 mg. once a day). Owing to his age and heart condition, I am hesitant to let him undergo anesthesia and surgery. When I asked the vet if we could ascertain what is causing the bladder stones, he informed me that they would have to analyze the stones after surgery to determine the cause. Both dogs are eating Beneful Healthy Weight and have been for some time, so I doubt that is the cause. I am guilty of feeding them table food, but would like to seek an alternative to surgery short of changing their whole diet that they've been accustomed to all their lives. I am not an advocate of medication for myself and prefer holistic methods, if possible. I would like to find an alternative solution to my dogs' problems. Any suggestions?
D.L.M., Lake Worth, FL May 29, 2011
You certainly were not wrong in believing that your dog's heart medication was responsible for his frequent urination, and you shouldn't feel guilty about feeding "table food" because, when properly balanced, it is superior to most of the big-brand dry dog foods on the market. A high-cereal diet, coupled with genetic (breed) susceptibility, can lead to urinary calculi (bladder stones), often compounded by bacterial infection and animals not drinking sufficient fluids. Surgery might be avoided if the stones are not too large and the small ones (crystals) can be found in your dog's urine. These can be analyzed and, depending on the clinical composition, might be efficiently dissolved by a change in diet. Have your veterinarian contact the veterinary consultants at Balance IT, (888) 346-6362, for recipes that you can prepare for your dog if a dietary solution is possible.
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