Once your dog or cat is diagnosed with bladder stones and the stones have been removed surgically you need to know that their problem is not resolved. The biggest challenge with the management of urinary tract stones is preventing their recurrence. In most cases there are two primary factors to control to prevent stone recurrence, urine pH and urine specific gravity (the concentration of the urine). Urine pH can usually be controlled with an appropriate prescription diet. To prevent struvite stones (magnesium-ammonium-phosphate stones) the urine pH needs to be more acidic, around a pH of 5. To prevent calcium oxalate stones the urine pH needs to be kept around 7 or neutral pH. The concentration of the urine may be the most important factor to control to prevent bladder stone formation. A normal dog usually will have urine that measures a specific gravity of 1.035. This is fairly well concentrated urine and will appear yellow in color. A normal cat usually will have urine that measures a specific gravity of 1.045. The cat urine is normally very concentrated and appears yellow in color. We want to produce a more dilute urine to prevent recurrence of bladder stones, 1.020 or less would be good. The easiest way to achieve a more dilute urine is to get your pet to drink more water. Offer fresh water every two to three hours to encourage more water drinking. Running water in a fountain is also a good idea. Feeding canned food can also force the pet to consume more water, diluting the urine. Most importantly regular urine checks to determine pH and urine specific gravity are vital to preventing recurrence of bladder stones.
Nov 17 2014