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Member PageMember Page
Feb 02, 2010 at 19:59
Baffled Vote for this post

Hello everyone,
Our little dog Piper (8 years old) has not been feeling well.  A few weeks ago he had some bladder stones removed.  The vet said they were not typical stones found in westies and that they were more common in Dalmations and bulldogs (Piper is 100% westie).  The vet determined that Piper was not digesting proteins properly and but him on a vegetarian diet (Piper was not happy about that but has been tolerating it rather well considering).  After another recent test of his urine the vet said there is still ammonium urate (spelling?) in his urine (what was thought to be causing the stones) and so they will do another test on his liver.  In addition to this he is reluctant to drink (but will drink out of puddles and eat snow).  We have changed the type of bowl, temperature of water, you name it and he still doesn't like to drink.  He is also acting anxious (which he has always been a little bit but it is worsening).  The vet says after the liver test she is baffled as to what it could be.  Thought I'd pick the brains of the 'oh so wise terrier families'...any thoughts?  GREATLY APPRECIATED :)

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Member PageMember Page
Feb 05, 2010 at 11:14
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I am sorry, but I really can't be much help.  One thing that I do remember my vet telling me once was to NOT let your dogs drink out of puddles of water.  I don't know if this has anything to do with the problem, but it just jumped out at me when I read it.  It is important that he does drink plenty of water.  Have you changed the size of his bowl.  Maybe get a larger, shallow one so that it will be more like a puddle that he likes to drink out of.  Just a thought.  Also, maybe try some spring water that you purchase from the store.  I wish I could be of some help to you.  I hope the vet determines the cause of the stones.  Please let us know how he is doing. 

Belle, Treasure, Olivia, and Debbie

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Pat - Joey & Sean's Mom
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Feb 05, 2010 at 12:48
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Hi:  I am not much help here, but our vet told us never, never  let them drink from puddles or eat snow, too much contamination even the snow here in NJ.  You might try adding a little chicken bullion - the powdered kind to his water to encourage him to drink.   Another thought, has he been tested for Cushings Disease.    Pat - Joey & Sean's Mom

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Member PageMember Page
Feb 05, 2010 at 13:09
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Sorry to hear about piper's condition. Here is a definition of what looks to be Piper's condition but this web page had little else in info:

Cystine stones are rare and occur in an inherited condition called cystinuria
Cystinuria  Is a genetically inherited disorder that is caused by an inability to reabsorb cystine, which is an amino acid, back into the kidney tubules. This results in the formation of kidney or bladder stones, which cause blockages and urinary tract inflammations. If this is not treated it can lead to death. Treatment needs to be rapid, and is usually treated with a drug that prevents the formation of stones.

I have found a couple of links that might be helpful to you.

Canine Cystinuria email list

I also found the one below that is basically for people, but as the disease runs in both people and canines, it might also be helpful to you. I've added their definition also.

The Cystinuria Support Network

What is Cystinuria?
Cystinuria is an inherited metabolic disorder characterized by the abnormal movement (transport) in the intestines and kidneys, of certain organic chemical compounds (amino acids). These include cystine, lysine, arginine, and ornithine. Excessive amounts of undissolved cystine in the urine (cystinuria) cause the formation of stones (calculi) in the kidney, bladder, and/or ureter.

I hope these will be of some help to you.
Good luck to you and Piper. xoxox

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Gracie aka White Bullet
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Mar 11, 2010 at 05:55
Bladder stones... Vote for this post Reply to this Message Reply with a quote

I would read this as Bladder stones are formed by something other than cystine....The elevated ammounium levels are testament to this.
I also read that this is the type of stone they perscribe a Vegetarian diet for.

From Wikipedia:

Urate (C5H4N4O3) stones, usually ammonium urate (NH4·C5H4N4O3) or sodium urate monohydrate (Na·C5H4N4O3×H2O), form in an acidic to neutral urine. They are usually small, yellow-brown, smooth stones. Urate stones form due to an increased excretion of uric acid in the urine. Dalmatians (especially males)[11] and to a lesser extent Bulldogs are genetically predisposed to the formation of urate stones because of an altered metabolism of purines. Dalmatians have a decreased rate of urate hepatic transport, leading to only about 30 to 40 percent conversion of urate to allantoin, compared with greater than 90 percent conversion in other breeds.[6] Dogs with portosystemic shunts or endstage liver disease also have increased uric acid excretion in the urine due to reduced conversion of uric acid to allantoin and ammonia to urea. Urate stones make up about six percent of all stones in the cat.[12]

Urate stones can be dissolved using a diet with reduced purines that alkalinizes and dilutes the urine. Allopurinol is used in dogs with altered purine metabolism to prevent the formation of uric acid. Feeding a diet high in purines while simultaneously administering allopurinol can result in the formation of xanthine (C5H4N4O2) stones.

As for drinking out of puddles dogs can get leptosporosis. They can get lepto from any standing water. We live in a swampy area and I watch Gracie carefully although she gets the lepto vaccine each year. Snow can irritate a dogs GI tract and can't always be broken down adaquately. It is not like drinking water. Often it's not especially harmful ( a few mouthfuls). Gracie and the Poodle next door always puke when they go on a snow eating fest when no one is looking.

As for not drinking: I'm surprised the Vet isn't looking for an underlying condition. Often you can give them milk or another water based product but due to the stones I would ask. You need to be careful the dog does not get dehydrated.

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