Struvite crystals, bladder stones and urinary disease syndromes are examples of nutritionally influenced disease conditions. As is the case with many domestic animal diseases, it is important to note that canines and felines in the wild that consume a natural raw diet do not experience struvite crystals and urolithiasis to any degree. Domestic animals on the other hand, which are fed a diet of highly processed denatured, starch-based, synthetic products, succumb to struvite crystals, bladder stones, and urolithiasis in large numbers.
There are two primary causes for this disparity in disease incidence: Domestic animals are fed an exclusive diet of nutrient depleted, highly processed pet foods. This is in stark contrast to the natural, meat based, raw diet replete with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and probiotics consumed by wild canines and felines. This plus overfeeding creates an unhealthy physiological environment in which disease can take root.
Conventional pet foods are unnatural in that they are denatured by heat, imbalanced in minerals, and laden with starches and carbohydrates (in far greater quantities than would ever be consumed in the wild). This yields a more alkaline urine, which causes the precipitation and the development of struvite crystals, bladder stones and urolithiasis disease.
The frequency with which companion animals fall victim to urinary disease syndromes is astounding. Prevention and treatment can be achieved while simultaneously creating optimal health for your pet by mimicking the natural/archetypal diet. This fosters an acidic body environment, which will aid in both the treatment and prevention of struvite crystals, bladder stones, FLUTD, and canine urolithiasis.
In spite of common opinion, the magnesium content of natural foods is not an etiological factor in FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease) and canine urolithiasis unless it is added in the form of excess magnesium oxide rather than magnesium chloride. Animals in the wild maintain an acid urine and freedom from struvite crystals, bladder stones, FLUTD, and canine and feline urolithiasis, yet the foods consumed by wild canines/felines contain higher levels of magnesium (0.1%) than suggested by some pet food manufacturers.
Struvite Crystals, FLUTD, Canine Struvite Urolithiasis – Treatment and Prevention with a two step approach The objective in both prevention and treatment of struvite crystals, bladder stones and urolithiasis should be restoration of the essential natural archetypal canine/feline diet, and replenishment of essential nutrients to restore proper urinary tract balance.
Revert the diet to its natural form. The diet pet carnivores are designed for is meat based. It is not by coincidence that high protein foods naturally generate a more acidic urine which prevents the development of struvite crystals and bladder stones. Feed entirely meat based and foods, either raw or minimally processed to preserve full nutrient value. Feeding in variety, not feeding just one food meal after meal, is also critical to health. Supplement with pH balancing supplements depending on the circumstances increasing or decreasing pH balance to restore natural balances and acidify the urine. Decreasing the pH balance helps to overcome the deficiencies in commercial processed pet foods by helping the animal extract the nutrients that are locked into the mainstay commercial diet(s). Biotic pH- decreasing supplement nutrients, which are commonly lacking as a result of processing pet foods. They also supply nutrients which help regulate metabolism to generate an acid urine. An acid urine has been demonstrated to not only be calculolytic (dissolves existing struvite crystals), but also preventative for the formation of struvite crystals and bladder stones in Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) and canine urolithiasis.
Note: Food and supplement recommendations in the last paragraph refer to Wysong products.
Contribution by R.L.Wysong, DVM