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Understanding The Benefits Of Urinary Diets For Dogs With LUTD

Lower Urinary Tract Disease (LUTD) is the collective term for a number of urinary tract diseases with similar clinical signs affecting dogs. These signs can include increased frequency and pain of urination, blood in the urine and straining to pass urine. Dietary support can be an important part of the management of LUTD. These conditions can be painful, and may be associated with infection, so it is important to see your veterinary surgeon straight away if your dog exhibits any of these signs.

Conditions requiring urinary diets

Bladder stones (uroliths) are one of the main urinary conditions that your veterinary surgeon would recommend a special diet for. There are several different types of stone that can form from different types of minerals. For example, the most common type of stone, struvite, forms from magnesium, ammonium and phosphate. Calcium oxalate stones are the second most common type of stone. Cysteine and urate stones are fairly rare, although dalmatians are much more prone to developing urate stones than any other breed. Genetics can play a big part, with some breeds more predisposed to forming stones than others.
Once your vet has initiated treatment, which may involve removal of the stones by special flushing techniques (urohydropropulsion) or surgical removal, they may recommend a specialist diet.

Nutritional structure

Lifelong dietary management for your dog reduces the risk of stone formation and recurrence of lower urinary tract disease (LUTD). Urinary diets are designed to produce moderately acidic urine, control the content of minerals in the urine and increase the amount of urine produced by the dog. The aim is to maintain the pH balance of the urine within the optimum range to dissolve struvite stones and prevent them reoccurring. It also maintains a lower level of calcium oxalate to prevent formation or recurrence of calcium oxalate stones. There is also a lower fat content to minimise obesity, which can be a risk factor in the formation of struvite stones.

There are many Urinary diets available:

These diets are formulated for dogs that have been diagnosed with LUTD by a veterinarian. They should only ever be used under veterinary supervision. Some examples of urinary diets your vet may recommend are:
  • Hills S/D Canine

  • Hills Prescription Diet s/d has been formulated by veterinarians to help resolve struvite crystals and stones in your dog. There is reduced magnesium, phosphorus and protein to decrease struvite-forming components. Increased sodium increases the volume of urine produced to flush out these constituents. The target urine pH is 5.9-6.3 (acidic).
  • Hills C/D Canine

  • Prescription Diet c/d was formulated specifically to provide nutritional management of dogs with struvite-related urinary tract disease after the removal or dissolution of these uroliths. The target urine pH is 6.2-6.4 (acidic).
  • Hills U/D Canine

  • Prescription Diet u/d was formulated to help with the dissolution of urate and cysteine uroliths, and reduction of the formation of urate, oxalate and cysteine uroliths. It has reduced amounts of protein, calcium and nucleic acids, with a target urine pH of 7.1-7.7 (alkaline).
This information is meant as a guide only; always consult your vet regarding any diet changes as they will be able to advise the most suitable diet for your dog.