What Are Bladder Stones?

With Lexi needing to have surgery for large stones in her bladder, which cause her to pee blood. We thought we should provide a description and tips to our blogger verse in prevention.  We like to take things holistically because we want to do as much as nature provides. This does not mean that we are against veterinary care. In fact, if at any time you feel your pet needs to be seen by your veterinarian, please do so! Our pets are so precious to all of us!!

To donate to Lexi’s cause please go to https://www.youcaring.com/lexi

Article credit to http://thewholedog.org/artbladderstones.html

More and more dogs (and cats) are being diagnosed with bladder or kidney stones. What many of us do not yet understand is that diets high in grains and vegetables (YES, vegetables!) produce alkaline urine, which allows certain stones to form. Magnesium reacts with alkaline urine to cause crystals to be formed.

Be Warned!
Most “Prescription/dissolution/preventative” veterinary clinic diets take out the magnesium to “prevent” this reaction, even though magnesium isessential, especially for the nervous system. Reducing magnesium may cause a host of other negative health issues.

It is far more important and beneficial to prevent alkaline urine by feeding a high protein/grain-free/low carbohydrate (very little to NO veggies) diet in order to minimize the risk of crystals.

It has also been found that grain- based foods may also lead to kidney failure, which often cannot be detected until there is over 75% damage done.

Protein from muscle meat creates an optimal acid urine. Magnesium does not react in acid urine, thereby significantly reducing the risk of crystal formation. PLEASE, don’t be fooled into thinking that “prescription/low magnesium” diets are the solution, they are NOT healthy. High protein/low carbohydrate/grain free foods are the optimum diet for dogs and cats with or without crystals, for both prevention of, and recovery from, crystals.

Urinary PH levels are optimized by avoiding grains and most vegetables, (our dogs and cats are carnivores, they were not designed to eat grains and vegetables nor can they properly digest and utilize them) therefore preventing the risk of alkaline/magnesium reactions.

Grain-free/low carb diets will also support healthy kidney function, along with the many other health benefits of feeding a high protein diet to your pet.

Types of Stones

Struvite stones (Magnesium ammonium phosphate( are the most common type. Experimental and clinical studies have provided convincing evidence that the vast majority of Struvite stones occur following infection of the urinary tract with urease producing bacteria (especially staphylococci.) This infection results in the urine becoming more alkaline. Mineral crystals are less soluble in the alkaline environment and tend to clump together, forming stones. Studies at the University of Minnesota revealed that Struvite stones can form within 2 to 8 weeks following an infection. Some have been detected in puppies as young as 5 weeks.

As the stones form, they can lead to irritation of the urinary tract, making bacterial infection more difficult to treat. A vicious cycle begins. Untreated, bladder stones can lead to blockage of the urethra (particularly in male dogs) serious illness and death. This is a medical emergency.

Bladder stones are often a chronic problem in both dogs and cats. It is an accumulation of magnesium amonium phosphate in their uninary tracts. This mineral compound is the cause of bladder disease and urethral obstructions in cats and dogs. Approximately 2% of the American cat population is affected. This same mineral is also often found as bladder stones in dogs. The symptoms can vary from slight to severe. Its presence is characterized by frequent urination of small amounts of urine to complete cessation of urine flow. The lack of urine flow can initiate dehydration, acidosis, and uremic poisoning ultimately leading to death. Sometimes there is blood in the urine.

There is a general consensus among the veterinary profession that the cause of the accumulation of magnesium ammonium phosphate in cats is diet (i.e. consuming the mineral compound). Cat food manufacturers report the amount of this mineral as the “ash content” on their labels. In the late 1980’s, researchers at the University of California, School of Veterinary Medicine tested cats’ ability to dispel the “ash” by feeding two magnesium compounds, magnesium chloride (an acid) and magnesium oxide (an alkali), to two groups of cats. Those cats fed the alkaline magnesium developed magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals. Those fed the acid form did not develop the crystals. In fact, some crystals dissolved in the acid form of the compound. The conclusion is that the pH of the urine influences the formation of magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals in cats and stones in dogs.

Some cat food manufactures have increased the acidity of their products to prevent the formation of magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals. As previously noted, only 2% of the American cat population has this urinary problem and feeding an acidic diet to the other 98% can cause the formation of calcium oxalate crystals, which is just as catastrophic. Only those cats affected should be targeted for treatment and prevention. As many pet owners know, the treatment of obstructive urinary tract disease is extensive and expensive to the pet owner. Therapeutically, ammonium chloride and methionine have been administered orally as urinary acidifiers but one must use caution with their long term use do to their potential toxic effects.

In a healthy dog the urinary tract has natural defense mechanisms to resist such infections. While these defenses may be altered as a result of trauma, there is strong evidence that some dogs have inherited abnormal defense mechanisms, allowing bacterial colonization to occur. This is especially suspicious in dogs with a chronic history of urinary tract infections.

Determining the type of crystal or stone is important, as this knowledge is crucial as to which treatment modalities will work best. Always seek a veterinarian’s examination and diagnosis for the correct type of crystal or stone before beginning any treatment.

If your dog has struvite bladder stones, then acidifying the diet, along with treating the infection, can help dissolve the stones. Ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C), and distilled water can help with this. Acidic foods include chicken, beef, eggs, fish, pork, cottage cheese, yogurt (be careful with the dairy products though as dogs and cats have problems digesting casine and lactose) and all seafood, Cranberry Extract, Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey (the honey pushes things in a more basic direction, apple cider vinegar to more acid, and a combination will allow the body to find its own balance ).

If your dog has been diagnosed with Oxalate crystals, know that there has been some success with reducing the oxalate rich foods in the diet for a period of time and working to alkalize the urine pH. Alkalizing foods acceptable for healing in our carnivorous pets include ripe apples, bananas, pumpkin, raw honey, alfalfa sprouts and non-distilled vinegar (organic apple cider vinegar).

Note: If you choose to feed the fruits referred to above, make sure they are pulverized in a blender or food processor as dogs (and cats) lack the enzymes to break down these foods for the nutritional benefits and note that they should not be made a part of the pet’s forever diet, only use during treatment.

Tips in Treatment
Keep fresh water available for the dog at all times, and encourage consumption of water. Keeping the kidneys and bladder flushed out is of paramount importance to help prevent crystals and stone formation. Water consumption is very, very important!

Try and feed moist diets, such as fresh, raw meat or broths. If you must feed a processed food, try to stay clear of dry kibble. Especailly for cats, use canned diets with no grains or vegetables added and add extra water to foods served.

Do not keep your dog confined, but allow access for urination at all times or as frequently as possible. Holding the urine can cause concentrations that encourage crystal and stone formation.

Distilled water may be helpful in averting some cases of stone and crystal formation. Be sure to check your own water supply for minerals if possible, especially if you have hard water in your area.

Giving a B vitamin supplement may be helpful and has been indicated in use for humans with these problems.
See our supplement recommendations below

There is also some question that high calcium, rather than causing stones, may in reality help dissolve them. This is also true of vitamin C

The administering of a botanical vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry extract), in tablet, capsule or powder form has been known to attain the necessary acid pH to dissolve and prevent the formation of magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals and bladder stones. Your Animal’s Health Vol 4 Wendell O. Belfield DVM.

Cranberry Extract has proven by many to be what they call the “magic bullet” needed to treat, prevent, and control the formation of struvite crystals in cats and bladder stones in dogs. This Cranberry and its extract or concentrated form in products is toxic free and will dissolve struvite crystals sometimes within a few hours.

Not until 1984 did dr. Anthony Sobota and his staff succeed in showing that cranberry extract works by preventing the rod-shaped bacteria fron sticking to mucosa of the urinary tracts. In this way they were flushed out with the urine.

Cranberry contains – among other things – the sugar substance D-mannose which has the special ability of being able to prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the walls of the mucosal wall without harming the friendly-minded bacteria. They also contain the substance arbutin which is effective against certain bacteria and fungi, among others the Candida fungus.

If your dog is already affected with stones too large to be disolved naturally with time, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove these larger stones. Cranberry Extract can then be administered as a safeguard against the return of the stones. As in the cat, crystals can be detected on routine urinalysis in the dog and a preventive protocol with Cranberry extract will prevent the formation of larger stones.

How does it work?

Cranberries and cranberry juice have been proven effective for treatment of urinary tract infections in humans (e.g. cystitis)and bladder stones in animals in a number of clinical trials. Researchers used to believe the action of cranberry juice is due to acidifying the urine and the antibacterial effects of a cranberry component, hippuric acid however, in recent studies, it has been shown that components in cranberry juice reduce the ability of bacteria to adhere to the lining of the bladder and urethra. In order for bacteria to infect, they must first adhere to the mucosa. Thus, taking cranberry products, the causative bacteria are flushed, preventing their colonization of the urinary tract. The more the patients drinks liquid or takes the extract of concentrated juice, the more effectively the bacteria are flushed out from the urinary bladder.

While cranberry juice/extract is indicated as an effective treatment for urinary tract infections in pets, most cranberry juices on the market contain one-third cranberry juice mixed with water and sugar (or other juices). Since sugar has such a detrimental effect on the immune system, sweetened cranberry juice cannot be recommended. For obvious reasons that most dogs (or cats) do not normally drink juice, patient compliance may be very poor. Giving unsweetened cranberry juice may be even less appealing to the pet. Therefore, Cranberry Extract (Capsules, tablets or powder) give your dog (or cat) the benefits of cranberry juice in easy to swallow forms, without added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Cranberry supplements can provide you with an exact, pharmacologically effective daily dose with natural biologically active substances against urinary tract bacterial infections. Cranberry extract is high in natural vitamin C and other natural antioxidants (proanthocyanidines) and tannins that keep bacteria (E. coli) from clinging to the walls of the urinary bladder and the urinary tract.

Cranberry is used to prevent kidney stones and “bladder gravel” as well as to remove toxins from the blood. Cranberry has long been recommended for pets and persons with recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Cranberry prevents E. coli, the most common cause of UTIs and recurrent UTIs, from adhering to the cells lining the wall of the bladder. Cranberry’s antiadherence action renders the bacteria harmless in the urinary tract. Cranberry has been shown to reduce bacteria levels in the urinary bladders of older women, which may help to prevent future infections. Cranberry can help people with urostomies and enterocystoplasties to keep them clear of mucus buildup.

The Whole Dog is proud to carry Cranberry extract products.
To view or order Cranberry Extract Click Here

Herbs For Stones and Urinary Tract

The following herbs, either used alone or in combination will work to synergisticly soothe, lubricate, strengthen and protect urinary tract tissues of dogs and cats; as well as aid in disloving the stones and work as natural antibiotics.

Couchgrass, Hydrangea Root, Uva Ursi, Golden Seal, Echinacea purpurea root, Dandelion, Marshmallow, and Horsetail.

Couchgrass: considered a diuretic demulcent. Much used in cystitis and the treatment of catarrhal diseases of the bladder, Couchgrass palliates irritation of the urinary passages and gives relief in cases of gravel. Couchgrass is also called Dog Grass because dogs will eat it as an emetic when they are sick. The plant is a native of Europe, Asia and North America.

Hydrangea Root– Kidney support, urinary diuretic, eliminates swelling and fluid retention, increases the flow of urine. Will dissolve/remove bladder/struvite & kidney stones and relieve the pain they cause Relieves pain caused by formations from the kidneys, alleviates backache due to kidney distress. Hydrangea contains chromium, manganese and silicon, and its solvent properties nutritionally support the urinary system. In herbology, will increase the flow of urine and help remove bladder stones

Goldenseal root has acquired a considerable reputation as a natural antibiotic and as a remedy for various gastric and genitourinary disorders. Goldenseal is used in many combination formulas and is reported to enhance the potency of other herbs. Preparations have been marketed for the treatment of menstrual disorders, urinary infections, rheumatic and muscular pain and as an antispasmodic. The active ingredients in Goldenseal are the alkaloids hydrastine and berberine. Similar in action, they destroy many types of bacterial and viral infections.

Uva ursi – is able to dissolve kidney stones, healing to the genitourinary organs, treats bladder infections

Echinacea: used to increase general immune system function and to treat vaginal candidiasis.

Dandelion: Diuretic, tonic and slightly aperient. It is a general stimulant to the system, but especially to the urinary organs, and is chiefly used in kidney and liver disorders.

Marshmallow: used to soothe and protect inflamed mucous membranes and other tissues. Marshmallow also contains rich stores of various vitamins and minerals, including key immune-system boosters such as vitamins A and C.

Horsetail:the most notable use for horsetail is as a mild diuretic (“water pill”) to increase urination and lessen swelling, and as a remedy for various bladder and kidney problems (including kidney stones and bladder infections).

An herbal tincture composed of a combination of these herbs is frequently used as a remedy in the treatment of various forms of urinary tract inflammations and aiding in the disolving of crystals is Tinkle Tonic To learn more or to order this product, Click Here

Another herbal tincture found to be very benifical in the treatment of crystals and kidney/bladder ailments is:K&B™ 

This tincture formulated by Young Living contains herbs that have been studied for their effects in supporting the kidneys and bladder.* Ingredients: Contains extracts of juniper berries, parsley, uva ursi, dandelion root, German chamomile, royal jelly, and the essential oils of clove (Syzygium aromaticum), juniper (Juniperus osteosperma and J. scopulorum), sage (Salvia officinalis), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).

For more information or to order K&B™, Go Here and then click on “Herbal Tinctures”.

Alma Hutchens, in Indian Herbology of North America, says it is “an old and admirable remedy for gravel [the old-fashioned name for stones]

In another old and trusted herbal volume, Back to Eden, Kloss wrote that hydrangea is “an old remedy. . . .will remove . . .stones and will remove the pains caused by the stones, brick and dust in the bladder.”

In one of the first volumes written by a medical doctor for physicians wishing to study herbs, Dr. Edward Shook wrote a great deal about hydrangea. In short, he wrote: “So far as we know, this herb is the most powerful solvent of stone and calculous deposits, not only in the renal [kidney] organs, but in every part of the organism, wherever they may be located.

In more modern times, noted Israeli herbalist, Juliette de Bairacli Levy wrote that hydrangea is used for “all bladder and kidney disorders, including stones, inflammation, backache from kidney trouble.”

Salmon Oil is also helpful for fighting inflammation and regulating the immune system during stressful times of ill health.

For more information on Bladder Stones, visit Bladder 4U
An Online Resource Directory on Animal Bladder conditions.


Copyright © 2006 – 2008 The Whole Dog, Whole Dog News Blog, Whole Dog Forums, Dr Jeannie Thomason, All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Author/Publisher. All the articles at The Whole Dog.org. Whole Dog News.com and Whole Dog Forums have been researched and reviewed for accuracy and are for educational purposes, they are not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a holistic veterinarian or other qualified animal health professional. The Whole Dog, Whole Dog News, Whole Dog Forums and Dr Jeannie Thomason does not assume any legal responsibility.




Shelter Challenge

Happy Friday Eberypawdy!!

We are writing today to ask all of our furiends to vote for our rescue organization Out of the Dog House Rescue.

This contest is called The

The Animal Rescue Site $100,000 Shelter+ Challenge — With Petfinder

contest goes until April 28, 2013.  We are going to copy and paste the Rules so that nothing is missed.

” GreaterGood.org (GGO) is proud to announce that “THE ANIMAL RESCUE SITE SHELTER+CHALLENGE — WITH PETFINDER” will grant up to $100,000 USD in support and assistance to select domestic and international animal rescue and welfare organizations during the first round of voting in 2013.

THE ANIMAL RESCUE SITE SHELTER+ CHALLENGE 2013 WITH PETFINDER.COM will start its first round of voting on January 7, 2013. This round will end on April 28, 2013. Some winners will be announced during the voting round (weekly and Flash Photo) and the rest will be announced on May 1, 2013.

Each participating animal rescue and welfare organization will be selected by Petfinder.com and the Petfinder.com Foundation prior to the voting period, and the eligibility of each organization is at the sole discretion of Petfinder.com and the Petfinder.com Foundation. No changes will be made to the list of eligible participating organizations during the course of each voting period without the full consent of Petfinder.com, the Petfinder.com Foundation, and The Animal Rescue Site.


Visitors to THE ANIMAL RESCUE SITE will have an opportunity to choose from a list of select animal rescue and welfare organizations created by Petfinder.com. Visitors can cast one vote daily during each voting period to help pick the organizations which will receive support from GreaterGood.org.


Funds are anticipated to be distributed in the following manner for the first Challenge of 2013 (January 7 through April 28): Grand Prize of $10,000 for the organization with the most votes overall (one prize); a Second Prize of $5,000 (one prize); and a Third Prize of $1,000 (one prize) will also be awarded. Nine Dark Horse prizes of $500 to $1,000 will be awarded to groups or shelter who have never won any Challenge grant before (nine prizes); Flash Photo contest will receive grants for $500 (eight prizes); Weekly Prize** of $1,000 for the organization with most votes during a specific week of the Challenge (sixteen prizes); and fifty-eight Regional Prizes including State Prizes of $1,000 for an organization in each U.S. state, and one in the District of Columbia, with the most votes in their region (fifty-one prizes of $1,000 each), five Canadian Prizes of $1,000 each for organizations finishing in first to fifth place in Canada, and two International Prizes of $1,000 for the two organizations finishing the highest vote totals located outside the United States and Canada

In addition, fifty-one organizations in the United States finishing second in their region (state or Washington, DC) will receive 100 vaccinations for animals in their care. Fifty-one organizations in the United States finishing third in their region (state or Washington, DC) will receive 50 pet beds for animals in their care. Fifty-one organizations in the United States finishing fourth (honarable mention) in their region (state or Washington, DC) will receive 20 pet beds for animals in their care. Delivery of these goods will be determined by Petfinder working with the winning shelters or rescue groups.

**Weekly Prizes: $1,000 will be awarded each week during the voting period for each organization with the most votes during that week (16 prizes of $1,000 each during the first voting period; participants are eligible for only one weekly prize during each voting period). Winners of Weekly Prizes are not eligible for Regional Prizes during the same voting period, but remain eligible for Grand, Second, or Third Place prizes as well as Flash Photo contest prizes.

Winners of the Weekly prizes will be announced weekly on The Animal Rescue Site and in The Animal Rescue Site newsletter emails. No organization may win more than one Weekly Prize during each voting period.

Organizations receiving the Grand Prize, Second Prize, or Third Prize are ineligible for Regional Prizes during that voting period. For example, if the Grand Prize Winner is located in California, the First Place State Prize will go to the organization in that state with the highest vote total after the Grand Prize Winner.

Dark Horse prize winners will be determined after all other cash prizes are awarded.


Staff and volunteers of organizations are allowed and encouraged to vote for their own organizations, subject to the one vote per person per day limitation.

GreaterGood.org reserves the right to determine the final eligibility of each organization to receive funding and to audit, recount, and discount votes. The Animal Rescue Site reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any votes that appear to be (a) created by an automated system; or (b) fraudulent in any way.

WHEW! Now that we have the important stuff out of the way, please, please, please click the link below and vote for us!! Fank you!!!!!!




The Love of Adopting and Fostering

Hi, Momma here. Today I thought I would do a blog to thank the 328 followers we have on our Facebook Page Wags and Wiggles https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wags-and-Wiggles. It is our goal to spread the word to as many animal lovers out there, that adopting an animal in need of a loving, caring home helps not just the person looking for that loving pet, it also helps rescue organizations save as many dogs from being euthanized every day!!!

Shelters need support to. You can help by volunteering, promoting, donating food, bedding, toys, and if you want to donate money, there are specific ways to do so. Volunteering allows you to go in and spend time with all the animals wanting walks and love. To cuddles and snuggles. I’ve volunteered at a shelter and see the love a dog has for anyone who is wanting to take them for a walk, spend some much needed time with them is so rewarding it can make your heart sing.

We also promote food and treat recalls. I think this goes without saying as to the reasons why. I feed raw to my pack, and will from time to time share tips and tricks that have worked well for my dogs and cats.

I know that it takes a lot of work for people who have pages on Facebook. We all have a common goal and that is to educate and share as much love as we possibly can.

I know that I don’t work my page everyday as some do. I get stuck on what to share because so many of us share identical bits of information and not to mention  if you share too much, Facebook sends you warnings and I know some pages have been temporarily blocked for days!

We welcome your tips and suggestions on ways to increase our “likes” on our Facebook page, as we also welcome your successes on what you all have done to promote and educate the value in adopting and not shopping. To not supporting puppy mills, to the value in spaying and neutering

So thank you so much to those that have already liked us and shared us! Without you, we would be able to get the word out!!

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Remembrance Day – Our 4 Legged Solders

Today at 11:11 a.m. we will take 2 minutes of silence, reflecting on our freedom that we have today. Gratitude doesn’t seem like enough when we think of our soldiers and all they go through to protect us.  

While searching for the appropriate photo to attach to our blog today, we can across this blog that describes completely the value of not only our service men and women, but to the value of our 4 legged soldiers. 

Thank you to http://www.canadianpetconnection.com/remembrance-day-lest-forget/ for the valuable information and I want to make sure full credit is given to your blog.  Below is an except of what they wrote, I encourage you to go and read though the link, it’s truly incredible. 

What many of us don’t realize are the number of dogs who fought alongside our soldiers in virtually every war since the existence of the domesticated dog.

 Here are some historical examples of dogs used in war, according to the Wiki:

  •  628 BC: The Lydians deployed a separate battalion of fighting dogs.
  • 525 BC: Cambyses II used huge fighting dogs against Egyptian spear men and archers.
  • 490 BC: Battle of Marathon: A brave fighting dog was immortalized in a mural.
  • 385 BC: Siege of Mantineia: Fighting dogs cut off enemy reinforcements.
  • 101 BC: Battle of Vercellae: Large Cimbri dogs led by women defended their wagon forts.
  • 1525: Henry VIII exported 400 mastiffs to support Spain.
  • 1580: Elizabeth I sent 800 fighting dogs to fight in the Desmond Rebellions.
  • 1799: Napoleon assembled large numbers of fighting dogs in front of his reserves.
  • 1914: The Belgian Army used carabiniers, strong-muscled Bouvier des Flandres to haul heavy machine guns to the front.
  • 1914–1918: Dogs were used by international forces to deliver vital messages.
  • 1941–1945: The Soviet Union used dogs strapped with explosives to destroy invading German tanks.
  • 1943–1945: The United States Marine Corps used dogs, donated by their American owners, in the Pacific theater to help take islands back from Japanese occupying forces. During this period the Doberman Pinscher became the official dog of the U.S.M.C.; however, all breeds of dogs were eligible to train to be “war dogs of the Pacific”. Of the 549 dogs that returned from the war, only 4 could not be detrained and returned to civilian life. Many of the dogs went home with their handlers from the war.
  • 1966–1973: Approximately 5,000 US war dogs served in the Vietnam War (the US Army did not retain records prior to 1968); about 10,000 US servicemen served as dog-handlers during the war, and the K9 units are estimated to have saved over 10,000 human lives. 43 military working dogs and 73 US servicemen working as dog handlers were killed in action during the war. Only 200 Vietnam War dogs returned to the U.S. with their handlers; the rest were euthanized or left
  • 1979–1988: The Soviet Union again used dogs, this time in the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

In the Vietnam war, K9 units are estimated to have saved over 10,000 human lives

So today, when you take a few minutes out of your busy day to remember the sacrifices our soldiers made for us, don’t forget about their 4 legged sidekicks.

Lest We Forget.