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About two weeks ago, I switched my 2 year old female German Shepherds food over to Great Plains Feast by Earthborn. I had read nothing but good online from others who feed it. I switched her over to the new food within a week. The reason I switched was because she has had chronic diarrhea and read that a grain free diet may help. Within a few days of starting the change, her stools hardened up nicely. I was extremely excited that we were no longer going to have the diarrhea issues.



Fast forward to this weekend, I noticed Charlie needing to go out and pee more frequently. While out, she would pee once, and then squat 3-5 more times without actually peeing. I finally went out and noticed that a thick, gooey blood was coming out when doing that. It wasn't a significant amount but enough to scare me. I tried the normal online diagnosis and of course, only found that she had some kind of cancer. I called my mother last night and asked if she could take Charlie to the vet today. I collected a urine sample and dropped her off at moms.



The vet did a urinalysis and the found small crystals in her pee. The vet said that it was a sign of kidney issues. This was said to be caused by the switch to the high protein diet. The vet put Charlie on amoxicillin and is having me switch her to Purina NF Kidney Function food. The 18 pound bag cost $47.00. He said that she wouldn't have to stay on this specific diet however she would need to stay on some kind of kidney diet forever.



I guess the reason I am writing this is to get the opinion of others who have gone through something similar. I don't feel like I really know whats going on since I wasnt able to be at the vet and hear what he had to say, rather just second hand info. Also, does anyone know of a kidney diet food that is grain free? Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Crystals in the urine can also signify bladder stones. The symptoms you described sounds like UTI and/or bladder stones. NOT saying your vet is wrong, but suggesting more questions are needed. If it does turn out to be bladder stones, there are several types and the type would determine treatment and whether remaining on kidney food is required.

Bladder Stones (Urinary Calculi) in Dogs
 

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Were blood tests done? If so, what were her kidney values.

Crystals in the urine can mean lots of things. High protein diets can cause an increase in urine PH, and struvite crystals will form.

Aside from the crystals, were there any other signs of infection? White blood cells, red blood cells, bacteria?

What was her specific gravity?

Without blood work, I find it hard to say she has kidney disease. But I am not a Dr. Just a tech with 20 years experience.

If it were my dog, I would talk to the Vet ask about bloodwork, infection, and why she feels the need to put your dog on a new diet.

You may need to find a lower protein diet, or you may just need to clear up the infection( bacteria can also cause an increase in urine PH and cause crystal formation.

Good luck, let us know what she says.


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I am in agreement with gsdsar... I am also not a vet, but have worked with vets for over 35+years.
To diagnose a kidney issue with a urinalysis alone is not enough information. I just had a urinalysis done with Holly, she did have a bit more protein in her urine, but since it was not a totally sterile sample(ie: drawn from the bladder with a needle) even my vet said that the protein levels will not be true, so if its a bit high its no big deal. He also stated to really say there is kidney issues a blood draw would have to be done to test kidney function, the urinalysis is not enough.
Did he say there was blood in the urine? How about was it concentrated or diluted?
I think your vet jumped the gun by diagnosing a kidney issue with a simple, non sterile urinalysis. I would go for a second opinion and if needed have a sterile sample extracted, first urine in the morning and have bloodwork done before I get to worried.
 
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