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What is Crystals in the Urine?

Crystals are the building blocks of bladder stones; however, the presence of crystals doesn’t guarantee that bladder stones will develop and crystals may be present in the urine of healthy dogs. Additionally, crystals are a risk factor for kidney stones. Identification of urine crystals is important, as certain types of crystals can indicate certain underlying diseases. Identification can help detect disorders that predispose dogs to develop kidney stones. Certain breeds are more susceptible to certain crystals: Miniature Schnauzers, Yorkshire Terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Miniature Poodles to calcium oxalate; Dachshunds, English Bulldogs and Newfoundlands to cysteine; Dalmations and English Bulldogs to ammonium urate or uric acid; Miniature Schnauzers, Shih Tzus, Bichon Frises, Miniature Poodles, Cocker Spaniels and Lhasa Apsos to struvite crystals.

Crystalluria is the presence of crystals in the urine. Crystals are concentrates of naturally occurring minerals in your dog’s urine. There are different types of crystals, and they can lead to different types of bladder stones: magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite), calcium oxalate, ammonium urate or uric acid, cysteine, calcium phosphate, and silica are the most commonly seen in dogs.

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Crystals in the Urine Average Cost

From 61 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,500

Average Cost

$1,000

Symptoms of Crystals in the Urine in Dogs

In many cases, your pet will not exhibit any symptoms of crystals in the urine. However, you may see the following symptoms of bladder stones, especially if the crystals have developed into stones:

  • Frequent urination
  • Trouble urinating
  • Irregular urine stream
  • Increased thirst
  • Blood in the urine
Types

Different types of crystals can form from different mineral concentrations. Types of urine crystals include:

  • Magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite)
  • Calcium oxalate
  • Ammonium urate, or uric acide
  • Cysteine
  • Calcium Phosphate
  • Silica
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Causes of Crystals in the Urine in Dogs

Crystals in a dog’s urine may be caused by one of the following:

  • A diet of highly processed dog foods that may lead to abnormal urinary pH levels
  • Timing of sample collection; for instance, a sample taken after a meal may have higher concentrations than a sample taken during fasting.
  • Imbalanced urine pH.
  • Abnormal concentrations of certain minerals in urine, which can be caused by changes in rate of excretion and urine concentration.
  • Lack of solubility of crystallogenic substances in the urine. Urine that is too concentrated can pose a risk.
  • Certain medications that can affect mineral concentrations in urine.
  • Refrigeration of the sample after collection
  • Genetics
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Diagnosis of Crystals in the Urine in Dogs

Presence of crystals will be determined by a urinalysis. Your dog’s urine will be tested for its pH and the mineral content will be analyzed microscopically. Additionally, samples will be viewed under microscope in order to confirm the type of crystals in your dog’s urine. If stones are suspected, an x-ray or ultrasound may also be performed in order to detect stones.

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Treatment of Crystals in the Urine in Dogs

The presence of crystals in your dog’s urine does not necessarily mean your dog needs medical treatment. If your dog is showing no symptoms, we may simple keep an eye on things. Crystals in dog’s urine are a normal part of your dog’s metabolism. However, crystals can form blockages and lead to stones. The veterinarian will determine if your dog needs medical treatment. In some cases, this requires adjusting the pH of your dog’s urine. For instance, struvite crystals are managed by making the urine more acidic, and calcium oxalate crystals are managed by making the urine more alkaline. The pH is adjusted through prescription diet. In all cases, increasing your dog’s consumption of water in order to increase urine volume is recommended. Many prescription diets contained added sodium to increase thirst.

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Recovery of Crystals in the Urine in Dogs

Follow the veterinarian’s recommendation for your dog’s diet. Closely monitor your dog for the development of urinary stones. Take your dog back to the veterinarian when recommended in order to monitor the presence and/or levels of crystals in your dog’s urine. In the case of pH management, obtain strips to test the pH level of your dog’s urine at home, in order to monitor the success of the prescription diet. Most importantly, make sure plentiful, clean water is always available to your dog.

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Crystals in the Urine Average Cost

From 61 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,500

Average Cost

$1,000

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Crystals in the Urine Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Pug

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Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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4 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Blotted Stomch, Can’T Pee, Trickles, Vomited Yellow Colored Flem This Is His 6 Day

What can I do to keep him comfortable and can I push on bladder to see if he pees? His stomach is hard

July 9, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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4 Recommendations

I'm sorry that your dog is having these problems. From your description, he sounds quite ill, and it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian right away. You cannot push on his stomach to make him urinate, as he may have other complications. I hope that he is okay, and that you are able to get him to see a veterinarian right away.

July 9, 2020

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Winston

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French Bulldog

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3 Months

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Fair severity

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5 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Constant Thirst And Urination.

My 3 month frenchie was constantly drinking water and peeing often little bit at a time we took him to the vet for a urinalysis, turns out his ph was 7 no uti put has tons of struvite crystals vet said, was placed on prescription diet urinary care food and is going back in 3 weeks, what else can I do to help condition also what kind of food will he need after so he won’t get them again. Would urinalysis show if he would to have diabetes or kidney or liver problems. Just trying to make sure that’s what it is. He also poops 5-10 after he eats it’s like he doesn’t even get a chance to digest food and he will eat his poop and is always hungry 😞I really need some help Please!!

Aug. 1, 2018

Winston's Owner

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5 Recommendations

Aseptic struvite crystals in dogs is a rare occurrence as they are commonly associated with urinary tract infections, these crystals can be dissolved with diet and supplements; normally special diets are not required after resolution of struvite crystals but if they recur it may be required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.msdvetmanual.com/urinary-system/noninfectious-diseases-of-the-urinary-system-in-small-animals/urolithiasis-in-small-animals#v3296104 http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/07/dietary-treatment-of-bladder-stones/ https://wagwalking.com/training/not-eat-poop

Aug. 1, 2018

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Crystals in the Urine Average Cost

From 61 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,500

Average Cost

$1,000

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