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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.

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, if crystals have advanced into stones:

  • Frequent urination
  • Trouble urinating
  • Irregular urine stream
  • Increased thirst
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 dog’s urine may be caused by one of the following:

  • A diet of highly processed dog food, and/or foods high in grains and other fillers.
  • 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, or the inability of the minerals that form crystals to dissolve in urine causes them to form.
  • Excretion of diagnostic agents and medications that can affect mineral concentrations in urine.
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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. 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. 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 kidney 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

dog-age-icon

Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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0 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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0 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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4 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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3320 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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Blue

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Border Collie

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8 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Excessive Drinking/Urination
Large Amounts Of Urine.
Seems Depressed.
Small Sores On Right Side Of Snout
Right Lip Seems Irritated And Red.

My dog is drinking excessive amounts of water, urinating excessively, having accidents in the house even though he is well-trained. Urine sometimes smells very bad. We've ruled out UTI, had complete blood test and organs seem fine, have had him tested for Cushing's and Addison's - both negative. This has been going on for about 3 weeks while we try to figure this out. I now think I see blood in the urine spot where he just had an accident inside the house and the urine smells badly again. What else should we test for? What could this be??? I'm so worried about the little guy. He's still eating well and has not lost weight - in fact has gained one pound.

July 25, 2018

Blue's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

If standard blood tests, Addison’s and Cushing’s tests have come back negative and an urinary tract infection has been ruled out, we’re running out of possible causes; urinary crystals/stones are a possibility but would have most likely picked up during urinalysis. You should keep a close eye on his urinary habits and ensure that he is keeping hydrated, but I cannot think of anything additionally to test for. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 25, 2018

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Maeve

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English Springer Spaniel

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4 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

None Observed

Vet just informed me my dog has struvite crystals in her urine, no evidence of a UTI. Does she need a prescription diet or is a grain-free food ok? Should I test her urine ph at home and what is a good level to strive for?

July 15, 2018

Maeve's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Maeve should be on a prescription urinary diet if she has struvite crystals. You can test her urine pH at home, and struvite crystals tend to form in an alkaline urine, but they can form in a normal pH as well, and without knowing more about her urine results, I can't comment for sure. it would be best to discuss this with your veterinarian, as they know her full history, to see if you can monitor at home, and what her goal would be based on what her pH is now.

July 15, 2018

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Henry

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miniature poodle

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5 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Crystals

My 5 month old miniature poodle was diagnosed with crystals in his urine and had several stones that were 1mm or less. After a month on Hills prescription dry dog food the stones are all gone but the pup continues to have crystals. The vet is recommending 6 more months on the prescription food and getting my pup fixed ASAP. Why would he have to get fixed?? Why aren’t the crystals going away???

July 5, 2018

Henry's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Some studies have shown a relationship between a dog being intact and cystine stone formation; if Henry is suffering from cystine crystals/stones then this may be the reason your Veterinarian is recommending castration, other than that I don’t know of any other relationship with any other type of crystals/stones. There are different dietary changes and supplement which may help in reducing and controlling crystals, you should discuss more with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 6, 2018

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Rita

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Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

13 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Frequent Urination

I asked for a copy of my dog’s records after a visit to the ER for another issue. They performed a urinalysis and found protein in her urine which they told me about. When I read over the results, I noticed that her pH is 7.5 and she has 4-10 struvite crystals. They never even informed me about the crystals. Should I be concerned??

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Loki

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Pug

dog-age-icon

7 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Not Drinking Much Water

A month ago our Pug had blood in urine, after urinalysis done he had Struvite Crystals and was put on S/D diet for 3 wks. He had another urinalysis and struvite gone but now has Ammonium Urate Crystals 21-50 HPF??? Could these develop because of S/D diet or concentrated urine, dehydration?

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Coco

dog-breed-icon

Shorkie Tzu

dog-age-icon

3 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

She Pee With Crystals And Little Bl

Coco is a very playful puppy. I thought her period came, because I sow some blood when she peed. We went to the vet because her period stay longer than usual. The doctor squeezed her butt and they took her xray. They said she got kidney stone. After I read some of your experience, I am a little bit skeptical about it. They give some antibiotic-Clavaseptin for the bleed and a bottle to get pee sample. Of course everything was quick and $250 is gone. They said to bring the pee back to see what kind of problem she has and what they can do. At the same time they mentioned about $1800 surgery. It looks like my vets are starting the other way around instead with the expenses staff. Please any advice?

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Cheddar

dog-breed-icon

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

dog-age-icon

16 Months

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Licking At Genitals
Accidents
Crystals In Urine

My 16 mo. old NOT NEUTERED Male has crystals in his urine per a urinalysis provided by my vet last week. He was put on antibiotics and seemed to have been back to normal, until today. He doesn't pee often but when he does, it's an accident. He knows to go outside and was, consistently until today. Today was his last day on his antibiotics so I'm confused as to why he's back to square one. He's been licking that area a lot so I'm starting to think its a bacterial condition. He's scheduled for his blood work next week and then will be neutered the following week. I think this issue will cease after he's neutered. At least I hope.....

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Magic

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Dane/Lab/Boxer

dog-age-icon

19 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Crystals
Under Weight

Magic is a 19 week old Dane/Lab/Boxer mix. We are just finishing the 3rd round of antibiotics to treat UTI and Struvite Crystals. The vet gave us Royal Canine Urinary SO and we were told to only feed her that as well as cranberry supplements and probiotics, nothing else. We have been following the vets instructions to the letter and not even giving her treats, but she is still squatting multiple times when she goes outside and has accidents in the house when excited. The other main concern that I have is her weight. She is very scrawny (her ribs are clearly visable and her shoulder blades can been seen) and I am concerned that, as a puppy, she is not getting enough nutrients on this diet. The bag of food recommends 221g per day and we are feeding her 350g per day (broken up morning and evening) and she stools are very small. How can we manage the crystals AND get her weight up?

Crystals in the Urine Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$1,000

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