DL-Methionine is a natural amino acid that is used as a supplement to treat bladder infections and prevent bladder stones in dogs. It works by acidifying urine to prevent the formation of struvite stones caused by high alkaline content. Since this neutralized urine is also less damaging to grass, DL-methionine can also be found in lawn-saver dog treats and those that control the odor from pet urine residue. This essential amino acid is not naturally created in the body but is important to normal growth and development in many animals, therefore it must be supplemented in the diet and can also be found in several pet foods.
The cost of DL-methionine varies depending on dosage and tablet count. This chewable tablet is most commonly sold in 500 mg strength. Prices can range greatly, with 50 to 150 count bottles averaging around $15, to 500 or 1000 count bottles costing upwards of $20 to $100. Smaller 200 mg tablets can cost around $20 for a 1000 count bottle.
In veterinary medicine, DL-methionine for dogs is widely available as 500 mg chewable tablets that are scored for easy dosing. General dosing guidelines are based on weight, and are:
- ½ to 4 tablets daily for small breeds that are 15 lbs. or under
- 2 to 7 tablets daily for medium breeds that are between 15 to 33 lbs.
- 4 to 13 tablets daily for large breeds that are between 33 to 66 lbs.
When treating urinary stones and infections, the dosage is often adjusted to help keep your dog’s urine pH below 6.6.
Chewable DL-methionine for dogs is easy to administer and can be given by hand or with meals. For finicky eaters or those with dental issues, DL-methionine tablets can even be crumbled up and mixed into any kind of food. Tablets can be given once daily or split into 2 to 3 doses throughout the day for convenience, or to decrease gastrointestinal side effects.
Once your veterinarian determines what the appropriate dosage is to keep urine pH at the right level, you should keep administering the same dose each day until told otherwise by your vet. You may need to provide fresh urine for testing to help monitor your dog’s pH level.
DL-Methionine has been used in veterinary medicine for some time. Many studies with chicks, pigs, humans, and other animals have exhibited a direct correlation with the use of this amino acid and acidification of urine.
A human study looked at the effects of administering L-methionine, another form of the amino acid methionine, and found that it effectively decreased urinary pH and lowered the risk of stone formation. The various forms of methionine (L-methionine, D-methionine, and DL-methionine) have been used in several studies, including ina study with broiler chicks, and most agree that DL-methionine is as effective as L-methionine.
DL-Methionine was shown to be directly effective in acidifying the urine of dogs to prevent urinary stone formation inanother study that looked at pairing the amino acid with antibiotics.
Side effects of DL-Methionine
Side effects while taking DL-methionine are few, and can include:
- Loss of appetite
Your veterinarian will monitor the dosage to ensure safe usage, and you should always follow their recommendations. Overdosing on DL-methionine can cause:
DL-Methionine for dogs should not be used in pets suffering from pancreatic, liver, or kidney disease, a urinary obstruction or urate kidney stones, or in dogs who are highly acidic due to certain conditions such as diabetes mellitus. Although DL-methionine is a natural amino acid, some dogs can show sensitivity and should not continue use.
DL-Methionine (Metio-Form, Ammonil) may interact with the following medications and should be used with caution:
- Aminoglycoside antibiotics (gentamicin)
- Antiarrhythmic agent (quinidine)
Tell your veterinarian about any other medications, vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies your dog may be taking before starting a DL-methionine treatment plan.
Allergic reactions and sensitivity
Some animals may be allergic or sensitive to DL-methionine for dogs.Signs of an allergic reaction can include diarrhea, intense scratching, hives, red skin rash, lethargy, abnormal breathing, weakness or collapse, and will need immediate veterinary attention.
Frequently asked questions
What do I do if I skip a dose of DL-methionine for dogs?
If your dog misses a dose of DL-methionine, just give the dose as soon as you remember, or give the next regularly scheduled dose if it is near that time and skip the missed dose. Never give your dog a double dose of this medication at one time.
Will my veterinarian need to monitor my dog while taking DL-methionine?
Your veterinarian will monitor your dog’s urine pH level to determine the right dosage. Once the correct dose has been found, your veterinarian will likely run pH testing periodically to maintain safe pH levels and lower the risk of unwanted side effects.
How do I store DL-methionine?
DL-Methionine tablets can be stored at room temperature, away from light and excessive heat.
Do I need a prescription for DL-methionine?
While DL-methionine can be found in some pet foods and “grass-saver” supplements sold in many pet stores, the amount of DL-methionine present in these products is vastly lower than what is used in veterinary medicine to treat urinary infections and stone formation. You will need a prescription from your veterinarian for medical-grade DL-methionine to effectively lower your dog’s urine pH level to treat these conditions.
Can my dog overdose on DL-methionine?
DL-methionine works by changing the pH level of your dog’s urine and is closely monitored by your veterinarian to ensure that safe levels of that pH is maintained. In the case that your dog consumes more than a safe amount of DL-methionine, whether by eating too many commercial “grass-saver” treats or through access to too many medical grade tablets, the results could be life-threatening. An overdose of DL-methionine could cause metabolic acidosis, low potassium levels, osteoporosis, or hemolytic anemia. If you notice anysymptoms of DL-methionine poisoning, which can include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, pale or blue gums, staggering, or seizures, seek immediate emergency veterinary attention.