ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Q: My little Shih Tzu could not urinate because he had stones in his bladder. The veterinary hospital that cares for him removed those stones but they are the kind that will return without proper diet so they recommended Hill’s u/d non-struvite dog food. Can I still give him dog treats once in a while?
I am sticking to this diet heart and soul, but he likes his treats every now and then, so is it OK? I do not want those stones to return. He was in a lot of pain.
Dr. Nichol: When crystals in the urinary tract stick together they form stones (calculi). Some get big enough to irritate the bladder wall, leading to blood in the urine, straining, or a medical emergency involving a complete blockage of urine flow.
Prescription diets are important for long-term treatment in many cases but, for them to work effectively, they need to be the only food that a dog like yours gets to eat. There are treats that won’t interfere with a therapeutic diet. Hill’s Prescription Diet Treats are fine for any dog on any special food.
Calcium oxalate bladder stones are a growing problem in pets. According to the Minnesota Urolith Center, they’ve increased to 60 percent of canine bladder stones and 55 percent of those found in cats. Described as an epidemic, oxalates are now the most common urinary stone in each species.
Middle-aged to older neutered male Shih Tzus, miniature schnauzers, Lhasa apsos, and Pomeranians are at greater risk than other dogs for calcium oxalate stones. In bichon frisés it’s the young adult males who have a higher incidence.