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We took jazmine into the vet yesterday. We had a suspition of a UTI since she had 2 accidents on the weekend in the house. Come to find out she has cystine crysatls in her urine. Cystinuria can be life threatening but only if the dog developes stones. I have been doing non stop research on this and have found some conflicting results. I thought I'd post what I have found so far incase anybody here ever has need of this info. Also if anybody has ever gone through this I would love to hear what you changed or did to try and prevent the formation of stones.

The vet suggested a vegetarian diet because of the protien levels. From everything I have read there is no evidence to prove that diet changes will help. I am going to try changing her diet, but not a vegetarian one. Cystinuria is most seen in Mastiffs and Newfoundlanders so I started checking out breeders and owners who had experience in this. Most suggest a diet more vegetable based than meat based, but not strickly vegetarian. I'll copy and paste what I found at a Mastiff site:
Poultry and eggs are very high in methionine which is the precursor to cystine. If your Mastiff is prone to cystine stones, avoid diets/dog food based on poultry including those that use poultry fat as their main source of fat, or eggs. Another good tip is to add a couple teaspoons of baking soda to your Mastiff's food to provide a buffer and reduce the acidity levels. Do NOT add vitamin C, vinegar, or other acidifiers. If you feel you must give vitamin C, use Ester C since it is PH neutral. Meat raises acidity levels, so don't feed meat by itself, feed it mixed with vegetables, etc., to produce a balanced diet at each meal. Have your water checked, if it is highly acidic consider adding baking soda to the drinking water as well.
From http://mastiff.org/exhibit-hall/health/cystine.mv
I also read that some vets recomend taking the dog off the ester-c as well. Jaz has been getting ester-c, it is great for many things. I guess to be safe I will eliminate this from her diet.

Then I find the oposite from a man who raises Scottish Deerhounds:
What Can You Do About It?
The stones form most easily in normal canine urine, which has an acid pH. Keeping the urine alkaline can slow down stone formation, so many veterinarians recommend giving a diet and supplements that keep the urine alkaline. In my own personal opinion, I don't think this is a good idea. Alkaline urine in and of itself can cause or worsen bladder irritation and infections. When we put our deerhound, Skye, on a diet with supplements that produced an alkaline urine, he developed a bladder infection and also, his teeth developed tartar and gum irritation. However, my view is not standard veterinary opinion and I am not a vet.
Diet
Conventional veterinarians will probably recommend a diet such as Hills U/D. I have serious problems with this diet, due to several factors.

One, I don't like foods that use ingredients that are unfit for human consumption.

Two, I don't think it's healthy for dogs to have a lifelong diet of processed foods only.

Three, I have unresolved concerns about keeping protein levels low for giant breed dogs. Some cardiologists have questioned if there might not be a link between low protein diets and some forms of heart disease, including cardiomyopathy, in some dogs. I am not suggesting this is a proven connection, but it is something to consider.

Four, I also question feeding diets low in methionine, which is the precursor to cystine, as methionine is required in the canine diet so they can synthesize taurine, which is essential to heart health. This would apply to home-prepared diets as well as prescription diets.

Five, based on my research, I do not believe diet is really that effective of a tool in reducing the incidence of cystine stone formation.
Found here: http://www.caberfeidh.com/Cystinuria.htm

I'm doing more research before I make any changes to Jazmine's diet, but I'm leaning twards making a homemade diet based on her needs. You can buy ph level strips at most health food stores so I am going to monitor her ph levels and see if they become neutral after changing her diet.

Here are some links I found on Cystinuria:
http://www.caninecystinuria.com
http://mastiff.org/exhibit-hall/health/cystine.mv
http://vetprof.com/clientinfo/newf-cystinuria.html
http://www.caberfeidh.com/Cystinuria.htm
http://www.cvm.umn.edu/depts/minnesotaurolithcenter/recommendations/caninecystine.html
 

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Jazmine is so lucky to have such a wonderful, caring owner! I hope you find a treatment that works well for her.
 

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i have heard ( haven't done any research yet tho) that cranberry juice (pill form for dogs) just like in humans, will help keep the urinary tract healthy and keep crystals clear.

(did that make sense or is that the worst grammer you have ever heard???? anyway, you get what i mean :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
bella_blue said:
Jazmine is so lucky to have such a wonderful, caring owner! I hope you find a treatment that works well for her.
Thank you :oops: , you're so sweet. :D I would do anything for my girls, I don't know what I'd do without them.

attitude said:
i have heard ( haven't done any research yet tho) that cranberry juice (pill form for dogs) just like in humans, will help keep the urinary tract healthy and keep crystals clear.

(did that make sense or is that the worst grammer you have ever heard???? anyway, you get what i mean :roll:
lol, your grammer was fine. :D

Actually you are partly right. I was giving Jaz cranberries when I thought she had a UTI, but I ended up (unknowingly) making it worse. Cranberry juice is only good if it is pure and unsweetened, which is really hard to find. A cranberry extract or powder or cranberries themselves will work. Bladder infections (or UTIs) are caused when bacteria gets in the bladder and multipies. Hippuric acid is produced from cranberries, the urine then acidifies and prevents bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder. The same goes for plaque on your teeth. :wink:

The problem is Jazmines case is very rare. Common crystals include calcium oxalate, triple phosphate crystals and amorphous phosphates. Cystine Crystals are very rarely found (especially in females). Cystinuria is a genetic metabolic disorder so there is nothing that will prevent cystine crystals. Although alkalization of the urine can increase the solubility of cystine crystals. Which means if I can try and get Jazmine's ph level up over 7 (but not higher than 8,), the crystals have a lesser chance of forming stones. So cranberries will do the opposite and make her urine acidy, a lower than 7 ph level.

The whole thing is kinda opposite of what you would normally do. I have been learning a lot though.

P.S. Attitude I love your new sig!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The lady who raises the scotish deer hounds who wrote what I copied and pasted in blue above had a dog Skye with cystinuria. In the end Skye ended up passing on from the disease, but live to be 11 years old.

After more and more research I think Jaz is going to be put on a homemade raw diet.

It is said it is seen most in English Bulldogs also. Anybody here with a EB or mastiff with this problem?
 

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wow, well I'm sorry about your situation! Looks like it will be a lot of work but you will get a healthy long lived dog out of it! and 11 yrs is a nice long life!
 

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How about adding apple cider vinegar into her food to raise her body's pH level?

I'm using gel caps (with concentrated apple cider vinegar powder) for Maddie because I'm not sure how it affects the taste of their food. I've read all over that having an acidic pH level opens the body up for all sorts of sicknesses and that apple cider vinegar works wonders for a number of things, because it has a base pH (coming from apples which are alkaline forming). Also adding vegetables to the diet that are alkaline forming is good I've heard.

Also I've read that an alkaline body will not be able to get fleas, ticks, worms etc, and yeast (tears stains and red stains within skin folds, between toes, etc) will not be able to grow.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
redbull said:
How about adding apple cider vinegar into her food to raise her body's pH level?

I'm using gel caps (with concentrated apple cider vinegar powder) for Maddie because I'm not sure how it affects the taste of their food. I've read all over that having an acidic pH level opens the body up for all sorts of sicknesses and that apple cider vinegar works wonders for a number of things, because it has a base pH (coming from apples which are alkaline forming). Also adding vegetables to the diet that are alkaline forming is good I've heard.

Also I've read that an alkaline body will not be able to get fleas, ticks, worms etc, and yeast (tears stains and red stains within skin folds, between toes, etc) will not be able to grow.
Yep it is supposed to be good for all kinds of stuff like allergies and hot spots. Mom has been giving it to Sarah in her water to see if it helps with her tear stains. I have read that although it can make acidic urine more alkaline, if the urine is already alkaline it could make it more acidic.

I am going to wait and see what my new vet will suggest. My other vet didn't even know what cystine crystals are (and to be fair most have never had patients with them) and she had to look them up before coming back into the room to tell me about them. She said they should go away after we got her ph level up a bit, but cystinuria is genetic and will never go away. But through nutrition and diet we can hope that life threatening stones will never develop.
 

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Do you know how they were able to detect Cystinuria with her?

ps: I also read that applying the apple cider vinegar directly on the areas that are effected by stains help prevent new yeast growth, same for other skin problems. it's good on the inside and out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
redbull said:
Do you know how they were able to detect Cystinuria with her?
She had cystine crystals in her urine. If a dog (or person) has cystine crystals they have cystinuria. Crystals of other kinds are very common, but rarely do vets find cystine crystals. That's why the vet had to look them up, she had never found them before. As far as we know she doesn't have stones. She didn't have a ultrasound, but they only dectect like half anyway. Also, I haven't been able to find out anything on ABs with cystinuria, I'm sure Jaz isn't the first, but the woman who runs caninecysinuria.com doesn't have any documented yet.

redbull said:
ps: I also read that applying the apple cider vinegar directly on the areas that are effected by stains help prevent new yeast growth, same for other skin problems. it's good on the inside and out.
I just read that! I it works on hot spots too. Moms paranoid Sarah will move her head and she'll get it in her eye. I told her I'd do it if she holds her. I'll let you know how it works.

Thanks for the pics too. I think I forgot to email you back. :toothy7:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There is a canine cystinuria email group also. The members there are very knowledgeable and helpfull. If your dog has cysitinuria I would definately recomend joining. Canine Cystinuria
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am sending a urine sample off to the University of Pennsylvania of Veterinary Medicine. There are two Dr.'s there heading up research on canine cystinuria, and I spoke to one of them (Dr. Griger) on the phone. Since cystinuria is so rare it is a possiblity that my vet misdiagnosed Jazmine.

This way we will know for sure (hopefully) as well as (if she tests positive) give dna so UPenn can try and find genetic markers for the AB for future breeders and pet owners.
 

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Sorry to hear about Jazz, I know you have you hands full caring for your girls. I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers. Let us know what the Dr.'s say. Going to keep my fingers crossed that she was misdiagnosed!! [-o<
 

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Thanks Coco!

Jazmine's test result came back negative from UPenn, yay!!!!! That doesn't really mean much though. It could just be that there were no crystals present or that she doesn't have it at all and was misdiagnosed. Either way it's better. We're going to keep getting her tested for the next couple years, if she keeps coming up clear than she's probably ok.
 
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