Crystals are responsible for building bladder stones. But crystals being present in the body do not mean that bladder stones will occur. Even in healthy dogs, crystals may appear in the urine. Crystals can be a risk factor for kidney stones as well. It is important to identify urine crystals, given that some forms of crystals may indicate the presence of specific underlying diseases. With timely detection, it can be easy to spot diseases that can predispose dogs to kidney stone development.
What are the Causes of Crystals in the Urine in Dogs?
The presence of crystals in a dog’s urine can be due to:
- Imbalance of pH in urine
- Genetic factors
- Some medicines that may affect the concentrations of mineral in urine
- Freezing of the sample following collection
- Crystallogenic substances not being soluble in urine
- Too concentrated urine can be risky for dog health
- Abnormal concentrations of specific minerals in urine that can result from changes in urine concentration and excretion rate
- Presence of highly processed in diet, resulting in very high pH in urine
When the sample is exactly taken also has a lot of importance. For example, if the collection sample happens after having a meal, the concentrations can be higher than when a your vet collects a sample at the time of fasting.
Some dog breeds are more prone to the development of some forms of crystals, such as:
- Struvite crystals – Lhasa Apsos, Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles, Bichon Frises, Shih Tzus and Miniature Schnauzers
- Uric acid or ammonium urate – English Bulldogs and Dalmations
- Cysteine – Newfoundlands, English Bulldogs and Dachshunds
- Calcium oxalate – Miniature Poodles, Lhasa Apsos, Yorkshire Terriers and Miniature Schnauzers
Crystals are concentrates of minerals occurring naturally in your dog’s urine. These are of varying types, and can result in various kinds of bladder stones. In dogs, silica, calcium phosphate, cysteine, uric acid / ammonium urate, calcium oxalate, magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite) etc., are most commonly identified.
What to Do When Crystals are found In Your Dog’s Urine?
Medical treatment is not necessary just because crystals have been found in your dog’s urine. It is important to monitor everything, in case your dog is asymptomatic or is not exhibiting any symptom. Crystals a normal part of metabolism of a dog, and can appear in its urine. A vet can decide whether medical treatment is necessary for your dog.
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