Sylvie has been battling bladder issues for over 5 years.  So far she’s gone through 2 surgeries, at least 4 UTIs, multiple ultrasounds, countless blood tests and had to do endure constant food experimentation until we finally found a solution.  She would squat constantly on walks trying to pee and it was growing more and more difficult to walk her for long distances.  No matter what we did with the vet’s advice, nothing was working too well and we didn’t want to keep her on pain meds.

So what was causing all these bladder problems?

At first we thought it was just chronic inflammation, which the vet said is still an issue after the first surgery (however her inflammation is now under control).

Then we thought it was her recessed vulva (not sure what that is? well essentially her vulva is surrounded by skin that can collect dirt and bacteria), which can lead to an increase in UTIs.

Sylvie had not 1 but 3 health scares, including a trip to the emergency vet at least twice.

We tried every food and supplement combination possible, including expensive GF (gluten free) food like Acana (which we still love but she can’t have anymore), Crananidin (a cranberry supplement which helped a bit), and no chicken, pork, beef, eggs, etc.  We already don’t give her human food except approved snacks like fruits and veggies and popcorn.

(These are great products, they just weren’t enough for Sylvie).

Acana Grain Free Dry Dog Food, High Protein, Freeze-Dried Coated, Whole Fish, 25lb: Pet Supplies: Amazon.comNUTRAMAX Crananidin Chewable Tablets Dog Supplement, 150 count - Chewy.com

So after her 2nd surgery where 2 large bladder stones were removed, it was time to suck it up and switch to a prescription diet (per out vets request).  We were worried she would have food allergies to the grain and chicken (she already has really bad environmental allergies that are controlled with Apoquel) but fortunately, she was just fine.  She even had a blood test to test for food allergies.  We were comforted to learn there are a few prescription options for dogs with food allergies but they weren’t needed.

Changing Sylvie’s diet and adding supplements did work a little and we even monitored her urine pH with litmus strips but it wasn’t enough. Sylvie now has been on a prescription diet since December 2020 and we have had zero problems with the food and with her chronic bladder stones.  She is on a lower protein diet so we had to change some of her treats too.

She now enjoys long walks, chasing squirrels up trees, and playing with the other neighborhood dogs.  And we hope she stays bladder stone free for a long time!

Pictures: Sylvie with dad at the vet (left/top).  Sylvie’s shaved belly after surgery (middle).  Sleeping while she recovers (right/bottom).