The Dalmatian Club of America
Dipsticking to Monitor Stone-Forming Dalmatians
Remember high school chemistry when litmus paper revealed
if a solution was either acid or alkaline? Modern dipsticks from your vet
or drug store are "super" litmus paper. They are simple to use by the Dal's
owner and show exact degrees of urinary pH.
A quick dip into a dog's urine before feeding will indicate
if the pH is acidic (how much below the normal
of 7.0)or alkaline (how much above the normal
of 7.0). With a program of regular dipsticking and keeping a diary
of the results, any Dalmatian can be tracked to detect when and
how long it is producing abnormal and unstable urine, often much before
abnormal crystals progress into stone formation.
Dipsticking is best done first thing in the A.M. before
feeding and after the Dalmatian has been indoors overnight when urine has
accumulated in the bladder over the course of many hours. Some very
conscientious owners dipstick also a few hours after feeding to monitor
any difference in pH between fasting urine and the pH a few hours after
the Dal has digested its meal.
All Dalmatians are born with a tendency to acidic urine
in which the occurrence and growth of abnormal urate crystals and stones
thrive. The success of preventative anti-urate diets and drugs thus can
be monitored by dipsticking and treatment regimens modified if the pH continues
to be undesirably acidic.
Some dogfood formulations produce an acidic urine and
dipsticking will also help to reveal those that do and therefore which
should be avoided for stone-forming Dalmatians.
ONE MAJOR GOAL OF PREVENTION IS TO MAINTAIN A PLATEAU
OF NORMAL (FOR DALMATIANS) URINARY pH BETWEEN 6.5 AND 7.0.
Study Group on Urinary Stones
Dalmatian Club of America
contact: Tracie Tepke, Director
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