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General Preventative Guidelines For Stone-Forming Dalmatians

  • Have your vet perform a routine, inexpensive urinalysis periodically. If centrifuging spins out sediment from the urine specimen, send it for assay only to one of the two urinary stone centers in the United States. (Minnesota Urolith Center does not charge.) 
  • Obtain "fresh" urine in a clean, chemically-inert container (glass, plastic) for vet's testing. Do not obtain sample after Dal has recently urinated when the bladder may been flushed of crystals or small stones. Instead, obtain specimen either first thing in A.M. before feeding (after urine has sat unemptied in the bladder overnight) or after dog has not urinated for at least four to five hours. Deliver urine to vet as soon as possible after collecting - do not refrigerate. 
  • ONE MAJOR GOAL OF PREVENTION IS TO MAINTAIN A PLATEAU OF NORMAL URINARY PH 7.0. Dipstick fresh urine frequently and keep a diary of pH readings.

  • If the pH goes below 7.0 (into the acidic area of 6.5 or less) and stays there over the course of several dipstickings, consider reevaluating the Dal's diet/drugs and consult with your vet for additives to alkalinize the metabolizing of current food formulation. 

    If the pH goes above 7.0 (into the alkaline area of 7.5 or higher) and stays there over the course of several dipstickings, contact your vet to rule out a possible urinary infection. 

  • Stone-formers should drink - unrestricted - only distilled water for their entire lives. This form of water is available in any supermarket where bottled water is stocked and is not expensive. Make sure labeling specifies "distilled water," not merely "drinking," not "filtered" nor "purified." (Filters on your water faucets or supply will not purify the water to the extent that distilled water will.) 
  • Formation of abnormal crystals and stones occurs in stagnant urine. Let the Dalmatian urinate as frequently as possible (at least every 4-5 hrs.) so that the bladder is flushed of crystals before they progress into stones.

Study Group on Urinary Stones
Research Committee
Dalmatian Club of America
contact: Tracie Tepke, Director

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Page last modified on May 5, 2014