lowering high urine pH

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

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Captain of the- Deadweight- Brigade
Barked: Thu Oct 28, '10 1:44am PST 
Apollo had a couple accidents in the house the other day and since he's housebroken, I figured it warranted a vet check up. Turns out, it's not a UTI, but he does have struvite crystals floating around and his pH is at 9. The vet wants him down to about 6.2-6.5.

He drinks and eats normally; is on Acana Wild Prairie; takes Clemastine for his allergies and Opti-Gest sprinkled on his kibble.

The vet told me there are quite a few things that we need to do to ensure he's on the road to being healthier, including a radiograph to check for existing stones, a urine culture, putting him on an antibiotic, and changing his diet.

They want to put him on Science Diet c/d or Purina DCO, but I dislike both brands and the simple fact that corn and cornmeal are key ingredients, I'm not putting that into my dog if I can help it. I'm almost positive he's allergic to cornmeal, too, based on previous reactions, sooo... yeah.

Thing is, I'm not sure what other foods I can use. He's got a sensitive stomach to begin with and took forever to find that Acana sat with him well. On top of that, they need to have such low percentages of each thing and I'm just in a tizzy. The nurses have offered to do some comparisons of brands I bring in versus Science Diet and Purina, but I don't know exactly what I'm looking for to bring in, as far as brands go and what's doable.

One of the previous posts I ran across on here was someone saying they were told to give their pet vitamin C to lower the pH level. Are there other simpler ways than dishing out $25 for an 8lb bag of vet crap that my dog will kill in under a week? I'm okay with paying the price if it's a good, healthy brand that accommodates his other health issues like possible food allergies and avoiding fillers as top ingredients, but those two... (shudder)

Just for comparison (based on an 8-oz serving)..

Acana's WP magnesium is .08, sodium 0.2, phosphorus 1.1, and protein is 33%.

Science Diet c/d has magnesium at .108, sodium 0.27, phosphorus 0.51, and protein around 22%.

Purina's DCO has magnesium at .11, sodium 0.3, phosphorus 0.81, and 22% protein.

To me, it seems like Acana's only "fault" is having higher phosphorus and protein. If that's the case, is that difference enough to up his pH level through the roof?

What are YOUR experiences with high urine pH?
Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Thu Oct 28, '10 5:10am PST 
Here's what I'd do:

Don't switch diets. Acana is considered one of the better kibbles when dealing with urinary issues.
Only give Apollo distilled water. Tap water and even purified water still contain minerals that can exacerbate crystals.
Add water to his food to help flush out the crystals, perhaps even get a water fountain to encourage him to drink more.
Start him on the Vitamin C, it lowers the pH. A dog his size needs about 500mg.
The water and Vit C can both be gotten cheap at Walmart.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Thu Oct 28, '10 7:04am PST 
Infections may not even show up with a culture. I bet there is an infection going on anyway if urine has been a normal pH at other times. Do the antibiotic, like the distilled water idea and keep with the nice high meat protein food as it produces more acidic urine. Do a follow up urinalysis to be sure things are improving. Sassy always needed two courses of antibiotics because the first one never worked even though the bacteria was supposed to be sensitive to it. UTIs are expensive, 3 urinalysis, 2 courses of antibiotics every time, grrr! Unless you are positive your dog doesn't produce oxalate crystals don't supplement vitamin C. It can take a long time to clear the infection and have those crystals go away and the pH go back where it belongs.

Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Thu Oct 28, '10 7:20am PST 
Thank you for adding that Maxwell. Vit C should only be used in dogs and cats with high urine pH and no history or sign of oxalate crystals. I also wouldn't bother with it unless your pet has a recurrence of high pH.
Shellie - *RIP*

Barked: Thu Oct 28, '10 8:06am PST 
We use Cranberry Capsules & the Lawn Spot Prevention Chews from Petco/Petsmart with Shellie, feeding a raw diet has helped keep it lower, but the Cranberry combo with the lawn spot prevention helps keep the pH lower. My chi has always had a high pH, and since switching to a raw diet, she is now off of urinary acidifiers and her pH (tested last Friday) is normal.

Edited by author Thu Oct 28, '10 8:06am PST


Lexi the Love- Bug
Barked: Thu Oct 28, '10 8:18am PST 
I had a similar issue and did not want to switch to one of the prescription foods. Instead, my vet prescribed an amino acid called DL-Methionine. Available as Methio-form, or Ammonil, it is a urinary acidifier, which lowers the ph. Talk to your vet- Lexi hasn't had a UTI or any problems since.

Captain of the- Deadweight- Brigade
Barked: Thu Oct 28, '10 11:00am PST 
Thank you all for the very helpful advice!

One thing with Apollo that I've noticed is that he's always had very yellow urine. Obviously the first 'go of the day is going to be more concentrated--like in humans--but even throughout the day it was always a deep yellow. It never concerned me until he had his accidents the other day, that the color might not be right. Unfortunately, we can't find out if his pH has always been high, but according to what the vet said, he only has struvite crystals at the moment with who knows what sort of possibility to have a stone (I couldn't afford the radiograph during this visit)

As for the tap water thing, that makes a lot of sense. I look at what our water from the shower does to the walls and can only imagine it's building up inside of him. Then that makes me wonder about MY insides. Distilled water it is.

Again, thank you all so very much for the advice and ideas!
Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Thu Oct 28, '10 12:43pm PST 
Hmm, very yellow urine makes me think he's probably not drinking enough on his own.

Wild Child
Barked: Wed Nov 3, '10 9:34am PST 
My dog had a high urine PH and constant UTI's as a puppy. She has been taking 250mg of Vitamin C and only drinks bottled water. She does not eat prescription food. She was eating california natural, but we recently switched to TOTW.

The vitamin C has done wonders for her. Since she has been taking Vitamin C, her urine PH has been normal and no UTI's. When we stopped vitamin C for a short time, she contracted a UTI. Also, when she was taking 500mg vitamin C, she developed crystals. It's sort of trial and error with vitamin C.

If I was you, I would start with 500mg then do a urine test to see how her ph level is and adjust her dosage accordingly. You should also discuss this with your vet.

Good luck!!!

I fetch,- therefore I am.
Barked: Wed Nov 3, '10 11:31am PST 
My urine also hit a pH of 9. All of my blood values were good. My doc suggested going grain-free, and that made all the difference for me. However, I did not have crystals in my urine.
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