|Barked: Sat Jul 16, '11 1:38am PST |
|The urine pH level in a dog varies from day to day.
The job of the kidneys is to adjust and maintain electrolytes and acid-base balances based on the dog's diet and exercise.
A urine pH that is high or low by itself does not necessarily mean there is a problem, but if the off-base pH is combined with another symptom, you should have your dog checked for various problems, such as urinary tract infections, stones and crystalluria.
Urine pH Lower than 7.0
Urine that is 7.0 is neutral.
Anything lower indicates acidic urine.
A healthy dog that is fed a main meal once a day (versus two to three times per day) usually has an acidic urine pH.
The urine pH should not be much lower than 6.2.
If the urine gets lower than 6.2, keep an eye on the dog, but if it drops below 6.0 a vet visit is in order, as there may be a systemic problem.
Urine pH Higher Than 7.0
Anything above the 7.0 neutral pH indicates alkaline urine.
If a dog is fed a diet high in carbohydrates (many grains), it may have an alkaline pH.
Some medications may also cause the urine pH to become alkaline.
If a dog has consistent alkaline urine, it may have a urinary tract infection.
Some types of bacteria that cause urinary tract infections and kidney infections also produce an enzyme that turns the urine alkaline.
A dog with consistent alkaline urine may also present with kidney stones.
Kidney stones are otherwise known as crystals.
Kidney stones may be caused by overuse of sulphonamide antibiotics.
The kidneys may also have the inability to reabsorb bicarbonate, which also causes alkaline urine.
The diagnosis of kidney stones (crystals) is generally done by checking the pH level of the dog's urine.
X-rays may be needed to see if kidney stones are present, and are generally done if the urine pH is wrong.
There are no other outward symptoms of kidney stones, other than alkaline pH.
Treatment of kidney stones involve the treatment of the underlying cause.
If kidney stones are caused by alkaline urine, risk factors are eliminated and urine volume is increased.
This is done by diet modification and, sometimes, drug therapy. Additional modification of pH levels may also be needed.
Edited by moderator Mon Jul 18, '11 7:48am PST
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