Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

Maintaining a Low Urine pH

Foods that help lower your pets PH level

All Eagle cat foods are designed to create a target urine pH of 6.3 and Eagle dog foods are targeted for 6.4 which is significantly low. Any of the dog formulas with glucosamine in them are better to use for dogs prone to urinary problems. (All Holistic line, Senior, Natural, Large/Giant Breed Puppy). Our Holistic Select and Holistic Duck dry Cat formula is also good because it has glucosamine in the diet. Glucosamine has been found to aid in the formation of a mucus lining on the inside of the urinary bladder which forms a barrier and helps to protect the wall of the bladder from the irritation of the crystals.

Antibiotics are usually used to eliminate any chance that the increased struvite crystals are as a result of infection. Water consumption is essential. You should do all you can to encourage the cat to drink as much water as possible. More than it has been drinking, no matter how much that was. That's why canned foods are preferred as they are 70% water. If the cat won't eat canned food then you have a more difficult situation. Some will lightly sprinkle the dry food with water as they are feeding and then a pinch of salt (the water is to allow the salt to stick to the food). Others will add other wet ingredients to the dry food (the water from canned tuna, beef broth or any liquid so as to get more moisture down the cat.

To maintain a low pH urine dogs/cats:

1) feed a canned wet food along with the dry - (cats)
2) for dogs mix kibble, canned wet food and some water to increase
water consumption.
3) don't expect the dog to hold his urine for long periods at at time
(8 hours) and increase the times they are allowed to go out an empty
their bladder.
4) do not withhold water, make sure there is always clean fresh (especially
for cats) water down daily and if they are not one to drink off and on
during the day, add water, soup or broth to their kibble.
5) talk to the vet about using a natural substances called DL Methionine which lowers the ph of the urine.

Albert S. Townshend, DVM
Staff Veterinarian, Eagle Pack Pet Foods, Inc

my editorial comment: I find the use of additional Vitamin C, in the form of Ascorbic Acid, or Cranberry tablets, added to the dogs diet helps. Increasing their water intake is critical to flushing crystals out of the system . The Orthopedic Foundations suggests these doses of Vitamin C for prevention of orthopedic problems as well and here are recommended doses.

If they get a loose stool back off or use an Ester C which is buffered

  • Toy dogs start with 50 mg of Vit C and increase up to 250mg
  • Small dogs start 100 mg work up to 200 mg daily
  • Medium dogs start 200 mg work up to 1000 mg a day
  • Large/Giant dogs start 500 mg work up to 1000 - 1500 a day.

Large and Giant breed Puppy use this dosage chart:

  • 250mg of Vitamin C for puppies 8 wks - 10 wks daily
  • 500mg of Vitamin C for puppies 10 wks - 12 wks daily
  • 1000 mg of Vitamin C for puppies 12 wks - adults.


    by Dr. Al Townshend DVM - March 20,2001

    FLUTD has been described as far back as 1925.There have been many names give to this condition over the years, most notable Cystitis, Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS), Feline Interstitial Cystitis FIC) and Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). All of which only describe where and what the condition is but give no clue as to the cause.


    The incidence is defined as the annual rate of appearance of new cases of the disease among the entire population of individuals at risk for the disease. For FLUTD the incidence has been reported to be approximately 0.5 to 1.0% per year.The above figure should not be confused with the proportional morbidity ratio of cats with FLUTD. This figure is the frequency with which these cats are seen in veterinary hospitals.For FLUTD the incidence has been reported to be as high as 10%, but the most common reports are between 1% and 6%.
    These figures would indicate that although the incidence in all susceptible cats is only approx. 1%, up to 10% of them are seen by veterinarians and that seems to be a significant number.
    These figures further translates to between 250,000 and 500,000 of the 57 million cats in the United States are afflicted with this disease annually.The condition most commonly affects mature cats and infrequently immature animals (when it does the cause is most likely to be associated with bacterial infections).Of the 24,000 cat diagnosed with FLUTD in 24 veterinary schools 7% were nonspayed females, 25% were neutered females, 16% were noncastrated males and 52% were castrated males.


    • Age: Uncommon in cats younger than 1 year of age. Most commonly occurs in cats between 1 and 10 years of age with peak between 2 and 6 years of age.
    • Sex: Urethral obstruction occurs most commonly in males. Nonobstructive forms of the disease occur equally in males and females.
    • Neutering: There is an increased risk in neutered males and females regardless of the age when neutered
    • Diet: Consumption of an increased proportion of dry food in the daily ration is
      associated with an increased incidence.
    • Water Consumption: Decreased daily water intake is associated with an increased risk of the disease.
    • Sedentary Life Style: Lazy cats are at increased risk.
    • Spring and Winter Season: Some have indicated that there is a seasonal increase in risk.
    • Indoor Lifestyle: Cats using indoor litter boxes for urination and defecation are at increased risk.


    Symptoms very generally begin with frequent urination (pollakiuria) eventually with blood (hematuria). Animal may also display inappropriate urination (urinating in unusual places). Eventually the cat will typically become obstructed and unable to urinate (dysuria). The latter almost exclusively occurs in male cats and is a true emergency. Symptoms vary greatly as there are so many causes that have been identified and so many cases that have unknown causes.


    The following is a list of known causes of FLUTD taken from "Canine and Feline nephrology and Urology" by Osborne and Finco 1995.

    Metabolic Disorders (including nutritional)
    Urethral Plugs
    Inflammatory Disorders
    Infectious agents
    Viruses (feline Calicivirus sp. and more)
    Bacteria (many species)
    Fungi (Candida sp. and more)
    Parasites (Capillaria feliscati)

    Immune mediated?
    Neurogenic disorders
    Reflex dyssynergia
    Uretheral spasms
    Hypotonic or atonic bladder
    Iatrogenic disorders
    Reverse flushing solutions
    Uretheral catheters (reverse flushing)
    Indwelling urethral catheters
    Postsurgical urethral catheters
    Urethrostomy complications
    Anatomic abnormalities
    Urachal abnormalities
    Persistent uterus masculinus
    Urethrorectal fistulas
    Urethral strictures
    Cystadenoma (bladder)
    Fibroma (bladder)
    Leiomyoma (bladder)
    Papilloma (bladder)
    Hemangioma (bladder)
    Transitional cell carcinoma (bladder and urethra)
    Squamous cell carcinoma (bladder)
    Adenocarcinoma (bladder)
    Unclassified carcinomas (bladder)
    Hemangiocarcinomas (bladder)
    Lymphosarcoma (primary and metastatic in the bladder)
    Myxosarcoma (bladder)
    Prostatic adenocarcinoma (urethra)
    Rhabdomyosarcoma (bladder)
    Endometrial adenocarcinoma (extraurinary invading and compressing the urethra.

    Idiopathic: Up to 53% in some studies are as a result of unknown causes.


    Diagnosis is based on history given by the owner, a complete physical
    examination by a veterinarian, laboratory tests and radiographs. Some or all of the above may be necessary in order to make a diagnosis, keeping in mind that a
    cause may never be determined. Also one must remember that the cause is usually
    multiple in nature. All available information must be obtained in order to initiate the best protocol for a successful treatment and prevention program.


    Within the scope of this article we will limit the discussion of treatment too the three most common forms of FLUTD. Nonobstructive hematuria and dysuria, Urolithiasis, and Obstruction with matrix-crystalline urethral plugs.

    Nonobstuctive hematuria and dysuria: If a cause can be determined, the appropriate therapy should be instituted, however, as in most cases, the cause will be undetermined. In such a case a veterinarian would initiate a broad spectrum of therapy. It could include all of some of the following: antibiotics, corticosteroids, antispasmodics, analgesics, and intravenous fluids

    Urolithiasis: If stones are found in the bladder, they should be removed. That can be achieved by surgery, or if possible, by using a special diet designed to dissolve stones made up of magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite). Again, if a cause can be determined the proper therapy should also be initiated so as to prevent reoccurrence.

    Obstruction with matrix-crystalline plugs: The obstruction should be eliminated as soon as possible. This is best accomplished while the cat is under anesthesia. If the obstruction has been for a considerable amount of time there may be significant damage to the kidneys and so blood should be drawn and the status of the kidneys evaluated. Later additional blood should be tested to further study the kidneys. An intravenous catheter would be instilled and the cat sedated. At the same time as eliminating the obstruction intravenous fluids are given as well as some additional medications. If a cause can be determined appropriate medication would be given.

    In all cases canned food, fresh water, clean litter boxes and the reduction or elimination of stress are essential.


    It is thought that one of the most significant problems associated with this disease is the adequate consumption of water, both in treating and preventing this condition. Canned food is 70+ % water and should be fed. Fresh water should always be available and encouraged.
    Infection is a part of the problem and it is the nonobstructive hematuria and
    dysuria form a diet change may not be necessary. Eliminating the infection and
    canned food for a short period of time may be all that is needed.
    The majority of uroliths are either magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite) or calcium oxalate in composition.

    Struvite: Fresh water and canned food are essential so as to get as much liquid into the animal, at least initially. Hill's Feline S/D Diet is designed to dissolve struvite uroliths. The difficulty is that they may take a very long time to do that and in the mean time the cat is uncomfortable and may continue to exhibit symptoms such as inappropriate urination etc. A canned diet that makes the urine acid (pH around 6.3) is recommended as well as a diet low in magnesium (less than 0.1% Dry Matter). To convert the as fed nutrient content of a food to a dry matter basis divide the percentage of the nutrient on an as fed basis by the percentage dry matter.

    Calcium Oxalate: Since the introduction of cat diets that are low in magnesium and make the urine acid we have seen a reduction in the incidence of struvite crystals as well as uroliths. However, there has been an increased incidence of oxalate crystals and uroliths. The ideal diet for a cat with the above problem is a canned diet that maintains a more alkaline urine pH (6.6 to 6.8), is not as low in magnesium. Potassium citrate is also useful as it has the ability to form soluble salts with calcium.


    Prevention is of utmost importance. Once a cat has had a problem there is an increased chance that it will reoccur. This is thought to be as a result of the many predisposing factors mentioned above and the difficulty in controlling many of then.


    In order to prevent the reoccurrence of any of the above conditions it may be necessary to maintain the animal on a diet specifically designed to help control the condition. In many instances this is the case, however, a dry diet may be substituted for the canned totally or partially. Water consumption, urine pH and stress are the most important factors.

Home |About Us | Album | Interview | Articles | Links | Breeders Showcase | GREAT Great Danes | Linda's Artwork | Email:

Copyright © 2002-2003 GREATDANELADY.COM