Dogs who have struvite bladder stones are suffering from a pH imbalance in the body as well as high levels of phosphorus, magnesium and protein. The dog foods which are designed to help dogs with the bladder stones have lower levels of the problem minerals while also helping to raise the pH levels of the dog's urine. The best dog food for any particular dog will vary depending on the dog and the dog's health.
Dog foods which are labelled as "s/d" are an option for dogs with struvite bladder stones. This type of dog food has lower levels of the three problem minerals. The food is not only effective on breaking up the stones, but also in preventing further development of bladder stones later. The s/d foods are among the common options suggested by vets for many dogs because they help raise acidity in the urine while lowering the problem minerals. Dr. Foster and Dr. Smith, the vets on the website Pet Education, note that S/D foods are not appropriate for dogs who have heart failure or kidney disease due to the salt levels. These foods are eaten for about 60 to 150 days, depending on the dog.
C/D or W/D Foods
The c/d or w/d foods are the foods which dogs eat after eating the s/d foods for struvite bladder stones. These are the maintenance foods which help keep the dog from redeveloping the stones while continuing to break up any of the stones which still remain. These foods are more balanced than the s/d foods, making them more appropriate for longer use.
The urinary acidifiers are a type of supplement or mineral added to current dog foods to help change the acidity of the dog's urine, which helps break up the stones and stop them from developing further. The urinary acidifiers include options like vitamin C or dl-methionine, according to Dr. Foster and Dr. Smith. These are not taken with the s/d or c/d foods because it can result in dangerous changes to the dog's urinary acidity. Instead, it is taken with the original food the dog eats.
Some vets might determine that none of the common options are appropriate for the dog. In this case, a vet prescribes a speciality food, such as a homemade food option which is catered to the needs of the dog. For example, if a dog has heart disease, the vet will not suggest s/d or c/d foods but instead may suggest a different food option or homemade recipe.
Foods are not the only consideration when it comes to struvite bladder stones, though it is one of the main changes. The dog must also drink plenty of water to help lower the build up of minerals in the bladder.