The Dalmatian dog breed often suffers from severe urinary stones and ongoing urinary tract infections. The breed is genetically predisposed to these conditions and Dalmatian owners should take preventive measures to reduce the risk and control the symptoms in their pet. A low-purine, high-quality diet will help prevent most urinary tract infections and allow the Dalmatian to live a long and productive life.
Purine is a component of many animal protein-based foods that converts into uric acid once ingested. Dalmatians have an inability to flush out uric acid, so it remains in the body and crystalizes inside the kidneys. These crystals form stones within the kidney. The stones can be quite painful to pass due to their irregular and jagged shapes. They cut and rip through the ureter to arrive at the bladder where they are finally flushed out in urine and again rip as they pass out the urethra. Some stones are too large to pass and form a life-threatening obstruction that must be surgically removed. An overabundance of stones in the bladder can also lead to painful urinary tract infections that can cause blood in the urine, malaise, fever and pain.
All Natural Diet
Focus on an all natural dog food diet. Avoid any artificial additives or chemical preservatives in the food. The ideal diet should contain a human-grade food source that is high in protein. Dog foods low in purine will not list meat as the first ingredient. The food should offer low purine vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Choose a diet that is low in salt and fat content. Choose a high-quality food that has high-quality proteins and offers mostly complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates in a high-quality food are normally comprised of fruits, whole grains and vegetables. These aid in lowering the uric acid in the urine output. A build-up of uric acid in the kidneys is what causes the vast majority of kidney stones in Dalmatians. Make sure the food does not contain unnecessary fillers which simply add bulk to the dog's stool.
Supply nutritional substitutes such as potassium citrates or sodium bicarbonate that help prevent calcium oxalate crystals in the Dalmatian. Calcium oxalate crystals can form into kidney stones. The stones form in an acid urine environment. The crystals can remain small in the urine and act like sand tearing the urethra as the Dalmatian urinates. Crystals are painful to pass and often lead to urinary tract infections. Supplementing with a bit of sodium bicarbonate or prescription potassium citrates produces an alkaline urine environment that helps flush out uric acid. The urine can also become more alkaline so crystals cannot form as easily in the kidney.
Canned foods that support renal functions are superior to a dry food only diet. Canned foods contain far more water content then dried food which helps dilute the urinary output, according to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.
Choose from a diverse array of no purine treats for your Dalmatian. Choose whole grained cereals that contain no yeast for a tasty morsel. A hard boiled egg is also a welcome treat. Many people give cheese chunks but a few dogs have a lactose intolerance so cheese will upset their stomachs. Most fruits are a welcomed snack.