We finally received a urolith analysis report from the Minnesota Urolith Center. The stones were 95% struvite and 5% ammonium urate. This shows a small amount of minerals were present from the stones she developed back in 2014, but primarily the minerals that built up in the bladder are different. Struvites are also known as magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate stones. Struvite crystals and stones can generally be prevented by feeding a canned prescription urinary diet, which moderately limits magnesium and phosphorus, encourages a more acidic urine, and prevents saturation of these minerals in the urine. These diets do not contain medication, they are simply formulated to prevent the formation of struvites. There are multiple diets available from Hills, Royal Canin, Purina, and Iams. Over-the-counter “urinary health” diets have not been proven to prevent the formation of struvites.
For Gracie, the recommendation is to feed canned food only. We are not recommending a specific prescription diet for prevention because the diet for prevention of struvites and the one used to prevent ammonium urates are very different in formulation. We encountered another complication: Gracie wouldn’t eat the canned version of either of these diets. As this point we will attempt to prevent stone formation using dilution; canned food provides much more moisture than dry food. With increased moisture intake, her bladder should fill more frequently and the urine will be flushed out more often as well.
Gracie felt unwell for a few days after surgery, but ultimately she perked up and has been back to normal ever since. We hope there are no more stones in her future!