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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29016
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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A samll trace of crystals were found in my 7 year old

Customer Question

A samll trace of crystals were found in my 7 year old maltese urine today. I am looking for a natural approach to take care of them. She is on a grain free diet and I would pfrefer not to change to a prescription food.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the Maltese's name?
Customer: Lily
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Lily?
Customer: She was just spayed in February. We adpoted her in December. And she just got over a UTI
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

There's a good chance that you needn't do anything at all. Crystalluria - the presence of crystals in urine - simply means that the urine specimen is oversaturated with crystallogenic substances; however, numerous variables influence crystalluria. The significance of crystalluria is easily misjudged if these factors are not considered. In vivo (within the body) variables include urine concentration, urine pH, amount and solubility of crystalloids, presence of crystallization promoters and inhibitors, and excretion of medications or diagnostic agents. In vitro (outside the body) variables include temperature, evaporation, pH, and technique of specimen preparation. It is important to note that refrigeration of urine samples leads to precipitation of crystal, a falsely positive result.

What does all this mean? It means that the presence of crystals in urine is usually clinically insignificant. Specific crystals, however, such as ammonium biurate crystals, can indicate hepatic insufficiency. Crystalluria can often cause concerns about urolithiasis (stones) but crystalluria must not be the sole criterion for assessment of stone composition nor do animals with crystalluria necessarily form stones.

In summary, the presence of crystals is usually normal. Antibiotics should be prescribed only if bacterial infection has been confirmed. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.