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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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I just rescued an 8 year old shih Tzu, and when she was in

Customer Question

I just rescued an 8 year old shih Tzu, and when she was in foster care, she had bladder stone surgery. My vet is away for a week, and I was hoping to get some help with hydration. For some reason, even with the foster situation, she won't drink water. In her original home she was left 11 hours through the day, and I imagine this was a contributing factor, as they often won't drink until their person is home. She's on Royal Canin wet and dry 1/4 cup each twice a day, with 1/4 cup of water added to her food. I've only had her for 2 days, and I've started giving her a syringe of water (Metacam one) every few hours. Can you tell me the optimal volume she should have per day, and she's 12.4 lbs. She has the type of stones that re-occur supposedly, and I want to do anything I can to help prevent them. Are there any treats I can give her such as dried chicken pieces like Benny Bully, (not fillets)? Can I put a small amount of low fat chicken broth into her water to encourage drinking or vegetable water? Are there any fruits of vegetables that don't encourage bladder stones? She's a great dog and I'm so happy to have her and I want to keep her as healthy as possible. I will be setting up 3 month xrays and urine tests, but her last urine test was a week ago, which was clear.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 2 years ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. Congratulations on the adoption of your new girl! What a blessing for her to be adopted even as a senior pet - thank you for giving her a great new home!

The estimated amount of water consumed in a day is about 60ml per kg of body weight, which for her is around 330ml. I actually suspect that the moist food and added water you are giving her is hitting that target. A dog that is otherwise healthy will not get dehydrated from neglecting to drink - they will self regulate and drink what they need, so I wouldn't worry about what she is or isn't drinking voluntarily.

You mentioned that she was on Royal Canin - is this the prescription urinary SO diet or a regular diet? Do you know if the stones were struvite, oxalate, or some other variety? All of them have the potential to recur, but each type has different prevention strategies. For instance, with struvite stones, prevention of bladder infections is the primary goal, and while diet can be helpful, it's not the most important factor.

If she is eating a prescription diet, keep in mind that the diet is specifically engineered to produce urine that falls within a narrow range of pH, concentration, and other attributes. Feeding her anything other than that specific diet, even treats or vegetables, can throw off all of those attributes and basically nullify all of the benefits of the diet.

Unfortunately, without knowing which type of stone she had, I can't make specific recommendations on some of your questions because the answers will differ based on the stone type. If you do know which type of stone, I'd be happy to offer more input!

Please let me know if you have any other specific questions :)

~Dr. Sara

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 2 years ago.
Hi Geri,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Suki. How is everything going?
Doc Sara
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I'm hoping to receive her vet notes soon, so I don't know what type of stones she had, but they did say it was the recurring type. Thank you for the information on fluid intake, and I sometimes supplement with a little more water by syringe if she won't finish her meal. She's on the Royal Canin Weight Control, not SO, so I don't know if this matters. She seems to be doing great, and I'll introduce her to my vet in a week, and set up her test schedule. It's good to know about the ph situation, and I appreciate all this information.



Expert:  Doc Sara replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the update! I'm glad to hear that she's settled in well. Once your vet looks over the records, they will be able to put together a plan of action for stone prevention. This usually involves testing urine samples from time to time as well as taking the occasional X-ray to look for new stones.

Congratulations again on your recent adoption :) If you've been satisfied with my service, please spare a moment to give me a rating. Also, let me know if I can help in the future.

~Dr. Sara