Mineral accumulation in the kidneys can result in kidney stones (renal calculi) and a condition called nephrolithiasis. These crystalline, solidified masses of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and other minerals can hang around harmlessly within the organs, but if they descend into the ureters then painful urination, blockage, and bleeding may result. Dogs and cats are only rarely afflicted with kidney stones, though when they are they are unlikely to indicate pain or any other symptoms, unless the condition is severe enough to result in blood in the urine; however the owner should watch for signs of painful urination.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) may be the root cause of a pet's kidney stones, but poor diet, excessively alkaline urine, and age-related factors are just as likely. Changes in diet, increased hydration, and some natural dietary supplements can provide a natural remedy to this condition and offer your pet relief from kidney stone pain. Unless a complete urinary blockage is present, the first step in treatment is always to increase liquid intake to increase urination and decrease the amount of time minerals can crystallize in the kidneys.
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
Apple Cider Vinegar
[YEA] Rachel from St. Louis, MO: "My parent's dog had horrible kidney stones and a urinary tract infection. He could not hold his urine sometimes and other times he could not release it. He was in a lot of pain. The vet reccomended surgery. My mom was reluctant because she believes in natural cures and the fact that there is a 40% chance of it repeating in a year. She put him on a special diet and it didn't work. After two days of putting him on the Apple Cider Vinegar, he appears to be cured! They put a little in his drinking water and a few drops in his food. It worked like a wonder drug! He is happy and energetic again and is no longer having accidents or in pain. He is back to his old self. Highly Recomended!"
01/20/2013: Elaine from Kansas City, Mo: "Both of my dogs have oxalate bladder stones. I want to use food grade diatomaceous earth to treat their arthritis and GI issues. Can anyone tell me if it is contraindicated because of their bladder stones? The "boys, " as we all them, are 15 and 11 years old and need lots of support and help with their legs. Thank you, Elaine"
01/08/2012: Chloe from Ashland, Kentucky: "What causes dogs to have kidney stones and how can they be prevented?"
08/07/2012: Sharon from Wheelersburg, Ohio, Us: "My girl pug, wolfie, has been through the mill. two surgeries for bladder stone removal, special food many times, antibiotics, shots, on on and on. She is facing her 3rd surgery if something doesn't work. My vet has had her on royal canine urinary, so dry food. When this happened for the 3rd time she is now on the same food only wet food, more antibiotics, and injections of glucosemine which they have found coats the bladder and stones, etc. Also on tramadol for when she passes a stone. She does not have the typical kind of bladder stone which I believe is calcium oxilate, she has a rare type of stone which isn't seen much. She seems to be peeing & drinking more than usual and has no blood but if this doesn't work she'll need a third surgery.
This pug is my baby. Anyone with anything that's worked for you. I'm worried, frustrated and open.
Thanks, Sharon & Wolfie"
05/14/2012: Chi from Sai Gon, Vietnam: "My dog is diagnosed with calcium phosphate stones in his both kidneys. Vet in my country cannot help him, no specific treatment is gave so I have to help him by myself. I feed him 750mg of VitC with hope to acidify his urine then the stones can be dissovled. His weights is 38 lbs. Is this dosage too small for him? Anyone gets experiences in this case? Please help, I really appreciate, I cannot watch him dying."Replies
05/15/2012: Lmajor from Orlando, Fl, Usa replies: "One of my small male dogs (Chinese Crested) began having episodes where he was not able to urinate. I tried Apple Cider Vinegar which would clear him up by the next morning; however, the episodes would return after not continuing the larger doses of Apple Cider Vinegar. After a lot of researching about stones, I came across information about Potassium Citrate and how it controls the acidic levels of the urine so stones won't form. I went to The Vitamin Shoppe and purchased the store brand Potassium Citrate capsules and began giving him one capsule a day before his meal. It is 300 capsules (99 mg) for about $11. I have started back up with Apple Cider Vinegar again but in very small doses in the dogs' drinking water so they are all getting that good stuff. Ever since I have been giving him a capsule of Potassium Citrate a day, he has never had another episode. I contribute this more to the Potassium Citrate but I know the Apple Cider Vinegar is only helping more."
08/14/2012: Teresa from Leslie, Mi replies: "Nobody ever says how much they give their dogs. I have a 12 year old male Chihuahua with a blockage. His options are euthanasia and euthanasia. He has a heart condition from age (vet diagnosed). I am afraid to give him his heart meds which will make him pee. He has been to the vet, and they ran a catheter and said it is blocked. I don't want to put him to sleep (permanantly). I had the vet give me pain meds (Rimadyl generic was given). I have been putting castor oil packs on him since Friday night. Approximately 4 times a day for a minimum of 2 hours. I have given him apple cider vinegar and EVOO. And, then I have given him EVOO and lemon juice. I have bought Marshmallow Root Tea and he is getting that by syringe every 2 hours or so. He is getting SQ fluids. I am at a loss. The vet will not advise me, other than saying I should euthanize him. How much do I give of stuff? I just syringed him 20cc of EVOO and lemon juice. I went today and bought gravel root tincture gave him 2 drops. He had kidney stone surgery 4 years ago when I was on Royal Canin dry dog food. I changed foods (other reasons) and put him on hydrangea tincture when he wouldn't eat the food the vet prescribed. 4 years, no kidney stones. Vet said it would NOT be the Royal Canin. Well, about 7 months ago I changed to Royal Canin again... And guess what? Kidney Stones again! Help!"
01/27/2013: Mj from Atlanta, Ga replies: "My dog was diagnosed with bladder stones (oaxalate) several years ago. He had surgery to remove the stones (around $600) and the vet put him on Hill's u/d canned food. The vet specifically said he should NOT eat dry food. Also, the vet recommended I add water to his food and give him 4 potassium citrate capsules each day.
I have only given him 3 potassium citrate capsules per day, along with the u/d canned food in water daily for several years and he hasn't had any problems since. Hope this helps!"