What are kidney stones?
Firstly, there are a few different types of ‘stones’ that can be diagnosed, but the most common stone is ‘calcium oxalate stones’ - Kidney stones.
Put simply, Oxalates are found in all foods, but it has no known function in animals. As such, oxalate needs to be filtered by the kidney (along with other impurities) to be expelled via urination. It is here that calcium oxalate stones can form.
Calcium oxalate stones are formed when there is too much oxalate in a pets diet and not enough water consumption, which creates a far more concentrated urine.
Essentially, the oxalate ‘sticks’ to calcium in the kidney and begins to form crystals. If untreated, this process continues and the crystals can grow bigger over time to the point where they are too large to expel (thus the term stones) via the urinary tract and will need medical intervention. These stones roll around inside the kidney and cause horrendous pain.
Many vets will offer a specific kibble product to help slow the stone growth in your pet, but remember even the highest grade kibbles generally only contain 30% protein, next to no moisture and can still be full of grains, wheat and corn.
One of the best ways to avoid your pet having to endure painful kidney stones is to increase fluid consumption. You cannot make them drink more water, but give them a moisture rich diet. Raw meats along with bones, offal and some fruit and veg served fresh and raw is best. Ensure there’s no preservatives, salts, sulphur dioxide or other chemicals have been added too!
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