Need help for basenji boy with Cystine bladder stones

  • Hi all,

    Have any of you ever had a basenji with cystine bladder stones?
    If so can you please advise me on a good diet and any other helpful information.

    Benji is currently on Hills U/D and he is dropping weight and his coat is dull he acts like he is starving all of the time. Which he used to be a very picky eater. Also he will not drink water on his own, I have to add something to it for a little flavor. He never was a big water drinker, but now we have to monitor him all day long as it is crucial to keep fluids in him.

    His story,

    Benji is getting ready to turn 8 this month. I rescued him aprox 6 years ago. He's been a typical basenji, full of life and love and could run the basenji 500 for an hour nonstop.

    A couple of months ago he started walking funny, like he was peddling a bike. I took him into his vet and they treated him for enlarged prostate, he was intact. Took two weeks worth of antibiotics and rimadyl and there was no relief. He then started becoming lame on his right front side and was wobbly and falling over.

    I took him back and they gave him an xray. I was then told that he had degenerative disc disease and was given prednisone and previcox and I was told to go to chiropractic care.
    After taking only 3 prenisones he started defecating blood. I took him off everything immediately and put him on a bland diet.

    I went to see a neurologist for 2 hours to talk about hydrotherapy and made an appointment for the following week.

    Two days later on a short walk I noticed he was struggling to urinate. By that evening he was completely blocked.
    I took him to ER where he was needle aspirated after the catheter method did not work.

    The following morning emergency surgery was done and there was a stone stuck in his penis bone as well as over 30 in his bladder. He was also neutered. That was a month ago. The stones were biopsied and found to be cystine, which happen to be rare.

    His health still isn't right. He sleeps a lot more and is stiill very unstable in his back end and at times his right rear leg drags a little. It seems really stiff. He has lost muscle mass all over his body. He used to be so strong.

    I've strip tested him a few times for glucose and its always normal. With his health issues I sent in a DNA swab to check for Fanconi just so it could be ruled out, hopefully.
    Ive also checked his PH level and it is at 6.8.

    I joined another group for cystinuria, altho Benji was never dx'd with it and there are no other Basenjis there.
    I wrote Dr, Henthorn at the U of Penn who is doing research on this and have not heard back.
    I've spent endless hours online looking for information if only for a good low protein diet that wont leave him feeling like he's starving and come up empty handed.

    Any advice would be much appreciated 🙂

    Thank you so much in advance.

  • A link with some info:

    From another chat list:
    For a dog that forms cystine crystals or stones, some important things to consider are:

    1. The more water they drink, the better.
    2. The more access to potty breaks they have (not having to "hold it" for long periods of time) the better.
    3. The more fluid in their diets the better (this is the REAL advantage of a raw diet for dogs w/ cystinuria - more fluid!)
    4. Cystine stones (unlike many other types) tend to form when urine pH is abnormally acidic. Monitoring pH and altering diet to maintain
    a slightly more alkeline-than-normal pH can help some cystine stone formers.
    5. Avoid feeding too much cooked or processed poultry
    6. For males, neutering may help prevent reoccurances (although not true for all breeds - there are some numbers out there for Mastiffs,
    I believe, that show a GREATER incidence of cystine stone formation
    in neutered males).

    If raw is not an option, I would contact the likes of The Honest Kitchen and see which of their foods they would recommend, with the addition of ground raw sirloin as the meat base. The added benefits of The Honest Kitchen is you have to reconstitute with water which would increase the water content.

    Another way to increase water content is their product Ice Pups or similar. Mix with water and freeze into ice cubes the dogs like to eat.

    Good luck.

  • Thank you CongoMomma 🙂

    I'm hoping that him being neutered now reverses his disease.

    I've never tried a raw diet with him. Ive offered him raw meats in the past and he turned up his nose to them.

    I will check into the foods that the honest kitchen offers vs his prescription diet.

    Thanks again for taking time out to reply

  • First Basenji's

    wow, that is some story-so sorry for your boy! and you of course! I do not have any experience with the stones, but also have never heard of them. I am glad to have read about it and the symptoms; something else to store to memory - just in case! Sometimes that ol' hindsight is frustrating when it comes to the Veterinarians who care for our babies. Just gotta have a ton of respect for all their training as the patients are a mystery that they have to solve with the puzzle pieces of info we give them and all the reading of symptoms available…..sure hope he feels better. Are the satin balls considered low protein? seems like the ingredients are not all muscle protein-go to the 'search the forum' box at the top to find the recipe-

  • I'd start exploring this site:

    I started there when my oldest dog was diagnosed with early stage kidney failure and from there i found the K9 kidney group. There may be some homemade food that would help decrease the chances of the stones forming again. also, i have had some great support from my holistic vet.

    good luck!

  • forgot to add:
    a few years ago i noticed my oldest dog was loosing muscle mass in his hind legs. he now goes to swim therapy once a week. it has helped. no, he doesn't enjoy it, but he does tolerate it

  • Benjis Mama, how is your dog? Has he recovered? Did he block again? And have you found any treatments or diet that seemed to help?

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