Bladder and Urinary Diseases

Bladder and Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs and Cats

An often chronic problem in both canines and felines is the accumulation of magnesium amonium phosphate in their uninary tracts. This mineral compound is the cause of bladder disease and urethral obstructions in cats and dogs. Approximately 1% of the American cat population is affected. This same mineral is also often found as bladder stones in dogs. The symptoms can vary from slight to severe. Its presence is characterized by frequent urination of small amounts of urine to complete cessation of urine flow. The lack of urine flow can initiate dehydration, acidosis, and uremic poisoning ultimately leading to death.

There is a general consensus in the veterinary profession that the cause of the accumulation of magnesium ammonium phosphate in cats is diet (i.e. consuming the mineral compound). Cat food manufacturers report the amount of this mineral as the “ash content” on their labels. In the late 1980’s, researchers at the University of California, School of Veterinary Medicine tested cats’ ability to dispel the “ash” by feeding two magnesium compounds, magnesium chloride (an acid) and magnesium oxide (an alkali), to two groups of cats. Those cats fed the alkaline magnesium developed magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals. Those fed the acid form did not develop the crystals. In fact, some crystals dissolved in the acid form of the compound. The conclusion is that the pH of the urine influences the formation of magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals in cats and stones in dogs.

Some cat food manufactures have increased the acidity of their products to prevent the formation of magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals. As previously noted, only 1% of the American cat population has this urinary problem and feeding this acidic diet to the other 99% can cause the formation of calcium oxalate crystals, which is just as catastrophic. Only those cats affected should be targeted for treatment and prevention. As many pet owners know, the treatment of obstructive urinary tract disease is extensive and expensive to the pet owner. Therapeutically, ammonium chloride and methionine have been administered orally as urinary acidifiers but one must use caution with their long term use do to their potential toxic effects.

Since early 1992, I have been administering a botanical berry extract, vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry extract), in tablet form to attain the necessary acid pH to dissolve and prevent the formation of magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals and bladder stones. This product had been appropriately named “Carpon”. Carpon has proven to be the “magic bullet” needed to treat, prevent, and control the formation of struvite crystals in cats and bladder stones in canines. This product is toxic free and will dissolve struvite crystals in a few hours. If your dog is already affected, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove the stones. Carpon can then be administered as a safeguard against the return of the stone. As in the feline, crystals can be detected on routine urinalysis in the dog and a preventive protocol with Carpon will prevent the formation of larger stones.