- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Question about kidney stones in cats, dogs, humans

May 22nd, 2008, 10:10 PM
I've never had a dog or cat with crystals or stones, but my hubby does get kidney stones.
Has there ever been a study regarding the water source that cats, dogs or humans drink from to see if there's anything there that could help contribute to stones?
I know from testing my pond water for GH/KH and PH and testing my source tap water for the same things so I know what I'm putting in the pond during a water change or topping up, that our tap water has a PH of 7.5 and it's stable with the GH and KH numbers.
Does soft or lower PH water, or hard or high PH water contribute at all to these stones?


Dr Lee
May 22nd, 2008, 10:54 PM
On tap water. It depends on what type of stones but tap water can help contribute to stones in some cases but has never been shown as a cause. Several specialists recommend bottled water only for dogs and cats that have a history of stones.

On a side note: there was a recent article regarding the tap water in Washington DC and that several compounds including prescription drugs were being identified in the tap water. One of the common ones was sulfa drugs since they are used to treat UTIs. Almost every tap water source was contaminated. One of the problems according to the article was that some of these compounds can NOT be eliminated by the water processing technology used in public water supplies. The article was concerned that other states might be similar. I steer away from tap water in humans or pets.

On pH. Urine pH is a factor with stone formation. Oxalate crystals form at low pH and struvite stone form at high pH. Without the associated pH, the crystals can not form. With this said, urine pH varies throughout the day. After you eat, the urine pH rises and then falls with fasting (this urine change is called post prandial alkaline tide). So pH alone is not the only factor and often the problem is the fact that the pH stays high or low instead of a normal mild rhythm. Urine pH comes from blood pH since urine is filtered blood. While blood pH is regulated by the body what you drink, especially if it is a consistently a high or low pH based fluid would conceivably alter urine pH as well.

There are other stones which form more due to other factors and are not as associated with pH. For example, urate stones are associated with certain liver disease or with some dalmations. Silica stones are associated with ingesting silica, or sand - this used to be associated with cats when proper fish cleaning practices were not being performed.

Hope that helps. :pawprint:

May 23rd, 2008, 11:19 AM
Cindy, I am very acidic - high blood acid on father's side and my maternal grandmother had gout - so I am double-doomed. I do have to watch purines and oxalic acids. I do drink bottled water though and I give my Eskie bottled water as well (Eskies are prone to stones, plus it seems to help keep yellow from his eyes). I would like to point out though that when I had my first kidney stone attack in 1989 (I live in Toronto) and for several months drank tons of water trying to move it - it stopped just at the tip of the bladder - and was seeing a Toronto urologist at a Toronto clinic, I had no idea that his surgical privileges were at Peel Memorial - a pain. But in I went to have it "yanked out" - and to my horror and surprise, there were many men in the ward who referred to Peel County as the KIDNEY STONE CAPITAL OF CANADA! Makes you think something in the water. I know that many people in the "granite states" drink bottled water for fear of stones. But as Dr. Lee said there are many causes. My PH is about 3.5 to 4 - an walking acid queen. But good news I guess is that I don't have stomach acid.

May 23rd, 2008, 06:44 PM
Thanks for the info Dr. Lee and Snowdancer.
I guess a lot of people and animals would benefit from drinking good bottled water. Mind you there's been lots of controvery over what source the bottled water people get their water from. We drink bottled water and I think I'll use the bottled for the pets too. The dogs drink mainly out of the pond most of the summer, biggest water bowl they ever had. :laughing: But I know what's in that water and while it's filled with tap water, it's filtered through bogs. I've had it professionally tested and it's good for human consumption too, so I feel alright about them drinking it.