This Too Shall Pass: Some Thoughts on Kidney Stones December 21 2013
Patrick Jones, DVM
Max is one of those Boxers that fills every room he enters. Nicest dog in the world but man, what a lot of energy! Whenever he comes into the waiting room of the vet clinic it’s the same. He bounces off all the horizontal and vertical surfaces in the room and washes the face of every person that leans over to say hello. So when Max came in one day and just stood there I knew we had big trouble. He was a pitiful sight as he walked gingerly across the floor.
“Max can’t pee” said the owner. “He strains and strains and only gets a dribble.”
I palpated his abdomen and felt a large, full bladder. Max turned and looked at me and gave me a half-hearted lick.
The normal procedure for these dogs would be to anesthetize them, pass a urinary catheter to drain the bladder and then do surgery to remove the stones. I explained this to Max’s owner. She told me they just weren’t in a position to manage the expense. It seemed euthanasia was Max’s only option.
It was a sad thought. Max was in the prime of life and such a great guy. Nope, I couldn’t do it.
“Can you leave him here for a few days?” I asked “I can’t make any promises but I think we may be able to work through this another way.”
We had nothing to lose. I took Max out to the yard and gently compressed his bladder. A slow dribble of urine came. “OK, we’ve got a chance.” I thought. Had we had no way of relieving the pressure on the bladder, surgery or euthanasia would have been the only options. But, as long as he was moving some urine we had some hope.
I went to the herb room and mixed up a formula to dissolve the stones. I prepared a dose in a syringe full of water and squirted it down Max’s throat. He hardly resisted. “Boy you are sick.” I thought.
I continued dosing him every two to three hours. Half an hour after every dose we’d be out in the yard expressing as much as we could from that bladder. By the next morning we had a continuous dribble...by the next night, a weak stream. On the morning of the third day I went to the run to give Max his slurry. He was ready for me. I left the kennel with much more of the mixture on my clothes than down his throat. “That’s my boy.” I said laughing and wiping myself off. “Now let’s see what you can do.” I turned him loose into the fenced yard and he immediately went to the nearest bush and nearly drowned it. It was a beautiful thing. He came back and jumped on me and washed my face. I wasn’t prepared...one would have to have a snorkel and wet suit to be fully prepared for one of Max’s special greetings. “That’s it.” I said “You’re going home.”
I sent Max home with on a daily maintenance dose of Silver Lining #37 Kidney Support.
I've had several human clients with stones this year as well. The formula I usually use for kidney and bladder stones is as follows:
2 Gravel Root
2 Parsley Root
I usually suggest that humans take 1 tsp several times a day (or make a tea). Dogs get a teaspoon if they're big dogs. Itty bitties get 1/4 teaspoon. Dogs in between gets the appropriate fraction based on weight.
Gravel root and parsley root actually help to dissolve the stones. Marshmallow is soothing to the irritated lining of the urinary tract. Lobelia is an excellent antispasmodic and helps to relax the plumbing so stones can get through. The ginger is included as a catalyst...just something to get the body's attention so that the herbs are better absorbed and utilized. If there is also a urinary tract infection involved, I add Uva ursi to the mix.
The cases of urinary obstruction that I've seen have all been rapidly responsive to the formula.
PS: Still have a few spots for our plant walk and medicine-making seminar this Saturday (June 22, 2013). You can register here!