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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone

My Inky has been peeing frequently and has started passing small, white, hard stones. What is this?
She is eating, drinking and playing as normal, she is fed a grain free high quality dry and wet food with fresh veg and meats.

Iv not experienced this before so Iv no idea what is going on with her. I don't want to start googling it as I will end up terrified.
We do have a vet appointment tomorrow.





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?? bladder stones??

Gracie has a long history of crystals in her urine and when she gets a urinary tract infection from them, she pees small amounts frequently.

sometimes with blood. Is there blood present??

she has had to go on a prescription urinary diet to help minimize the formation.

keep us posted....
 

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Hi - boy I've NEVER seen that from any of mine although our second Basset suffered with bladder stones which meant an operation and coming home with a collection of stones (which I may still have somewhere!!) But nothing as big as those. Because of the bone in the penis, males don't pass them once they get big - they just block up. Unlike bitches who can pass them and I suppose this is what's going on??

KEEP OFF THE INTERNET - the saying 'a little knowledge is (can be!) a dangerous thing' - true. And a vet once told me that I could end up worrying myself and getting no proper answers. Again true!

Collect some urine and take it with you, and the sooner you can get her examined, the urine tested and so on, the better. And do keep a close eye on her going to excessive squatting with not much coming out - she could have a big 'stone' which could still cause a blockage.

How you go forward with this will depend on which of the two types of stones she has, if this is what she has. Some can be controlled with the right diet, and some dissolved without needing surgery. But don't anticipate any of that - see your vet.

I hope she'll be okay, obviously and without the need for surgery!

Kidney stones - Bladder stones ...... http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2114&aid=400
http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/struvite-bladder-stones-in-dogs/5842
 

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can also be kidney stone. There are number of types of stones and treatment varies on the type of stone hand on to them for analysis by a vet

Struvite stones most common in felmales related to UTI can be dissolved
Struvite Stones (Canine) - Mar Vista Animal Medical Center

Oxalate Stone not common in females will not dissolve must be surgically removed diet can help in reducing formation
Calcium Oxalate Stones (Canine) - Mar Vista Animal Medical Center

uric stone would be bizarre to occur in basset hound
Uric Acid Stones (Canine) - Mar Vista Animal Medical Center

kidney stones
Kidney Stones in Dogs | petMD
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just got home from the vets.
She is having an xray on Monday to see if there are any more stones and if they are in the bladder or the kidneys. The vet couldn't feel anymore stones, usually that means there are no big ones but there could be some smaller ones. I gave the vet a urine sample (her first morning wee) he is going to test that to find out if her pee is Acidic or Alkaline, I all so gave him the 3 stones I have seen her pass he said he might get those analysed that depends on what the urine sample tells him.
The vet told me I will have to change her diet to a commercial food designed to stop the body producing the stones, something like Royal Canin, Science plan, hills etc I have a problem with this as we all know they are full of rubbish and grains etc....I have spent years finding a quality grain free food for her as she becomes very sick on commercial crap kibble. What do you guys feed your hound? Would a raw diet work? I would rather cook for her myself than put her on that rubbish! But how do I know I am giving her what she needs?
Thanks for advice !
 

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I use taste of the wild which is grain free, or certain flavors are. I think their website has the ingredients for each. But, I'm also not sure if maybe some ingredient is in grain free or the food you feed your dog that might be causing these stones.
 

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The vet told me I will have to change her diet to a commercial food designed to stop the body producing the stones, something like Royal Canin, Science plan, hills
These are THE 3 makes of Dog Food vets ALWAYS promote and like you, regardless of what's going on with these stones, wouldn't touch any of them. And much as I've never felt confident enough to raw feed, to make sure I was giving a balanced diet, this may be your answer. BUT you can't make any decisions until you know the make-up of these stones and whether they can be dissolved with diet, or whether she will have to be opened up - surgery and then put on an appropriate diet to prevent them recurring.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Test results back-
She has acidic pee and cystine stones in her bladder. Very tiny ones that she will pass so no surgery at the moment. The vet has told me I have to put her on a royal canin medicated diet to break up and stop the stones forming and have monthly urine tests.
I am going to have to do this but it goes against everything I have learnt! This food is full of rubbish and will make her sick again. Iv found some urine strip tests I can buy and do at home to keep a check on her acid level in her pee.
Does anyone know of an alternative diet that has worked for there basset that has these stones?! Raw? Home cooked? Iv read that a cranberry supplement probiotics can help .... advice please.


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Urinary Tract / Kidney Stones (Cystine) in Dogs | petMD
'the veterinarian will usually recommend using treatment options such as a special diet and medication -- N-(2-mercaptopropionyl)glycine (2-MPG) -- to reduce and eliminate the stones without surgery."



Canine Cystinuria Treatment
"Can I dissolve cystine stones with diet?

No, they cannot be dissolved with diet or supplementation.

Can cystinuria be controlled by diet, supplements, or medications?

Although a reduced-protein diet is usually prescribed for this condition, the actual experiences of people who have attempted to prevent stone formation with diet have not been positive. And while it is hard for cystine stones to form in alkaline urine (dog urine is normally acidic), maintaining a constant alkaline urine with diet or supplements is difficult, and can lead to the formation of other types of stone. Furthermore, since cystine stones do not dissolve in alkaline urine, if the urine goes into acidity even briefly, stones can form and will not dissolve just because alakaline urine is achieved shortly thereafter. Most of us with dogs with cystinuria have had bad experiences and poor outcomes from relying on diet and supplementation to prevent stone formation in our stone-forming dogs.

The use of medications has been more successful. The drug Thiola is effective in preventing stone formation in many dogs, with few reported side effects. In fact, the single most frequently reported "side effect" is the depletion of the owner's bank account, especially for owners of large or giant breed dogs. Thiola is also an "orphan drug," and can be hard to obtain. Information on getting thiola is available from the FDA.

There is another drug that is easier to obtain and somewhat less expensive, cupramine (d-Penicillamine). This drug is associated with more side effects, but if your dog tolerates it, it might be a better choice.

Once my dog's stones are treated, can I prevent more from forming in the future?

Some veterinarians, including many well-known kidney specialists, feel strongly that cystine stones can be prevented, or the incidence greatly reduced, by feeding ultra-low-protein diets (such as Hills u/d) and alkalinizing the urine with drugs or supplements. Other veterinarians believe that diet is of minimal or no use in controlling the formation of stones, and that only the drug Thiola is effective for this purpose. You can read some intriguing research on this subject here.

On the Canine Cystinuria email list, most of us have found that diet and urinary alkalinization have failed to prevent our dogs from forming stones, and have sometimes caused other problems, including other types of stones that form in alkaline urine. Some of us are also concerned about feeding ultra-low-protein diets to dogs, particularly giant breed dogs, and dogs of breeds prone to cardiomyopathy.

Unfortunately, thiola is very expensive, prohibitively so for most owners of large dogs. For this reason, many owners of dogs with cystinuria who form stones opt for a scrotal urethrostomy even if their dog is not obstructed, because with this procedure, male dogs will tend to pass stones the way female dogs do, and the risk of obstruction is reduced, or even eliminated. (Female dogs with cystinuria rarely get a urinary obstruction from stones.) There is a description of this procedure toward the end of the page here.

All of us with dogs with cystinuria who form stones wish there was a simple way to treat or prevent these stones with diet or an accessible, affordable drug, but as of today that is not the case."


Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Begins Dispensing Lower Cost Alternative to Thiola®
"Cystinuria is an inherited disease that causes stones made of the amino acid cystine to form in the kidneys, bladder and/or urethra. There are an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 patients in the U.S. who suffer from this chronic condition and 4,000 to 5,000 of them may be candidates for Thiola. In 2014, Retrophin LLC and its CEO at the time, Martin Shkreli, acquired the licensing rights of Thiola from Mission Pharmacal Company and increased the price of Thiola 2,000% from $1.50 per tablet to $30 per tablet, resulting in cystinuria patients having to grapple with their treatment costs which may exceed more than an estimated $100,000 per year. Since Mr. Shkreli's departure from Retrophin, the high price of Thiola remains intact. "

Imprimis targets another Shkreli price hike with compounded rival to $30-per-pill Thiola | FiercePharma
"Because it's a compounding pharmacy, rather than a drug manufacturer with FDA-approved manufacturing lines and processes for each product, Imprimis must have a patient-specific script in hand to make its meds. ...The new Thiola competitor is scheduled for rollout in April(2016). Though Imprimis hasn't quoted a per-capsule price, it says that the cost of treatment would be more than 70% lower for some patients. Imprimis also plans to customize the dosage of its version, hoping to reduce the number of capsules required per day.

Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Begins Dispensing Lower Cost Alternative to Thiola®
"The company offers two customizable compounded choices:

Tiopronin DR, which is comprised of the active ingredient tiopronin along with a cellulose-based FDA-approved delayed release agent. This formulation is available in various customizable doses including 200mg and 250mg capsules.
Tiopronin-K DR is comprised of the active ingredient tiopronin along with potassium citrate in a delayed release capsule, for those patients who have had their potassium citrate dosing titrated. Potassium citrate is the first-line alkalinizing drug for the treatment of cystinuria. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, in addition to chelating medications such as tiopronin, potassium citrate is often co-prescribed and taken separately to make the urine more alkaline, potentially reducing cystine crystallization and stone formation.
Imprimis' tiopronin compounded formulations may not only significantly lower the cost of cystinuria treatments but also allow patients, for the first time, to reduce the number of pills they consume on a daily basis for this chronic genetic disease. Imprimis' exclusive NDC code for tiopronin should allow patients and their insurance companies to experience a reduction of at least 60% in costs compared to the FDA-approved Thiola per 100mg dose. Many health insurance plans cover compounded drugs and patients not covered will benefit from the Imprimis Cares patient access program. Finally, many insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers have developed or are developing programs to provide patients with lower-cost alternatives to certain FDA-approved branded and generic drugs. "


Iv read that a cranberry supplement probiotics can help .... advice please.
NOT WITH CYSTINE CRYSTALS

https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/cystinuria/
Drugs that may be prescribed to make the urine more alkaline include potassium citrate, and acetazolamide. This treatment is accompanied by dietary salt restriction.

Another approach to the treatment of Cystinuria is administration of d- penicillamine, although there are some risks of side effects with this drug. D-penicillamine promotes the formation of cystine in a different chemical form (mixed disulfide), which is more soluble in the urine and is excreted.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11467594?dopt=Abstract
Twenty-six different breeds were recognized, and the most common breeds were Dachshunds, Tibetan Spaniels, and Basset Hounds. In 76 of 88 treated dogs (86%), re-formation of cystine uroliths was prevented. Recurrence rate of cystine uroliths changed from 7 months before to 18 months during tiopronin treatment. On 28 occasions, bladder stones were found, and in about 60% of the dogs, the uroliths dissolved. Quantitative measurement of the urinary excretion of cystine showed a significantly (P < .03) higher excretion of cystine in dogs with recurrent urolith formation than in dogs with only 1 urolith episode. Another finding was a significant (P = .02) decrease in urinary cystine excretion in older (>5 years) than in younger (<5 years) dogs. Adverse effects were found in 11 dogs, and the most severe signs were aggressiveness and myopathy. All signs disappeared when tiopronin treatment was stopped. In conclusion, this study emphasizes the importance of an individual strategy for lifelong treatment of cystinuria. In addition to increasing water intake, chemical modification of the cysteine molecule into a more soluble form by means of tiopronin is useful. In dogs with re-formed cystine uroliths, dissolution may be induced by increasing the tiopronin dosage to 40 mg/kg body weight per day. In dogs with a low urolith recurrence rate and low urinary cystine excretion, the tiopronin dosage may be decreased or treatment discontinued.
 

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DogAware.com Articles: Urate, Cystine and Less Common Urinary Stones

"Cystine stones

Photo of Mastiff, one of the breeds prone to cystinuria.
Cystine is a sulfur-containing amino acid essential to the health of skin, hair, bones, and connective tissue. Excess cystine is normally filtered by the kidneys so that it doesn’t enter the urine, but some dogs and humans are born with cystinuria, an inherited metabolic disorder that prevents this filtering action. When cystine passes into the urine, it can form crystals and uroliths.

Cystine stones are rare, representing 1 percent or less of uroliths identified in laboratories. Although any breed can develop cystinuria, certain breeds are most affected. An estimated 10 percent of male Mastiffs (pictured at right) have cystinuria. It is also common in Newfoundlands, English Bulldogs, Scottish Deerhounds, Dachshunds, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and Chihuahuas. Cystine stones are faintly radiopaque, which makes them more difficult to see on X-rays than stones that contain calcium.
There are at least two types of cystinuria. The more severe form affects Newfoundlands and, rarely, Labrador Retrievers, and possibly some other breeds and mixes. In these dogs, males and females are equally affected (though as always, males are more likely to become obstructed). The age at onset can be as young as 6 months to 1 year. Recurrence of stones following surgery is more rapid in these dogs, and they are more likely to form kidney stones. The gene that causes cystinuria in these breeds has been identified and a simple, reliable genetic test can identify both affected dogs and carriers.
In other breeds, dogs with cystinuria are almost always male. No genetic test is available for them, though the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (PennVet) is collecting blood samples from affected Mastiffs and their genetic relatives to try to produce a DNA test. The average age at onset of clinical signs is about 5 years.

A basic urinalysis can sometimes detect cystine in urine, though this is the least reliable method of detection. A nitroprusside (NP) test performed at the University of Pennsylvania (PennGen) is considered more reliable. A quantitative amino acid analysis performed by PennGen or a human medical laboratory is most reliable but very expensive. If cystine is found in the urine on any of these tests, the diagnosis is considered positive for cystinuria, though that doesn’t necessarily mean the dog will form stones. Unfortunately, a negative result on any of these tests does not guarantee that the dog is “clear.” Note that sulfa drugs and supplements, including sulfa antibiotics, MSM and Deramaxx, may cause false positive results.
“Cystinuria is a particularly frustrating condition to manage,” says San Francisco Chronicle pet columnist Christie Keith, who started a Canine Cystinuria e-mail list and website when one of her Scottish Deerhounds developed cystine uroliths. “A dog known to have cystinuria may go his whole life without obstructing, while another dog, never diagnosed, can have a life-threatening obstruction as his first symptom. It's not known at this time why some dogs with cystinuria form stones and others do not.”
Cystine, like all amino acids, is one of the building blocks of protein. That's why most veterinarians (including many kidney specialists) prescribe a low-protein diet, speculating that reducing cystine supply will reduce the formation of cystine stones. Another common recommendation is to alkalize the dog’s urine because cystine stones form in acid urine.
Unfortunately, says Keith, these strategies are ineffective. “Most of us on the Canine Cystinuria list have found that diet and urinary alkalization have failed to prevent our dogs from forming stones,” she says, “and they have sometimes caused other problems, including other types of stones that form in alkaline urine. If the urine goes into acidity even briefly, cystine stones can form and they won’t dissolve just because alkaline urine is achieved soon after. In addition, feeding ultra-low-protein diets can be dangerous, especially to giant breeds and breeds prone to cardiomyopathy.” (SeeThe Side Effects of Low-Protein Diets below.)
It’s important to provide your dog with extra fluids and frequent opportunities to urinate in order to keep his urine from becoming supersaturated. Salt should not be added to increase fluid consumption for dogs with cystinuria; according to studies conducted on humans, a low-sodium diet may decrease the amount of cystine in the urine.
If urine alkalization is attempted, the target pH is 7.0 to 7.5; higher can predispose dogs to calcium phosphate uroliths. Potassium citrate is preferred for alkalization when needed rather than sodium bicarbonate because sodium may enhance cystinuria.
Cystine stones cannot be dissolved with diet or supplements, but two prescription drugs can help dissolve and prevent them. Cuprimine (d-penicillamine) has potentially serious side effects but is less expensive and more readily available, and many dogs do well on it. According to Keith, Thiola (tiopronin, also referred to as 2-mercaptopropionylglycine or 2-MPG), has fewer side effects, but one of them is the depletion of the owner’s bank account. Maintaining a giant-breed dog on Thiola can cost as much as $500 per month. Because the severity of cystinuria tends to decline with age, the dosage of preventative medications can sometimes be decreased or even stopped.
Dissolution requires a combination of medication, low-protein diet, and urinary alkalinization. Even then it may not be successful or practical for a dog with numerous stones. When it does work, dissolution commonly takes one to three months.
For some dogs, the solution has come not from prevention strategies or medication but from surgery. “It sounds extreme,” says Keith, “but many of us who have stone-forming male dogs with cystinuria have opted for a scrotal urethrostomy. This surgery redirects the dog’s urethra away from the penis to a new, surgically created opening in front of the scrotum.”
The wider opening that results enables males to more easily pass small stones and helps to prevent urinary blockages. “While future obstruction is not impossible,” says Keith, “this procedure reduces the risk substantially.” Still, she cautions, this surgery should not be undertaken lightly. It’s expensive, requiring the expertise of a skilled board-certified surgeon, and because the affected area is rich in blood vessels, there can be significant post-surgical bleeding, though the surgery is not particularly painful.
“The good news,” she says, “is that many dogs, including stone-formers and those who had serious complications when their condition was first diagnosed, have lived not just normal but longer-than-normal lives.”
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Hi sorry for delay! Had a wisdom tooth removed and it's been a nightmare!
The vet told me Inky has cystine urolithiasis ....
Please help me! I'm literally driving myself insane with this. I have read and read and read what I can and I keep getting contradicting advice.
So here are the main points -
Vet has told me to put her on a prescription diet Hills u/d

Feed her nothing else but this food

Go back in a month for a urine test to see if she is still producing stones

Another X-ray in 3-6 months to check for stones still in her bladder. If gone keep her on the Hills food (which is very expensive)

I'm under the impression Hills food does not break up the stones, it stops the production of more because it's low in certain nutrients. ?

She can't be on Hills for ever, even though the vet says she can... because it's so high in fat it can lead to Pancras problems.

I don't want to feed her the Hills food long term so what do I do?! Try her on other wet food and see how her body reacts to it? I am adding a cup of water to her meals and Iv got some home urine testing kits because her pee needs to stay neutral at 7 - 7.5
I really don't know what to do.
I have attached photos of the info the vet gave me.


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I think any time I am told I must fee ONLY one brand of food I am suspicious. I think a reread of Soundtracks last posting would be good. Looks like a low protein diet or other diet MIGHT help, as MIGHT medications.

I would look for a lower protein food with a good balance, try to increase water intake, and hope for the best....or simply tell the vet you can't afford (even if you can) to feed only the RX food, how can you make her something that will be OK....rice/chicken? Polly had pancreatic issues, and we went thru a lot of rice with her. Good Luck.....being as stubborn as a Basset sometimes pays.
 

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gracie has crystals in her urine from her bladder.

She is on Hill's prescription C/D and does take cranberry chews twice a day.

Good luck :p:p
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you ! we are due to go back to the vets the end of this month for another urine test to see if she is still producing stones. I have some home testing kits so I can try and keep an eye on her PH level myself.
PollyEster I am gong to try and go down that route with the vets by saying I cant afford it, hopefully then another option might be presented. I think we are going to have to try and manage this stone production rather than look for a cure for it, from what I have read it sounds like it never goes away. I would rather feed her a diet of chicken and rice but the vet said chicken is protein so she cant have that, surly a diet with NO protein would be much worse. Maybe I should find a dog nutritionist.

Hey 3kbasset! You and I are in the same boat! how long has Gracie been on Hills? Inky is on Hills U/D and she is constantly hungry on it, she has never been a food beggar but now she is desperate! I give her one can twice a day and add a cup of water to her morning food. The vet said she isnt to have anything else! I have been giving her a bit of a good quality wet food to try and fill her up but its not working.
 

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This may or may not be applicable, but I have some experience with cystine stones because I have a family member with cystinuria. In essence, her kidneys can't process certain amino acids and she forms cystine stones in response.

Unlike virtually every other patient of her doctors, she has managed her cystinuria with no medication for years now. She was prescribed penicillimine, but there were so many concerns about possible reactions to it that she never took it.

Instead, she drinks tons of fluids, takes baking soda for alkinization and is very careful with protein intake. She does eat protein, but is careful what kind because apparently some kinds of protein (fish, I think) are really bad, while others (??? can't remember) aren't so bad in limited---LIMITED---amounts.

She also uses ph strips to check how acid her urine is.

I would caution you about baking soda. Although it works for my family member, her doctors actually prescribe her baking soda pills so she doesn't get too much because, if the body gets too alkaline, it can go into ketoacidosis, which is often deadly. Bassets are small critters in comparison to people and I'm not sure there is any accurate way to figure out safe amounts of baking soda.

However, wet food, figuring out what kinds of proteins are safer for her than others, using ph strips, encouraging lots of water, stuff like that, I'd do in a second.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you biscuit, that is helpful! Feeding her avet recommended diet is my worst nightmare! I never wanted her to be fed this expensive stuff that is mostly full of fat. going on what you said I was sent an article from a friend saying about only feeding certain types of protein.
4 ounces cottage cheese
4 ounces cooked chicken
One egg
4 ounces (3/4 cup) white rice
6 ounces cooked sweet potato
Using the ingredients listed above, this diet could be varied. Variety is important not only for nutrients, but for the interest of the dog as well.

Here are some additional examples:
4 ounces cooked Cod
4 ounces plain yogurt
One egg
6 ounces white rice
4 ounces steamed potato
Another variation would be:
4 ounces beef muscle meat
3 scrambled eggs
6 ounces cooked EGG noodles
2 slices of whole wheat bread

I feel like I am loosing my mind over this, I really dont know what to do. She has started peeing in the house now if she is left I dont know if this is a protest or because she just cant hold it.
 

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gracie has been on hills c/d (rx urinary diet) for several months and will likely be

on it all her life. Yes, very expensive

sophie is on hills prescription GI diet low fat because it's the only thing that keeps

her vomiting from occurring. will also likely be on it for life. Expensive, but not

as bad as the urinary c/d


Time will tell if the c/d has helped gracie's crystals.
 

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Inkbelle, do you have a doggie door? It's very, very important she be well hydrated, which means she's going to be peeing much more. Also make sure she doesn't have an underlying infection causing her to pee more.

Also remember beans as a source of protein. They apparently don't cause the same issues as meats, chicken, etc. I regularly make my pups a big pot of beans and they're healthy as horses, so beef, chicken, etc. honestly aren't required daily.
 

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"I would caution you about baking soda. Although it works for my family member, her doctors actually prescribe her baking soda pills so she doesn't get too much because, if the body gets too alkaline, it can go into ketoacidosis, "


My grandmother was a habitual baking soda user generally ending up in the hospital every 3-6months because her stomach was coated in to and the Sodium in it sent her Electrolyte balance all to hell.
 

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Yea! I take baking soda about once a year for a sour stomach (yes, it really works), but anything more than that, yikes! Potent stuff not to be toyed with.
 
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