Spell Saab

It’s been a hard weekend for Joey Bear. Last Thursday I took her to the vet because Jim and I noticed some blood in her urine. Each time she would pee, there would be a red coin-sized dot in her pee pad. She was spayed when she was 5 months old so in her 2 years with me, she’s never had her period. The red color in her pee was quite alarming.

Joey’s a very smart bear, she remembers the vet’s clinic every time we visit. She was shivering and when she saw Dr. Dexter, she started whimpering. Although Dr. Dexter is always very friendly towards Bear, Joey knows the guy is responsible for all her injections. She’s not fond of the nurses either so she has to wear a muzzle when she’s given shots. It makes a pet owner feel really special when the pet snaps at everyone because she’s scared but she will never snap at you because she trusts you with her life. (brb crying)


I took this photo of her getting an ultrasound so I could send Jim live updates

We found out that she had urinary stones and they were scraping against her bladder walls and almost blocking her urethra, making it hard for her to urinate.


These stones are formed from a possible number of things from genetics to the type of food your dog eats.

Since Bear was a baby, she’s been eating Royal Canin dog food from Mini Indoor Junior to Mini Indoor Adult. This is a highly recommended dog food brand, one of the best out there from what I know. Over the two years I’ve had her I’d occasionally buy some dog gravy (forgot the brand from Bow and Wow) or other wet food (usually also Royal Canin) so she wouldn’t get bored of her dry food.

For some reason, I found myself blaming Cesar Canine Cuisine wet dog food. It’s known to low quality dog food but I sometimes get suckered into buying it because of the cute packaging and Joey loves the stuff. Besides, I only mix about a tablespoon of it with her dry Royal Canin food. When I say sometimes, I mean sometimes: in the two years I’ve had Bear I’ve probably only fed her less than 15 cans of that stuff. It used to be in metal containers and now they’ve switched to plastic but that makes no difference to me because I always store her food in airtight containers before sticking it in the fridge. I have no idea if Cesar Canine Cuisine could have caused her urinary stones if I rarely mixed it with her food.

Vets in Practice is a highly recommended veterinary clinic and I’ve been bringing Joey to their White Plains branch for maintenance shots and medical care over the last year (I brought her to UP Vet prior to that but VIP has newer, cleaner facilities and it’s much closer to home). I am not sure if Royal Canin is really the best dog food for Joey but her vet really recommends it and says it’s the best. I’m a little skeptical of course because their whole clinic is lined with Royal Canin dog food so maybe that’s why they’re pushing it? Whatever, I still buy Joey’s Royal Canin Mini Indoor Adult from a Tiendesitas’ stall called Doggie Land because it’s the most reasonable at Php500/bag. I’m not sure how much VIP sells it for but other stores sell the same exact thing but for almost Php700.

ANYWAY. I’m sorry I’m rambling.

Back to Joey’s urinary stones, I asked her vet to operate on her that same day we found out about it (Thursday last week) and she needed to be kept overnight or even for 2 nights for observation. I went back for her the very next day and I was so desperate to take her home because I know from research that dogs heal faster when they’re in a familiar environment. I paid a total of Php17,605 for everything (consultation, ultrasound, blood test, surgery, antibiotics, pain killers, overnight stay, elizabethan collar, 10 cans of prescribed Royal Canin Urinary SO wet food).


Here she is on our way home, still feeling a bit drowsy from the meds. VIP gave me this pee pad for free just in case she needed to pee in the car. She peed very little and also threw up on the ride home. She has never done that before.

She really couldn’t hold in her pee the whole weekend so I had to get her diapers (she’s NEVER worn diapers before!).


“Is this a joke, mom?”


“I’m smiling but I don’t think this is funny”

She would squat for a long time but only a drop or two would come out, much like UTI. I’ve had UTI before and I know how much it hurts so I felt really helpless over the weekend. She’s so cute, she would still always try to make it to her pee pad even if she was wearing a diaper.

She refused to eat her new food even if I blended it mixed with water and tried feeding her through a syringe. Took me over an hour the first time I tried it and she didn’t even get through half of her food. I learned how to “force feed” your pet through this very helpful YouTube video:

She would only eat at night when she was probably starving already. The vet says she most likely doesn’t like the taste of the special dog food but she’ll need to eat it for the next few months at least but they recommend that she eats it forever to prevent future urinary stones from forming. Strange because I just checked the can and it says “Feed Urinary SO for 5 to 12 weeks for the dissolution of struvite stones and up to 6 months for the reduction of struvite stone recurrence.” Will be sure to bring this up with the vet (naniniwala ka ba sa forever?). One bag of the dry Royal Canin Urinary SO is about Php1,500. Right now though she’s on the canned wet variant and each one is Php170/can and for her size she needs one can a day.

Since I had a really hard time getting her to drink water and eat her food, I took her back to the vet Monday to have her admitted. The vet did a blood test and everything looked great except that she was very dehydrated. So she’s hooked up to a dextrose now. She didn’t eat at all on Monday but when I visited her yesterday, she was very happy to see me and she finished her food. She kept squatting every 5 seconds trying to pee with very little coming out. Poor baby girl.


I can’t wait to bring her home very soon. She should get her stitches out on Sunday. So there, that’s about a quarter of what’s going through my mind right now. :(



  1. Reply


    March 25, 2015

    I hope Joey Bear gets better soon.

    • Reply


      March 25, 2015

      Thank you xx

  2. Reply


    March 25, 2015

    I hope Joey Bear gets better soon. Hugs Saab! I feel yah!

  3. Reply


    March 26, 2015

    I hope she gets well soon! This is making my heart hurt even more because my dachshund (technically my cousin’s, but I ‘adopted’ her when my cousin migrated) died today :( Be well Joey!

    • Reply


      March 26, 2015

      Oh no!!!!! Why did he/she die?:(

  4. Reply


    March 26, 2015

    Aww. I’m scared of dogs but I feel sorry for Joey Bear especially that story when you guys we’re on your way home. I hope you both feel better! >:)<

  5. Reply


    March 26, 2015

    I know how it feels to worry. When my english bulldog suffered from severe uti that lead to cystitis i was crying all night since he was already urinating blood (super red). Luckily walang stones but his bladder was alreadyy inflamed.
    Anyhoo, i did some research and found out that royal canin is not a quality dog food. Kasi it has tons of fillers and it’s not grain free. He had bad skin (rashes) and dry hair. So we finally decided to switch to a different dog food which is Orijen 6 fish. Since then no more uti, dry hair and his bald spots due to severe rashes are slowly healing. You can try different grain free dog food such as orijen, acana, taste of the wild, merrick, etc. I hope joey is feeling better now. Take care =)

  6. Reply


    March 26, 2015

    Haller! I have been feeding my dog boiled chicken liver for nearly a year now. I think it’s better than getting branded dog food that probably has sodium/ preservatives. My vet told me that dogs are actually sensitive to salt and are prone to UTI. So she suggested boiling chicken liver in water and mixing it (along with the soup) with steamed white rice. My dogs loves it! There are also homemade dog food recipes online that you can check out, para mas nutrient rich (ganyan!!). I hope Joey gets well soon! :)

  7. Reply


    March 26, 2015

    Aww, usually Joey Bear’s eyes are really happy (based on your instagram photos) but in these photos, she looks sad and in discomfort. :( Be well, Joey Bear!

    • Reply


      March 27, 2015


  8. Reply


    March 26, 2015

    aw, get well soon to joey! sorry i’m not familiar with dog care, natawa ako sa “Royal Canin Urinary SO wet food”. i thought it was soooo wet. had to finish the entire post to realize SO stands for something! hehe >XD

    • Reply


      March 27, 2015

      HAHAHAHA!!:)) I actually have no idea what SO stands for!

  9. Reply


    March 26, 2015

    saab i feel you..lakas maka nanay noh?been feeding my shihtzu raw food,ie raw beef,pork or chicken. im not here to recommend it but i can say na super healthy cia..

    i wish joey bear well :)

    • Reply


      March 27, 2015

      Thank you!:)

  10. Reply


    March 27, 2015

    Hi Saab, fellow dog owner (and lover) here! Our then 3 year old Pekingese had the same problem and procedure done. She’s been on Royal Canin Urinary S/O (dry) for about 7 years now and I’m happy to say that she hasn’t had any recurrence of stones. Although, she still gets crystals in her urine but this is probably from the table food my dad keeps giving her when I’m not around to monitor him. I get the dog food from Animal House, at P1000 per 2kg bag (cheaper than where you get it! :D)
    For all current/future dog owners here, I suggest checking out http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com to see how dog food brands fare on a 4-star rating. Just a little something to help you decide on what to give your furry baby.
    I hope I helped. Get well soon, Joey!

    • Reply


      March 27, 2015

      Thank you so much for sharing :D

  11. Reply


    March 27, 2015

    This reminded me when i took my dog to the vet and had to leave her there. The feeling is awful and i couldn’t wait to bring her home. Iba talaga pag love mo ang isang dog. I hope Joey gets better! <3

    • Reply


      March 27, 2015

      She is home now thank the Lord! Thanks too :)

  12. Reply


    March 27, 2015

    Get well soon Joey!! Perhaps it’s genetic. Royal Canin is recommended by my vet also, and usually gets good reviews.

    On an unrelated note, my bestfriend (a girl) is named Joey and we call her Joeybear. Haha!

    • Reply


      March 27, 2015

      Thank you!! Hahaha they should meet :)

  13. Reply


    March 27, 2015

    Hope Joey gets better soon. hang on there Saab..we feel you..thank you for sharing this with us because being a reader of your blog, it feels like we have grown together with Joey na..i really do hope she gets better asap.

    • Reply


      March 27, 2015

      THANK YOU!! I actually brought her home today!!:):)

  14. Reply


    March 27, 2015

    Hi Saab, hope Joey gets better now that she’s home. Im a fan of your blog, thank you for sharing this and all your stories about Joey, it makes me more aware to situations like this as I also have a dog and he’s almost 8 years old. I am worried that he might also develop stones because we feed him dry dog food ever since we got him as a puppy. We feed him Alpo and he really likes it, one thing that makes me worry less is he drinks a lot of water and he pees normally. There are times na nagsasawa sya sa Alpo so we give him other dry dog food such as pedigree, royal canin, eukanuba and we even mix canned wet food (pedigree and cesar canin cuisine) to his dry food but we always notice na his urine smells strong and turns orangy and so we stopped feeding him canned wet food.
    Hope Joey gets better soon.

  15. Reply


    March 29, 2015

    fastest recovery to Joey Bear! :) give us some update miss saab, i hope she’s doing well now:)

  16. Reply


    March 30, 2015


    OMG! Royal Canin is one of THE worst dog food brands! Just read the ingredients in the back and google them. They’re not good for Joey and are mostly filler or cheap high protein. A step up from Science Diet, Pedigree and Purina, but STILL bad!

    Look for ones that are grain free or gluten free and Chicken/Beef/Turkey as the first ingredient and NOT “chicken-by- product meal”, brewers rice or corn.

    (PS: By product = internal remains of animals that weren’t used or fit for human consumption = diseased tissues/organs/no actual “meat” in this ingredient!)

    You should be able to pronounce and understand all the ingredients listed in the back of the bag, just like you would if you or Jim were buying food for yourselves! Corn and Brewer’s rice are just filler and probs made from GMO corn/rice.


    Steve and I buy INNOVA or BLUE and rotate around for Elliot (Steve’s dog). You might be able to buy a few bags via Johnny Air or My Shopping Box cause I’m not sure if those brands are available in Manila!!

    Hope Joey is ok!

    Miss you lots! Sending my love from Vancouver!

  17. Reply


    April 1, 2015

    Lamo teh sa tagal ng pagsubaybay ko sayo feeling ko close na rin kami ni Joey! Haha Kamusta na sya? Pakatatag ka, gagaling na yan, ipinagdasal na namin :) Ang mahal ng kemerut na nagastos sa op pala noooo! Palakas ka Joey!!

  18. Reply

    Czarina Reyes

    April 2, 2015

    I gave my dog, Tyler, Cesar before (just cause my friend suggested it to me, and she feeds her dog the same thing) and after a week, I had to rush him to the vet cause he was throwing up and he has the worst LBM ever. He suffered from dehydration and he was in the vet for the whole day. :( I only fed him about four cans or so, so I wasn’t sure if it was that food. So long story short, the vet did all the tests on Tyler and they couldn’t find anything at all that’s wrong with him. I threw out all the cans that I bought and never fed him that shitty food ever again, and he got better.

    Btw, Royal Canin has corn and soy, they’re not that good for doggies. :( Sadly my vet suggested it to me too but when I did my own research, I saw that there are better dog food options for the price that I was paying.

    Hope Joey gets better! All pets and kisses for her.

  19. Reply


    April 24, 2015

    try blue buffalo or wellness, read the ingridients list. royal canin is not a good food.