What Causes Bladder Stones In Dogs


What Causes Bladder Stones In Dogs

What Causes Bladder Stones In Dogs
What Causes Bladder Stones In Dogs

Bladder Stones In Dogs

In people, “kidney stones” are a common ailment. In dogs and cats, these types of stones form more commonly in the urinary bladder than the kidney and are known as uroliths or bladder stones.

The stones vary in size from grains of sand to large rocks. They can also vary in composition, with many different minerals being involved in their formation.


Symptoms Of Bladder Stones:

Signs you might see include

  • bloody urine (hematuria) and
  • straining to urinate (dysuria or stranguria).

Bloody urine results from irritation of the bladder wall by the stones.

If the stones obstruct the opening of the bladder to the outside (urethra), then your dog may strain to void urine. If small enough, the stones may actually pass into the urethra and cause a complete obstruction.

**A complete obstruction is very painful and is an emergency condition**

If this occurs and your dog is not catheterized to remove the urine, your dog will become very ill and the bladder may eventually fill to the point of rupturing.


What Causes Bladder Stones In Dogs

Stone formation varies with the stone�s composition. The main theory is that the urine contains elevated levels of minerals, possibly from the particular diet your dog consumes, and these minerals may begin to collect into a stone.

As time passes, the stones get larger and increase in number.

Bacteria causing infections may also create stones.

Stones usually form over a period of months but have been documented to form in as little as two weeks.

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Diagnosis Of Bladder Stones:

What Causes Bladder Stones In Dogs
What Causes Bladder Stones In Dogs

Bladder stones are confirmed by palpating the stones on physical examination, or by radiographs (x-rays) and/or ultrasound examination.

Your dog’s veterinarian may also want to perform blood and urine tests to rule out infection and other types of contributing health problems.

In some cases, small stones may pass in the urine, allowing identification of the mineral makeup of the stone.  In other cases, the mineral makeup may remain unknown unless the stone is surgically removed.


Treatment Of Bladder Stones:

Special diets are available that can be useful in dissolving certain mineral types of stones. However, unless small stones can be collected in the urine for examination, it is not possible to be 100% sure if the type of stone present can be dissolved with a special diet.

Special diets also have the disadvantage of dissolving stones very slowly, taking weeks to months. Therefore, it may be advisable in some circumstances to remove the bladder stones surgically. This determination will need to be made based on individual circumstances.

Antibiotics or other types of medications may or may not be necessary, again based on individual circumstances and whether or not an infection is present.

Your dog’s veterinarian will need to do a thorough examination on your dog to determine the appropriate course of action.


Prevention of Stone Recurrence:

Prevention of recurrence depends on analysis of the stone�s mineral content so that specific diet recommendations can be made to prevent that particular type of stone.

If the stones are a result of a bacterial infection, long-term antibiotic therapy, along with periodic urinalyses (chemical and physical analysis of your dog’s urine) and urine cultures (to test for bacterial infection), may be required.

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