Bladder stones or uroliths are a common occurrence in animals, especially in domestic animals such as dogs and cats. The stones form in the urinary bladder in varying size and numbers secondary to infection, dietary influences, and genetics. Stones can form in any part of the urinary tract in dogs and cats, but unlike in humans, stones of the kidney are less common and do not often cause significant disease, although they can contribute to pyelonephritis and chronic renal failure.
Owner’s Guide to Bladder Stones in Dogs
By D Swain
Bladder stones in dogs are composed of either struvite or oxalate. Males usually develop oxalate stones, while females have problems with the struvite variety. These stones can pose a serious threat to males as they can obstruct the urinary opening. If this happens, the dog can suffer uremic poisoning and die.
Your dog’s urine is naturally supposed to prevent oxalate stones from forming. However, this substance is defective in some dogs and allow the stones to form. Urine also normally contains struvite crystals that are also broken done. When these crystals become too numerous for some reason, stones will form.
Sometimes, dog bladder stones will cause no symptoms. In other cases, dogs may have blood in their urine and have a hard time urinating. This condition can also lead to recurrent bladder infections. A lack of appetite and lethargy are also common signs.
Bladder stones in dogs can easily be diagnosed by taking an x-ray. However, the veterinarian will have to have a sample stone to determine what it is made of. The sample can be obtained by flushing the bladder, normal urination, or surgical removal. Since bladder infections are a common sign of this condition, a urinalysis may also be performed.
Treatment depends on the type of stones your dog has. Your dog will have to be placed on a special diet if affected by struvite stones. This usually is enough to dissolve them. However, a special diet won’t be enough to get rid of calcium oxalate bladder stones in dogs. They will need to be surgically removed.
As you now know, bladder stones can become a serious condition, especially to male dogs. There are many other conditions that can affect your dog such as canine seizures or canine anemia. Luckily, dog-illnesses.com provides all of the information you need about a wide variety of these diseases. So, stop by today!