Urolithiasis (Bladder Stones)
What is Urolithiasis (Bladder Stones)?
A common condition where crystals in the bladder come together to form uroliths or stones. There are a variety of different types of stones the most common is struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate-MAP). Other caculi are composed of urate, cystine, calcium oxalate, to name a few. The calculi may form in the bladder and move into the urethra. The effect may be irritation, blood in the urine, straining to urinate, or even obstruction of the ability to urinate.
How does my dog get Urolithiasis?
Urine with high concentrations of the so called building blocks of the stones may result from infections with specific bacteria, in combination with the pH of the urine, genetic predisposition, and food. There are several breeds known to be pre-disposed to stone development (see below).
How do I know if my dog has Urolithiasis?
Typically a pet with bladder stones will strain to urinate, urinate more frequently, and have blood in their urine. Small stones may even pass in the urine and be visible. If the urethra is obstructed, a critical condition may ensue as a result of kidney failure from urine back flow. Your veterinarian will do a thorough examination of your pet and check blood and urine samples. Additionally, abdominal radiographs and/or ultrasound may be needed to confirm bladder stones.
What can I do about Urolithiasis?
Once diagnosed bladder stones may be treated initially with diet and medication (struvite) or require surgery (all others). Identification of the most likely cause by stone analysis will help set up prevention programs.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my dog from getting Urolithiasis?
Prevention is based upon minimizing risks such as diet, infection, increasing water consumption, and monitoring of early signs or symptoms.
Are there certain breeds that get Urolithiasis more often?
Miniature schnauzer, dachshund, poodle, Scottish terrier, beagle, Pekingese, Welsh corgi, Dalmatian, shih tzu, Yorkshire terriers, Bichon frise, Cairn terrier, Irish terrier, Scottish terrier, German shepherd, Labrador retrievers, Golden retrievers, Newfoundlands, English bulldog.