Are bladder stones painful for dogs?
Also called uroliths or cystic calculi, bladder stones can range from small, sand-like grains to larger, gravel-sized stones. A pet can have several stones that range in size, but even just a single stone can cause pain and potentially be life-threatening.
What are the clinical signs of bladder stones? The most common signs that a dog has bladder stones are hematuria (blood in the urine) and dysuria (straining to urinate). Hematuria occurs because the stones rub against the bladder wall, irritating and damaging the tissue and causing bleeding.
In fact, it can take several months for a large stone to fully dissolve, which means that the dog will continue to have the symptoms of the bladder stone (bloody urine, trouble urinating, frequent urination, etc.) throughout that time. In addition, during this period, there is a high risk of urethral obstruction.
Options include surgery, lithotripsy (a procedure that breaks apart the stones), a change in diet, and medication. With struvite stones, there are multiple options to consider, each carrying pros and cons. Surgery.
Left untreated, bladder stones can damage the walls of your dog's bladder. In some cases, they can even cause a total urinary blockage. Veterinarians treat this situation as a medical emergency because the accumulated urine can cause the bladder to expand until it ruptures.
If the stone is in the urethra, disruption of the stone is easiest. Despite potential problems, studies have reported 83-96% success (i.e. complete stone removal) in female dogs and 68-81% success in male dogs.
The exact treatment for bladder stones depends on the type and size of the stone your dog has. Stones may be treated by changing your dog's diet, administering antibiotics, or performing surgery. In some cases, your dog may even be able to pass the stones on their own.
While dogs don't develop kidney stones from hard water, they can be exposed to struvite or calcium oxalate stones. These stones can harm the bladder and lead to your dog getting a urinary tract infection.
Causes Of Bladder Stones in Dogs
This theory states that one or more crystalline compounds may be present in elevated levels in your dog's urine, and eventually form stones due to dietary factors or previous bladder disease such as a bacterial infection. Sometimes, the body's metabolism may cause an issue.
Dandelion and juniper berry act as diuretics and help the body eliminate stones and bacteria that may be present in the urinary tract by increasing urine production to flush out irritants. Goldenseal is an antimicrobial herb that can help prevent urinary tract infections that contribute to urinary tract stones.
What foods dissolve bladder stones in dogs?
Dissolution may be possible using a protein-restricted therapeutic food with a controlled sodium level, and one that supports an alkaline urine pH (examples include Hill's Prescription Diet® u/d® or Royal Canin® UC Low Purine). Any existing urinary tract infection must be resolved.
In the ideal world we are aiming for a urine specific gravity (USG) below 1.020. Oxalate: Avoid foods that contain high levels of oxalate such as spinach, sweet potatoes, organ meat and brown rice.
It also helps your dog feel fuller for longer.
Perhaps most interestingly, pumpkin is great for the bladder. Its vast combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants support urinary health and help to prevent urinary tract infections, as well as painful kidney and bladder stones.
The cost of bladder stone removal for your cat or dog starts at $1429. AAHA-accredited animal hospital meaning we are held to highest standard of excellence. Preventive care services such as vaccinations, testing, and microchipping are also available at the time of surgery.
Owners should be cautioned to avoid foods containing high levels of calcium, such as milk and cheese, and high oxalate foods should be avoided. These include, in particular, nuts – including peanut butter – and vegetables such as spinach, as well as human foods such as chocolate and rhubarb.
Cystotomy is a common, safe, and highly effective procedure. Most pets go on to live a long, healthy life. However, bladder stones may recur.
Treatment commonly involves antibiotics and veterinary therapeutic diets to dissolve the stones, but sometimes may require surgical removal. Struvite stone recurrence can be decreased by preventing UTIs and dietary changes.
In males dogs, a 1 cm incision is made just in front of the prepuce. In female dogs (depending on the size of the patient) the 1 cm incision is made about 7 to 10 cm in front of the pelvic bone on the abdomen.
Please allow frequent access to the outdoors to urinate. If your pet has accidents in the house, please understand that he/she likely could not prevent it during this recovery period—have patience. If this increased frequency or bloody urine continues beyond 2 weeks, please return to your veterinarian for evaluation.
As a general supplement for digestive health, mix a small amount of apple cider vinegar (one teaspoon per 50 lbs. of weight) into your dog's food twice a day. To aid in the prevention of kidney and bladder stones, add between one tablespoon per 50 lbs. and one teaspoon per 15 lbs.
What is the difference between a dog's kidney stones and a bladder stone?
The difference here is the location. While the bladder and kidneys are both part of a dog's urinary system, bladder stones form in the bladder and kidney stones form in the kidney, VCA Hospitals says.
Quick tip: Alkaline Urine causes stones! Dry food diets consisting of carbohydrates, especially grains and potatoes, can contribute to high alkaline urine. Dogs are designed to eat a meat-based protein diet that causes more acidic urine.
Bottled water is safe to share with cats and dogs. Opt for spring water or bottled tap water varieties. Some veterinarians, including those at the Locust Valley Veterinary Clinic, are skeptical of the quality of distilled water for pets and its effects on urinary and cardiac health.
Because eggs have a high protein content, don't give them to dogs that suffer from kidney disease or IBS. Bladder stones. Dogs with a history of bladder stones shouldn't have eggs because of their high calcium content, and should only eat a prescription diet.
The stones form for a variety of reasons; often there is no one single cause. However, urinary tract infections, stress, high levels of certain substances in the diet, low water intake and situations where an animal is not given the opportunity to urinate at will, can all increase the chances of a problem arising.