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Bladder Stones in Dogs and Cats

Posted In: Feline Health & Wellness, Canine Health & Wellness

Recently we helped a 7-year-old Dachshund named Pearl. She was having difficulty urinating and was in pain. X-rays showed she had a large bladder stone that needed to be surgically removed.

In most cases, bladder stones form as a complication of a bladder infection. But other causes can be the result of long term use of diuretic drugs, kidney disease, or any other medical condition that causes high urine pH, ammonia, or phosphorus. Female dogs tend to get stones more often than males.

The most common symptoms of bladder stones include blood in the urine, frequent urination, and straining to urinate. The stones can rub against the bladder wall, causing inflammation, bruising, and irritation, as in Pearl's case.

Cats can get bladder stones too, and it happens more frequently in male cats. Bladder stones can be the result of buildup of minerals from a cat’s diet, a urinary tract infection, or decreased water. Symptoms are similar to those of a dog with bladder stones – blood in the urine, straining, frequent or inability to urinate,

Because Pearl's stone was so large, she needed surgery to remove it. However, there are other treatment options, depending on the size of the stones. For dogs without an obstructed urinary tract, a veterinarian may prescribe a special diet like Pro Plan Veterinary Diet UR. The food helps dissolve the stones and prevents more from forming. If the stones are small, the veterinarian may opt to flush the stones out of the bladder with a catheter while the dog is under anesthesia.

We are happy to report that Pearl is feeling so much better now that her stone has been removed. She will need to be on a prescription diet so new stones don't form, but she is back to her normal, bouncy self. 

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at two locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.