Bladder stones in Dogs

Bladder stones don’t have to be dangerous in dogs, but they certainly can be if they are not treated in a timely fashion. Talk to your veterinarian if you suspect your dog may be suffering from a bladder stone, and be sure to follow their about treating this problem.

Underlying medical conditions can also play a big role in crystal formation in the urine. Urinary tract infections can alter the pH, or acidity, in the bladder as well as cause inflammation and debris to form inside the urinary bladder.

To prevent bladder stones in dogs, prescription urinary diets initially help dissolve struvite stones. They also promote a favourable level of urine acidity and contain controlled amounts of magnesium, calcium and phosphorus which reduces the likelihood of urinary stone formation.

Struvite Bladder Stones in Dogs | PetHelpful

Bladder Stones in Dogs

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Treatment for bladder stones in dogs

While your dog is recovering from urine crystals, watch their urine output daily. If you notice any increase in frequency of urination, straining to urinate, or blood/discoloration to the urine, bring a sample to your veterinarian immediately.

Urinary crystals form in a dog’s bladder when the urine becomes supersaturated with minerals and the pH and concentration favors crystallization. Minerals become supersaturated in the urine due to a combination of genetics, nutrition, and underlying medical conditions.

Bladder stones in Dogs

Genetics are involved in crystal formation. Some dogs are more prone to crystal formation than others, based on how their kidneys break down compounds.

Prevention is the best defense: observe your dog’s urination habits; feed him a proper, well-balanced diet; and ensure he has access to plenty of water at all times so he can flush out the bladder consistently.

While nutrition plays a big role in crystal formation, there are no specific brands or types of food that cause the problem. Different diets affect dogs in different ways, depending on their genetics and the pH of their urine. If your dog has crystals in their urine, your veterinarian will likely recommend a diet change; however, other dogs in the same household may not have the same problem. Discuss any diet changes with your veterinarian before moving forward.

Bladder Stones in Dogs

Minnesota Urolith Center, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.

Anytime a dog eats and drinks, nutrients are absorbed and waste products need to be eliminated. Some waste products are broken down and eliminated through stool, while others are eliminated in urine. Urine is made by the kidneys filtering the blood and removing salts, waste products, and water—together, these make up urine. The urine passes from the kidneys through tiny tubes, called ureters, to the bladder. It is then stored in the bladder until it’s time to pee. It then travels out another tube, the urethra, to leave the body.

While surgery entails more risk than dietary dissolution, the stones are removed more quickly and healing begins immediately.

Urine Crystals in Dogs

Bladder Stones in Dogs

Bladder stones are formed when there is an over-saturation of minerals with or without other underlying issues, such as a urinary tract infection within the bladder. The acidity of the urine plays a role in the formation of stones — this can be influenced by the presence of a bacterial infection or less commonly by an inappropriate diet.

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What causes bladder stones in dogs?

Other medical issues, like high levels of calcium in the blood, can also lead to crystal formation. High levels of calcium in the blood can be caused by other conditions including kidney disease, parathyroid disease, Addison’s disease, and some cancers.

Bladder stones develop in a dog’s urinary bladder. Your dog may require surgery or advanced treatment to remove bladder stones if one or more of these crystallized mineral formations become lodged in the urethra and prevent urination.

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