BLADDER AND KIDNEY STONES

WHAT ARE BLADDER AND KIDEY STONES

Bladder and kidney stones (calculi) are common in dogs (more) and cats (less) and multiple factors are responsible for their formation. The predisposing factors responsible are decreased water intake, dry food (high in protein, minerals) consumption, genetic factors, abnormal PH of the urine, and bacterial infection.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PET HAS URINARY STONES?

Patients with urinary stones urinate frequently in the house (accident), strain to urinate and blood is often present in the urine due to inflammation.   If the stone is lodged in the kidney or ureter (pipe that connects kidney to bladder) or urethra (pipe that connects bladder to the outside), painful abdomen, vomiting, and lethargy can be noted and immediate medical care is needed.

WHAT ARE THE NECESSARY TEST TO DIAGNOSE URINARY STONES?

The necessary test to diagnose stones are x rays, ultrasound of the belly, blood test, urine culture and analysis.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS FOR URINARY STONES?

The management of urinary stones can be divided into 2 approaches, which include surgery and / or medical. The medical management involves feeding the patient special wet diet (prescription) made accordingly to the type of stone, that needs to be dissolved. The other successful approach is surgery.  Depending where the stones are, different techniques can be performed and they include cystotomy (removal from the bladder), urethrotomy (removal from the urethra), ureterotomy (removal from the ureter) and nephrotomy (removal from the kidney). In cats, the common surgeries performed for urinary bladder are cystotomy and perineal ureterostomy in male cat (removal of the penis to widen the urethral opening).

WHAT IS THE OUTCOME AFTER SURGERY?

If the medical management fails, surgery is the only option and carries an excellent prognosis. Patients should be monitored to ensure adequate urination for 2 weeks and wear an E- collar to prevent damage to the incision site. Unfortunately, bladder stone have high recurrence rate, therefore prevention is the key.

HOW DO I PREVENT STONES FROM COMING BACK?

Many of these stones have a high recurrence rate, therefore special diet and mostly wet should be recommended for life. 

Urinalysis and culture as well as x rays of the belly should be performed every 6 months to ensure the stones are not coming back.