canine bladder stones




Bladder stones, more correctly called uroliths, are rock-like collections of minerals that form in the urinary bladder.  They may occur as a large, single stone or as dozens of stones the size of large grains of sand or pea gravel. Stones that form in the bladder may pass into the uretha.  All dogs can develop bladder stones.  Stones in the bladder eventually cause painful urination and blood in the urine.  Your dog may cry in pain, especially if pressure is applied to their stomach..

The two most common signs of bladder stones are hematuria (blood in the urine) and dysuria (straining to urinate).  Hematuria occurs because the stones irritate the bladder wall, causing bleeding from its surface.  Dysuria occurs when stones obstruct the passage of urine out of the bladder.  Large stones may cause a partial obstruction at the point where the urine leaves the bladder and enters the urethra; small stones may flow with the urine into the urethra and cause an obstruction in this area. 

Most bladder stones are visible on radiographs (x-rays) or an ultrasound examination.  These procedures are performed if stones are suspected.  This includes dogs that show unusual pain when the bladder is palpated, dogs that have recurrent hematuria and dysuria, or dogs that have recurrent bacterial infections in the bladder.

Stones that pass spontaneously and those that re removed surgically should be analyzed, if possible, since the composition of the stone influences the treatment of any remaining and future stones.

There are several types of bladder stones. One of the most common is called struvite. These stones consist of Magnesium, Ammonia, and Phosphorus. Another is the urate stone. These are commonly found in Dalmatians that have a genetic enzyme deficiency that allows urates to form in the bladder. Still another type is the oxalate stone. There are other less common kinds of stones.

Bladder stones are sometimes an indication of Liver-Shunt.  Many Yorkie shunt puppies are diagnosed with bladder stones prior to a Liver-Shunt being discovered.




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