Bladder stones or urinary calculi are a well-known condition in humans, and most people have heard of them. As you may imagine, they also occur in dogs. This disease, known technically as urolithiasis, is caused by the accumulation of different substances that precipitate as crystals in any part of the urinary tract. The function of the urinary tract is to eliminate waste products dissolved in the urine. However, frequently some of these substances are not very soluble, they dissolve with difficulty and then precipitate in crystal form. Stones or calculi form as the crystals grow or are gradually added to.
In general, the symptoms of bladder stones in dogs are difficulty urinating, blood in the urine, incontinence and even passing stones of different sizes with the urine.
Various tests are used to confirm this condition and the composition of the stones, such as blood and urine tests, x-rays and ultrasounds, besides examining the stones to discover their exact composition.
Once the illness has been diagnosed properly, its treatment may be medical, surgical, or a combination of both. Surgery has often been considered the ideal treatment, especially with large stones that impede the normal passage of urine or which affect the normal functions of the urinary tract. But you should keep in mind that it does not avoid the repetition of the problem if there is no concurrent treatment, and that it is not always possible to reach all of the stones present in the animal’s urinary tract.
This is why medical treatment is very important. Its goal is to stop stones from growing and to dissolve the existing stones by administering certain medication and a specific diet that aim to reduce the amount of substances that potentially could form stones. You should keep it in mind if your pet has this problem, since following this part of the treatment depends on you.
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Colegio Oficial de Veterinarios de Alicante
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