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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bladder Stones in the Canine Patient...

Our doctors surgically remove a lot of bladder stones at work. Usually these uroliths are small and a lot of the time there are quite a few of them.

Today we had two different patients in for surgery that had really large bladder stones.

In fact, these stones were enormous.

The first couple of pictures are of two stones that were formed in a medium sized female labrador mix. The tear drop shaped stone was sitting in the bottom of the bladder and was shaped, in part, by the neck of the bladder. A second stone formed on top of the first, forming a cap of sorts.

This was such an unusual formation that I just had to get a picture of it.

The stone was washed and dried. It isn't sparkling from moisture, but from the crystals that formed it.

The second dog was a female German Shepherd. This is the picture of her bladder. The stone is still inside.

Dog owners bring their pets in when they discover blood in the urine. A lot of the time, the hematuria isn't noticed because most pets go outside in the back yard and the owners don't see the urine. This is usually why uroliths can get so large before they are discovered.

Most of the time a pet with hematuria is only noticed if the pet has an accident indoors, or if the owner happens to be with the pet when it urinates and sees the red-tinged urine.Bladder stones can be formed by several different types of crystals.

And there are many reasons why crystals can occur in the urine.

One factor is that there are some breeds of dogs that have a tendency to form more stones than others. Some of the more common breeds of dogs that have a tendency to form bladder stones are:

Miniature Schnauzers
Miniature Poodles
Cocker Spaniels
English Bulldogs

However, any breed of dog can form bladder stones.

There are also certain foods and minerals that help to precipitate crystal formation in the urine. By the same token, there are special diets that have been developed that help to "dissolve" certain types of small stones in the bladder.

A proper pH will help to prevent most stones.

But when you are dealing with stones of this size, there is no alternative other than surgery.

At our hospital we recommend that all pets have a urinalysis every six months. That way we can monitor the pH of the urine as well as check the sediment microscopically for any signs of bacteria, crystals, or other abnormalities.

A urinalysis can also help us watch for certain physiological conditions.

A small little test twice a year can really help prevent a larger problem from occuring...


Washington State College of Veterinary Medicine: Terms, Definitions, and Types of Uroliths

Washington State College of Veterinary Medicine: Urolithiasis


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I will definitely be watching for that now.

Sadly, I don't have the money for *two little tests a year* more because with four dogs, that translates into 8 tests a year. It's hard enough for me to afford all their shots (rabies, dhpp, and kennel cough) and heartworm and flea and tick meds.

The dogs are a big part of my budget. I really really wish I could find a home for Rusty because that would really alleviate a lot of the budget problems. His grooming is expensive! Serves me right for taking in stray dogs and trying to find homes for them I spose...

Anyway... thanks for warning us to watch for blood in the urine. I'll definitely look for it now.

April 21, 2006 5:18 AM  
Blogger Pattie said...

Wow, the first few pictures resemble a peanut. The picture of the one removed is VERY impressive. That poor dog! Must have been painful.
Thanks for the info.

April 21, 2006 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Moof said...

Oh! Those look so PAINFUL! :(

Those poor little woofers ...

April 21, 2006 7:58 AM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Shelly! I know what you mean about costs, especially when they are increased exponentially!

Our hospital UA costs aren't too much though at around $12. Of course, the cost is much greater if we have to send something to the lab.

It looks like your Justice of the Dawn website is doing really well. Keep it up!

April 21, 2006 11:20 AM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Pattie! How's your respiratory virus? I hope that you are feeling better.

Yes... stones are very painful. A really big problem occurs when the stones are small and get lodged in the urethra and then causing an obstruction. Obstructed dogs and cats are *very painful*.


April 21, 2006 11:23 AM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Glad to see you Moof!


April 21, 2006 11:24 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Girl, you better put a warning on that post! You're going to have some blogging friends fainting at their desks!!

That said, I found it quite interesting. Thanks for sharing.

April 21, 2006 1:01 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Urgh, TJ, poor doggies. Ouch, it looks like that would hurt ....

April 21, 2006 2:07 PM  
Blogger Pattie said...

Hi TJ: I had kidney stones when I was 5 months pregnant with my first child. It was worse than giving birth.
I am feeling a little better, thanks! :)
I actually had some tea last night on your suggestion. It sure soothed my throat!

April 21, 2006 3:18 PM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...


I actually thought of your son while I was pulling the photos together.

I am quite surprised by your shock since you have so many "body parts" lying around your house.


You're right Sue. It hurts.


April 21, 2006 3:40 PM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Pattie... I have only "heard" about the pain of a kidney stone.

Once I actually saw a man pass out and fall to the floor because of one!

So I am sure it hurt really, really bad!

Glad you are feeling a little better.

If I may I would like to share a couple of more suggestions:

Halls Defense Vitamin C drops. You can get some that only have vitamin C or some that have echinacea and zinc in them.

Cold-Eeze. They are zinc gluconate lozenges.

I alternate between the two. When one is dissolved, I pop another one in my mouth.

It really does make a difference.

The kids don't care for the Cold-Eeze lozenges because I get the kind with green tea.

But they love the Halls. So, I get the Halls Vitamin C with Echinacea and Zinc in them for the kids.

BTW... the bubble gum Cold-Eeze tastes kind of 'bad' to all of us.


April 21, 2006 5:57 PM  

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