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Ask the Vet About Bladder Stones in Dogs and Cats

Bladder Stones in Dogs & Cats
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Treatment
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About What Causes Bladder Stones in Dogs and Cats?
MichaelDym, V.M.D.
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
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As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Showing 1 - 15 of 16
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Showing 1 - 15 of 16
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Date: Oct 11, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Bladder stones and heart murmur

Question:Is there a treatment for a 9-10 lb Maltese who makes kidney/bladder stones? Treatment for the Maltese with a heart murmur?

Answer:Surgery is usually the treatment of choice for bladder stones but whether surgery is right for your dog will be something you will have to discuss with your veterinarian. How bad is the heart murmur? Just a heart murmur with no actual heart failure shouldn't affect anesthesia too much. Certain types of stones can be dissolved medically with the right foods but this takes a long time and there are risks (like of the stones lodging in the urethra as they get smaller and it will often end up being more expensive after taking multiple x-rays on multiple recheck exams to see if the stones are gone). There are many other things to factor in to treatment for bladder stones (whether your dog will eat the prescription diets, whether your dog has problems with urinary tract infections that might continue to predispose to stones, whether your dog has a conformational problem that predisposes her to stones, etc etc ) so discuss all of this and more with your veterinarian and find what is right for your particular dog.

Date: Oct 6, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: BLADDER STONES

Question:My ShihTzu had bladder stones three years ago and she passed 26 stones without surgery. She has been on prescription dog food ever since. Can I switch her to regular dog food now? She has passed no further stones.

Answer:No, I would definitely leave her on the prescription food because she still has the genetic predisposition to build those stones again. Check with your veterinarian to be sure.

Date: Oct 3, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: How to get rid of them

Question:Can the proper diet cause your cat to rid herself of bladder stones?

Answer:Yes, some of the prescription diets can help dissolve stones - you definitely need to know what type of stones before you choose a diet (struvite vs calcium oxalate, etc) or you can make the stones worse. Increasing water content is always good as well.

Date: Sep 29, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: recurring bladder stones

Question:My dog who is a 7 year old shih-tzu has had 2 cystotomy surgeries in the past year (2016). One in Feb 2016 and then Oct 2016. She has bladder stones again and now its in her kidney as well. The both times before were struvite & calcium stones. I don't want her to suffer any more and especially with surgery. I don't know what to do any more. is there anything I can do to help ease her pain? Any type of diet? she's eating Hills prescription diet C/D food. I thought of putting her down, because I want to best for her but I don't know. I just don't want her to suffer and surgery is so expensive. she just produces stones very quick.

Answer:This is a huge problem for certain dogs (and their owners and their veterinarians). If she has been on C/D and they have recurred I would recommend switching to Royal Canin's Urinary SO - it's the food I have had the most success with. Get ready for her to drink and urinate like crazy the first 2-3 weeks on this food but that's part of why it works so well - then after the first couple weeks, their body seems to adjust to the food and they don't go anywhere near as often. It is very important that she only eat that food (no table food, treats, etc). Try to increase her water consumption any way you can (fresh water bowls all over the house, water fountains, canned SO food, etc).

Date: Sep 20, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Others
Topic: Guinea pig/bladder stones

Question:Hello, I notced my five and a half year old male guinea pig was not using his back legs when I picked him up I noticed approximately a nickel-sized full shaped almost salt like hard substance. I pulled it away from his back side. I'm assuming that's bladder stones? He's eating,drinking, pooping when I touch his legs he moves them, yet hes still not using his rear legs, dragging them behind him? If I didn't see him doing that I would not know there's anything wrong . he's acting completely normal otherwise no crying or squeaking, comes in and out of his house. Is there something I could give him to relieve other possible stones or maybe pain involved with it?

Answer:I only treat dogs and cats so I know close to nothing about guinea pigs - consult an "exotics" specialist-veterinarian or call your local veterinary school and to speak to the exotics department. You can also call and ask the pet store where you got him.

Date: Sep 6, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Bladder stones treatment

Question:Last week I took my dog to the vet, he was scooting on the floor and crying out in pain for an hour. I had never heard him cry in 14 years. He was licking his genitals excessively. The vet expressed his anal sacs which were swollen. It did nothing to help ease his pain. I was advised to put him down after an x-ray showed his bladder was full of stones. My question, did I do the right thing? He was still urinating fine, there was nothing stuck in his urinary tract. I'm having a hard time processing letting him go, if my vet didn't detect an easy solution opposed to euthanization. Could the pain been from a cancer ? Or did I jump the gun ? Please honest opinion, I'm gutted about what happened and looking for clarity.

Answer:I'm so sorry for your loss. If he was 14 years old and in that much pain, I think you made the right call. Bladder stones would've required surgery that he may not have made it through, then there's the discomfort of healing from the surgery and whether he could heal properly at his age. At his age there could have easily been multiple things going on that were causing the pain (cancer, etc.)

Date: Sep 5, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: bladder

Question:my dog woke up with scream sound and she had peed her bed. she was upset. held her to calm her down. what is wrong with her

Answer:Without seeing exactly what she did, it is hard for me to say: it could be a seizure, a really bad dream or something in between. If she is still acting odd at all I would have your veterinarian check her out.

Date: Jul 2, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Preventing Kidney - Bladder Stones

Question:I have ordered both UTI Soft Chews and VitaChews for my cat "Casper." Can I give her both? They both require to be given to cat only twice a day (2 times), or is it "Over-Medicating my cat? I want to know, because sometimes over-medicating to prevent one possible problem can cause other problems.

Answer:You can give both - it wouldn't be over-medicating because they have different active ingredients. Do make 100% sure that she has a urinary tract infection. Many cats with "urinary problems" have FLUTD which isn't related to infection at all - it is building up crystals that irritate her urinary tract. If she has FLUTD or crystals I would actually wouldn't give her the VitaChews because it has some of the minerals that go to make up certain crystals so it could potentially make her urinary issues worse. The UT soft chews are a good idea with infection or crystals.

Date: May 8, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Surgery or medication

Question:My 6 year old shih tzu has been diagnosed with kidney stones. He's been at the vet for 2 days and they had to insert a tube in him to drain his pee because he can't. He can still walk and eat on his own. The vet said that he needs to go under the surgery to remove the stones but as I research, most vets would prefer to go for medication. Now I am left to decide what to do. Please help.

Answer:If the stone(s) is small enough to slip into his urethra and keep him from being able to urinate, this can be a medical emergency, so that's probably why they recommended removal. They need to be sure of the type of stone to try for medical dissolution as well and that can take a few days sometimes to get the results back from the lab. What you don't want is one of those stones to get lodged in his urethra and need to go see a board certified surgeon to have it removed from there, so if the stones are in the bladder, sometimes it's safer (and cheaper) to have them removed from the bladder at your regular veterinarian. You can always take the chance that a diet can medically dissolve them but watch him closely for straining and not being able to produce any urine.

Date: Apr 25, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Oxalate Stones in a diabetic dog

Question:Mr. Duke is 10 years old. He had his 1st bladder stone episode in 2008. He has since had 4 total surgeries over the years. We have not had an issues in several years. 2 years ago he was diagnosed diabetic. He has been on Hills Nutrition U/D wet & kibble and Royal Canine since 2008. We also use the potassium citrate we order here. In the last few days he flat out refuses to eat the food. He will eat anything but that, even a bowl of lettuce! I know he is spoiled but this is not good. I found a website www.fuzzerfood.com that talks about homemade food. I am not sure how reliable it is. Do you have any suggestions? I know I have to use low sugar, low carb, low oxalate/low acidic foods. I just don't know where to turn. Any suggestions or direction would be GREATLY appreciated.

Answer:It is incredibly hard to make your own food, especially for a dog with Calcium Oxalate stones, then add the diabetes on top of that. I would actually work directly with a veterinarian board certified in veterinary nutrition. You can find them at most universities.

Date: Mar 18, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: prevention of recurrence

Question:My Teddy had bladder surgery in Jan. to remove stones. After lots of Net research re oxalate bladder stones, my dog is now on home-made diet low in oxalates, carbs and GMOs, and high in protein. Working first to get urine pH up with diet but ordered your pot cit if necessary later. Learned dry diets with corn and soy fillers, and oxalate containing vegetables contribute to stone formation. I hope to prevent stone recurrence. Next vet aptmt in early April. I'd be happy to share more details!

Answer:All of that sounds good. At your recheck they will get a urine sample to check the pH - they will look for a lot of other things like crystals (stone precursors) and the specific gravity. The specific gravity is almost as important as pH - you want it as low as possible. How do you get it low? By getting him to consume as much water as possible. Sometimes this is easier said than done - adding a lot of water to his food is always a good idea. Refreshing his water often sometimes helps as well. Having lots of water bowls around the house is a good idea too.

Date: Mar 15, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Saving Molly

Question:I have a 9ish year old small terrier mix. Her name is Molly. For a few months she has been passing some blood in her urine and has to go anywhere she happens to be standing at the time. Now she wines and moans in pain. I know she desperately needs a vet but there is no way I can afford it. Is there any home remedy for stones? What can I do to save her that I can afford? Please help me. Ive tried reaching out and no one can help. Thank you

Answer:Dogs with bladder stones usually need surgery. There are some prescription diets that will cause certain stones (like Struvite stones) to dissolve without surgery but you would need a prescription for these foods from your veterinarian. If your dog has a different type of stone (like calcium oxalate) these diets can make the stone worse, so you really need your see your veterinarian. Many times female dogs have urinary tract infections that have helped cause the stone so taking care of that with an appropriate antibiotic will help her feel better too. Until you can get her to the vet, increase her water intake as much as you can. This is easier said than done. Gradually adding canned food can help with that, but don't do it suddenly or you will give her diarrhea and make everything worse. You can try out NaturVet Cranberry Relief as well - here is a link if you want to read about it: http://www.1800petmeds.com/NaturVet+Cranberry+Relief+Plus+Echinacea-prod11018.html

Date: Feb 8, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Post-op preventative care

Question:I brought an 8 year old rescue poodle/mix 4 days ago. Today I had to rush her to the vet thinking she was dying and found out she had a golf ball size stone that had to be surgically removed. What is the best to prevent this from happening again?

Answer:It will depend on the type of stone she has. Your veterinarian probably sent it off for analysis. Based on the stone type, they will recommend a specific diet to keep her from getting more. Encouraging her to drink more water is always good no matter what type of stone she has.

Date: Feb 7, 2017
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Bladder stones

Question:This will be Cocoa's 4th surgery for harder stones. Howmay prevent this. Love her anddo not want to put her down.

Answer:The 2 (known) variables that cause bladder stone formation are genetics and diet. Since you obviously can't change her genetics, you have to really follow a strict diet. The prescription diets that are made for her specific type of stone are helpful. Some work much better than others so changing to a different one may help. Have your veterinarian recheck her urine for pH levels, crystals, infection, etc frequently. Consider contacting the pet food companies directly that make the prescription diets to see if they can help.

Date: Nov 17, 2014
Category: Bladder Stones
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Bladder Stones

Question:Do Bladder Stones Aways Need To Be Removed Surgerally

Answer:Not All Bladder Stones Need To Be Removed Surgically. Some Can Be Dissolved With Diet, Depending On The Type Of Stone Or Crystals.


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