How to Treat Bladder Stones in Dogs and Cats
It is important to treat your pet's bladder stones to prevent recurrent, uncomfortable symptoms and urinary tract obstruction. If the stones are large and unlikely to plug or obstruct the urethra, medical management of stones using prescription specialty diets or home recipes may be tried. Many of these diets promote increased thirst, which encourages a more dilute urine that could potentially dissolve the stones. Special homemade recipes for dogs and cats are available, including those described in a book by Donald Strombeck, PHD. These diets are usually fed over 3-4 months. Antibiotics are often used during the treatment period for bladder stones as well, while waiting to see if the stones slowly dissolve.
In most cases, bladder stones are best treated surgically by a cystotomy, which is an opening of the bladder. Stones lodged in the urethra can often be flushed into the bladder and removed, but other times, a urethrostomy is needed. In all cases, stone analysis and identification at an outside veterinary laboratory is recommended.
Some pets with bladder stones may be treated through a combination of a raw diet and chronic constitutional homeopathy. While there are no specific supplements that reliably dissolve bladder stones, certain supplements may improve and increase urinary tract health.
To prevent recurrence of bladder stones, special diets can be used for each type of stone. Increasing your pet's water consumption dilutes the urine, which is helpful in preventing crystal formation in the urinary tract. Eliminating bacterial urinary tract infections and having your pet's urine checked twice a year may help prevent recurrent bladder stones from forming. Additionally, adding a small amount of salt to your pet's water bowl will often increase the amount of water your pet drinks.