Most pet owners want to make sure they are always doing the best for their animals. So what about when your dog is diagnosed with bladder stones? Here’s everything you need to know about the condition, just in case.
What are bladder stones?
Bladder stones are hard mineral formations that develop in the bladder. Believe it or not, but they are more common than kidney stones and can affect all different breeds of dogs. There are different types of bladder stones depending on what they are made up of, with the most usual type being struvite bladder stones.
How are they formed?
It’s normal for a dog’s passings to be slightly acidic. However, if it becomes too alkaline or concentrated, then it can lead to the formation of bladder stones. They usually follow after a bladder infection, with female dogs being more likely to develop both infections and stones than male dogs. Other reasons for their formation include certain medications or kidney diseases.
What are the signs of bladder stones?
The signs that your dog has bladder stones are similar to when they have an infection, meaning that they need to be checked out right away to catch anything that could be happening in the early stages. One sign is that your dog is struggling to pass urine. Another is there is blood when they finally do.
How common are they?
Some breeds are more susceptible to bladder stones than others, with Yorkshire terriers, bichon frise, miniature schnauzers, and Shih Tzus being most in danger of developing them in their life. However, that doesn’t mean that we all have to start to panic. Bladder stones are often affected by a dog’s environment or and their lifestyle, so keeping them fit and healthy can help to keep the condition at bay.
How are bladder stones diagnosed?
Some bladder stones can be felt by a trained vet. However, others need to be located through an ultrasound or x-ray, depending on the size of the stones. You may also have to submit a sample to your vet so they can accurately diagnose which type of bladder stone is troubling your dog. Once they have all the information, they can make a treatment plan.
How can you treat them?
There are three main ways to treat bladder stones. A special diet can be used for smaller stones. This helps to break down any minerals that have formed in the bladder. Another option is a non-surgical procedure that involves using a special catheter that’s fed into the bladder to help flush out the stones. The third option is surgical removal. This is usually vital for dogs who have larger stones or a considerable number of bladder stones. This is typically the option for male dogs, too, as they are more likely to develop an obstruction.
Bladder stones can seem like a huge worry, but learning all you need to about the condition and how to deal with a diagnosis can make it seem a lot less scary. Thankfully, most dogs soon bounce back.