Meet Jacky, the 7-year-old labrador cross. Jacky’s owner brought her into Vetwest Yokine when they noticed she had blood in her urine.

Upon further examination, X-ray and ultrasound, Jacky was found to have bladder stones. You will be able to see the photo to the right. Bladder stones (uroliths or cystic calculi) are rock-like formations of minerals that develop in the urinary bladder. To remove the stones, Jacky underwent a procedure known as a cystotomy. A cystotomy is a surgical procedure that involves creating an opening in the wall of the urinary bladder, which allows the bladder stones to be removed. Dr Yolande removed 7 uroliths from Jacky’s bladder all ranging in size up to 1.5 cm. We are pleased to confirm Jacky is feeling much better and is back to her old self.

There are multiple types of bladder stones that our canine friends can get, the most common stones are struvite and calcium oxalate. Struvite bladder stones occur when minerals in your dog’s urine become concentrated and stick together forming crystals. This can happen as a result of a urinary tract infection which changes the acidity of the urine and prevents the minerals from breaking down. Oxalate stones are a mineral compound of calcium, oxalates, and citrates. There is a variety of theories as to what causes oxalates including genetic predisposition or metabolic disease such as liver disease. Jacky’s stones will be sent to an advanced lab to determine what type they are, once identified we can create a plan moving forward to try and prevent these stones from forming again for Jacky.

There are a variety of symptoms that could be indicative of bladder stones, including frequent urination, difficulty urinating, cloudy urine, blood in the urine, abdominal pain and vomiting. Sometimes bladder stones pass through your dog’s system without us noticing that they occurred.

However, if your dog is experiencing the above symptoms, contact your local Vetwest to evaluate your dog further.

Helping your dog stay hydrated is one way that you can help prevent bladder stones. There is also a range of advanced diets available to help dissolve crystals and promote drinking water. Contact your local Vetwest Clinic today for more information.

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