Radiograph taken, note the size of the bladder stone

Bladder stones (uroliths or cystic calculi), are rock-like collections or formations of minerals that form in the urinary bladder, and are more common than kidney stones in dogs. They may occur as a few large stones or as collections of multiple small stones. Bladder stones start out small but over time can grow in number and/or size.

Bladder stones in dogs can develop from a very young age, and are caused by metabolic abnormalities (such as liver disease or high blood calcium), nutrient imbalances from diet or supplements, or genetic conditions that the dog or cat inherited from their parents.

Symptoms of bladder stones in dogs

Some patients with bladder stones show no signs of any kind and the stones, but there are some changes that might promote a search for stones.

  • Blood in the urine
  • Straining to urinate
  • Increased frequency to urinate (the dog will urinate small amounts on a regular basis)

If we suspect bladder stones, we will recommend an X-Ray (radiograph) or Ultrasound to be done, depending on the type of bladder stone.

How are bladder stones in dogs treated?

The most effective treatment solution is to remove the stones surgically, by opening the bladder through an incision in the abdomen.

In some cases, bladder stones can be dissolved by feeding your dog a special diet that is formulated to dissolve bladder stone(s).

Can bladder stones be prevented?

We will first examine the dog and investigate the bladder stones to figure out why the bladder stones have formed.

Usually, the dog’s diet can be adapted to prevent a recurrence of bladder stones. Talk to us about different diet options for your dog.

It is very important for your pet to have regular vet checkups (we recommend a minimum of once a year). Bladder stones are just one of the things that an owner won’t necessarly notice, but a vet will pick up on during these consultations.