Can Dogs Live with Bladder Stones?


Is your dog having accidents on the floor? Are they urinating more frequently, having trouble peeing, or showing blood in their urine? These could be signs that your furry friend is suffering from bladder stones.

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones are mineral formations that can develop in dogs, causing symptoms that are frustrating for owners and painful for pets. The good news is that bladder stones can be treated, and there are preventive measures you can take. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know!

Signs and Symptoms of Bladder Stones

Bladder stones start small but grow over time. Dogs can have a large single stone or multiple stones of different sizes. There are three common symptoms to watch out for:


Blood in the urine (hematuria)

– Stones irritate the bladder lining, causing bleeding.

Straining to urinate (dysuria)

– Inflammation and swelling of the bladder walls or urethra, muscle spasms, or physical obstruction by the stones can lead to difficulty urinating.

Increased frequency of urination (pollakiruia)

– Pain and swelling caused by the stones irritate the bladder walls, leading to more frequent bathroom trips.

If you notice these symptoms in your dog, it’s important to take them to the vet for a check-up. However, it’s worth noting that these symptoms can also be associated with other urinary tract conditions, so leave the diagnosis to the experts.

Body Language

Pay attention to your dog’s body language for signs of bladder stones, such as:

– Dropping ears
– Pacing
– Sprinkling urine

Other Signs

Other signs to watch out for include:

– Bloody or discolored urine
– Straining to urinate
– Increased frequency of urination
– Bathroom accidents
– Licking around the urinary opening

The Science of Bladder Stones in Dogs

Bladder stones are rock-like formations made up of minerals and other materials. The most widely accepted theory is that elevated levels of stone-forming compounds in the urine cause these stones to develop. The exact reason for these compounds can be influenced by factors like diet, urinary tract infections, or metabolic issues.

Once the compound levels exceed a certain point, tiny crystals form and irritate the bladder lining, leading to mucus production. The mucus and crystals bond together to create clusters that gradually grow into stones. The speed of growth varies depending on the amount of crystals and the degree of infection.

The majority of bladder stones in dogs are made from struvite, calcium oxalate, urate, or cystine crystals. The type of crystal can often be determined by examining a urine sample under a microscope.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Bladder Stones

To diagnose bladder stones, a vet will need to rule out other potential causes for the symptoms. While some stones can be felt through the abdominal wall, X-rays or ultrasounds are usually necessary for a definitive diagnosis. In some cases, an ultrasound or a radiographic contrast study may be required for stones that don’t show up on X-rays.

Treatment options for bladder stones include:


Surgical removal

– This is usually the quickest and most effective option, but it may not be suitable for dogs with other health issues.

Non-surgical removal

– Small stones can sometimes be flushed out using a special catheter under sedation or anesthesia.

Dietary dissolution

– Feeding a special diet formulated to dissolve bladder stones can be an alternative to surgery. However, it may not work for all types of stones and can take several weeks or months to be effective. There’s also a risk that the dog may refuse to eat the special diet.

Ultrasonic dissolution

– Some veterinary specialist centers offer this option, which uses high-frequency ultrasound waves to break the stones into tiny particles for flushing out of the bladder. Check with your vet to see if this is available in your area.

“Prevention is key: Learn how to spot the signs of bladder stones in dogs and take action before it’s too late.”

Tips & Things to Know

1️⃣ Pay attention to the signs and symptoms of bladder stones in your dog, such as blood in the urine, straining to urinate, and increased frequency of urination. These symptoms should prompt a visit to the vet for a check-up.

2️⃣ Observe your dog’s body language for signs of bladder stones, such as dropped ears, pacing, urine sprinkling, and licking around the urinary opening. These non-verbal cues can indicate discomfort or pain.

3️⃣ Understand the different treatment options for bladder stones, including surgical removal, non-surgical removal, dietary dissolution, and ultrasonic dissolution. Each option has its own advantages and considerations, so consult with your vet to determine the best course of action for your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions, Answered ✅

1. What are the common symptoms of bladder stones in dogs?
– The common symptoms of bladder stones in dogs include blood in the urine, straining to urinate, and increased frequency of urination.

2. Can other conditions cause similar symptoms to bladder stones in dogs?
– Yes, other conditions affecting the urinary tract such as tumors and infections can cause similar symptoms, so it’s important to consult a vet for a proper diagnosis.

3. How do bladder stones form in dogs?
– Bladder stones are formed when elevated levels of stone-forming crystalline compounds are present in the urine. These compounds irritate the bladder lining, leading to the formation of mucus and crystals that bond together into stones.

4. How are bladder stones diagnosed in dogs?
– Bladder stones can be diagnosed through physical examination, X-rays, ultrasounds, or a radiographic contrast study. The type of diagnostic method used depends on the composition of the stones.

5. What are the treatment options for bladder stones in dogs?
– The treatment options for bladder stones in dogs include surgical removal, non-surgical removal through urohydropropulsion, dietary dissolution, and ultrasonic dissolution. The best treatment option depends on the size and type of stones, as well as the overall health of the dog.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our team.

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