Bladder stones in dogs is probably one of the most common urinary problems every pet parent ever has to deal with. But what are these? What causes these? And how is it prevented or managed and treated?
What are Bladder Stones?
Bladder stones are hard masses of minerals that can be found in your dog's bladder. These bladder stones develop when the minerals in concentrated urine are crystallized. The most common types of bladder stones are struvite, calcium oxalate, and urate stones.
Struvite bladder stones. Struvite is an innate component of your dog's urine and it will remain dissolved as long as your dog's urine is acidic (not too concentrated). If your dog's urine turns out to be concentrated, struvite crystals will fall out of solution and will form struvite bladder stones.
Calcium oxalate bladder stones. A dog's urine that is high in calcium, citrates, or oxalates and is acidic develops calcium oxalate urinary crystals and stones.
Urate bladder stones. Urate bladder stones are usually the result of a canine genetic abnormality that causes a damage in uric acid metabolism.
Causes of Bladder Stones in Dogs
The struvite bladder stones are often caused by infections in a dog's urinary tract. And the rest of the stones are because of nutrient imbalances, metabolic abnormalities (high blood calcium), health conditions that are inherited.
Symptoms to look out for
Dogs with bladder stones show the following symptoms:
- Urinary accidents
- Strains to urinate
- Many attempts to urinate but only urinates a little
- Discolored urine
- Constant licking of the private areas
- Licking around the urinary opening
Note: These symptoms eventually disappear when infection is treated and stones are flushed out/surgically removed from the body but will be recurring for bladder stones that are inherited.
Prevention, Management and Treatment
Consult your veterinarian. If ever you notice the signs mentioned above, consult with your vet immediately for proper diagnosis to determine the the type of bladder stone/s present in your dog and for the proper treatment fitted.
Let your dog wear diapers. As mentioned in the symptoms, accidents are common to dogs with bladder stones. Letting your dog wear dog diapers will help keep your home clean and away from those messy clean-ups!
Provide a healthy and balanced diet. A healthy and balanced therapeutic diet will provide your dog nutrients that will help provide him the nutrients he needs. These diets should be low in protein, magnesium and phosphorus and must promote acidic urine e.g.canned foods, increase water consumption, carbohydrates like white rice, sweet potato to replace protein reduction, low oxalate fruits and veggies like cauliflower, green peas, etc.
Provide bladder supplements. Provide your dog with Pet Parents® Bladder Cranberry Supplements to be able to provide your fur-baby with healthy ingredients to help bladder strength support like branded form of cranberry extract, Pacran®, & D-Mannose that help promote bladder health by flushing out bad bacteria.
Bladder stones in dogs may be a challenge for you and your dog but there are always ways to treat, manage and prevent it from developing in your dog, for the both of you to have a happy and healthy life.