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Bladder Stone Removal In Dogs Cost

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Dog Gallbladder Removal Procedure

Dog Gets Surgery to Remove Bladder Stones

Dog gladder bladder removal surgery is medically known as cholecystectomy. A main advantage of this procedure is prevention of secondary gallbladder infection and rupture. A main disadvantage is that it’s a challenging surgery that comes with risks, particularly when the gallbladder has already ruptured.

Can dogs lead a normal life with no gallbladder? The answer is yes, just as it happens in humans, dogs can live without a gallbladder, but a low fat diet is needed to help the dog from incurring in digestive problems.

A less invasive type of surgery is what’s known as laparoscopic cholecystectomy. In this type of surgery, also known as keyhole surgery, several small openings in the abdomen are made versus a larger incision. This leads to less post-surgical pain and a faster recovery. Dog gallbladder removal surgery survival rates tend to vary, based on how early in the disease the dog is diagnosed. In most cases, dogs are diagnosed late, and this leads to lower survival rates. Complications of dog bladder surgery include pancreatitis and bile peritonitis . Lavage of the dog’s peritoneal cavity along with antibiotics can help prevent this latter complication.

Dog gallbladder removal costs may vary.

Bladder Stones In Dogs: Everything You Need To Know

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Recovery Of Bladder Stones In Dogs

Following treatment of canine bladder stones, a repeat urinalysis is performed several weeks later to check for reoccurrence of crystal formation. Once the stones are dissolved or removed from the bladder and the underlying bacterial infection is treated, the condition has a good prognosis.

Dietary dissolution and medical management is a less invasive approach but often takes a longer time to dissolve the crystals. Recovery from a cystotomy surgery is relatively quick, with the dog usually able to go home the following day. The surgical incision will take on average two weeks to fully heal and will need to be rechecked, which is usually when the repeat urinary sample is examined.

Dogs will often be placed on a urinary prescription diet on an ongoing basis. Such diets are specifically formulated to prevent future stone formation. Additionally, water consumption should be increased to help keep the urine diluted. The most common way to increase water consumption in dogs is to increase feeding of canned food as opposed to a sole dry food diet.

Following recovery, ongoing management is crucial to prevent the formation of bladder stones from reoccurring.

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Causes Of Bladder Stones In Dogs

The definitive cause of bladder stone formation is not fully known. However, there are several factors that contribute to the formation of stones.

  • Prevalence of a urinary tract infection
  • Inflammation of the urinary bladder lining
  • High dietary intake of certain minerals and proteins
  • Reduced water intake
  • Large amount of salts in the urine
  • Optimal pH levels in the urine for stone formation
  • Breed predispositions

Diagnosing Bladder Stones In Dogs

Struvite Bladder Stones in Dogs

Bladder stones can be detected in a few different ways. Very occasionally, a vet can assess the presence of stones simply by pressing on a dogs abdomen. Stones may also be detected during a rectal examination or upon the attempted insertion of a urinary catheter. However, most bladder stones are diagnosed through x-rays or ultrasound. A urinalysis may also gives clues as to the presence of bladder stones.

Its possible for more than one stone to be present once one is located, the entire urinary tract should be examined.

Facts about struvite bladder stones:

  • 85% of dogs diagnosed with struvite stones are female

  • On average, dogs who develop struvite stones are 2 to 4 years of age

  • Breeds with an increased risk are Miniature Schnauzer, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, Labrador Retriever, and the Dachshund

Facts about calcium oxalate stones:

  • 73% of dogs diagnosed with calcium oxalate stones are male

  • Most cases occur in dogs between the ages of 5 and 12 years old

  • Breeds with an increased risk are Miniature Schnauzer, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, and Bichon Frise

The exact mineral composition of a bladder stone is determined by a complete quantitative analysis. This test requires submitting a bladder stone to an outside laboratory.

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Types Of Bladder Stones:

  • Struvite stones are common in female dogs. These stones arecomposed of magnesium, phosphate or ammonium and are caused by a urinary tract infection.
  • Calcium oxalate stones are genetic in nature and are commonin male dogs deficient in nephrocalcin, a compound that breaks down calcium deposits.
  • Uric acid stones occur only in Dalmatians as this breed cant absorb uric acid.

What Happens If My Dog Does Have Bladder Stones

If youve recognized some of the symptoms or behaviors of bladder stones, take your dog to the vet ASAP. Your veterinarian will test your pup for stones by performing a physical exam and some tests, such as:

  • X-rays
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Urine analysis

Most bladder stones are visible on X-rays but sometimes theyre not. In that case, your vet may inject a special dye to help the stones become more visible. To diagnose bladder stones, your vet may also need to do an ultrasound of the dogs belly and take a urine sample.

Your dogs vet may also ask you about your pets diet including dog food, people food, treats, and anything else they eat. This can help determine if your dogs diet was the culprit for the stones.

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Diagnosis Of Bladder Stones In Dogs

Diagnosis of canine bladder stones is suspected from the above clinical symptoms. In order to form a definitive diagnosis, the veterinarian may perform several tests including urinalysis, radiography, and ultrasound.

Urinalysis involves a complete analysis of a urine sample. It features a dipstick test, a measure of urine specific gravity, and examination of the urine sediment under a microscope. The dipstick test measures values such as pH, protein content, glucose values, ketones, and traces of blood. The microscopic examination allows the veterinarian to look for the presence of red and white blood cells, epithelial cells, casts, bacteria, and most important, the crystals associated with bladder stones.

Radiographs are performed to determine the location and number of stones within the bladder or distal urinary tract. Many stones are radiopaque meaning that they will show up on the x-rays. Otherwise, a contrast agent can be introduced into the bladder to assist with visualisation. It is especially important to analyse the number and size of bladder stones in case a surgical removal of the stones is necessary.

Ultrasound is another tool that a veterinarian will use to visualise the stones it is usually used to look for stones that do not show up on a plain x-ray. Ultrasound helps to determine the number of stones present, size, and location.

Recovery For Bladder Stone Removal In Dogs

Cystotomy – $675 – Removal of Bladder Stones in Dogs and Cats

Bladder stones in dogs are mineral densities that form inside the bladder. They can form one at a time or in the hundreds.

The formation of bladder stones in dogs is usually related to a change in urine pH. This change in pH can be either acidic or alkaline, which will affect which type of stone ultimately forms. Diet is one factor that can affect urine pH.

Urine concentration can also affect bladder stone formation: the more concentrated a dogs urine, the more likely stone formation is. The amount of water a dog drinks can affect their urine concentration.

A urinary tract infection may also be a factor in the development of bladder stones. In these cases, the stones are often struvite stones .

If your dog has bladder stones, your vet might recommend surgical removal, since bladder stones can cause pain, difficulty urinating, blood in the urine, and in the worst case, a urinary obstruction .

This procedure is called a cystotomy, and it involves opening the urinary bladder to remove the stones. The incisions are then closed with stitches and/or staples.

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Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Dogs With Bladder Stones

Some pet parents reach for apple cider vinegar in hopes of acidifying their companions urine. But this is not necessarily a good idea. I wouldnt add anything to increase the acidity of a diet without the supervision of a veterinarian, says Jeffrey, whose professional interests include preventative care.

Signs Of Bladder Stones In Dogs

Part of what can make bladder stones so challenging to diagnose without diagnostic imaging is the fact that they can mimic a standard UTI.

Many dogs with bladder stones come in with typical UTI symptoms, leading many to go undiagnosed if films are not performed.

Some of the most common signs of bladder stones in dogs include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your pup, its best to have them seen by your veterinarian for further guidance.

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What Are Bladder Stones Made Of

Bladder stones are made up of a collection of different minerals based on the environment in the bladder.

These stones develop when urine does not empty the bladder completely, causing crystals to develop in the leftover urine.

As the urine gets more and more concentrated with crystals, the bladder wall will become irritated.

An irritated bladder will produce mucus due to the inflammation, causing these tiny crystals to group together.

After time, stones are formed.

Can You Use Natural Remedies For Bladder Stones In Dogs

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This post explains bladder stones in dogs and treatments your vet may recommend.

But there are several natural approaches to bladder stones covered in a separate post. Some may ease your dogs symptoms. Others may help bladder stones dissolve or pass. But all these natural remedies will take longer than the conventional methods.

Bladder stones can be painful and even life-threatening. So sometimes you might need to resort to conventional procedures.

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Preventing Bladder Stones In Pets

Working to prevent bladder stones from forming in the first place can prevent the headache of treating them later. If your pet is prone to bladder stones, speak to your veterinarian about switching your dog or cat to a specialized diet or diet additive that will make your pet less likely to develop the stones. These diets are specifically formulated to be used long-term, unlike the diets that are used for stone dissolution.

Additionally, pets with chronic bladder stone formation should have their urine monitored frequently by a veterinarian.

If your dog or cat has bladder stones, a veterinary internist can help. If you are in Austin, Texas, AVES Contact AVES today at 512-343-2837 to get your pets bladder stones treated.

Get A Urine Sample From Your Dog Indoors

If youre lucky enough to have a doggy lawn you wont even have to venture outside for this process.

DoggyLawn is an environmentally-friendly patch of grass for dogs of every size. Its a popular solution for dogs who have an injury or are recovering from surgery who still have to use the bathroom. Instead of risking further injury or pain by making them go outside, you can easily train them to go potty inside!

These are great for dogs who arent feeling well enough to go outside. They also come in handy for people living in apartments or condos. Its not so bad in the warm months, but if you live in a cooler climate youll know what Im talking about.

If your dog has to pee more than usual youre going to have to bundle up and take your precious pooch out every single time.

If youre lucky enough to have a DoggyLawn, the process of collecting a urine sample is the same. Its just that much easier because you dont have to navigate rocky, muddy, or uneven terrain.

Just position your sample cup and easily get the sample.

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What Can I Give My Dog For Bladder Stones

Its very important to not treat bladder stones at home yourself. Always bring your pup into your vets office for evaluation. Stones can be a serious medical problem for your dog. Bladder stones that are not removed or dissolved can block the bladder and your dog wont be able to urinate. This could rupture the bladder.

How Are They Diagnosed

Vet Removes 444 Bladder Stones from Dog

Bladder calculi can often be diagnosed just via palpation of the bladder across the abdomen, with the stones being felt easily in many cases within the bladder. Where bladder stones are suspected but are not able to be palpated, then xrays can usually quickly highlight their presence. An xray of the bladder should usually be able to be performed WITHOUT needing to anaesthetise the dog first.

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Types Of Bladder Stones

There are different types of stones, each formed from a complex mixture of minerals. Two of the most common are struvite and calcium oxalate stones. Each type tends to develop under specific conditions.

Struvite stones develop when struvite crystals, which arent found in normal urine, combine with certain bacteria. The presence of struvite crystals alone do not require treatment, but when combined with a bacteria-produced enzyme called urease, stone formation is possible.

With calcium oxalate stones, there is a strong hereditary component to formation. Certain dogs may be genetically predisposed to produce defective nephrocalcin, which is a substance in urine that naturally inhibits the formation of calcium oxalate stones. However, dogs without a genetic propensity can still develop calcium stones.

How Did My Dog Get Bladder Stones

There are several theories of how bladder stones form. The most commonly accepted theory is called the Precipitation- Crystallization Theory. This theory states that one or more stone-forming crystalline compounds are present in elevated levels in the urine. This may be due to dietary factors or due to some previous disease in the bladder, especially a bacterial infection. Sometimes the condition may be due to a problem with the body’s metabolism.

When the amount of this compound exceeds a threshold level, the urine becomes saturated and cannot hold any more of the compound. The saturation level depends on the specific minerals that are present and the pH of the urine. These excess compounds precipitate out of solution and form tiny crystals. The sharp crystals irritate the bladder lining, causing a production of mucus. The crystals and mucus stick together, forming clusters that gradually enlarge and harden into stones.

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How Quickly Can Bladder Stones Form

Bladder stones can develop within a few weeks or they may take months to form. Speed of growth will usually depend on the quantity of crystalline material present and the degree of infection present. Although it may take months for a large stone to grow, some sizable stones have been documented to form in as little as two weeks.

How Can You Spot Symptoms In Your Dog

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Most times when your dog has bladder stones, you may be able to spot some symptoms:

  • More frequent urination
  • Abdominal pain

You may also notice certain behaviors in your pup when they have bladder stones. These behaviors can help you recognize bladder stones in your dog.

  • Accidents in the home when before there were none
  • Licking their genitals more frequently
  • Lack of energy

If you suspect your dog has a bladder infection or bladder stones, never try to treat it at home. Call your veterinarian right away.

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Ask To Pay In Installments

If you are unable to pay for the entire surgery upfront or prefer to break it up, ask your veterinarians office about paying in installments. Not all offices will offer this, but many offices will do their best to work with you to get your dog the surgery they need without putting you into a financial crisis.

Male Vs Female Dogs With Bladder Stones

There is some evidence that points to specific bladder stone types according to the age and sex of the dog.

Female dogs are thought to account for 85% of the struvite stones diagnosed. Male dogs, however, account for 73% of dogs diagnosed with calcium oxalate stones.

Dogs who develop struvite stones are younger . Dogs who develop calcium oxalate stones are typically between 5-12 years of age.

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How Much Does Bladder Stone Treatment Cost For A Dog

To confirm your dog has bladder stones, the vet will more than likely perform a variety of tests, including a urinalysis, radiography, ultrasound and/or bloodwork. A dog urinalysis can cost $65 to $175, while an x-ray, depending on the number of shots taken, can range from $50 to $200. Lastly, if an ultrasound is performed, this can cost another $250 to $500. Just for the diagnosis alone, this can cost anywhere from $365 to $850+ just to confirm the dog has bladder stones. Bloodwork, often recommended for dogs older than seven, can cost another $100 or so, but bloodwork will be performed only before a surgical procedure to see if the dog is healthy enough for surgery.

Now, if the dog, after the tests are performed, is confirmed to have bladder stones, then the vet will determine the best course of action in terms of treatment. The costs of treating these bladder stones will depend on the treatment option considered, your vet, the inclusions in the bill, the size of the dog and your geographical location. Treatment options can include dietary management along with medicine, an urohydropropulsion, surgery or laser lithotripsy. The exact treatment option will depend on the size and number of bladder stones present. With various treatment methods, we broke down the averages in the table below:

NOTE: Remember, the costs above will not include the diagnosis. As mentioned, it is best to budget and add $350 to $850 to the totals.

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