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.
Treatment For Bladder Stones In Dogs
Treatment for bladder stones depends largely on the type and location of the stone. Options include surgery, lithotripsy , a change in diet, and medication.
With struvite stones, there are multiple options to consider, each carrying pros and cons.
Unlike struvite stones, calcium oxalate stones cannot be dissolved through dietary changes. If they are tiny, flushing the bladder and forcefully expressing the stones may be possible otherwise they will need to be surgically removed.
What You Should Know About Dog Bladder Stone Surgery
HomeWhat You Should Know About Dog Bladder Stone Surgery
Is surgery your only option?
The questions race through your mind.
How much does dog bladder stones surgery cost?
What about the recovery from dog bladder stone surgery? How will it go?
Without knowing the answers ahead of time, any medical care can be scary something as invasive as bladder stone surgery for a best friend can be downright terrifying.
So here are a few answers.
First on your mind, probably, is cost.
I mean, you love Bo, but is he more important than a home for your children? Of course not.
But if youre prepared for the investment of two to four thousand dollars, the typical bladder stone surgery cost in dogs, surgery is a viable option.
And heres the good part.
Thats the cost for surgery to remove bladder stones in dogs.
Other medical procedures to alleviate the suffering associated with bladder stones are less expensive, if somewhat less effective.
Such surgery is always the last resort.
It can be critically necessary, but your veterinarian will have exhausted all other possibilities.
He or she will have weighed the chance of a successful outcome using first diet and then drugs before reaching the conclusion that surgery is a necessity.
Even then, both you and the doctor have options.
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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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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.
Do Carrots Cause Bladder Stones In Dogs
One quarter to one half a cup of raw or cooked carrots added to your dogs meal twice daily is also reasonable. Do not feed carrots to pets with a history of kidney or bladder stones, or to those prone to developing crystals in their urine. Carrots are high in oxalates and can cause the formation of stones.
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.
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Surgical Removal Of Bladder Stones
A cystotomy is a surgical procedure that removes any bladder stones from the urinary bladder.
This involves making an incision directly into the bladder, removing any stones, and flushing the bladder thoroughly after.
Your vet will also flush any stones that could be blocking the urethra, as well as testing for any potential urinary obstructions.
This is a straightforward procedure that many veterinarians perform each day, with most dogs returning to their normal selves in 7-10 days.
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.
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Surgery For Bladder Stones In Dogs
Surgical removal is often the fastest way to remove bladder stones. And if your dog has a urinary obstruction or severe case of stones, its an emergency surgery thats unavoidable and life-saving.
Veterinary homeopath Dr Dee Blanco told me that many owners opt for surgery as the quickest way to relieve their dogs discomfort. Especially because dissolution using diet and natural remedies can be slow.
Dr Blanco said The stones are usually are so bad they need surgery. Especially when the vet shows the owner the x-rays people just march to surgery!
Surgical removal is called cystotomy. It can be done via open cystotomy or laparoscopic cystotomy.
Laparoscopic Vs Open Cystotomy
Comparing the two procedures, one study found laparoscopy
- Is less invasive
- Is as effective as open cystotomy at removing stones
- Takes about 50 minutes longer than open cystotomy
- Is a more expensive surgery
- Requires less pain medication
Hospitalization time and related cost is similar for both procedures. Another study found that laparoscopy posedless risk of surgical site infection.
The cost of open cystotomy surgery is estimated at $800 to $1400. Laparoscopic cystotomy is usually at least $300 more.
Dietary Dissolution Of Bladder Stones
Dietary dissolution is an option for pet owners that want to avoid surgery.
This treatment route involves exclusively feeding your dog a prescription diet that will dissolve their stone type, hopefully causing the stone to break down over time.
While this may sound like a great alternative, this option does come with a few risks.
Dietary dissolution is not a quick fix.
It can take weeks to months to dissolve a bladder stone, meaning your pup may still experience discomfort in that timeframe.
Not only can your dog still experience pain and urinary infections until the stone dissolves, they will still be at risk of urinary obstruction until the stone is gone.
This means that even if you choose the dietary dissolution route, your dog may still need surgery in the end.
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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
If you notice any of the above symptoms in your pup, its best to have them seen by your veterinarian for further guidance.
Can You Use Natural Remedies For Bladder Stones In Dogs
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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How Often Do Bladder Stones Come Back In Dogs
There are several different types of stones, which form for different reasons and require various forms of treatment and strategies for prevention. For example, despite preventative measures, approximately 50 percent of dogs will have recurrence of calcium oxalate stones within two years, says Dr.
Breeds Prone To Bladder Stones
Theres been quite a bit of research into the dogs most affected by bladder stones.
One 10-year Canadian study looked at more than 40,000 dogs with bladder stones. More than 85% of cases were struvite and calcium oxalate stones. Struvite were more common in females and calcium oxalate in males.
Any dogs can get bladder stones, but breeds most affected are
- German Shepherds
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Minimizing The Possibility Of Recurrent Bladder Stones In Dogs
After analysis of the bladder stones, they were found to be 100% magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate, also known as struvite bladder stones.
Its thought that bladder stones can develop as precipitated crystals due to elevated levels of certain elements in a dogs urine. When theres a pH or acidity imbalance, the crystals may start to form and grow larger over time. Dogs are known to have at least five different bladder stone types, including struvite, urate, xanthine, cystine, and calcium oxalate bladder stones.
Each stone forms due to different factors, from infection to diet and existent disease.
The Extra Costs To Consider
Even after any treatment regimen, your vet will still ask you bring your dog in for multiple visits so that he or she can perform a urinalysis to ensure the crystals are not forming. As mentioned, each urinalysis can cost an additional $65 to $175, but in some cases, your vet may include these follow-up visits in their surgical quote.
As mentioned in the table above, there is a good chance your dog may prescribe a prescription-based dog food for life. If this were the case, plan on budgeting more for the dog food and additional vet visits for the prescription.
Depending on your vets billing practices, they may bill anesthesia and/or sedation as an additional expense.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bladder Stones In Dogs
Bladder stones can cause a variety of problems for dogs, from discomfort and incontinence to dangerous blockages of the urinary tract. If you suspect that your dog has developed bladder stones, you’ll want to get the condition checked out and treated by a skilled veterinarian earlier rather than later to avoid complications.
You can ensure that your dog receives early diagnosis and treatment by understanding some key points about canine bladder stones, from the circumstances that cause their formation to telltale symptoms that your dog needs help. Check out the answers to the following frequently asked bladder stone questions.
How Do Veterinarians Define Bladder Stones?
Veterinarians define bladder stones, also called cystic calculi or uroliths, as minerals and related substances that gather together and crystallize inside the bladder. These stones have nothing to do with kidney stones, despite the fact that kidney stones can also plague the urinary systems of dogs.
Bladder stones in dogs usually feature one of four types of substances: calcium oxalate, struvite, urate, and cystine. Struvite makes up the majority of canine bladder stones. Male dogs usually develop calcium oxalate stones, while 85 percent of dogs with struvite stones are female.
Why Do Dogs Develop Bladder Stones?
What Symptoms and Complications Can Bladder Stones Cause?
How Will Your Veterinarian Diagnose and Treat Your Dog’s Bladder Stones?
What Can You Do to Prevent Your Dog From Getting Bladder Stones?
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
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Urohydropropulsion Of Bladder Stones
Urohydropropulsion is on the table if your dog has small bladder stones that can pass through the urethra.
This process involves putting your dog under light sedation to place a special urinary catheter.
Your vet will then use a bladder flush and natural gravity to remove the tiny stones in the bladder, often doing so with minimal trauma.
When this option is available, it is typically very successful.
Summary Of Bladder Stones In Dogs
Bladder stones are a rock-like formation of minerals, ranging in size, that are developed in the urinary tract. Maintaining a well-balanced diet as well as ensuring your dog always has access to plenty of water, so they can flush out the bladder consistently, will help you prevent bladder stones from developing. Complete prevention of bladder stones in dogs is very hard, but annual check-ups with your veterinarian will help your dog stay healthy.
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How Do You Treat Bladder Stones Naturally
Natural remedies for bladder stones
Drink the following morning for immediate relief. Watermelon seeds: Eating watermelon seeds throughout the day can help to break down the bladder stones and flush them out through urination. Barley water: Mix barley water with cranberry juice for fast treatment of bladder stones.
Recovery For Bladder Stone Removal In Dogs
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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Are Bladder Stones The Same As Kidney Stones In Dogs
Many of us are familiar with the condition known as kidney stones in humans, leading pet owners to wonder if this is comparable to bladder stones in dogs.
Its important to note that while dogs can develop kidney stones as well, this is not the same thing as bladder stones.
Even when a dog develops kidney uroliths, this often has nothing to do with the development of bladder stones.
Both conditions involve the urinary system in dogs, but they are not automatically related to each other.
How Do Vets Remove Bladder 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.
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Cost Of Cystotomy In Dogs
The estimated cost for a cystotomy in dogs is around $1,700. The total cost of the procedure includes the cost of medications, imaging and analysis of biopsied matter.
Worried about the cost of Cystotomy treatment?
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Bladder Stones: Causes Diagnosis And Treatment
There are many causes of bladder stones. In female dogs, struvite stones are the most common and are usually due to chronic bacterial bladder infection. Some types of bacteria breakdown urea in the urine to form ammonium, which is a chemical component of struvite stones.
Calcium oxalate stones are most commonly found in male dogs and cats and form due to a condition of the kidney that promotes oxalate excretion into the urine. Certain breeds, such as schnauzers, are more prone to have this problem. Oxalate stones may also form if the pet has a tumor of the parathyroid gland or another type of cancer.
Ammonium biurate stones form if a pet has a liver disease, such as a congenital condition called a portosystemic shunt . In such cases the liver is unable to clear the blood of uric acid thus stones form. Surgical correction of the shunt usually prevents the stones from recurring.
Dalmatians lack an enzyme called uricase in their liver and kidney cells that results in the accumulation of high levels of uric acid in the blood, which causes the formation of urate stones in the kidneys and bladder.
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