Bladder stones may appear as single compact stones or diffuse crystals, which can be washed into the urethra.
Urolithiasis can be present for a longer period of time before causing complaints, which are similar to those of cystitis, i.e. bloody tinged urine, increased urination, and discomfort. Symptoms usually develop gradually and are prone to misinterpretation, especially in older animals.
There are various types of urinary stones. The two most common stones consist of either oxalate or urate, both of which are the products of metabolism. A urine analysis can give evidence as to what type of stone a dog is prone to develop. Predisposition for urinary stones may also have hereditary aspects. Chronic inflammation of the urinary tract increases the development of urolithiasis.
X-ray examination as well as ultrasound imaging of the bladder can reveal stones inside. Smaller stones may be expelled by administration of a diuretic. Stones lodged inside the urethra can be destroyed by using ultrasound therapy. If all other treatment fails, surgical removal is necessary. In order to prevent the formation of further stones, a special diet should be fed which is low in certain electrolytes and proteins. These are available in most pet stores. The type of stone must be considered when choosing the type of food. If you are hoping to find out whether or not your dog may have developed urolithiasis, it is helpful to present a fresh urine sample to your vet. He may need it in order to perform an analysis and determine any heal risks to your dog.
If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from bladder stones, consult a veterinarian.