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What You Need to Know About Dog Bladder Stones

Bladder stones are a common condition in dogs that can cause a lot of discomfort and even health problems. It’s important for dog owners to learn about the symptoms and treatments for bladder stones to ensure that their pet remains healthy and happy. In this article, we’ll discuss the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for dog bladder stones.

What Are Bladder Stones?

Bladder stones, also known as urinary calculi, are small, hard masses that form in the bladder or urethra of a dog. They are usually made up of mineral deposits, such as calcium oxalate, struvite, and cystine, which can build up in the bladder and form stones.

These stones can vary in size, from very small to large, and can cause a number of health issues. In some cases, they can even block the flow of urine, leading to infection and other serious health problems.

What Causes Bladder Stones in Dogs?

Bladder stones can be caused by a variety of factors, including bacterial infection, genetic predisposition, and dietary deficiencies. In some cases, the stones can form as a result of the dog’s diet, as certain foods can cause an imbalance of minerals in the body, leading to the formation of stones.

In other cases, bladder stones can be caused by an underlying medical condition, such as bladder infection or bladder inflammation. In some cases, the stones can be caused by a blockage in the urethra, such as a tumor or an obstruction.

What Are the Symptoms of Bladder Stones in Dogs?

The symptoms of bladder stones in dogs can vary depending on the size and location of the stones. The most common symptoms include:

  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Straining to urinate
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting

If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet for a diagnosis as soon as possible.

How Are Bladder Stones Diagnosed in Dogs?

Your vet will use a combination of physical examination, x-rays, and urine tests to diagnose bladder stones in your dog. During the physical examination, your vet will look for signs of pain or discomfort in the abdomen or lower back. They may also check your dog’s urine for signs of infection.

X-rays can also be used to diagnose bladder stones in dogs. These x-rays will show the size and shape of the stones, as well as any blockages that may be present. Urine tests can be used to determine the presence of any bacteria or minerals that may be causing the stones.

How Are Bladder Stones Treated in Dogs?

The treatment for bladder stones in dogs will depend on the size and type of the stones. In some cases, the stones may be small enough to pass through the urinary tract on their own, in which case no treatment is necessary. In other cases, the stones may need to be surgically removed.

In some cases, the stones may be dissolved with a special diet. Your vet may recommend a diet low in calcium and high in citric acid, as this can help to dissolve the stones over time. Your vet may also recommend supplements to help dissolve the stones.

In cases where the stones are too large or too numerous to be dissolved, surgery may be necessary. During the surgery, the stones will be removed from the bladder and the bladder will be flushed with a sterile solution. This will help to reduce the risk of infection and discomfort.

In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection. If your dog has a bacterial infection, antibiotics may also be prescribed to help fight the infection.


Bladder stones are a common problem in dogs, and can cause a variety of health problems. It’s important for dog owners to be aware of the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of this condition. With the right treatment, your dog can be healthy and happy.

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