According to Dr. Donna Spector, DVM, DACVIM, all bladder stones are formed when there are large amounts of minerals in the urine. They first form as crystals. After a while, the crystals increase and turn into full-fledged stones.
Obviously, humans aren’t the only ones who have problems with their urinary tracts. But while humans more often get stones in their kidneys, dogs most often develop stones in their bladder. According to Dogs: The Ultimate Care Guide, any urinary tract problem in canines can be serious and needs to be treated by a veterinarian.
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Your veterinarian can help you with an “attack method” against bladder stones in your pet.
The first defense will be stopping any crystals in the bladder from developing into stones. By making sure your dog drinks lots of fluids and has a chance to urinate often, the dog’s urinary system will flush away any crystals before they develop into stones.
The second defense is to dissolve those stones that have already formed. Once your veterinarian has diagnosed what type of stone your dog is dealing with, a special diet or additives to correct the pH in the urine will help dissolve the stones, making them easier for your pet to eliminate.
Treatment of bladder stones in a dog varies, depending upon the stone type. Your veterinarian may recommend surgery, diet therapy or medication. Once stones are formed, it is common for the condition to repeat itself, so long-term treatment may be necessary.
Check out this video, where a poor chocolate Lab had record-breaking stones removed from her bladder:
“How does a dog get a bladder stone?” may not be your only question. You may also want to ask how you can prevent your dog from getting stones. Here are a couple of things you can do to decrease the risk:
- Give your pet more water. This is the most important step in preventing canine bladder stones. You may even want to add a little water or salt to his food.
- Do not provide foods that are high in minerals. This has been linked to bladder stone formation in dogs. Check the food labels for magnesium, phosphorous and calcium to be sure the percentages of these minerals are low before feeding your dog.
If your pet shows any signs of problems with urination, seek the advice of your veterinarian. Bladder infections tend to make stones develop quicker.
Also, check your dog’s urinating habits. If he starts peeing more often than usual or seems to be in pain when urinating, prompt medical attention is advised.