Some of the most traumatic X-ray results reveal the presence of Bladder Stones in the dog’s body. Until the owner gets to know that the animal is suffering from this condition, he constantly stays annoyed with the dog. This is entirely understandable as before the diagnosis of this disease, the owner frequently stumbles upon drops of urine on the floor which is problematic as well as a headache for the owner.
These stones(Calculi and Uroliths) can be described as small rock-like collections of minerals that form in the Urinary Bladder. These collections can be in the size of one big stone or combination of small stones in the shape of a big chunk. In some significant cases, the stones stay undiagnosed, until the Vet discovers these stones unintentionally. While in some cases, there can some sudden changes in the dog’s body which can trigger a call to the Vet. The dog may show signs of blood strain in the urine or an increase in the frequency of urine.
There are several factors responsible for the formation of stones inside the bladder of the dog. These are :
1.Increase in the level of minerals like Phosphate, Calcium, and Magnesium, within the urine which allows the precipitation and supersaturation of crystals. These crystals slowly form into stones and increase in size and height.
2.Different types of stones forms in acidic urine pH or alkaline.
3.Any bacterial infection can alter the pH level of the urine, eventually encouraging the growth of crystals.
4.The dog’s slow metabolism can help the formation of stones.
So how quickly the stones grow?
Gallbladder stones can grow within weeks to months or even years. The speed of growth will usually depend on the number of crystals present in the Bladder and the intensity or the degree of infection in the organ. It can take significant chunks to form during a considerable amount of time, let's say within a month or a year, but small same sized stones can form within two weeks.
Most of the canines with bladder infection does not necessarily have stones inside them. Palpation of the stones can be a good option. Although, failing to palpate these stones will not overrule out the presence of these stones in the bladder. Some of the stones may be too small for the owner to palpate, or the bladder may be too firm to allow palpation.
Most of these stones are visible through a bladder ultrasound test or an X-ray examination. Although some of the stones may be invisible in these tests, which means that these stones are radiolucent. Being radiolucent means, these stones have a mineral composition which is invisible to the X-ray beams.
There are two options for treatment. The most effective solution to this issue will be to remove these stones surgically. After the surgery, the patient has to stay in the hospital for two to three weeks. A thing called Haematuria will persist with the dog for few days. Well, surgery may not be the best option for dogs who are having some other major concerns. However, dogs who are having urethral obstructions will need immediate surgeries.
The second most sort after way is to dissolve these stones through a special diet. Though this may have certain disadvantages as listed below:
1.This particular diet may not be the best option for all types of bladder stones, so a thorough stone analysis is needed.
2.It takes time as this unique diet requires several months to dissolve a large stone while the dog may still suffer from haematuria and dysuria. The risks of urethral infection remain high during this period.
3.This diet will only work exclusively and may not work for all breed of dogs.
To minimize the chances of future recurrence of bladder stones, one has to know the actual cause of the stones at present. Some further investigation may also reveal reasons such as diabetes which needs special attention by the Vet.
To prevent future occurrence, the first step will be to introduce a special diet plan for the dog. Once the dog completes its recovery phase, the owner must introduce a special prescription diet. A prescription diet has several benefits such as; it will reduce the concentration of minerals that may create an issue in the future and will alter the pH level of the urine that may otherwise create a hospitable environment for bacterial growth.
Another thing is to ensure that the dog goes through a routine ultrasound test to determine if it is at all developing stones in that area. A periodic urine analysis and radiographs will be your shield to protect and prevent future bladder stones.