Goldie, a 9 year old English Cocker Spaniel presented to us after her owners noticed she was having pain when urinating and was also passing bloody urine. After an in-house urinalysis test, Goldie was diagnosed with Bacterial Cystitis and was dispensed pain relief and antibiotics.
After finishing her antibiotics, Goldie visited the clinic for a re-check. Unfortunately the urination issues recurred after finishing medication and she had also become mildly inappetant. A quick x-ray showed that Goldie had multiple bladder stones/ uroliths.
It was decided that surgery to remove Goldie's bladder stones was in her best interest. She underwent a cystotomy, which is a procedure to remove the bladder stones. At least 15 stones (including one the size of an egg) were removed from Goldie's bladder and one was even found in her urethra.
Goldie's recovery from surgery was a little slow but uneventful and she was very happy to go home with her family that night.
Four days post-op, Goldie visited us for a check up and was back to her old happy self. She was finally toileting normally with no blood or pain.
Dogs that have had bladder stones have a high risk of recurrence. Therefore, Goldie needed to be on a lifelong prescription diet to ensure optimal bladder health, and reduce the risk of recurrence.
Urolithiasis, or bladder stones are common in female small breed dogs. Dogs with bladder stones can present with many different signs including blood in the urine, straining to urinate, increased frequency of urination, dribbling urine and tender abdomen. There are many different types of stones that can develop, with the majority being struvite or calcium oxalate.
To diagnose bladder stones, several diagnostic tests need to be performed. Firstly, the vet will examine a sample of your dog’s urine to check for infection, the presence of blood and white cells and the pH. A blood test is sometimes required to check kidney function. Xrays or ultrasound is used to confirm the presence of the stones.
Occasionally, struvite stones can be dissolved using a specifically designed diet, but most dogs will require surgery to remove the bladder stones.