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Kidney Stones In Pets

A medical ailment similar to human kidney stones

Dogs and cats suffer from kidney and bladder stones just like humans. Certain breeds are more susceptible to stones. Kidney stones containing calcium and oxalic acid are seen frequently in Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers and Poodles while stones made up of uric acid are seen in English Bulldogs and Dalmatians among others.

There are various causes contributing to the development of kidney stones. They typically form when there is an abundance of materials in the pet’s urine (such as calcium) which form into stones. Hereditary factors as well as diet contribute to this illness, and urinary tract infection can be involved in certain types of stone formation also.

Symptoms

  • Blood in urine
  • Vomiting
  • Recurring urinary tract infections
  • Pain when urinating
  • Decreased urine volume
  • Unsettled or uncomfortable

If you suspect your pet has kidney stones, seek veterinary attention. Stones may leave the kidney blocking the tubes leading to the bladder. This is very painful and if a blockage occurs, the urine will back up into the body causing the bladder to stretch well beyond its size potential bursting. This results in a far more serious medical situation. You can read more about this in our article about Kidney Failure in Pets

What to expect at the vet

  • Urine analysis or blood analysis 
  • X-ray to examine the kidney and bladder 
  • Ultrasound 
  • Medical treatment to reduce potential recurrence and in some cases to dissolve stones 
  • Surgery when medical management is not sufficient (or when stones are unable to be dissolved) 
  • Fluid therapy

Prevention

Ensure your pet has plenty of access to water with opportunity to urinate as required. A diet specifically tailored to reduce the chance of kidney stones may also be required – this is best discussed with your veterinarian.

Radiograph of cat with kidney stones      Radiograph of patient's catheter

These two images are radiographs of a cat who presented to Perth Vet Emergency in pain, producing little urine with some blood. A radiograph was performed to confirm the suspected diagnostic of kidney stones. A urinary catheter was inserted allowing the patient to pass urine while fluid therapy and medication commenced as well as pain relief to give the patient comfort. 

 


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