Bladder stones…what are they and how do they affect our pets?

Bladder stones are solid, rock-like mineral deposits that form in the bladder. They usually start as microscopic crystals that over time form into the stones. These stones, also called uroliths, cause inflammation and infection of the bladder. Inflammation causes the patient to have increased frequency of urination, blood in the urine, and moderate to severe pain. Depending on the size of the stones, the patient may have a difficult time urinating or be entirely unable to eliminate.

Peaches came to see Dr. Brown for frequent urination, which was very unusual for her. She was evaluated with blood and urine tests and x-rays of her belly. After these diagnostic tests were performed, Dr. Brown discovered that poor Peaches had a single, large bladder stone the size of a buckeye. An abdominal surgery called a cystotomy was performed to open the bladder, remove the stone and check for any other problems. Peaches did great and has made a full recovery. Her stone was sent in for analysis and found to be a struvite stone. Struvite is a mineral made up of magnesium, ammonia and phosphate. Knowing how these stones are formed allows us to make a plan for Peaches that prevents this problem form returning.