How do I know if my dog passed a kidney stone? Tips and Tricks

Signs Your Dog Has Kidney Stones

It might not be obvious that your dog is suffering from kidney stones. Some of the signs your dog has them mimic other maladies like kidney disease and diabetes. As youll hear everywhere on this website, consult your veterinarian to determine whether kidney stones are present. Here are some common signs and symptoms, per Tracey and Clements:

  • Increased urination (but sometimes with little pee produced)
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss, anorexia
  • Depression
  • Blood in urine
  • Difficulty or pain urinating
  • Recurring urinary tract infections
  • Crystals evident in urine
  • According to Clements, some smaller dog breeds are considered more susceptible to kidney stones, too, including:

    Tracey adds that Dalmatians can sometimes be predisposed to kidney stones as well because they have a genetic mutation that makes it hard for them to process one of the acids that can lead to stones.

    So: If you have one of these breeds and the dog is experiencing some of the above symptoms, its time to set up a vet appointment.

    How do I know if my dog passed a kidney stone?

    Credit: Chalabala / Getty

    Symptoms of Kidney Stones in Dogs

    Stones may not cause symptoms at all. Symptoms that may be observed are similar to those involved with urinary tract infections and include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Urinating in odd places
  • Licking at genitals
  • Pain during urination
  • Straining to urinate
  • Frequent urination producing only small amounts
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Abdominal pain
  • Kidney stones form from the precipitation of mineral salts. The type of salt that the crystal is formed from defines the kidney stone type, though some stones can be formed from more than one type of salt. Kidney stones can be made up of several types of minerals, including:

  • Uric acid
  • Calcium oxalate
  • Struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate)
  • Cystine
  • Calcium phosphate
  • How did my dog get bladder stones?

    There are several theories of how bladder stones form. The most commonly accepted theory is called the Precipitation- Crystallization Theory. This theory states that one or more stone-forming crystalline compounds are present in elevated levels in the urine. This may be due to dietary factors or due to some previous disease in the bladder, especially a bacterial infection. Sometimes the condition may be due to a problem with the bodys metabolism.

    When the amount of this compound exceeds a threshold level, the urine becomes saturated and cannot hold any more of the compound. The saturation level depends on the specific minerals that are present and the pH (acidity) of the urine. These excess compounds precipitate out of solution and form tiny crystals. The sharp crystals irritate the bladder lining, causing a production of mucus. The crystals and mucus stick together, forming clusters that gradually enlarge and harden into stones.

    Symptoms of Kidney Stones in Dogs

    Your dog is part of the family. And as a family member, you want to provide him with the best care possible, ensuring that he is comfortable, happy, and healthy. But sometimes, unexpected health issues can arise, such as kidney stones, causing discomfort and other health problems.

    Also known as uroliths, kidney stones are crystalized formations in your pet’s kidneys that result from the concentration of mineral salts found in the urine. They can also form in the ureters, urethra, or bladder of your pooch. If you suspect that your dog is suffering from stones, it is important to contact your vet as soon as possible. If you can, collect a sample of urine in a small container directly from your pet’s stream of urine.

    While all dogs can be prone to developing kidney stones, some breeds are far more susceptible to certain kinds of stones. These are known as “stone former” breeds and can include Miniature Schnauzers, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, and Yorkshire Terriers. They can be painful and also lead to urinary tract inflammation, tissue damage, infection, and possible urinary tract obstruction.