How long does it take to remove bladder stones in a dog? A Comprehensive Guide

What are bladder stones in dogs?

Bladder stones (otherwise known as cystic calculi) are a collection of minerals, ranging in size and composition, that develop in a dogs bladder and can cause frequent urinary tract infections, pain, and obstruction of the urinary tract. However, dogs with bladder stones may not show obvious clinical signs.

How quickly can bladder stones form in dogs?

The time required for bladder stones to form in dogs varies. On average it takes somewhere between a couple of weeks and a couple of months. Larger stones tend to take multiple months to form, but there have been cases reported with large bladder stones forming in as little as two weeks. The speed of growth for the bladder stones in dogs depends on the quantity of crystalline material that is present as well as the degree of infection.

There are different types of stones, each formed from a complex mixture of minerals. Two of the most common are struvite (also known as magnesium-ammonium-phosphate or triple-phosphate) and calcium oxalate stones. Each type tends to develop under specific conditions.

Struvite stones develop when struvite crystals, which aren’t found in normal urine, combine with certain bacteria. The presence of struvite crystals alone do not require treatment, but when combined with a bacteria-produced enzyme called urease, stone formation is possible.

With calcium oxalate stones, there is a strong hereditary component to formation. Certain dogs may be genetically predisposed to produce defective nephrocalcin, which is a substance in urine that naturally inhibits the formation of calcium oxalate stones. However, dogs without a genetic propensity can still develop calcium stones.

Bladder stones can be detected in a few different ways. Very occasionally, a vet can assess the presence of stones simply by pressing on a dog’s abdomen. Stones may also be detected during a rectal examination or upon the attempted insertion of a urinary catheter. However, most bladder stones are diagnosed through x-rays or ultrasound. A urinalysis may also gives clues as to the presence of bladder stones.

It’s possible for more than one stone to be present; once one is located, the entire urinary tract should be examined.

Facts about struvite bladder stones:

  • 85% of dogs diagnosed with struvite stones are female
  • On average, dogs who develop struvite stones are 2 to 4 years of age
  • Breeds with an increased risk are Miniature Schnauzer, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, Labrador Retriever, and the Dachshund
  • Facts about calcium oxalate stones:

  • 73% of dogs diagnosed with calcium oxalate stones are male
  • Most cases occur in dogs between the ages of 5 and 12 years old
  • Breeds with an increased risk are Miniature Schnauzer, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, and Bichon Frise
  • The exact mineral composition of a bladder stone is determined by a “complete quantitative analysis.” This test requires submitting a bladder stone to an outside laboratory.

    What Causes Bladder Stones In Dogs?

    Several situations can lead to bladder stones …

  • Bacteria in the urinary tract (urinary tract infection)
  • Urinary pH
  • Minerals in the urine form crystals and grow into stones
  • Genetics may be a factor
  • Badder inflammation
  • Diet is also an important element in bladder stones and we’ll get into that later.

    Dog Cystotomy/bladder stone removal. What to expect before, during and after the procedure.

    If you answered bladder stone, you’re right! Urolith is the technical term for bladder stones. The suffix “-lith” means stone. (Think of the megaliths at Stonehenge.)

    Bladder stones can be very painful for your dog. And sometimes she may need surgery to remove them. But there are some new technologies that can help remove stones without surgery.

    This post explains bladder stones in dogs. And we’ll tell you what you need to know about conventional veterinary treatments.