Urolithiasis refers to the formation of stones in the urinary tract. Stones can be found anywhere in the urinary tract, in the kidneys, the ureter or the bladder, but are most common in the bladder.
Several factors can contribute to development of urolithiasis. These include genetic factors, diet, breed, metabolic diseases, congenital problems and bacterial urinary tract infections. There are several types of stones, named according to their predominant mineral composition. The most common stones are struvite and calcium oxalate.
Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:
- Urolithiasis is generally diagnosed by a thorough history, physical examination (including palpation of the bladder), urinalysis and abdominal x-rays. For those instances when the bladder stones are not visible on plain x-rays, contrast dye x-ray may be needed. In some situations, an abdominal ultrasound may be recommended. Stones are analyzed to identify mineral composition and guide future treatment.
- Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Pets with concurrent bacterial infection are treated with antibiotics. The stones are treated with surgical removal or by dietary intervention or both. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.
What to Watch for*:
- Blood in the urine
- Increased frequency of urinations
- Straining to urinate
*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!