Image via Wikipedia; Struvite crystals found in dog urine sample

Canine bladder stones?  If you’re like most dog owners, you probably didn’t even know they existed.  However, if your pet just can’t seem to get rid of that canine bladder infection, bladder stones in dogs could be the reason why.

How Do I Know If Bladder Stones Are Causing Problems For My Dog?

She may have a canine urinary tract infection that just won’t quit.  You may notice that her urine is bloody, or rust-colored.  This is often caused by the sharp edges of stones irritating the bladder walls.  She may be straining to urinate, and be unable to pass much urine.

If your vet suspects that your dog has stones in her bladder, he or she will probably order x-rays to see what’s going on in there.

Are There Different Types Of Dog Bladder Stones?

Yes.  Struvite and calcium oxalate are the most common types.  Because treatments differ, depending on the type of stone, it’s important to determine which type your dog has.  If your pet should pass a stone, be sure to save it for analysis.

Don’t despair if your pet never passes a stone, though.  A urinalysis and a dog urine culture are useful in identifying which kind of stones are present.  If your dog’s bladder infection is caused by Staphylococci bacteria, it’s almost a sure bet that the stones are made up of struvite.

Also, struvite stones in dogs form in alkaline urine, while calcium oxalate stones form in acid urine.

Which Dogs Are Susceptible To This Problem?

Since 85% of dogs with this problem are female, anyone with a girl dog needs to be alert for this problem.  The breeds at highest risk for developing dog bladder stones are beagles, English cocker spaniels, and miniature schnauzers.

What Treatments Are Available?

Struvite stones will often dissolve on their own, once the canine bladder infection is gone.  So be sure to to give your pet all that antibiotic to be sure the infection is eradicated.

In the event that the stones don’t dissolve on their own, your vet may recommend a special canine diet

If there is a urinary blockage, your vet may need to operate to remove the stones.

Can Herbal Remedies For Pets Help?

Dog bladder stones usually form only when a canine bladder infection is present, so it makes sense to try to prevent these infections.  Many dog owners use herbal remedies for pets to support urinary health, and to try to prevent infections from occurring.  These remedies don’t interfere with antibiotics, so they can be given right along with the medication the vet prescribes.

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