Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What You Need to Learn About Bladder Stones

Photo: Bob Mills

Types of Bladder Stones

Ever since Gigi was diagnosed with bladder stones, I've been wanting to learn more about these. There are two major types of stones -- struvite and calcium oxalate.The stones in the photo pictured above are the type of stones that Gigi has been fighting. They are called Struvite stones which is an alkaline-based stone. These are the type of stones that can dissolve in type. Struvite is composed of magnesium, phospate and ammonium (which is the main ingredient in ammonia). The bacteria in a dog's bladder will combine with this minerals to form the stones.

As all dogs are different, certain dogs are prone to getting struvite stones.Some of these breeds include: Shih Tzus(Gigi is a Shih Tzu/Poodle mix), Miniature Schnauzer, Yorkshire Terrier, Labrador Retriever, and Dachshund. Females are twice as likely to get this stones than males. The main way we've been treating Gigi's affliction is through giving antibiotics daily and giving her specially prescribed food by Royal Canin (their SO variety). Another good treatment for this which is also prescription is the SD variety by Hill's Prescription Diet.

Calcium Oxalate Stones

Another main type of bladder stone is the calcium oxalate variety. These are brown-colored in contrast to the white struvite variety. They are primarily found in most male dogs and are rarely spotted in females. Breeds who typically get these stones include: Shih Tzus, Miniature Schnauzers, Bichon Frise, Lhasa Apso, and Yorkshire Terrier.

Unlike Struvite stones, these stones have to be surgically removed. It's possible that a dog can pass these through their system, but only if the stone is small enough. It has been said that the commercial foods can speed the formation of Calcium Oxalate stones. With the increase in commercial food over the years, the incidence of bladder stones has increased. Combined with a lack of water, bladder stones can grow at a fast rate.

Life After Bladder Stones.

The funny thing about dogs who get bladder stones, the chance of them recurring is very high. For this reason, it's important to keep your dog on a strict diet, watch the treats, and make sure they don't ingest too much protein.

Let's Discuss!

Has your dog had an incidence with bladder stones? If you are a veterinarian, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.

It's All Related!

Gigi's Battle With Bladder Stones

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