Treatment For Bladder Stones In Dogs And Cats


If your cat or dog has been diagnosed with bladder stones by a veterinarian, they will need to start treatment. The treatment plan will largely depend on the type of stone, which will be identified through lab tests. While surgery might be necessary, these procedures are generally simple and should not cause worry.

Treatment Options For Bladder Stones

It's important to note that bladder stones come in several types, each with its own unique characteristics. The type and size of the stone will significantly influence the treatment approach, highlighting the need for a personalized plan for your pet.

Here are the three most common treatment options:

  1. Surgical Removal: While it may sound daunting, this procedure is a common and effective method. It involves making an incision in the abdomen to open the bladder and manually removing the stones. Most pets recover quickly from this surgery and show improvement in symptoms within two to four days. Surgical intervention is crucial for animals with an obstructed urethra.
  2. Non-Surgical Removal: Smaller stones can be expelled from the bladder and urethra using urohydropropulsion, which involves a catheter and a sterile saline solution to flush the stones. Another non-surgical method is lithotripsy, which uses ultrasonic shock waves to break up the stones.
  3. Dietary Dissolution: In some cases, a specialized diet can dissolve the stones, avoiding the need for surgery or other medical procedures. This method suits pets with other health issues that might complicate surgery. However, dietary dissolution is only effective for struvite stones, and it can take several months to dissolve the stones completely.

Prevention Of Bladder Stones

If your pet has been treated for bladder stones or is prone to developing them, there are preventive measures you can take to reduce the risk of recurrence.

  1. Dietary Changes: Managing your pet's diet is crucial for struvite stones. The proper diet prevents the over-concentration of minerals that form crystals and helps maintain a healthy pH balance in the bladder.
  2. Increase Water Intake: It is essential to ensure your pet drinks plenty of water. Dehydration leads to concentrated urine with an acidic pH, promoting the formation of mineral crystals that can become bladder stones. Adequate water intake helps flush out smaller crystals before they become problematic.
  3. Regular Vet Checkups: Pets previously treated for bladder stones should have ongoing checkups with the vet. These visits may include urine analysis to monitor pH levels and mineral concentration and radiographs or ultrasounds to check for any new stone formation.


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