Does your Pet have Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones in dogs and cats are fairly uncommon, but bladder stones are a common problem in many pets. A variety of factors like genetics, diet, and disease all play factors in pets getting stones. If you suspect that your pet has kidney or bladder stones, see your vet right away. They will need to do a variety of blood tests and imaging tests to confirm that stones are a problem.

What are Kidney Stones?

According to, stones in the bladder are formed over time as small minerals and crystals that look like sand group together and form a solid stone. Stones can get up to 4″ in diameter before some animals show signs of a problem.

There are many kinds of bladder stones depending on what minerals make them up. Some have magnesium in them while others are calcium-based. Every stone is different depending on the breed of dog and the environmental factors that go into their diet and surroundings. Many stones can be identified by their shape as well.

Different Breeds and Stones

The vets at PetMD give further insight into specific breeds and kinds of stones they are susceptible to getting. “kidney stones containing calcium and oxalic acid (known as calcium oxalate nephroliths) are more likely to be found in Lhasa Apsos, Yorkshire Terriers, and Miniature Poodles.” Other stones that are mainly made up of uric acid, “typically affect Dalmatians, Yorkshire Terriers, and English Bulldogs.” Something as simple as changing the food you feed your animals can help their bodies to stop forming stones in the bladder.

Symptoms of Stones to Look Out for

PetMD tells us that many dogs and cats don’t show signs of kidney and bladder stones at all. Many times the stones are found when another health issue comes up and testing is done. Other times the stones grow very large before pet owners notice that something is wrong. Signs of stones to watch out for are:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Noticing that your animal is having pain
  • Vomiting
  • Recurring urinary tract infections

How Stones Form and Prevention

Any breed of cat or dog of any age can develop stones in the bladder. Stones are analyzed after they are removed to determine the cause. Most of the time, your pet will be put on a diet that reduces the amount of minerals that formed stones in the bladder. There are also medications to help stones from forming, depending on the type of stone your pet has. Some animals will be put on a diet that’s designed to dissolve stones so there is no need for surgery.

Bladder and kidney stones can be difficult to diagnose on your own; you’re likely to need the help of your veterinarian. Once you find out that your dog or cat has stones, it’s all about managing through diet and medication. Many pets can live long, healthy lives after having bladder or kidney stones.

  • December 14, 2015
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