Canine kidney stones
Dog urinary problems
Canine kidney stones can affect any dog, but appears to occur more frequently in small breed dogs, older neutered dogs and obese dogs. Kidney stones do not mean canine kidney disease.
Kidney disease stones are caused by one single particle in the kidney being coated in other minerals, growing larger and forming a stone.
These stones can then travel through the urinary system, moving through the ureters into the bladder, then passing through the urethra and out of the body. Pain and complications are caused when the stone grows large enough to become lodged somewhere before passing out of the body.
Dog illness symptoms
There are several symptoms caused by kidney stones to be aware of. Frequent urination, typically the first symptom, is not so easily identified. This will have some characteristics that will make it evident.
The first symptom being that only small amounts of urine are passed at a time. Second will be the places the urination takes place. If your dog is completely housebroken and begins to urinate inside, that is generally a sign something is wrong.
Other symptoms include weakness, straining to urinate, dribbling urine, and blood in the urine. In the most severe cases, your dog will not be able to urinate at all. If you suspect kidney stones, your dog needs to see a vet immediately. This is a serious condition that can soon become fatal if not treated.
Canine urinary tract infection
When canine kidney stones are suspected, your vet will probably order x-rays first. Kidney stones show up as dense white spots on an x-ray. There are stones that are made up of a material that does not show up on an x-ray making an ultrasound necessary.
Your vet will also look for these stones elsewhere in the urinary tract as these stones can become lodged anywhere in the urinary tract. The vet should also test your dog for a bladder infection, as kidney stones can commonly cause a severe bladder infection.
Canine kidney disease
Kidney stone treatment in dogs usually requires surgery. The vet will remove the stones and the kidney if too much damage has been done for the kidney to function properly. If the stones are small enough to pass a special diet may be prescribed to treat and prevent future stones.
Recent studies recommend a diet of canned food because it has higher moisture content and it is less likely to produce kidney stones. If canned food is not an option for your dog, try adding water to your dogs’ dry food.
There are also dietary supplements that help in preventing kidney stones. Magnesium, citrates and phosphates are believed to help prohibit stone formation. Always discuss any changes or additions to your dogs diet with your vet.