Urolithiasis in Dogs: Symptoms and Diagnosis

What is It?

Urolithiasis is the development of stones in the urinary tract.

What Causes It?

Urolithiasis occurs when there is an overabundance of certain minerals in the urine. Stones can be present throughout the urinary tract and are most commonly found in the bladder. For all breeds likelihood of urolithiasis is between 20%-50% however many dogs are significantly more prone to this condition.

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What Are The Symptoms?

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Frequent urination
  • Accidents in the house
  • Blood in urine
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Is it Life Threatening?

No, if treated promptly urolithiasis is very manageable. Chronic conditions causing stress on the kidneys may have an impact on overall lifespan.

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How is It Diagnosed?

A vet will do a physical exam and a medical history questionnaire on your dog. To determine the existence and the size of stones, an ultrasound or an x-ray will be performed.

The symptoms of urolithiasis are not exclusive to this condition and other more serious conditions will need to be ruled out.

What Are The Treatments?

An antibiotic will be given to combat any bacterial infection in the urinary tract. The stone will either need to be dissolved by diet or surgically removed. Some stones cannot be dissolved by diet.

You will work with your vet to determine the course of action. Be sure to give your dog plenty of water and lots of opportunities to urinate.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pup’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian. Or, consult a virtual vet here.