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Causes of Urinary Stones in Dogs

To be completely transparent here, veterinarian researchers are not completely sure what causes urinary stones in dogs. However, it is safe to say they are caused by a variety of factors.


Genetics can play a role in the development of stones, as some breeds are more prone to developing them.


Diet can also be a contributing factor, as certain foods can lead to the formation of stones.

We all know that it's important for our dogs to have vitamins and minerals in their diets as part of a complete and balanced healthy foundation. However, sometimes for some dogs, a diet high in certain minerals can cause or worsen urinary stones. We always advise you to not give a vitamin or mineral supplement until you've checked with your veterinarian.

pH Balance

Some stones need a certain level of acidity to form. Therefore, the pH balance of a dog’s urine can be a contributing factor in the cause of urinary stones. Some long term medications can alter a dog's urinary pH levels and cause an increase in calcium leading to the formation of stones. Fortunately a dog's pH levels can be controlled with diet and supplementation.

Medical Conditions

Additionally, the presence of certain bacteria in the urinary tract can lead to the formation of stones. These bacteria can be passed from one dog to another, or can be acquired from the environment.

Chronic conditions such as canine diabetes and Cushing's disease are another contributing factor. Dogs with these diabetes are more susceptible to urinary tract infections, which can lead to bladder stones. Dogs with Cushing's disease may produce higher levels of cortisone. Cortisone is a hormone that increases calcium excretion in urine. That extra calcium could lead to urinary stone formation.

There are multiple causes of bladder stones but in many cases, an inciting cause is never identified.


About the Author

Kristi Diaz MD

Kristi is a retired anesthesiologist who loves helping people take good care of their pets. She also happens to be married to the best urologist in the world!


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