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Urinary Stones in Dogs

I almost titled this blog "Bladder Stones in Dogs." What's the difference you ask? All bladder stones are urinary stones but not all urinary stones are bladder stones. It's a small difference but sometimes details matter and this is one of those times. Do you mind if I expound on this simple point?

When someone tells me their dog has a bladder stone I assume they mean the stone is located in the bladder. But sometimes it's actually a renal stone or a ureteral stone and I just find it helpful to use the specific terms.

Urine naturally has minerals in it that clump together as crystals. Sometimes, too many crystals clump together and form uroliths commonly referred to as stones and technically referred to as calculi.

Uroliths can be anywhere along the urinary system, kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra.

If the urolith is located in the bladder, it is called a bladder stone or cystic calculi. Sometimes the specific type of mineral involved can be seen by examining the urine for crystals under a microscope.

Uroliths can be large or small. They can be one or many. The uroliths can be anywhere along the urinary system, kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra.

I think most people think the larger stones are the most painful. In humans that is not always the case. A large smooth stone in the bladder that is not causing obstructions could possibly not even cause many symptoms. A small jagged stone in the tiny passage of a ureter or the urethra, however ... now, that sounds very painful!


About the Author

Kristi Diaz MD

Kristi is a retired anesthesiologist who loves helping people take good care of their pets. (Also, she is married to the best urologist in the world!)


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