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Food to dissolve bladder stones.

Species: Dog
Breed: mixes chow
Age: 11-15 years
We have a 12-13 year old dog who has been diagnosed with 5 large stones in her bladder. The largest is 3 CM. She has been on Cephalexin for 14 days and now seems back to normal and feeling good.
Four days ago she was to have them removed. She crashed under the anesthesia, had to be revived and surgery was not done. To be so large, the stones must have been in there a long. My question is, as long as she is not in any pain, would it harm her to leave the stones in there, since she is an anesthetic risk? Should we try to dissolve them through diet? If they did disolve to a smaller size, then would there be more chance that they would pass and lodge in the urethra? What kind of diet do you recommend?
Thank you
Joan


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Joan and thanks for your question. It sounds like Folkers has been through a lot! I'm sorry to hear that she had such a hard time with the anesthetic, but very happy to hear that she is still with us!

It sounds like the stones that she has are struvite stones. These are the type that can sometimes be reduced by diet. I would definitely give this a try. However, because of the size of the stones it may take a long time (i.e. a year or more) for the stones to totally shrink down.

The best diet for shrinking struvite stones is Hill's s/d. However, this is not meant to be a long term diet. So, if this were my case I would likely put her on a diet called s/o. Depending on where you live in the world the manufacturer is either called Royal Canin, Medi-Cal, Waltham's or VMD. (They are all the same company but have different names in different places.)

While the chance of a stone getting stuck in the urethra is possible it is extremely unlikely. We have more concern in a male dog because their urethra is smaller and longer. In my 10 year career (plus 12 years of veterinary clinic experience before that) I have seen one female dog with a blocked urethra and many males. And, realistically, any of the stones that are currently in the bladder could migrate into the urethra even now. So, I wouldn't let the possibility of blockage stop you from putting her on special food.

The other thing I would be doing if this were my case is repeated urine tests (urinalysis and possibly urine culture) every 2-3 months to make sure she does not have infection. Dogs with bladder stones will have inflammation in the bladder and are more prone to infections.

She likely does not have pain when the stones are in the bladder, UNLESS there is infection present. This is why she is feeling so much better after the course of the Cephalexin.

I hope that helps! I hope she does ok!

Have a great day!
Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you Dr. Marie. Your suggestions are very helpful!
Joan Folkers


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome!
Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.