Common names or abbreviations:
Description or definition:
Crystaluria is the presence of
crystals in the urine. Such crystals form when minerals in the urine
become highly concentrated. When enough crystals bind together, they
form a urolith. Uroliths are commonly known as
A bladder stone, or an accumulation of
crystals in the urine, can partially or completely block the tube through
which urine passes. This condition, called urethral obstruction, is
not only extremely painful, it is a medical emergency. Symptoms
of bladder stones or urethral obstruction can include:
|Inability to urinate (this symptom is sometimes
confused with constipation -- contact your veterinarian if you are unsure)|
|Straining or difficult, slow urination|
|Pain when urinating|
|Frequent urination or attempts to urinate (dogs
experiencing urethral obstruction often urinate
"inappropriately," or in unusual places)|
|Abdominal discomfort or vomiting|
|Incontinence (urine dribbling or leaking)|
|Blood in the urine|
Bladder stones come in several mineral
compositions. Treatment differs depending on the type and mineral
composition of the stone. The most common stone types seen in canines
are oxalate and struvite.
most common uroliths in dogs are composed of struvite. Struvite
stone formation may be associated with several factors, including alkaline
urine, diet, and genetic predisposition. However,
struvite stones most often form following urinary
changes resulting from a urinary tract infection. Specific types of
infection in the urinary tract that can cause or contribute to struvite
stone formation include staphyloccocal and proteus.
Struvite stones are most often seen in female dogs between the ages of 1
and 8 years of age.
Stone dissolution as well as treatment and ongoing management of the
urinary tract infection. The underlying urinary tract infection is
generally treated with antibiotics. The struvite stones can be
dissolved with dietary modification, removed surgically, or removed with a
technique called "voiding urohydropropulsion."
stone formation can in many cases be controlled through diet. Dogs
prone to struvite stones should be: (1) given fresh, clean water; (2)
allowed to urinate as frequently as needed; (3) fed a
veterinarian-recommended diet formulated to maintain an acidic urine and
lower urinary phosphate and magnesium; and (4) monitored for urinary tract
oxalate uroliths are the second most prevalent type of bladder stones.
There is thought to be a strong hereditary component to the formation of
calcium oxalate stones. Oxalate uroliths occur most often in male
dogs between 5 and 12 years of age. Because of the structure of the
male anatomy, male dogs with oxalate uroliths are prone to urethral
Treatment: Calcium oxalate
stones cannot be dissolved by diet change; therefore, surgical or laser
removal of the stones may be medically necessary.
(1) Provide access to fresh, clean water; (2) allow the dog to urinate as
frequently as needed; and (3) follow a veterinarian's advice regarding
diet and medication appropriate for this condition. Feeding a
calcium-restricted diet to prevent recurrence of calcium oxalate uroliths
is a controversial issue. Calcium restriction may not prevent
oxalate urolith formation. Further, many people feel that the risks
associated with feeding canines a reduced calcium diet outweigh any
Uroliths: Other types of uroliths that occur less frequently include
ammonium urate, cysteine, silica, calcium phosphate, and uroliths composed
of miscellaneous other minerals. Treatment is specific to the type
Links to sites about this disease:
This summary provided by:
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All rights reserved. Revised: January 2008
The information on this website was written by ISSR breeders and other
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