Your vet’s the one to guide you in finding the best way to handle your dog’s kidney stones.
You know kidney stones can be painful for humans, right? Well, dogs aren’t exempt. These tiny mineral chunks can become a real pain when your furry pal tries to go about their business.
Good news, though! There are many ways to deal with your dog’s kidney stones. For the really bad ones, surgery might be needed. but smaller, less bothersome stones could simply be monitored.
What’s a Dog Kidney Stone?
Yep, dogs get kidney stones too. Simply put, they’re small mineral deposits lodged in a dog’s kidneys. Alicen Tracey from the Daily Paws Advisory Board sheds some light on this.
There are different reasons why a dog might develop kidney stones. Some stem from imbalances in the blood or urine, known as metabolic stones, while others could be due to a kidney infection.
Struvite stones often result from chronic infections. On the other hand, factors like genetics, diet, and environment can lead to calcium oxalate stones. And a little FYI? Female dogs tend to develop them more often than males.
If these stones grow too large or fragment, that’s when things get dicey. Small shards might obstruct the ureter—the tube leading to the bladder. This could be extremely painful, or even life-threatening if not addressed promptly.
Kidney Stones vs. Bladder Stones in Dogs
The big difference? Where they’re found. Kidney stones are in the kidneys and bladder stones in the bladder. Both can show up in pee—like blood or crystals—but they’re not from the same place.
How to Tell If Your Dog Has Kidney Stones
It’s not always clear if your dog’s got kidney stones. Signs can look a lot like other problems like kidney disease or diabetes. Talk to your vet to find out for sure if kidney stones are the issue. Some typical signs are:
– Peeing a lot (but maybe not much comes out)
– Throwing up
– Losing weight, not eating
– Feeling down
– Blood in pee
– Pain when peeing
– Getting urinary tract infections again and again
– Finding crystals in pee
Some little dog breeds like Lhasa apsos, Yorkshire terriers, Miniature schnauzers, and Shih tzus often get kidney stones. Even Dalmatians can get them more because of a gene issue.
So, if your dog’s one of these breeds and shows some of these signs, call your vet.
Fixing Dog Kidney Stones
Your vet has tools to check if your dog has kidney stones. They might show up on an X-ray, but not always. Sometimes an ultrasound is needed. Blood tests and pee samples can also give clues.
If the stone’s really hurting or damaging your dog’s kidney, surgery can take it out. But, hey, there are easier ways too. Your vet can give medicine or special food to break up the stones. If the stone’s not hurting, your vet might just watch it, says Clements.
Be ready: Kidney stones might come back. If your dog’s had them before, they might get them again. But don’t worry, your vet knows what to do.