Bladder Stones: Prevention, Symptoms, and Treatment

October 19, 2015 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

The stones in this photo were surgically removed from a pug. Dogs, like people, can develop bladder stones. Bladder stones are rock-like formations of minerals that form in the urinary bladder. Bladder stones are formed by minerals, which first precipitate out in the urine as individual microscopic crystals. Over time, these crystals unite and are gradually built into stones that sometimes reach 3″ to 4″ in diameter. Some animals develop stones due to genetic predisposition, but other factors include bacterial infections and the pH level of their urine. The acidity or alkalinity of urine is largely influenced by the dog’s diet and how much water he or she drinks.


Pups with bladder stones may have blood in their urine and may urinate frequently. Often they will strain while urinating and sometimes pass only small quantities. Other symptoms can include vomiting, fatigue, and abdominal or kidney pain.


Treatment options vary according to the size, type, and location of the stones. They may include a special diet to dissolve the stones; antibiotics if the stones are a result of infection; or non-surgical removal through a special catheter that is inserted into the bladder and allows small stones to be flushed out. Surgical removal may be required when there are bigger stones or a large amount of stones present (see image). Your veterinarian will discuss the appropriate treatment strategy for your dog, based on your individual situation.

Bladder Stones Dogs

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