How UTI Causes Kidney Stones in Dogs

Kidney stones in dogs may be hereditary and are more common in female dogs and in certain dog breeds. However, there are also other factors that can facilitate the occurrence of kidney stones. Frequent urinary tract infections can cause kidney stones.

UTI in Dogs

UTI is short for a urinary tract infection and is caused by the gathering of bacteria in the bladder. The condition will manifest through more frequent urination, increased thirst, painful urination and even blood in the urine.

The infection can persist for several weeks and may result in elimination in the house. The infection can go away without any treatment, but treatment is recommended. A cure of antibiotics should eliminate the bacteria that cause the urinary tract infection.

How UTI Causes Kidney Stones

A urinary tract infection will affect the chemical composition of the urine. The urine will become more alkaline and this can result in formation of kidney stones.

This happens especially if the urinary tract infections are recurrent.

The normal pH of the urine is typically acidic (between 6.2 and 6.5). If the pH is over 7, this indicates that the urine is alkaline and there is the chance that this will facilitate the formation of kidney stones.

The kidney stones may be of several types, but the struvite kidney stones are more common. The pH of the urine over 7 will create the ideal condition for the formation of such struvite kidney or bladder stones. These stones are made up of magnesium ammonium phosphate and these molecules tend to develop in the presence of the bacteria causing urinary tract infection as well.

Prevent UTI in Dogs

Urinary tract infections in dogs may be prevented in some cases. You will need to make sure that:

  • The dog gets a sufficient amount of liquids (typically 500 ml per day, but the amount may vary according to the size and the health condition of the pet)
  • The dog should get only fresh water, as older water may contain bacteria that can cause UTI
  • The dog should be walked frequently and allowed to urinate; if the dog needs to hold the urine for too long, the bacteria in the urine can cause an infection

In some cases UTI cannot be prevented, but you should be able to recognize the symptoms of an infection and apply treatment as soon as possible, to prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Treatment for Canine Kidney Stones

In the best case scenario, the kidney stones can be eliminated through urine. For this, the dog needs to drink more liquids, to facilitate the flow of the urine and possibly dislodge the kidney stones, which should be eventually passed through the urethra.

If the kidney stones are not eliminated in time, the vet will establish if surgery is needed. The surgery may be recommended to prevent possible complications such as the blockage of the urethra, which may happen if the kidney stones are larger.