Kidney Stones in Dogs

Kidney stones in dogs are not unlike those found in humans. The stones are made up of items that are similar to limestone, and can be very painful for a dog pass.

Kidney Stones in Dogs and the Causes

Kidney stones are made up of a composition of mineralized salts, calcium, magnesium, ammonia, carbonates and phosphorus. If there are too many salts in a dog’s urine, they’ll start to build up in the kidneys. If a dog’s urine is alkaline, the salt deposits won’t break down easily, allowing other items to cling onto the salts.

One of the main causes of kidney stones in dogs is dehydration, because the salts and minerals in his system are more concentrated. A dog’s diet, medication, urine retention or an underlying condition can also cause kidney stones.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones in Dogs

The first couple of signs of kidney stone are blood in the dog’s urine and pain when passing urine. A dog will have blood in his urine because the small stones scratch the lining of his bladder, which is very painful. A dog with stones will attempt to relieve himself many times without any success, and may appear constipated. The amount of urine that passes will be minimal and red.

If a dog has untreated kidney stones, they can block the urethra and make urine remain in the body. Eventually the bladder will stretch and rupture.

Treating Kidney Stones in Dogs

After a veterinarian completes a physical exam and runs tests to diagnose kidney stones, he may have to empty the dog’s bladder. This can be done two different ways. The first is by prescribing a special diet that will help break down the stones. Once the stones are broken down, they will pass in the dog’s urine. If the dog’s condition is serious or he is not able to pass the stones on his own, emptying the bladder will have be done surgically. A dog may be prescribed antibiotics if he has an infection.

Preventing Kidney Stones in Dogs

A dog that is well hydrated and has plenty of time to relieve himself on a daily basis is less likely to get kidney stones. Dogs that are more susceptible to this condition should not be given foods that have high concentrations of proteins and minerals (especially magnesium and calcium). Instead, feed him a diet made up of complex carbohydrates and whole grains, fruits, nuts, eggs, proteins that are lean and high in quality, and foods low in fat and salt. Consult a veterinarian about what foods are the most effective at preventing kidney stones.

Kidneys stones are similar in texture to grains of sand, and make it difficult and uncomfortable for a dog to urinate. These can cause a dog to be very ill and in a lot of pain. Veterinary care should be sought as soon as a dog shows signs of a problem, to help him feel happier and more comfortable.