Uric Acid Stones in Dogs

Uric acid stones in dogs, also known as the condition urolithiasis, can be a very painful and oftentimes quite serious condition affecting pets. This condition is also very common, affecting a majority of pets at some point over the course of their lives. By targeting and eliminating the uric acid stones as quickly as possible, you save your pet from suffering from additional discomfort and also help to reduce the likelihood of surgery and other invasive methods of correction. Read on for a brief overview of uric acid stones in dogs, including the symptoms, diagnostic methods and treatment types for this condition.

Symptoms of Uric Acid Stones in Dogs

Uric acid stones are the product of built up uric acid that has solidified along with other debris and items in your pet's bladder. This is typically due to the presence of additional calcium and certain other minerals in your pet's diet. Uric acid stones tend to build up gradually and over time, although your pet may not experience discomfort until later on in the progression of the stones. The following symptoms are typically the most commonly seen when your pet is suffering from this condition:

  • Dramatic increase in frequency of urination
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Loss of appetite and weight

The symptoms are slightly more likely to occur in female dogs than males, because females are somewhat more likely to suffer from bladder stones than male dogs. If you notice these or any other symptoms which you think may suggest that your pet is suffering from uric acid stones, take your dog to the vet right away.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Uric Acid Stones

The most common method of analyzing and diagnosing uric acid stones in your pet's body is through a series of examinations and tests. Your vet will begin with a full medical history check and will continue by examining your pet's urine through a process known as urinalysis. During this time, your vet will look for traces of stones in the urine. A urine culture can also help to detect the presence of certain minerals at levels that may indicate stones. Ultrasounds and radiographs are also helpful in visually identifying the stones as well.

Treatment of uric acid stones depends upon the severity of the condition. The most common treatment involves catheterization, and requires that a catheter be inserted into your pet's urethra in hopes of removing the stones at one time. Surgery may be necessary in cases in which the stones are too large to be passed through the urethra directly. Generally, with either of these types of treatment options, your vet will also recommend providing your pet with a set of antibiotics to help prevent secondary infections of the bladder and urinary tract. For more specific information about how to treat your pet's uric acid stones, consult with your veterinarian with any additional questions you may have.