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Henley and Twyford

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Case Notes: Fudge: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with Bladder Stones
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Fudge, an 8 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, had been to see us having suffered from a couple of bouts of cystitis. These did clear up with antibiotics but, when a third bout occurred, we decided it warranted further investigation.

A radiograph of Fudge’s abdomen was taken. This revealed that numerous “stones” had built up in his bladder. Over time these had passed into his urethra - the tube that leads from the bladder to the outside world - and got lodged along the length of his penis!

Fudge was anaesthetized. For over an hour Fudges urethra was repeatedly catheterized and flushed with the aim of pushing the stones back up into his bladder so that they could all be removed via one incision. This is time consuming and flushing them back can be difficult but it is much less traumatic than making numerous incisions along the length of his urethra.

Fudge coped well with his anaesthetic and surgery and all the stones were removed successfully via routine laperotomy and cystotomy - that is opening up the abdomen and then cutting into the bladder.

The stones have been sent off to an external laboratory for analysis. Once we have the results to tell us what type of stones they are we may be able to put Fudge on a special diet to alter the “make up” of his urine and therefore prevent them from recurring.

Currently Fudge is doing well and urinating fine.

There are three main kinds of bladder stones:

Struvite stones are composed of magnesium, ammonium and phosphate and tend to form in alkaline urine. They can be made to dissolve by putting the animal onto a prescription diet that produces an acidic urine and is restricted in these ingredients (and feeding nothing but that diet and water for several months). In Fudge's case we did not have the luxury of several months to deal with his stones as they were causing dangerous obstruction of urination.

Calcium Oxalate stones are formed of calcium and oxalic acid and tend to form in acidic urine. They cannot be dissolved by dietary means and so always require surgery but once removed the appropriate prescription diet can help prevent recurrence.

Ammonium Urate crystals are much less common, in dogs, than the previous two types and are often associated other systemic disease. If these are diagnosed we would want to investigate further.

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Henley Vets and Twyford Vets
The Veterinary Centre: 271 Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1EL - Phone 01491 574490
Also at Twycombe Lodge, Loddon Hall Road, Twyford, RG10 9JA - Phone 0118 934 0259