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 Fudges 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
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
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