The accumulation and hardening of certain mineral salts in the urine is what causes the formation of kidney stones in dogs, a disorder that can seriously harm the health of our furry friends if not treated in time.
These urinary stones in the kidney, the organ in which urine is produced, can have different shapes and sizes. In fact, some races are more likely than others to develop certain types of stones.
The best way to avoid them is to understand what factors cause their formation and avoid them, that’s why at Dogsis we want to show you what their symptoms are, treatment and how to avoid them.
Index of contents
- 1 Causes of kidney stones in dogs
- 2 Symptoms of a kidney stone in dogs
- 3 Treatment for canine kidney stones
- 4 How to avoid kidney stones in dogs
Causes of kidney stones in dogs
Kidney stones, also known as nephrolites, They are produced by an alteration in the normal balance of minerals and other substances that are expelled when urinating..
This imbalance can be caused by various risk factors. The most common are:
- Dog feeding
- Genetic predisposition
- Metabolic diseases
Urinary stones they form inside the kidneys and can also lodge or form in the bladder, which is the most common. The most serious problems occur when the normal flow of urine is blocked, usually in males, which can lead to infections or kidney failure.
When a stone obstructs the urethra, which is the conduit through which urine stored in the bladder is expelled, the dog cannot pee. In this case, if he does not urinate in a period of 12 to 24 hours, you should immediately take him to the vet, as it is a medical emergency.
Symptoms of a kidney stone in dogs
A dog with a kidney stone may have no symptoms and be detected by performing a medical test for another reason. Sometimes, however, there are clues that can make us suspect that the dog has kidney stones. The most frequent signs are:
- Blood in the urine (hematuria).
- Pain in the kidney or stomach area
- Lack of appetite and weight loss
- More thirst and more frequent and scarce urination (polyuria)
- Difficulty urinating (dysuria)
- Tiredness or lack of energy
If a dog exhibits these symptoms, you should take him to a specialist so that he can confirm the diagnosis. This often requires an abdominal x-ray or ultrasound.
On the other hand, urine tests will detect if there is any infection in the urinary tract, which can help identify the type of stone. It is important to know, since the treatment to follow will depend on it.
Treatment for canine kidney stones
The type of stone and the problems it is causing the dog will vary the treatment. If there is a blockage it is very likely that there will be urgent operations.
Other stones can be removed with a special diet to help dissolve them. and to modify the pH of the urine. There are stones, however, that cannot be treated in this way, so they must be removed with surgery, lasers, waves, or medications.
Once removed, the dog may continue to need a special diet or drugs for life. To avoid having to do it, we can take some precautions that help us avoid kidney stones in dogs.
How to avoid kidney stones in dogs
Some good practices that help prevent kidney stone formation in dogs are as follows:
- Change the water in your container daily. It is important that you have constant access to clean, fresh water, as this helps dilute your urine and expel the minerals that make up stones. If the dog is especially energetic or hot, it will need more water. In the event that it doesn’t take enough on its own, try adding a little warm water to the feed or giving it more moist food.
- Take care of your diet. Using high-quality dog food also helps. Your vet will be able to recommend a proper diet to prevent kidney stones. Ideally, it should not be very rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein (meat or organ meats). In addition, there are food supplements that promote urinary tract health.
- Regular exercise. The walks will help keep the dog in shape. A daily walk, with time to relieve yourself, will make your kidneys work better.
These three aspects are key to prevent the formation of kidney stones and prevent a furry from suffering from kidney problems. It is important that you always keep them in mind, but especially in those races more prone to developing this type of disorders.
Finally, periodic check-ups and being alert to any warning signs will allow any kidney stone that may occur to be detected as soon as possible.