by | Sep 9, 2020

We met the gorgeous Fletch a year ago when he began urinating blood. Radiographs revealed the presence of a bladder stone, which was surgically removed.  Fletch recovered well at home, maintained on a balanced urinary diet alongside regular urine testing.

Fast forward 12 months and we saw Fletch back for his routine wellness check. As part of his exam, an in-house urinalysis was performed, revealing an abundance of urinary crystals.  Once again, radiographs indicated the presence of another bladder stone.


Although showing no clinical signs, Fletch was prepped for surgery and the bladder stone was successfully removed. He was sent home with a course of antibiotics and pain relief as well as a modified diet and long-term medication to assist in keeping his urine acidity at an optimum level – aimed at preventing the development of crystals and stones in the future.

We saw Fletch back for his review some days later and are pleased to report that he is doing well. Fletch’s case is a great example of the importance of regular check-ups – helping to manage and identify underlying issues as they arise. Hats off to Fletch’s family!

Bladder stones (uroliths) are rock-like arrangements of minerals that can occur in the urinary bladder. They may present as a large, single stone or rather a collection of smaller stones. There are multiple factors involved in the formation of bladder stones in dogs:

  • Increased or high levels of minerals within the urine, resulting in precipitation of urine crystals which stick together to form a bladder stone.
  • Alkaline or acidic urine pH can provide the optimal environment for crystal development.
  • Bacterial infections within the bladder can alter the pH of the urine resulting in the development of crystals. 
  • Abnormal metabolism of various minerals (known breed predispositions e.g. Dalmatians).

The most common signs that a dog has developed bladder stones is blood within the urine (haematuria) and straining to urinate (dysuria). Haematuria occurs as the stones rub against the bladder wall, causing irritation and damage to the tissue, resulting in bleeding. Dysuria may result from inflammation and swelling of the bladder wall or the urethra or physical blockage of urine flow.

Most bladder stones are visible on x-ray or ultrasound of the bladder. Treatment often depends on the type of stones present. Surgical removal is a common treatment option; however, some stones may be flushed out non-surgically or dissolved using a specific diet formulation.  Bladder stones can be life threatening. If your pet is having difficulty urinating, or has the presence of blood within their urine, seek immediate veterinary advice.

Make an Appointment

Call Our Friendly Staff

Is Your Pet’s Smile Healthy? Let’s Talk Dental Disease in Pets!

Did you know that dental disease is one of the most common health issues in cats and dogs? Over 80% of pets over the age of three have some form of dental disease, which can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. Why It Matters: Dental disease doesn't just...

Bravery Award June 2024 – Ruby the Cavoodle

Ruby the fourteen-year-old Cavoodle visited the Berwick clinic a couple of months ago for some vomiting and inappetence.  After some initial bloodwork was performed, it was clear due to her elevated hepatic markers that she was suffering from kidney disease and based...

Bravery Award May 2024 – Thomas the Pomeranian

Thomas, the twelve-year-old Pomeranian was a little too forward one morning and rushed to greet a passing dog who was walking down the footpath outside his house.  Unfortunately for Thomas, he didn’t realise quick enough that his new “friend” didn’t appreciate the...

Bravery Award April 2024 – Simba the Labrador

Simba, the nearly four-year-old golden Labrador nearly didn’t make it to Christmas last year after having to receive TWO exploratory laparotomies in the space of a week.  The first was to remove the sock he decided was a very tasty snack, the second was required as he...

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: Understanding the Condition and Breeds at Risk

Hip dysplasia is a debilitating orthopaedic condition that can affect dogs of various breeds and sizes. Characterised by an abnormal formation of the hip joint, hip dysplasia can cause pain, lameness, and reduced mobility in affected dogs. While all dogs can...

Understanding PennHIP: A Revolutionary Approach to Evaluating Canine Hip Health

Among the numerous health issues that can affect dogs, hip dysplasia ranks among the most prevalent and debilitating. However, thanks to advancements in veterinary medicine, particularly the development of techniques like PennHIP, there's hope for better diagnosis and...

Beware the Fungus Among Us: Mushroom Toxicity in Pets

Mushrooms, with their diverse shapes and colours, can be an enchanting sight in nature. However, not all mushrooms are harmless, and some can pose serious risks to our furry companions. While many pet owners are vigilant about potential hazards in their homes and...

Bravery Award – March 2024 – Danger the Tonkinese

Danger, the two-year-old Tonkinese was hanging out in his front garden a few weeks ago when he took a shine to the neighbour’s cat and went next door for a visit.  Expecting him back shortly (as he wasn’t one to wander far), his owners became increasingly concerned...

Easter Pet Safety: Ensuring a Hoppy Holiday for Your Furry Friends

As Easter approaches, households around the world prepare for festivities filled with colourful eggs, delicious treats, and joyful celebrations. While Easter is a time for families to come together, it's essential to remember that some of the traditions associated...

Bravery Award – February 2024 – Rivva the Kelpie

Rivva, the four-year-old red kelpie presented to us this month, collapsed, pale, breathing rapidly and with a racing heart rate.  She was rushed through for immediate hospitalization and treatment with Dr. Tracy.  As investigations began and bloodwork was performed,...