Does it seem like your pet is straining to urinate? Or have you noticed blood in their urine? Both of these are common signs that your pet may have bladder stones. While your pet may be an expert at hiding that they are in any discomfort, bladder stones in your pet should be removed. Our team here at Animal Works Veterinary Surgery has laid out some simple steps to walk you through what happens during the bladder stone removal process. 

Step 1: Detecting the bladder stones 

Bladder stones are rock-like formations of minerals that develop in the urinary bladder. These are commonly caused by chronic low-grade urinary tract infections and/or your pet’s metabolism. X-rays are typically taken to detect bladder stones. However, if there are many bladder stones in your pet, your primary veterinarian may be able to find them by palpating the bladder with their hands. 

Step 2: Preparing your pet for surgery 

Many bladder stones have to be surgically removed in a process that is called a cystotomy. Before your pet’s surgical procedure, they will need to complete required routine blood work to get a complete profile on your pet’s health. This will include a complete blood count, kidney panel, and a urinalysis. 

Step 3: Surgically removing the bladder stones 

After anesthesia, your pet is placed on their back on the surgical table. Once we have prepared the surgical site, we make a small incision on the lower abdomen to open the abdominal cavity. We can then use sterile sponges to isolate the urinary bladder. At this point, we remove urine from the bladder to prevent any potential contamination in the abdomen. We can then move onto removing the bladder stones and then closing the incision site. After the bladder stones have been removed, we will send the stones to our lab to be analyzed for their composition. Based on the lab results, we will work with you to develop a special diet for your furry friend. 

Step 4: Caring for your pet after the operation 

Your role in caring for your pet after the surgery is just as important as the operation! We’ll provide you with a detailed list of instructions for post-operative care. This includes being attentive to keep your pet on the recommended diet and keeping the incision site clean and dry. And even though your pet will most likely not be a fan of wearing the cone of shame, they will need to wear it to prevent aggravating the area. We also highly recommend scheduling a follow-up appointment with your primary veterinarian to create a preventative plan to decrease the chance of bladder infection from occurring.

Bladder stones can recur if you do not take preventative measures after the surgery. If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact us!

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