Dogs also suffer with many of the diseases that we humans do. One of the most common of them being canine kidney stones. Kidney and bladder stones in dogs are somewhat similar to that of the human beings. These stones are mostly composed of the same substances, that are - calcium, ammonia, magnesium, carbonates, and phosphorus. As a matter of fact, the composition is similar to the composition of limestone!
This ailment, also known as Nephrolithiasis, is nothing but presence of renal calculi in the kidneys. As we know, the prime function of the kidneys is to remove the waste materials from the body in fluid form. Sometimes it happens so, that this fluid gets turned into crystals and prolonged transit time of these urine crystals get formed into renal calculi.
Causes of the formation of the stone can be different as per its size, position, and number. This condition can be caused by kidney infections, urinary tract infections, urine retention, wrong food and vitamin supplements, congenital factors, several medications that lead to saturation of the substances that can cause stones, concurrent illnesses and health problems that are often overlooked as being ordinary.
As a matter of fact, the stones are observed in middle aged female dogs more often than not. One interesting fact is that several breeds are more prone to fall for the ailment amongst others such as miniature schnauzer, miniature poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Cocker Spaniel, Bichon, etc.
Symptoms vary as per the position of the stones. Still some of the prominent symptoms are blood in the urine and pain while urination. There are several other signs and symptoms that are abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, upset stomach, urinary tract infections, etc. Red colored urine or color of the urine turned the port wine shade, can also be one of the warning signs. Constant restlessness, walking with the loins down (somewhat in a crouched position) and frequent urination are also some of the signs. There are chances that the stones are associated with kidney failure or disease as well.
Diagnosis and Treatment
On observing some of the above mentioned symptoms, it is always best to visit the nearest veterinary doctor and get a proper evaluation of the cause. There are several medical interventions and tests that will be performed by the vet, in order to diagnose the stones. These medical tests include, complete blood count, urinalysis, determining the biochemical profile of the dog, x-rays, abdominal ultrasound, bacterial urine culture, etc.
As per the size and position of the stones, the treatment will be advised by the vet, which can again vary as per each individual. Periodic monitoring for the inactive stones, dissolution of the stones by physical, medicinal, or dietary changes can be done. If the dog is on the verge of kidney failure then there are chances that the stones could be surgically removed. Preventing these health problems also comes under the course of treating them. These treatments include antibiotic therapy and fluid therapy, etc.
Following all the precautions that are suggested by the vet, avoiding harmful or indigestible treats and keeping a proper follow-up are some of the things that one can do as a loving owner. Proper medical intervention will help to prevent recurrence. Take proper dog care and have a nice time!