Big stones from a little dog makes Poppy 387 Vets’ October Pet of the Month

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Poppy had always taken a long time to do a wee, and seemed to stop every two minutes on walks to leave her scent.  When this became even more frequent and she started urinating in the house, her owner thought she should get it checked out and brought her in to see Carole.  As Poppy is a nervous visitor to the vets, Carole started by analysing a urine sample. This showed a small amount of blood, a high pH and a low specific gravity (concentration) which are all signs of a urine infection.  She was prescribed antibiotics, but a week later poor Poppy seemed to be getting worse, not better, so she had to come in for a thorough bladder examination.

To help Poppy relax and to enable us to get to the crux of the problem, Poppy was sedated. And as soon as Carole palpated her abdomen, she knew something was amiss – when she pressed Poppy’s bladder area it went ‘crunch’! An ultrasound scan showed several angular masses which were identified as bladder stones (uroliths).  No wonder Poppy kept feeling she needed to go to the toilet as her bladder was still full – but of stones, not wee!

As Poppy was obviously in some distress, Carole performed bladder surgery (cystotomy) and four large stones were removed. The bladder was also checked carefully to ensure there were no polyps or tumours, and the urethra was flushed to make sure there were no tiny stones which might cause a problem later. Poppy recovered quickly form surgery and her abnormal urinating habits resolved immediately.

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Four angular bladder stones were removed from Poppy’s bladder. They had been taking up a considerable amount of space, making Poppy feel she needed to go to the loo all the time. We’ve put them alongside a 1 pence piece to show the scale of their impressive size.

 Bladder stones form as a result of minerals in the urine crystallising and then combining to form stones. A high urine pH, from diet or bacterial infection, or a high urine concentration can accelerate the process.

Poppy is now on a special urinary diet which keeps her pH low and encourages her to drink water. This should help to stop any recurrence and keep those painful bladder stones at bay!