Being a dog owner means you need to be aware of the signs of common illnesses and know when to get help. Dogs can get many of the same illnesses that humans can, including kidney stones. Kidney stones tend to be very painful and can lead to your dog developing a urinary tract infection, which could impair their kidney function. Some small breeds are more prone to developing kidney stones, but the condition can affect any dog. Your dog may develop a single stone or several stones, and as they are composed of excess calcium and oxalate in the kidneys, they are hard and can easily obstruct the urinary tract. If you're worried about your dog, read on to learn more about kidney stones.
Spotting the Signs of Kidney Stones
Several signs are easy to spot when a dog has kidney stones, and knowing what to look out for can help ensure your dog gets the help they need quickly. Dogs suffering from kidney stones tend to struggle to pass urine, so you may notice they strain or try to pass urine without success several times. When they do pass urine it tends to be a small amount and they may vomit due to the pain caused by straining to pass urine. When your dog associates pain with passing urine they may stop drinking, which can quickly cause dehydration and lethargy. When kidney stones obstruct the urinary tract and cause an infection, your dog will develop a fever.
Treatment Options for Kidney Stones
To confirm your dog has developed kidney stones, your vet will take blood and urine samples and carry out an ultrasound to determine the number of stones present and how big they are. If your dog has small kidney stones, they can be dissolved with medication that you can administer at home. If the urinary tract is obstructed or a large stone is present, your dog will require surgery to remove the stone and clear the urinary tract.
Additionally, dogs experiencing dehydration will be given intravenous fluids and antibiotics will be prescribed if your dog has an infection. Regardless of the treatment approach, you will need to take your dog back to your vet after a week or so to ensure there are no remaining kidney stones. This will be confirmed by carrying out another ultrasound.
Since kidney stones can make your dog very ill, it's important to contact local veterinary services.