Dog Bladder Crystals - Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions

Published: 07th January 2010
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What are dog bladder crystals?

At the risk of stating the obvious, I have to say that they are nothing but stones in your dog's bladder. They are also referred to as uroliths.

What causes the formation of a dog bladder crystal?

There are a number of causes. The presence of a urinary bladder infection could increase the risk of bladder stones significantly since infection makes it difficult for crystals, the building blocks of stones to exit the body. If your dog eats a high mineral diet and drinks very little water, it could develop bladder stones. Genetic predisposition is also one of the common causes. Certain breeds like Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, Irish Terriers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Cocker Spaniels are genetically predisposed to bladder crystals.

Is it a serious problem?

If detected at an early stage, it can be easily treated. So, it is not a serious problem. However, if left untreated for a long time, a dog bladder crystal could lead to serious problems like urinary tract obstruction and renal failure and it could be fatal. So, it is very important to diagnose and treat this problem at the right time.

What are the symptoms of dog bladder crystals?

If your dog finds it difficult to urinate or if it is in pain while urinating, it could be a sign of bladder stones. The presence of blood in its urine and stools is also a sign of a urinary problem. Apart from this, there are other symptoms like loss of appetite, vomiting, and physical exhaustion.

I read somewhere that a dog bladder crystal needs to be removed surgically. My dog is so small and tender. How can he cope with surgery?

Your veterinarian will be the best judge of how well a dog can tolerate surgery for stone removal. It is a fairly common procedure. Depending on the type of stone, there may be other options such as dietary modification and urohydropropulsion, which is a procedure that flushes the stones from the body.

Can dog bladder crystals be prevented?

Yes. Pet health experts say that a combination of good diet, physical exercise, and natural remedies can reduce the risk of bladder stones in dogs significantly.

What kind of diet is best for my dog?

The key to diet is to provide the correct balance of over 40 food nutrients or components while maintaining a normal urinary PH. Your veterinarian can recommend a prescription diet that is formulated specifically to avoide the formation of the two most common types of stones, oxalate and struvite.

My dog does not drink enough water. What can I do?

Your dog might not like the smell and taste of chlorinated tap water. So, the first thing you need to do is avoid tap water and give your dog filtered water to drink. You can also add a few drops of cranberry juice or lemon juice to water. This helps your dog in two ways. One - it improves the smell and taste of water. So, your dog will drink a lot of water. Two - cranberries and lemons are rich in vitamin C, which prevents bacteria from multiplying in your dog's bladder. So, this reduces the risk of dog bladder crystals significantly.

What are the best natural remedies for my dog?

Look for homeopathic remedies that contain substances like cantharis, staphysagris, and berberis vulg. These remedies can treat and prevent bacterial infections, soothe your dog's urinary bladder, strengthen your dog's urogenital system, alleviate the symptoms of urinary problems, and control urinary incontinence. They also strengthen your dog's immune system and reduce the risk of various urinary problems including dog bladder crystal.

Is there anything else I can do to keep my dog healthy?

Like I already mentioned, a combination of healthy diet, clean water, regular physical exercise, and a regular dose of natural remedies is what your dog needs to stay away from urinary problems like dog bladder crystals. Above all, your love and care is what your dog needs to stay healthy and happy for a long time.

Jeff Grill is an editor of the Dog Health Handbook which has additional information on dog bladder crystals. See this site for more information on natural homeopathic options for canine bladder crystal support.

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