What Causes Bladder Stones in Pets?

The formation of stones in the urinary tract of dogs and cats can occur quite commonly in pets.  While in people such stones usually occur in the kidneys, the development of stones in pets can occur in both the kidneys but is more commonly seen in the urinary bladder. A wet, canned, or homemade diet can reduce the risk of crystal formations in your cat's urinary tract

Causation of bladder stones can include primary urinary tract infections, as well as metabolic problems leading to crystal formation and secondary stone formation.  In cats, stress is believed to be a major factor involved with urinary tract inflammation, as well as even certain processed diets such as dry food only diets in our feline friends.  Stones can sometimes be treated with dietary therapy, depending upon the type of crystals or stone present, as well as the pH of the urinary tract.

Surgical therapy is the most common effective treatment for bladder stones and avoids the risk of urinary tract blockage, particularly in male pets.  There is one supplement I have recommended  over the years to help dissolve crystals and/or stones called Crystal Clear by Sage, which I have seen on occasion work as a medical alternative in my holistic veterinary practice. Other options for a healthy urinary tract include Cranberry Relief by NaturVet and 1-800-PetMeds UT Soft Chews for Cats.

Preventing urinary tract stones in pets involves monitoring urine samples periodically at your local veterinarian for the presence of crystals and/or infections, as well as feeding optimally minimally processed natural based diets.  In cats I recommend wet (canned) cat food or proper homemade raw meat based diets formulated from recipes by veterinarians or veterinary experts.

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  1. Do you recommend wet canned cat food for older cats? Our cat is 15 years old and has ate the same type and brand of food her whole life, we have been watching her health the past few months and want to keep away from having to deal with bladder stones again.

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 30, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Yes I do recommend wet canned food for even older cats. Pet guard is another of my favorite we brands. In fact ideal diets are home made meat based diets as described in the book The NAtural Cat by Anitra Frazier. Anitra is a wonderful source of information and even offers inexpensive phone consultations to kitty guardians http://www.anitrafrazier.com There is alot one can do to help nutritionally and with supplements for especially older cats. I often work with Anitra from a homeopathic perspective as an alternative to prescription medications that sometimes have side effects in cats. To learn more about homeopathy see http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.canineworld.com/drdym Many homeopathic vets also offer phone consultations.

  3. My dog is 10 yrs. old & had stones flushed back up into his bladder by the Vet. Then surgery to remove all stones. Now he is on Hills UD diet food (witch he hates) I have to soak the food in hot water to soften it. The Vet said only 1/2 cup a day.
    Will he have to be on this food forever? Vet , said NO TREATS. Thank-you Jin

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    I would follow your vet’s recommendations for now. I would consider healthier home made alternative for these stones found in book on canine diets by Donald Strombeck, Phd which you can google and find on line

  5. my dog has bladder stones and we r gonna get her surgery as soon as the vet gives us the price…
    i need tips!!!!!
    plz we all love her :,(

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Depending upon type of bladder stones would determine what diet is best to treat him with as a preventative.

  7. My cat has under gone 2 urethrostomy surgerys within the last 9 months . after the 2nd surgery they had dissected to much tissue which caused urine leakage into the tissue after keeping a catheter in him for 2 1/2 weeks the leaking stopped and they took the catheter out . He is still having pain urinating and has also had trouble with diarhia the vet gave him baytril and onsior but it doesn’t seem to be helping I keep asking if there is something he can have that has a calming affect which I think would help him . He is such a sweet cat but he is high anxiet y which aggravates his condition . he is only 5yrs old .and has been thru so much with both of these surgery’s . I love him so much and would like to see him be able to get better . The vet I have is very nice but she is very young and doesnt have alot of experince with urinary infections of cats . his urethrostomy surgery was he first one they had done . They have been nice and let me make payments to pay for his vet care. Do you have any suggestions of other meds they could give him to help him ??

  8. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Try natural calming agents like Be serene from 1800petmeds. It also may be helpful to work with a vet homeopath on his long term health in case like this. I am personally not a fan of prescription urinary diets. Try low grain low carb diet preferably raw meat based diet as described in book The Natural Cat By ANitra Frazier. These diets help acidify naturally the urine and are better for long term health. To learn more about homeopathy see http://www.beyondflatearth.com or my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopaths offer phone consultations.

  9. My dog had bladder stones and my vet recommended immediate surgery. One day (Sunday) when my vet was not in her office my dog became acutely ill and would not eat or drink water or even walk. Also, she had not urinated for several hours. I went to Google and just keyed in “My dog has not urinated in 24 hours.” I received many recommendations, most of them for Pedialyte. I went out and purchased it and force fed it to her using a canine feeding syringe. She liked it and surprisingly when I put it in her water bowl she drank almost a cup full. Within an hour she started urinating and passed two stones. Throughout the night and the next day she passed 11 stones. I decided to get a second opinion and took her to a new vet who analyzed the stones and immediately changed her food to Royal Canin urinary dog food which is a prescription dog food. She is doing fine now, no surgery was recommended and her last urinalysis showed no crystals. She is a very finicky eater but loved the Royal Canin. If she has to be on the Royal Canin for the rest of her life it is fine with me because for the first time in her life (she is a 5-year-old Shih Tzu) she loves her new food.

  10. Please tel some home foods to be given to dogs having bladder stones.and wat diet to be followed doctor.as I always give them rice and egg with milk or curd and some biscuitis in the morning and some times raw carrot and corn.one dog is 6year dobberman and the another one is 5 year dashund both female .I never fed them with pedigree or royal canin doctor.plz suggest some home diets for them.and wat foods to be avoided doctor.

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 11, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Thanks for sharing. Fortunately your pet was a female, as much more difficult to pass stones in a male dog. Many pets do fine on the prescription diets.

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