Bladder dust and bladder stones in the dog
Bladder dust and bladder stones are very common in the dog. In the case of bladder dust, microscopically small granules (most like sand) are formed in the urine of the dog. Bladder stones are actually larger growth particles.
There are different types of bladder stones and bladder dust in the dog. Some dog breeds are specifically sensitive to the development of bladder dust (see also disease). In addition, infections can be the cause in the formation of bladder dust or bladder stones in the dog.
The treatment usually consists of a specific diet, operation and possibly an antibiotic treatment.
How do we diagnose a dog’s bladder infection?
The diagnosis can be made by means of urine examination, X-ray and / or ultrasound.
In the urine we often see blood, protein and possibly bacteria. If we see bacteria or we suspect a bacterial infection, we put the urine on culture. It is essential to examine urine for bladder dust directly. Gruis is formed quickly when urine cools down. Upon cooling, the solubility of the crystals changes and grit can precipitate. Compare this with dissolving sugar in tea. Sugar dissolves much easier and faster when tea is warm.
Most stones, but not all, can be seen on x-ray. Very small stones can also be missed. there are several options with X-ray to visualize bladder stones:
A native recording. Here a photo is made of the bladder, which is preferably filled. No contrast agent is used. The most common stones, calcium oxalate and struvite, can thus be visualized. They must of course be sufficiently large. Some stones can not be visualized, for example urate stones. We see this regularly among English Bulldogs.
An air contrast stop. The dog is catheterized and air is injected into the bladder. The chance that you can show stones as urate stones is bigger but you can still miss them.
Double contrast recording. Here, in addition to air, a contrast agent is also applied in the bladder. The sensitivity to show bladder stones is greatest when you talk about X-rays). Ultrasound has ensured that contrast shots are used less often. With ultrasound you do not have to put a dog under anesthesia or catheterise.
Ultrasound is much more sensitive than X-ray and can show all the stones. However, a reasonably filled bladder is required for this. This can sometimes be difficult if there is a big pressure of pressure. In addition, small pebbles and blood clots can be difficult to distinguish from each other by ultrasound. Ultrasound is therefore extremely sensitive. An experienced echograph will never miss a bladder stone. However, small blood clots can be confused with small stones. Sometimes the colon can be mistaken for a bladder stone. An experienced echograph can however easily distinguish this from each other.
How do bladder stones develop in dogs?
The cause for the formation of bladder dust and stones is very diverse. In addition, it differs per animal species and even animal breed. In dogs, bladder stones are often associated with infections of the urinary tract (especially in struvite stones). Some varieties are extra sensitive to the development of bladder stones.
The most common bladder stones are struvite and calcium oxalate.