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Re: A natural answer..

By Dr. Andrew Jones

Re: A natural answer..

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I recently had a reader email me asking what they could do for their dog’s bladder stones.

This is a more common problem than you think, and if you own a dog, you should read my article..

At the end of the article I list some natural at home remedies to prevent these for occurring.

What are bladder stones?

Bladder stones (uroliths or cystic calculi) are rock-like collections of minerals that form in the urinary bladder. They may occur as a large, single stone or as collections of stones the size of large grains of sand or gravel.

Are these the same as gall stones or kidney stones?

No. Gallstones are in the gall bladder located near the liver, and kidney stones are in the kidney. Although the kidneys and urinary bladder are both part of the urinary system, kidney stones are usually unrelated to bladder stones.

What problems do bladder stones cause?

The two most common signs of bladder stones are hematuria (blood in the urine) and dysuria (straining to urinate). Hematuria occurs because the stones irritate the bladder wall causing bleeding. Dysuria occurs when stones obstruct the flow of urine out of the bladder. Large stones may cause a partial obstruction at the point where the urine leaves the bladder and enters the urethra; small stones may flow with the urine into the urethra and cause an obstruction there.

When an obstruction occurs, the bladder cannot be emptied and this is very painful. Your dog may cry in pain, especially if pressure is applied to the abdominal wall.

Hematuria and dysuria are the most common signs seen in dogs with bladder stones but with obstruction there is also pain. We know this because when bladder stones are removed surgically, many owners tell us how much better and more active their dog feels.

Why do they form?

There are several theories of bladder stone formation. The most commonly accepted theory is called the Precipitation-Crystallization Theory. This theory states that one or more stone-forming crystalline compounds are present in elevated levels in the urine. This may be due to abnormalities in diet or due to some previous disease in the bladder, especially infection with bacteria. Sometimes the condition may be due to a problem with the body’s metabolism. When the amount of this compound reaches a threshold level, the urine is said to be supersaturated. This means that the level of the compound is so great that it cannot all be dissolved in the urine, so it precipitates and forms tiny crystals. These crystals stick together, usually due to mucus-like material within the bladder, and stones gradually form. As time passes, the stones enlarge and increase in number.
How fast do they grow?

Growth will depend on the quantity of crystalline material present and the degree of infection present. Although it may take months for a large stone to grow, some sizeable stones have been documented to form in as little as two weeks.

How are they diagnosed?

Most dogs that have bladder infections do not have bladder stones. These dogs will often have blood in the urine and will strain to urinate, the same symptoms as a dog with bladder stones. Therefore, we do not suspect bladder stones based only on these clinical signs.

Some bladder stones can be palpated (felt with the fingers) through the abdominal wall. However, failure to palpate them does not rule them out.

Most bladder stones are visible on radiographs (x-rays) or an ultrasound examination. These procedures are performed if stones are suspected. This includes dogs that show unusual pain when the bladder is palpated, dogs that have recurrent hematuria and dysuria, or dogs that have recurrent bacterial infections in the bladder.

Some bladder stones are not visible on radiographs. They are said to be radiolucent. This means that their mineral composition is such that they do not reflect the x-ray beam. These stones may be found with an ultrasound examination or with special radiographs that are made after placing a special dye (contrast material) in the bladder.

How are bladder stones treated?

There are two options for treatment. The fastest way is to remove them surgically. This requires major surgery in which the abdomen and bladder are opened. Following two to four days of recovery, the dog is relieved of pain and dysuria. The hematuria will often persist for a few days after surgery before resolving. Pets with urethral obstruction should have surgery as soon as possible unless there are other health conditions that prohibit surgery.

The second option is to attempt to dissolve certain types of bladder stones with a special diet. This avoids surgery and can be a very good choice for some dogs. However, it has three disadvantages:

1. It is not successful for all types of stones. Stone analysis is necessary to determine if it is the type of stone that can be successfully dissolved.

2. It is slow. It may take several weeks or a few months to dissolve a large stone so the dog may continue to have hematuria and dysuria during that time. The risk of urethral obstruction remains during this period.

3. Not all dogs will eat the special diet. If it is not consumed exclusively, it will not work.
Can bladder stones be prevented?

YES!

Get every single one of my remedies at www.veterinarysecretsrevealed.com

HERBAL RELIEF. Specific herbs are helpful in dissolving bladder stones and acidifying the urine. These are Hydrangea, Stone Root, Gravel Root and Corn Silk.

VITAMIN C. This acidifies the urine and may prevent the recurrence of bladder stones and bladder infections. Start with a low dose daily.

CRANBERRY. A traditional home remedy used for people with recurrent urinary tract infections. The beneficial effects are from the acidification of the urine and by making it more difficult for the bacteria to adhere to the bladder wall. The dose of the juice is 1ml per lb daily, the dose of the tablets, such as Cran Actin is ?? capsule per 10 lbs daily.

STRUVITE STONES. In most cases of bladder stones and bladder infections the goal is to acidify the urine; this prevents the recurrence of the most common bladder stone, struvite. Diets higher in protein are more acidifying; specific veterinary diets are designed for acidification. A higher protein homemade diet is also suitable. Use all the prior remedies to accomplish acidification.

OXALATE STONES. In a small percentage of animals the type of bladder stone is called calcium oxalate, which forms in acidic urine. If this is your pet’s problem, then the goal is to make the urine more alkaline. This is performed by lowering protein levels, and by adding a supplement, potassium citrate.
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It’s Your Pet- Heal Them At Home!

Best Wishes

Dr Andrew Jones

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