At Manchester West Veterinary Hospital, we use a three-pronged approach to decrease the risk of recurrence:
- 1. Decrease the mineral content in your pet’s food. We recommend that you feed your pet only Hill’s (manufacturer of Science Diet) Prescription Diet food from now on. Your pet’s veterinarian will prescribe one of these specially formulated diets based on the analysis of the removed stone. Remember, access to any treats, human food, or table scraps will decrease the effectiveness of these diets.
- 2. Adjust the pet’s urine pH to an optimum level through diet. Monthly urine sample analyses should be performed at Manchester West Veterinary Hospital to evaluate the effectiveness of the prescription diet.
- 3. Completely eradicate any urinary tract or kidney infections. Monthly urine sample analysis and semi-annual urine cultures to check for signs of infection. The culture will typically require dropping your pet off at Manchester West Veterinary Hospital for several hours.
What follows is a description of the most common types of bladder stones. The stone removed from your pet will be analyzed to determine which type was present. Then, your pet’s veterinarian will make specific recommendations for preventing recurrence:
Struvite Bladder Stone
This type of stone is formed from Magnesium, Phosphorous, and Ammonia. The strategy for preventing recurrence of this type of stone includes feeding the pet Prescription Diet c/d or w/d, monthly urine sample analysis, and urine cultures every 6 months.
Calcium Oxalate Bladder Stones
This type of stone is formed of the mineral calcium. The strategy for preventing recurrence of this type of stone includes feeding the pet Prescription Diet k/d or u/d, monthly urine sample analysis, and semi-annual urine cultures and/or radiographs of the pet’s bladder. Additionally, you will need to check your pet’s urinary pH once or twice a week. On the day you check the urine, a sample should be collected before a meal but approximately 6 hours after the previous meal. Accurate and easy to use pH paper is available at Manchester West Veterinary Hospital. The results of these tests should be written down and given to your pet’s doctor on a monthly basis.
Feline Bladder Stones
Feline patients can face unique challenges. The strategy for preventing recurrence includes feeding the pet a newly developed Prescription Diet of Feline Multi-care c/d which aids in the prevention of both struvite and calcium oxalate stones. Monthly urine samples, as well as semi-annual urine cultures and radiographs, are important tools used to identify these stones before they become so large that a repeat surgery is required.
Radiographs (x-rays) should be taken if a problem is suspected. In some instances, typically in female dogs, early detection of very small stones may allow flushing of these from the bladder thereby avoiding more surgery. Unfortunately, taking the above steps doesn’t guarantee that your pet will not have a recurrence of the same type or a different type of bladder stones. But, by being conscious of your pet’s condition and following through with the recommendations made by your pet’s doctor, the odds of bladder stone recurrence will dramatically decrease.