Kidney Stones in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment

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As happens in people, dogs can also suffer from kidney stones and, as in the human case, it is a situation that will require health care. The presence of stones can be very painful, in addition to producing a picture that can be truly dangerous for the health of our dog. It is, therefore, basic, knowing how to act before its appearance. In this AnimalWised article we are going to explain what the kidney stones in dogs, stopping to detail their symptoms, as well as their treatment. ¡Keep reading!

You may also be interested in: Kidney Stones in Cats - Symptoms and Treatment Index
  1. What are kidney stones in dogs?
  2. Symptoms of kidney stones in dogs
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Types of kidney stones in dogs
  5. Treatment for kidney stones in dogs

What are kidney stones in dogs?

Kidney stones in dogs, humans, cats or any other species that suffer from them are simply "stones". They can be of very different sizes and located in different parts of the urinary system. Its composition can also be different. All these factors will influence the damage they cause to the body, since it is not the same that the dog has "grit" than a stone of several centimeters. Similarly, its location is relevant. A stone in the bladder can go unnoticed, on the other hand, in the narrow space of the urethra, it is easier to cause, at least, pain.

The calculations are deposits of different minerals that accumulate in the body. Food, urine pH and hydration will play an important role in its formation. The first because a balanced diet will prevent and avoid excess minerals with precipitation capacity to form stones. On the other hand, good hydration, a correct water intake, will be essential to eliminate waste through urine, preventing it from accumulating in the form of stones..

Kidney stone symptoms in dogs

Kidney stones in dogs will produce a series of symptoms that will serve as a signal to go to the vet. And we must do it without delay, since these are processes that are usually very painful, but, in addition, kidney stones can lead to perforations, obstructions and even kidney failure. The characteristic symptoms will be the following:

  • Pain when urinating that is going to manifest itself in a urination with effort. We will see that the dog tries to pee on numerous occasions but does not always succeed.
  • Urinary incontinence caused by the distention of the bladder sometimes.
  • Urine spray in cases where a partial obstruction occurs. The image would be that of a hose to which we hinder the flow of water with a finger.
  • Hematuria (blood in the urine), as it is normal for stones to cause micro-injuries to the urinary system. Sometimes we will see drops of blood but it is also possible that hematuria is only detected in a strip or an analysis.


As soon as we notice that our dog may be suffering from the presence of a kidney stone, we must take him to the vet. The first thing is going to be get a urine sample. The vet usually provides us with a sterile glass for collection, just like the one used in human medicine. We must put the glass under the stream of urine to take the sample and take it as soon as possible to the clinic (it could be kept refrigerated for a few hours). Sometimes we cannot collect it and it will be the vet who has to extract it, either by pressing the bladder, or by directly puncturing it..

Be that as it may, a strip will be made from the sample obtained that will allow us to know important data such as its density, its pH, the presence of blood or infection. When determining the existence of kidney stones in our dog, the most important diagnostic technique will be the abdominal ultrasound or x-ray. It is carried out after waxing the area and will allow us to observe the urinary system. Kidney stones will look like white spots.

Types of kidney stones in dogs

The types of kidney stones that we will be able to distinguish in dogs will be the following:

  • Struvite (ammonium magnesium phosphate): they are formed in alkaline urine and are usually preceded by a urine infection. They can be dissolved with a specific diet.
  • Uric acidThey appear in acidic urine and are normally associated with hereditary alterations in urate metabolism. It is typical of Dalmatians. These crystals can be dissolved by feeding the dog a specific diet and medication.
  • Calcium oxalate, cystine and silica (the latter are rarer): they do not usually depend on a previous urinary infection. Those of cystine can be dissolved with diet and medication, but not those of oxalate and silica.

Treatment for kidney stones in dogs

The treatment of kidney stones in dogs will depend on the symptoms that they trigger, where, as we have seen, both their size and their location in the urinary system must be taken into account. Basically it is possible to treat the calculations in the following ways:

  • Diet and usually antibiotics. The objective is to undo the stones, promote their expulsion and avoid infections. At present, you can find feed and cans specifically formulated for this purpose. A few weeks or a few months of feeding with these feed is usually enough to solve the problem.
  • Surgery for the most serious cases with large stones that will not be able to be expelled easily or that are causing great damage, such as an obstruction. Also for those who cannot be dissolved or must be extracted immediately.

It is necessary to know that it is possible that the calculations occur again.

This article is merely informative, at we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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