Doc is a 12-year-old canine patient of ours that presented to us after the owner had noticed blood in his urine. Dr. Bell performed an initial test on Doc’s urine called a urinalysis to check for a urinary tract infection. Doc’s urine did indeed show signs of infection but there were also a large number of crystals detected in the urine as well. It is not uncommon to find crystals in a dog’s urine and sometimes they are incidental findings. Other times, however, they can indicate a more serious problem going on. In Doc’s case, because of the large number of crystals and blood in his urine, Dr. Bell recommended an x-ray of his belly to look for bladder stones (see photo below). The x-ray showed (you guessed it!) that Doc did indeed have stones causing a great deal of irritation and discomfort.

There are many different types of bladder stones and Doc’s definitely required surgery to get them out due to their size and composition. Dr. Pacchiana performed a procedure called a cystotomy on Doc wherein the stones are removed directly from the bladder and everything is flushed clean. Doc is now doing great and on a special diet to help prevent any more stones from forming in the future. Increasing his water intake as much as possible is also going to be important for him to prevent recurrence.

It is important if you notice blood in your pet’s urine or changes in their urination or drinking habits (increased or decreased amount) to have it checked out. Sometimes blood in the urine indicates a urinary tract infection that can be cleared up with a course of antibiotics but other times it can indicate something more complicated or serious and should be investigated further.

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