Pet Advice

Betsy – The Bladder Full Of Stones

Betsy – The Bladder Full Of Stones

Name: Betsy
Age: 6 yrs old
Weight: 12 kgs
Breed: Cocker Spaniel
Sex: Female

History: Betsy was brought into the clinic after unusual urinating habits. She was seen to be urinating more frequently than normal and in lesser amounts. She had also started urinating in her bed, something definitely out of character!

Examination: Betsy received a thorough health check. It was quite evident after a feel of her abdominal area that Betsy had a bladder full of uroliths (bladder stones).

These stones are usually caused by tiny crystals forming in the bladder. These crystals over time can form together to make larger stones, which in Betsy’s case were the cause of all her problems.

A special urine dipstick was used to test the urine to help us interpret the acidity, protein, and presence of blood in the sample. This showed a high blood reading, low acidity and a high protein. A blood test was recommended to check for any underlying conditions that may be causing Betsy’s problems.

Treatment: In the meantime Betsy started on a week long course of antibiotics to clear any possible infections before she had her surgery to remove the troubling stones.

Blood results returned from the lab showing that there was nothing else wrong with Betsy and all her organs were functioning normally.

On the day of Betsy’s surgery we took X rays to see how many stones we would be dealing with. We were astonished to say the least. Betsy’s bladder was completely full of stones. We were surprised she was doing as well as she was considering her current condition. We scrubbed the surgical site, drained her bladder, and she went into theatre.


During the procedure our vet Dr Amisha cut through the abdominal wall and into the bladder. Nurse Jamie continued to flush the bladder with sterile saline while all the stones were removed and placed into our sterile kidney dish. The bladder was completely cleared out, incisions were stitched up and pain relief was given. A repeat X ray was taken, and confirmed that all stones had been successfully removed.


The stones varied in sizes from millimeters to inches! Some samples of the stones were sent to the Lab for testing to help us determine what preventative measures should be taken in the future. Betsy was sent home later that afternoon on antibiotics, pain relief and strict rest.

Lab results returned showing the stones were composed of struvite crystals, one of the most common we see in practices today. Fortunately a specific diet has been made to help control struvite crystals and prevent future stone formation. Betsy was placed on Hills S/D dry and wet food as her sole diet and will provide all necessary nutritional requirements to prevent bladder stones re forming.

Followup: She returned 2 weeks later, after her antibiotic course for urine testing. The test indicated that her urinary tract infection had returned so a specific antibiotic to treat this was dispensed.

A month later, Betsy’s owner reported that she is doing well and loving her new food.

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