Urate Stones in Dogs

by Naomi Millburn
    "Bring me to the vet's office for regular appointments, please?"

    "Bring me to the vet's office for regular appointments, please?"

    Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Bladder stones are a source of frustration for many people, and dogs can suffer from them, too. Bladder stones exist in several different forms, including urate stones and struvites, among others. Urate stones make up roughly 5 percent of bladder stone situations in canines.

    Bladder stones are simply hard deposits that develop within the urinary tract. They are referred to as cystic calculi or urolithiasis. These stones are mineral clusters that can range from tiny to big. Some of them are sizable and exist singly, while others occur by the handful and are as tiny as fragments of dirt. Urate stones are composed of the compound uric acid. Not only do canines sometimes experience urate stones, so do felines.

    Urate stones can emerge in dogs for a couple reasons. Liver disorders are a possible cause -- think liver shunts, for example. Liver or portosystemic shunts are vascular issues characterized by blood surrounding the liver. Dense or immoderately acidic urine can trigger urate stones. Liver conditions aren't the only potential triggers of urate stones in dogs. Urate stones are frequently congenital; some dogs simply are born with problems in uric acid metabolism. Diets with too much purine, an organic compound, can also lead to urate stones. Purine is a component in meats.

    It isn't rare for dogs to exhibit no symptoms of present urate stones. However, a lot of dogs do exhibit symptoms. Symptoms generally involve urination. They include foggy-looking urine and urine with traces of blood in it. In extreme cases, some canines with urate stones can't urinate, period. Veterinary care is essential for all dogs with urate stones. Common management options for the condition are surgical extraction and urohydropropulsion. The latter option involves the use of urinary catheters and is frequently performed on canines with tinier crystals. All cases of urate stones in dogs are different. If your dog has these stones, your veterinarian can decide what option is most suitable for his needs.

    Since urate stones are often a genetic ailment, certain types of dogs are particularly susceptible to them. Some of them are black Russian terriers, English bulldogs and dalmatians. Within the dalmatian breed, the vast majority of individuals with urate stones are boys.

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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