Lucy's change in appetite, and toilet habits - observant owners play an important role in diagnosis

Lucy, a 4 year old Pug, had been unwell for about a week. Her owners had noticed that she wasn't eating as much and was urinating frequently. The last few times she had urinated there had been blood and mucus present.

Dr. Kylee Woods noted that Lucy was very tender in her abdomen and had a very firm mass in the bladder area. X-rays were taken and revealed Lucy had a large bladder stone, and a blood test indicated a nasty infection. Lucy stayed in hospital overnight. She was started on antibiotics and intravenous fluid therapy in preparation for surgery the next day.

During surgery, Lucy had the bladder stone removed and was also desexed at the same time. After a night in hospital Lucy went home much more comfortable to her very relieved owners. She is recovering well from surgery and is now on a special diet to stop the bladder stones from coming back.

Bladder stones in dogs and cats can be composed of various crystal precipitates, it is unknown what causes them all, however infection, diet and breed have been found to play a role in varying degrees. It is important to know what the stones are made of and if an infection is present as this helps us choose the best treatment and diet options to minimize the chance of bladder stones reforming. Bladder stones in male dogs and cats can block their narrow urethra (the tube which urine passes out from the bladder) and lead very quickly to a potentially life threatening situation. Any pet which appears to have trouble urinating or is urinating small amounts more frequently than normal should be examined by a vet as soon as possible.