Laser Bladder Stone Surgery
Bladder stones can occur for a variety of reasons. Genetics, Urine ph, or bacterial infections. Bladder stones are very painful and need to be treated as soon as possible. Although they are referred to as bladder stones, they can form anywhere along the urinary tract. If they become lodged in the ureters or urethra, they can lead to kidney shut down which will result in death.
Some pets do not present any symptoms of having bladder stones and the stones are palpated upon a routine physical by the veterinarian. Bladder stones are confirmed by abdominal x-ray.
The most common signs of a bladder stone are blood in the urine and straining to urinate. You may notice that your dog grimaces and then licks at their genitalia after urinating.
The fastest and most reliable treatment available is to have them surgically removed. The other option is to try and dissolve them with a special diet.
The diet is not always successful for all types of stones. This method is also very slow and not all pets will eat the special diet. This can also be a problem in a multi-pet household.
This surgery involves using the laser to make an incision into the abdomen and then bringing the bladder out through the opening. An incision is made in the bladder using the laser just big enough to gently squeeze the stone(s) through.
The incision is made as small as possible to minimize anesthetic time, decrease discomfort postoperatively, and to prevent a healing bladder from rupturing when it gets distended with urine.
If there are stones in the urethra, a catheter is passed while the pet is under sedation that is then used to flush the stones back into the bladder for removal. After surgery, an x-ray is taken to make sure all stones have been removed. The stone(s) are sent for analysis to determine what type of stone(s) they are and how to proceed with treatment.
After surgery, it is important to monitor the urination of the pet. If the pet is unable to urinate,they need to be seen by the vet right away. Many pets experience frequency because the bladder is inflamed and it will not fill up with as much urine as before. As the bladder heals, the volume will increase. Bloody urine may still be present for a few days but will stop.