A Healthy Dog Has Healthy Kidneys
Dog bodies are marvels of structure and functionality. One thing that happens in both human and dog bodies is the formation of stones in the bladder, gallbladder, or kidneys. They’re all a little different and they’re all fairly common, so we’re going to look at each organ’s stone proclivities in separate articles. First up, kidney stones.
The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste from the bloodstream and concentrating it with some of the body’s water so it can be safely eliminated as urine. The state of having kidney stones is called Nephrolithiasis. Kidney stones form from the mineral salts in the urine. A few small crystals may form and never be a problem. When stones grow large enough they cause a lot of pain as they pass through the narrow ureter to the bladder. If they don’t pass, large stones may damage the kidney or obstruct the ureter, which is a medical emergency.
All Dogs Can Develop Kidney Stones But Some Are More Likely
All dogs can develop stones, but Shi-Tzus, Schnauzers, Yorkies, toy Poodles and Lhasa Apsos are much more likely to get them. Dehydration, a change in urine pH, impaired kidney function, or other factors can cause an imbalance of mineral salts in the urine which leads to stone formation.
Symptoms are a little vague and general: your housetrained dog may start peeing in the house or peeing in odd places, bloody urine, straining to urinate, licking their genitals, recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs), abdominal pain, and frequent urination but in small amounts are indicators that something is wrong in the dog’s urinary system. Eventually, an afflicted dog will develop fever, vomiting, and weight loss. This is a medical emergency.
Treatment options abound. Medication, supplements, and ultrasound therapy can break down small stones. Surgery may be necessary if the stones are large or creating health problems. Kidney stones tend to form slowly, but several can form at the same time. If you suspect kidney stones, don’t put off making a call to your veterinarian.
Written by Ann Warren of Blue Box Word Service, LLC.
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