Florida: Life in the “Stone belt”

posted: by: BCAC Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

High calcium content in water supplies in 13 states from North Carolina to Florida has been linked to a higher incidence of bladder stones, like the ones pictured here, in dogs and cats and Naples is no exception, says Dr. Randall, who adds owners should never ignore any symptoms a pet may develop, such as blood in the urine or frequent urination in small amounts.

Those signs are fairly obvious, but according to Dr. Randall, changes in a pet’s mood or behavior might be suspect, too.

“One woman came in and said, ‘Dr. Randall, there’s something wrong with my dog, but I have no idea what it is.’ She said there hadn’t been any blood in the urine or changes in bathroom habits. I felt the dog’s tummy and knew immediately something was going on in there.”

Stones made of calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate or struvite urolithiasis are commonly seen here, but Dr. Randall reports finding urate, cystine and xanthine urolithiasis stones, too. They come in various sizes and can be almost any shape; depending upon the stone’s content, it may, or may not, become a recurring problem.

Dr. Randall has removed as many as 100 stones from a canine patient and one stone, nearly two inches around, from another.

While cats are not as susceptible to bladder stones as dogs, they do get crystals that can cause blood in the urine.

To prevent the formation of bladder stones, Dr. Randall recommends letting your dog out at least five times a day to avoid bladder infections, which can lead to formation of the stones. He also suggests using purifying water, instead of tap water, and says feeding pets quality foods may also be helpful.

View Part II of the bladder stone removal surgery.