Canine Bladder Stones: Lulu’s Straining to Urinate

Bladder stones in dogs start out small but over time can grow in number and/or size.

Never punish your dog when they suddenly start having potty accidents. Instead, look for a medical explanation first. Bladder stones can be the reason. All you might observe is your dog asking to go outside with increased frequency and having accidents indoors.

Typical symptoms of canine bladder stones include:

  • urinary accidents
  • increased frequency of urination
  • urinating small amounts
  • straining to urinate
  • changes in urine color

Further information: Bladder Stones in Dogs: What are Signs and How to Best Treat Them

Canine Bladder Stones: Lulu's Straining to Urinate

Lulu’s story

Lulu is a lovely, great-hearted Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She was, however, dealt a poor hand when it came to her health. At an early age, she developed severe epilepsy and had to take daily medication for life. Lulu was a special case who needed extra love and care.

First symptoms

The first thing Lulu’s mom noticed was that Lulu was squatting to urinate more often than usual. In the past, when outside, Lulu would pee once or twice. Now, she was crouching to pee half a dozen times and then asking to go back out again shortly after coming back inside.

Initial diagnosis

Her mom took Lulu to a veterinarian, who diagnosed Lulu with a bladder infection. She got a prescription for antibiotics.

While on the medication, Lulu improved. But as soon as she finished her antibiotics, the problem came back. Not only she kept trying to pee outside all the time, but she also began having indoor potty accidents.

Back at the veterinarian

It was time to take a closer look at why the antibiotics didn’t resolve the presumed infection. The veterinarian sent Lulu’s urine to a lab and performed an ultrasound.

Lulu indeed had an infection, but her urine also contained tiny stones. Her bladder contained a type of sandy sediment which was irritating her bladder. Bacteria takes the opportunity to infect the tissues, making things worse.

No wonder Lulu was having such trouble with peeing.

The treatment

Lulu required a long course of a targetted antibiotic to tackle the infecton. As well as she needed a special diet to reduce the level of minerals in her pee. This should allow the sediment, crystals and tiny stones to dissolve.

Getting the bladder fully healed can take several months. Lulu was improving with treatment but urinating would still get painful and uncomfortable for her.

Three weeks later, Lulu’s mom found a few pebble-like stones on Lulu’s bed. At first, she thought that Lulu might have carried some from the garden as they caught in the fur on her feet.

To be on the safe side, though she showed them to Lulu’s veterinarian. A lab analysis of the pebbles showed that they came from Lulu’s bladder. No wonder she had such a hard time trying to pee.

Lulu gets better

Once Lulu passed the stones, her peeing trouble resolved. Her urinary habits returned to normal. As Lulu finished her treatment, follow-up exam confirmed that she was infection and sediment free.

She does, however, need to stay on the special diet for life.

Source story:
Lulu, a Four-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Who Had Bladder Stones

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Changes in Urination/Urinary Accidents
My Dog’s Pee: What Can You Learn from Your Dog’s Urine
Bladder Stones in Dogs: Zaida’s Potty Accidents

Further reading:
Bladder Stones in Dogs: What are Signs and How to Best Treat Them

Categories: Bladder infectionsBladder stonesChanges in urinationIncreased urinationReal-life StoriesStraining to urinateUrinary accidentsUrinary tract infection (UTI)

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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