Cystotomy for Bladder Stones in Dogs and Cats
Urolithiasis also called Bladder stones or cystolithiasis are mineral deposits that can agglomerate inside the bladder and occasionally inside the Kidneys. Sometimes crystals, which are microscopic equivalents of stones, are present before stones could be detected. When a combination of events takes place such as Urine PH change, an increase of urine concentration, mineral imbalance of the diet, these crystals may start to form. It’s the combination of layers of crystals that form the stones. They can be present as hundreds of small stones or just a few, or a single large one (as big as 2 inches). These are seen frequently in dogs and cats.
Most of the time surgery is the only treatment. Opening the bladder is necessary to remove the stones. It is a low-risk surgery with no or rare complications.
The Perineal Urethrostomy
Urinary Blockage is a frequent complication of Bladder stones. It happens when a small stone is engaged in the urethra of a male cat or dog. This doesn’t happen to females because the Urethra is straight, shorter, and wider allowing the stones to be evacuated naturally. Cats have a very small urethra and reoccurring stones are frequent.
Perineal Urethrostomy surgery offers long term management of the condition by transforming the urogenital anatomy of a male to a female like allowing small stones to naturally evacuate. The penis is removed and a new opening is created by suturing the urethra to the skin. The surgery prevents obstruction, but not the bladder inflammation generated by the stones, which is called idiopathic cystitis.