Urinary bladder stones

Stone-like formation of minerals that develop in the bladder

Urinary bladder stones can cause a variety of symptoms in pets. Signs may include:

  • Frequent urination or difficulty urinating
  • Straining during urination or producing only small amounts of urine
  • Changes in urinary habits, such as accidents in the house or inability to urinate
  • Blood in the urine or discolored urine
  • Signs of discomfort or pain while urinating
  • Licking the genital area excessively
  • Decreased appetite or lethargy
  • Persistent or recurrent urinary tract infections

Cats often show more subtle signs of pain or discomfort, such as:

  • Increased hiding
  • Reduced grooming
  • Changes in vocalization
  • Changes in litter box habits, including urinating outside the box

Other health conditions may share similar symptoms with urinary bladder stones, including Urinary Tract Infection, Urinary Cancer, or prostate disease in male pets.

If you notice any of these signs or have concerns about your pet's health, consult with your veterinarian.

It is important to be aware that bladder stones may lead to urinary obstruction, which is a medical emergency. Seek immediate veterinary attention if your pet is unable to urinate. Early detection and intervention can improve the chances of successful management and prevent complications.

When you visit your veterinarian for concerns related to urinary bladder stones, the following may occur:

  • Medical History: They will take a detailed medical history, including any signs, duration, and any history of urinary tract infections.
  • Physical examination: The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination of your pet, checking for any abnormalities in their abdomen and urinary system.
  • Diagnostic testing: Diagnostic testing such as a urinalysis, radiographs (X-rays), or ultrasound may be recommended to evaluate the presence and characteristics of urinary bladder stones.
  • Treatment options: Treatment options for urinary bladder stones can vary depending on the size, type, number, and location of the stones. It may involve dietary management, medications, or surgical removal.
  • Follow-up care: Your veterinarian will discuss a follow-up plan, which may involve monitoring your pet's urine for any recurrence, additional imaging tests, or adjustments to the treatment plan.

Your veterinary healthcare team will partner with you to decide which treatment option is best for your pet's and your family’s specific condition and situation.

While it may not be possible to prevent urinary bladder stones, there are measures you can take to reduce the risk and support your pet's urinary health:

  • Provide fresh water: Ensure your pet has access to clean, fresh water at all times to encourage proper hydration.
    • For cats, try offering multiple water sources in different locations and feeding wet or canned food to increase water intake.

  • Dietary considerations: If urinary bladder stones are present, your veterinarian may recommend a special diet to reduce the risk of urinary stones and support urinary health.
  • Regular exercise: Keeping pets active can help maintain overall health and support proper urinary function.

Consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance on preventing urinary bladder stones in your pet. They can provide tailored recommendations based on your pet's specific needs and medical history.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$2,582

You pay only

$258

Urinary bladder stones

You save

$2,324

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$2,582

You pay only

$258

Urinary bladder stones

You save

$2,324

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$2,582

You pay only

$258

Urinary bladder stones

You save

$2,324

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.