Jasmin is a 10 year old crossbred dog from Lowerhouses. In every respect, she is a fit healthy dog but she has had a long history of straining and discomfort when she passes urine.


Her owner brought her in for an appointment last week as she was having another episode. Typically, when she was out for a walk, Jasmin would squat 10 or 12 times. This had happened previously but this time, there were streaks of blood in her urine.


Although Jasmin had been seen for this condition on several occasions, she had not been examined for several months so I was keen to give her a full examination in order to see if anything had changed since her last visit.


When I felt carefully into the depths of her abdomen, I was immediately reminded of the sensation of feeling a bag of marbles.


I had a strong inkling as to the cause of her problems and so she was admitted to have an X-ray of her bladder.


The X-rays clearly showed a bladder that was full to bursting point with large bladder stones that were rubbing and irritating the bladder wall and giving Jasmin the sensation that she needed to urinate even when her bladder was empty.


Small accumulations of bladder stones can be dissolved with special diets but these stones were far too large and too extensive to be dissolved.


After discussion with the owner, I made a surgical approach into the bladder (a procedure called a cystotomy) and physically removed dozens and dozens of stones. The bladder was flushed with sterile saline to remove any small remaining stones and the wall of the bladder was closed with sutures that will dissolve over the coming few weeks.


Jasmin will feel more comfortable within the next few days as the inflammation in the bladder wall subsides now that the hard stones are not grinding against it.


Jasmin had been fed on a proprietary dog food in the past, but her metabolism is unable to cope with the normal mineral content of this, resulting in high mineral content in her urine (causing crystal formation, and consequently stone formation) so she will need to be fed a diet which is specifically tailored to her requirements; if she can stick rigidly to that diet, she should never be troubled with bladder stones again.