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Terri Riba
Terri Riba, Healthcare Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in canine health and behavior. 20 years of experience with dogs
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I have a pug that has Bladder stones in his urethra is ...

Resolved Question:

I have a pug that has Bladder stones in his urethra is surgery the only answer or is their something that will help dissolve the stones
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Terri Riba replied 9 years ago.

Hi there,

Are the stones struvite or calcium oxalate?



Customer: replied 9 years ago.
they did not tell me what kind of stones they are
Expert:  Terri Riba replied 9 years ago.

Dear friend,

Struvite stones are disolvable with diet - calcium oxalate are NOT. However, surgery is recommended for both:

Struvite stone can be removed surgically, removed with a special technique called "voiding urohydropropulsion," or dissolved via diet.

Surgical removal is the most direct method of removal. The advantage is that the stones are removed and healing may commence all in one day. The chief disadvantages are those inherent to surgery: anesthetic risks, post-operative pain, risk of contaminating the abdomen with infected urine, possibility that not all stones will be removed, possibility that the bladder stitches will not properly hold. These risks are generally considered minor and complications associated with "cystotomy" (opening of the urinary bladder) are very unusual.

If the stones present are small enough to pass, the bladder can be manipulated in a way to promote expulsion of the stone through the urethra. This is called "voiding urohydropropulsion" and involves filling the bladder, agitating the bladder so the stones float freely in the urine, and then generating a high pressure urine stream to force the stones out. This technique only works if the stones are small and if there are numerous stones present, often several attempts are needed if this is to be the only means of removal. Often this technique is used to obtain a sample stone for analysis to determine if dietary dissolution is feasible.

Dietary dissolution of the stone is possible with struvite bladder stones. A special food called S/D diet® is made by Hills for the specific purpose of dissolving struvite stones. The food is of a gel-like consistency and may not be palatable to the animal but if dietary dissolution is attempted, S/D must be the only food fed to the dog during the period of dissolution. Antibiotics are needed as long as stones are present in the bladder (bacteria are encrusted within the stone and as the stone dissolves, they are released). On the average, 3 and a half months are needed to dissolve the stone but the diet should be continued for a full month after the stones are no longer visible on radiographs because small stones may be present but not large enough to see. Radiographs are taken monthly to monitor progress. S/D diet is not meant to be continued as a regular diet after the stone has been dissolved; Hills recommends not feeding S/D diet any longer than 6 months. Aside from the long treatment time, an important disadvantage of this approach is the possibility of urinary tract obstruction as the stone gets smaller and an unsuccessful attempt to pass the stone occurs. This is potentially a life-threatening hazard for male dogs as they possess the narrow urethra.

S/D diet is very high in fat and high in salt. It should not be fed to patients at risk for pancreatitis, patients with heart disease, kidney insufficiency, or high blood pressure.


This is feline but the same premise:

Blocked Cat - Urethral Obstruction


Talk with your vet about the options and please let me know how your boy is doing.

Sincerest best wishes,


Terri Riba and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
he had bladder stones 4 years ago and i beleive they were calcium oxalate they were in his bladder and they removed them with surgery.
because of that do you think they would be the same this time?
Expert:  Terri Riba replied 9 years ago.

Poor little guy! Yes, unfortunately the dog is usually predisposed to the same type of stone.There is no possibility for calcium oxalate stones to disolve so they always require surgery.

If you have more questions I will always be here for you and your boy.

Best wishes,


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I was told the Surgery would cost between $1800.00 and $ 2800.00 is that high or is that the going rate? how long do Pugs live? Pugsley is 14
Expert:  Terri Riba replied 9 years ago.

It does sound a bit high so shop around. Of course fees vary widely by area.

A pug can live to 17 with excellent care.

Here are some agencies that will help with costs:

American Animal Hospital Association
" Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship."

Angels 4 Animals
"Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment
to those pets and pet owners in need."

Care Credit
A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care.
"With a comprehensive range of plan options, for
treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan
and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every

God's Creatures Ministry
"This fund helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help."

"Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the
working poor."

"We are dedicated to insure that no
companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker
is financially challenged."

The Pet Fund
"The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that
provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need
urgent veterinary care."

United Animal Nations
"The m ission of LifeLine is to help homeless or recently rescued
animals suffering from life-threatening conditions that require
specific and immediate emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve
Good Samaritans and rescue groups who take in sick or injured
animals. In certain cases, LifeLine can also assist senior citizens
and low-income families pay for immediate emergency veterinary care."
They also keep a list of local and national help resources here


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Terri Riba replied 9 years ago.

You are very welcome. It is my pleasure to help someone as lovely as you and your sweet baby.

I will always be here for both of you.