|Management of Bichons with Urinary Stones |
What about water sources?
In a case-controlled epidemiological study performed at the University of Minnesota,
the source of water ingested was not found to be a risk factor for formation of calcium oxalate
uroliths. However, the volume of water ingested usually plays a significant role.
By increasing water consumption, the urine concentration of urolith-inducing constituents
will be decreased or diluted.
We highly recommend feeding a canned diet and providing ready
access to fresh water at all times to increase water consumption and urine voiding.
Both of these goals decrease the risk factors for urolith formation.
What about pH testing?
What about collecting urine samples?
Ask your veterinarian about testing urine pH at home. Struvite uroliths tend to occur in alkaline urine. Calcium uroliths are associated with acid urine.
Urinalysis is an important part of preventative therapy. Because external factors such as temperature, delay in sample analysis, evaporation of the sample, contaminated collection container, contaminants from hair or skin, and other factors may affect the urine, urine samples should be collected (preferably by the veterinarian) and evaluated as soon as possible.
Samples may also be collected at the veterinary hospital by a procedure called "cystocentesis"
. A sterile needle is inserted into the bladder and a urine sample is withdrawn into a sterile syringe. This is the preferred method for collecting a urine sample for culture. Identification of crystalline material is best performed at the veterinary hospital.
Screening samples may be collected by the owner using a clean cup or container. These samples should be capped, labeled with the date and time collected, and taken promptly to your veterinarian for evaluation.
Key Point: For best results, fresh urine samples should be analyzed.
What about analysis of stones?
Any stones that are removed surgically or voided during urination should be evaluated by quantitative methods of analysis. Proper analysis of the uroliths is vital to successful treatment. Unfortunately most veterinary laboratories perform qualitative analysis which is a highly unreliable test.
Key Point: Have uroliths analyzed by quantitative analysis.
Veterinary laboratories qualified to perform quantitative analysis are:
Minnesota Urolith Center
Dr. Carl Osborne DVM, PhD, Director
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Minnesota
1352 Boyd Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
Lab Phone 612/625-4221
Urinary Stone Analysis Laboratory
Gerald V. Ling PhD, Director
College Of Veterinary Medicine
University of California-Davis
Davis, CA 95616
Lab Phone 530/752-3228
Where can my veterinarian get more information?
The Veterinary Clinics of North America – Small Animal Practice
"The ROCKet Science of Canine Urolithiasis"
(Available from W. B. Saunders Publishing Company