Bladder Stone Removal

Bladder stone formation is common in both dogs and cats. Factors like age, diet, and genetics can make a pet more susceptible to this uncomfortable and potentially fatal health issue.

At Sploot, we have the expertise and technology to detect, locate, & remove bladder stones effectively. With our dedicated staff, extensive experience, and modern facilities, we ensure a stress-free experience for both pets and pet parents.

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Open 8am-8pm, 365 days a year... same day appointments and urgent drop-offs welcome!
Primary and urgent care, under one roof.
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Modern, warm clinics with unlimited free treats.
Open 8am-8pm, 365 days a year... same day appointments and urgent drop-offs welcome!
Primary and urgent care, under one roof.
Easily book online or text us.
Modern, warm clinics with unlimited free treats.

Why Pets Get Bladder Stones

Typically made up of minerals (with struvite or oxalate being the most common), bladder stones can be a result of the following:

Liver disease
Untreated urinary
tract infection

Symptoms of Bladder Stones in Pets

Abdominal pain
Difficulty urinating
Frequent Urination
Blood in the urine

Why Bladder Stone Removal is Done

Bladder stones produce a number of symptoms that cause dogs and cats pain. Furthermore, if left untreated, bladder stones can obstruct the urethra, meaning the dog or cat will not be able to get urine out — a life threatening condition. The good news is that bladder stones in pets are highly treatable.

Ready to schedule your pet's
Bladder Stone Removal surgery?

What to Expect During Bladder Stone Removal

Before the Operation:
Diagnosis & Pre-Operative Preparation

Your pet will undergo a pre-operative appointment/s which includes the following: 
A full physical exam is done (including blood work) to ensure your pet is medically fit for surgery.
Imaging tests (e.g. X-rays, ultrasonic bladder imaging, or radiographic contrast imaging) may be used to see the sizes and locations of the bladder stones.
The veterinarian will give instructions as to when to stop feeding your pet on the night before the operation. (However, you can continue giving your pet water at all times).
The veterinarian will orient you about the procedure itself and discuss any post-operative care that your pet may need.

During the Operation

After you drop off your pet on the day of the surgery, they will stay with us until the procedure is done. We will also give them a quiet place to recover from anesthesia.
Throughout the procedure, our team will send live updates which include text, photos, and videos. You’ll be kept informed about your furry friend’s progress.

After the Operation

Once it’s time to pick up your furry friend, we will let you know. Before you check out, our team will review your pet’s treatment plan with you and provide the medications needed.


What are bladder stones in dogs and cats?

Bladder stones, also known as urinary calculi or uroliths, are mineralized formations that can develop and get stuck in the urinary bladder of dogs and cats.

What causes bladder stones in pets?

The main cause of bladder stone formation in dogs and cats is the over-saturation of minerals in their urine. This oversaturation may be tied to other factors such as genetics, liver disease, diet, and so on.

Are there any breed-specific predispositions to bladder stones?

There are several cat and dog breeds that are particularly prone to developing bladder stones. For dogs, these include Labrador Retrievers, Dachshunds, Shih Tzus, Bichon Frises, etc.

For cats, susceptible breeds include Ragdolls, Burmese, Himalayan, etc. With that said, a pet’s breed is not the only factor that determines susceptibility to bladder stones. If you suspect that your pet may have bladder stones, it would be best to consult with a veterinarian.

How do bladder stones affect pets?

Dogs and cats that have bladder stones likely feel pain and discomfort. They may struggle to urinate, urinate frequently, or experience more urinary accidents. Left untreated, bladder stones can lead to repeated urinary tract infection, blockage of the urinary tract, and/or injuries to components of the urinary tract (i.e. the kidney, bladder, and urethra.)

Can bladder stones cause life-threatening blockages?

Unfortunately, bladder stones can be life-threatening medical emergencies, especially if the condition has already developed over time and is posing a major blockage in the dog or cat’s urinary system.

Can bladder stones be detected through routine veterinary exams?

Routine veterinary wellness exams are a vital part of preventive care. During these physical exams for dogs and cats, veterinarians can get a sense of whether pets are developing an illness. Then, to confirm the presence of bladder stones, imaging tests like X-ray or ultrasound will be used.

How are bladder stones diagnosed in dogs and cats?

Veterinarians use various methods to diagnose bladder stones in dogs and cats. Diagnosis may involve the use of imaging techniques, urinalysis, and urine culture; these techniques help determine the extent of bladder stone formation, where the bladder stones are, and the type of bladder stones present.

Can bladder stones dissolve on their own without treatment?

Certain types of bladder stones can be dissolved using a special diet or medications. However, this approach is limited to certain cases only. For bladder stones that are already obstructive and/or damaging the urinary system, surgical methods are recommended.

How long do bladder stone removal surgeries take?

On average, a bladder stone removal surgery takes around an hour or less. This time may extend depending on how many bladder stones need to be removed.

Does my pet need a pre-surgical consultation?

Yes. A pre-op appointment is required to ensure a safe and successful bladder stone removal surgery. During this appointment, our veterinarians will also set expectations regarding the procedure and the post-operative care that your pet will need.

Does bladder stone removal surgery have any complications?

A majority of bladder stone removal surgeries go smoothly. However, all types of surgery have potential complications. It is common for urine to be slightly tinged with blood for a few days after bladder stone removal. If you are uncertain whether the color of your pet’s urine is normal or if you see blood clots, reach out to our team. You can also reach out if you observe other concerning changes to your pet’s surgical site.

Any and all questions are welcome. Our team is always ready to respond.

Is bladder stone removal surgery risky for pets?

As with any type of veterinary surgery, there are risks associated with bladder stone removal surgery. These risks include anesthesia complications, infection, bleeding, etc. Experienced vets are able to minimize these risks and instruct pet parents in proper post-surgery wound care so that complications during (and after) surgery are minimized.

How long does it take for pets to recover from bladder stone removal surgery?

Because each case is unique, a dog or cat’s recovery time from bladder stone removal surgery depends on the complexity of their procedure. Our veterinarian will be able to tell you more about your pet’s expected recovery time, along with any needed post-surgical care instructions.

How can I support my pet during recovery from bladder stone removal surgery?

Before letting you and your pet go home, our veterinarian will give post-operative care instructions. A few general tips involve administering prescribed medications on time, limiting the dog or cat’s activity, providing a calm environment for rest, and adhering to dietary restrictions. Should you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s healing, our Pet Parent Concierge is there to offer support and guidance.

Can bladder stones recur after surgical removal?

There is a risk of bladder stone recurrence in dogs and cats if the underlying cause is not addressed. Pet parents need to provide the recommended diet, maintain proper hydration, and abide by other additional instructions given by the veterinarian. Regular wellness exams will also help ensure that bladder stones are detected and treated promptly should they recur.

Can bladder stones be prevented?

This depends on the type of stones your pet has. After the first removal of stones, the veterinarian will be able to run tests on the stones to confirm the type of stones and next steps forward.

Prevention may consist of altered diets, antibiotics, etc. In some cases, stones may simply be due to genetics — and your veterinarian may prescribe a preventive approach to detect (possibly recurring) bladder stones early.

How much does my pet’s surgery cost?

The cost of a bladder stone removal depends on the extent of the procedure. We offer fully transparent pricing upon diagnosing your pet’s bladder stone problem. Learn more today by reaching out to our team!

Does Sploot Veterinary Care accept pet insurance?

If bladder stone removals are covered in your pet’s insurance, you may be able to file for a reimbursement from your insurance provider.

Different pet insurance plans offer different scopes of coverage. If you would like to clarify if bladder stone removals are covered by your pet’s insurance, please contact your provider.

When can I schedule my pet for surgical consultation at  Sploot Vets?

You can choose to schedule an appointment with Sploot Vets months, weeks, or days in advance. We also accept same-day appointments and walk-ins!

What payment options are available in Sploot Vets?

For the safety of our clients and our clinics, we accept only cashless payments. All major credit and debit cards, along with CareCredit and ScratchPay, are accepted.

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