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Published: Oct 20, 2011

Dogs can develop painful bladder stones, or rock-like formations of minerals, in their bladders. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, the stones can come in a form of one large stone, or a collection of stones that can vary in size from sand-like to grains or gravel.

Many owners may be wondering how their dog developed the painful condition. According to VCA, stones form for several different reasons but in general, a dog forms stones when there are too many stone-forming crystalline substances in the urine. These excess levels may be present due to dietary factors or even the presence of bladder infections. Some breeds of dogs have inherited defects resulting in abnormal metabolism which causes high levels of stone-forming substances in the urine.

Dogs suffering from bladder stones may have blood in the urine, straining or painful urination, an abnormal urine stream or unusual urination posture. Some dogs may act aggressively when pet near the abdomen. Once a veterinarian diagnoses the problem to be bladder stones, he or she may try to dissolve the stones if possible or remove them through a cystotomy, which is a surgical opening in a dog's bladder.

Bladder stones can recur so it is important to follow-up with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action to prevent them in the future.