CYSTOTOMY – Removal of Bladder Stones in Dogs and Cats – $675
A cystotomy is the medical term for opening the urinary bladder to remove either stones or a growth. Urinary bladder stones in dogs and cats are commonly caused by chronic low grade urinary tract infections and/or the way your pet metabolizes the mineral contents of its food and water.
Detecting Bladder Stones in Dogs and Cats
Even as the most dedicated pet owner, you may not realize your pet has a urinary tract infection or bladder stones because it is against your pet’s nature to complain. You may not even be aware that there is a problem, until they are having accidents in the house or urinating blood.
Sadly, because of this, we perform cystotomies on a regular basis here at Helping Hands.
Bladder stones in dogs or cats are detected most commonly by x-ray, but can also be found with ultrasound or, if there are many stones, your vet may simply find them by palpating the bladder with their hands. We will need a copy of your veterinarian’s medical notes and images confirming stones before getting you on our schedule. So please have your vet e mail or fax those notes to us.
Even though stones can be diagnosed without an x- ray, an x-ray is the only way we can see if stones are lodged in the urethra and see how many there are, so we are sure we get them all out. We do not offer x- rays at Helping Hands, so they must be provided by your regular veterinarian.
Surgery for Bladder Stones in Dogs and Cats
Surgery is only one step in the overall process of resolving bladder stones. These stones will recur if you do not take preventative measures after surgery. This is why it is very important that you follow up with your regular full service veterinarian to create and implement a preventative plan to decrease the chance of stones reforming.
**Due to COVID-19, the free lab we typically send stones to is closed. We will send you home with your pets bladder stone for you to share immediately with your primary vet for stone analysis. Stone analysis helps you plan to decrease the chances of future stone formation. It is important to share the stones with your primary vet to discuss medical, dietary or lifestyle changes that may be necessary.**
Your vet may also recommend spot checking your pet’s urine every other month or so, for the first year after surgery, to monitor and to try to detect any urinary tract infections early. Remember, your pet will not tell you that they have an infection, but they may show you.
Some behaviors to look for as an early warning sign may be:
Your pet drinking at the water bowl more often, -you may notice that you are having to fill up their water bowl more than usual, your pet asking to go outside more often, or your pet having accidents in the house. If you see any of these signs, please have your veterinarian check their urine right away. If your pet has bladder stones, we are happy to help get them out safely and affordably.
Scheduling Surgery for Bladder Stones at Helping Hands
Bloodwork ($90) is required for your pet. The bloodwork we perform at Helping Hands shows us basic organ function values (kidney and liver) to help make the safest choices for anesthesia. The bloodwork we perform at Helping Hands is not diagnostic. It is always recommended that you discuss surgery and sedation with your primary veterinarian that has followed your pet’s health if you have any concerns. It is important to remember there is always risk when sedating any living animal. All male dogs ($55) and cats ($35) are required to be neutered either prior to or at the time of the cystotomy procedure.
E-Collars ($15) Many animals chew or lick open their incisions after surgery. We STRONGLY recommend that every animal have an e-collar to help prevent this. If your pet opens their incision, you will be charged for closing the wound. It is also STRONGLY advised that your pet stay calm and crated if possible during recovery to reduce the risk of the incision site opening, especially if the mass is in a “high motion” area. Patients requiring surgery close to the eyes or ears will require an e-collar to prevent the rubbing of the face with paws.
We are an outpatient facility which means the pets go home the same day. While a lot of our clients take their pets home after surgery, we always recommend you talk to your veterinarian to see if they recommend overnight monitoring be performed with them or an emergency hospital. We always encourage owners to consider a transfer for post-op care after surgery.
If so, you can return to your full service veterinarian or a 24-hour facility for continued care at your expense. We are here to get your pet through the surgery and back into the hands of your full service veterinarian.