Bladder & Urinary Care
Urinary tract problems are common in pets, and can cause discomfort, pain, and even life-threatening conditions. We offer safe, non-invasive and non-surgical solutions to treat your furry friend. Our goal is to ensure that pets receive the best possible care for their bladder and urinary health, so that they can live happy and healthy lives.
How We Diagnose Bladder & Urinary Conditions
We utilize safe imaging techniques to diagnose urinary conditions in your pet including abdominal ultrasound, cystoscopy, fluoroscopic contrast cystourethrogram, and CT scans. These procedures give us an insight into what condition your pet may have, thus allowing us to help your pet with the best and most effective treatment.
If your veterinarian finds abnormalities in your pet's blood or urine tests, they may recommend that we do an abdominal ultrasound. Ultrasound allows us to see the internal organs of your pet including the urinary bladder, kidneys, spleen, lymph nodes, stomach, reproductive organs, liver, etc. to determine the cause of the abnormalities.
A cystoscopy is an endoscopy that allows us to see the inside of your pet's urinary bladder and urethra (the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body) with a special instrument called a cystoscope. With this instrument, we are able to see more than what may show up on an X-ray or ultrasound. This process does not require an incision in your pet but does require anesthesia.
Fluoroscopic Contrast Cystourethrogram
A fluoroscopic contrast cystourethrogram is a big word for essentially using contrast (a special dye) in the urinary bladder and urethra and then taking a series of X-rays. This procedure helps us to visualize strictures of the urethra for placement of stents to allow your pet to urinate properly.
Computerized Tomography (CT Scan)
Computerized Tomography (CT scan) gives us a three-dimensional more detailed image of your pet's bones, organs, and tissues than traditional X-rays. This scan can show us both function and structure of your pet's urinary tract that other imaging tests do not show.
How We Treat Bladder & Urinary Conditions
Once we've identified what is causing the problem within your pet's urinary bladder or urethra, we use multiple treatment options to help your pet including laser lithotripsy for stones, laser ablation of ectopic ureters, endoscopic resection of masses, endoscopic removal of polyps, urethral stent placement, ureteral stent placement, renal sclerotherapy, urethral bulking, and radiation therapy.
Laser Lithotripsy for Stones
Today, non-invasive removal of bladder stones is the standard of care. Laser lithotripsy is the use of a laser to break bladder and urethral stones into small fragments that can be removed non-invasively. This option is much less invasive than surgery, thus resulting in fewer complications, less pain, and better outcomes than open surgery. Studies show that stones are left behind in 20-30% of dogs undergoing open surgery to remove stones.
Laser Ablation of Ectopic Ureters
Sometimes cats or dogs are born with an ectopic ureter, which means the tube that connects the kidney to the urinary bladder is not in the correct anatomic position. This condition results in urine leaking. Laser ablation is a minimally invasive technique that uses a laser to move the opening of the ureter to its normal position within the bladder. This is a great alternative to surgery and results in a much faster recovery period for your pet.
Endoscopic Resection of Bladder Tumor
An endoscopic resection is used to treat pets diagnosed with bladder or urethral cancer. Through the use of an endoscope (a thin tube with a tiny camera) obstructing bladder and urethral tumors can be removed to allow your pet to urinate more freely while other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy can be given.
Endoscopic Removal of Bladder Polyps
Bladder polyps can be easily removed with an endoscopic procedure thus avoiding an invasive surgery for your pet. We use a polypectomy snare which encircles the polyp with a thin wire around the base of the polyp. The polyp is resected and cauterized using electrocautery.
Ureteral Stent Placement
Your pet may need a ureteral stent if we find tumors or scar tissue within the urethra, blocking urine flow from the bladder to the outside of the body. Stents are thin, flexible tubes that hold the urethra open. These stents are permanent to ensure the lifelong patency of your pet's urethra. This procedure is most common in male dogs.
Urethral Bulking for Incontinence
Urinary incontinence means that your pet is involuntarily leaking urine. If your pet fails other medical treatment options to control urinary incontinence, urethral bulking can help. Urethral bulking involves injecting collagen within the wall of the urethra. The collagen injections increase pressure within the urethra lumen reducing urinary incontinence.
Radiation Therapy for Cancer
Radiation can be very effective for the management of bladder and urethral cancer. We use high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy also referred to as internal radiation therapy. The source of radiation (that which emits the radiation) is placed into the urethra and bladder through a urinary catheter.
Your Pet is Our #1 Priority
We are committed to prioritizing the health, safety, and comfort of your pet when determining the right treatment option. We hope that our passion and expertise in what we do will bring you confidence in knowing that your pet has been placed in the very best hands possible. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet's diagnosis or treatment.