Did you know we can dissolve some bladder stones with a food change alone?? Bladder stones are formed when a variety of minerals precipitate and form crystals which then stick together and cause a stone to start forming. Certain factors, such as high salt concentrations in urine, pH of urine that favours crystal formation as well as highly concentrated urine (not drinking enough water) contribute to stone formation.
The most common signs we see with bladder stones are blood in the urine, urinating small amounts more frequently, accidents in the house as well as straining to urinate. When it comes to bladder stones, the most common ones we see are either 1) struvite or 2) calcium oxalate. Of those, the struvite stones we can sometimes dissolve with diet alone. These diets help promote a urinary environment unfavourable to the formation of further crystals, and also helps dissolve pure struvite stones. Calcium oxalate stones however, usually require surgical removal.
Full dissolution of struvite stones is often seen in 4-8 weeks on diet alone.
Check out these photos of a cat that was diagnosed with bladder stones. In the first picture you can see the bladder (circled in black) with about 6 bright white spots in it – those are bladder stones (circled in red). The second xray was taken 8 weeks later, after being on a urinary diet exclusively, and no more bladder stones are seen. 😊 The final photo is the before and after the dissolution diet.