Yorkshire Terriers’ Terror with Bladder Stones

A Yorkshire Terrier is back to his playful self following emergency treatment here at Wear Referrals.

Four-year-old Max was diagnosed with bladder stones after displaying symptoms such as struggling to urinate, excessively licking and shivering.

Max had emergency surgery to remove the stones but upon returning to his local vet the following morning, he took a turn for the worse.

The beloved family pet was then referred to Wear Referrals, in Bradbury, County Durham, where he was seen by soft tissue specialist, Professor Jon Hall.

Prof Hall said: “Dogs frequently get urinary stones that can cause bladder irritation and, in the worst-case scenarios, block the urinary tract, causing a life-threatening inability to pass urine.

“There are different types of stones that can sometimes be dissolved or prevented using special diets which change urine chemistry but, sometimes, surgical removal of stones is needed.

“Signs of bladder stones in dogs include increased drinking and urination, blood or discoloration in the urine, straining when attempting to urinate, producing small amounts of urine or complete lack of urine, which could be an emergency.”

Max’s owner, Shannon Stephenson, from Jarrow, said: “On our usual daily walk, my grandad noticed Max was struggling to urinate and he was cocking his leg up for a long time with nothing coming out.

“He then began licking himself a lot and had a bit of shivering. We became extremely concerned so rushed him to our emergency vets, where he was diagnosed with bladder stones and had to have surgery.

“We thought the worst was over but after the surgery he still wasn’t himself. We knew something wasn’t right so we spoke to our vet, who then referred us to Wear.

“Wear contacted us very quickly and decided to keep Max in hospital for a week, as Prof Hall had concerns that the urine was leaking into his skin.

“I don’t know where we would be without Jon and the team at Wear. They always kept us updated on Max’s recovery and they would never turn us away if we called with questions. Without them, Max wouldn’t have just celebrated his fourth birthday.”

Following recovery at home, Max is now on a lifelong special diet from Royal Canin, which is formulated to reduce the size of any forming stones and make them passable without the need for surgery.

Shannon added: “Max is unable eat normal dog food or treats. His condition is managed by his diet and without the right food, he could get large stones again.

“If that happens, Max will need reconstructive surgery to crate a new hole to urinate from, as the stones cause blockages. We hope we don’t need to get to that stage but without the help of Wear and his special diet, we would have been there months ago.”

“The whole experience has been traumatic, for my family and Max, but I want to use his experience to educate dog owners on the signs of bladder stones and to urge them to always get their pet checked if they’re struggling to urinate.”

Prof Hall added: “If you’ve noticed a change in your pet’s urination habits, please contact your vet right away. A urinary obstruction can be life-threatening but if caught early enough, can be treated.”