What are bladder stones?
Bladder stones (or bladder calculi) are formations of minerals in the bladder. They can appear as multiple small stones or as a large stone, and can start out small and over time grow in number and size. Symptoms include frequent urination, straining, blood in the urine, accidents around the home and licking around the area due to pain and discomfort.
Causes of bladder stones
By far the most common cause of bladder stones is diets containing excess salt, with these minerals forming crystals within the urine which continue to grow. Occasionally they are secondary to genetic issues where particular enzymes are missing such as in Dalmatians.
Bladder stones are most commonly diagnosed by x-rays. Crystals can sometimes be detected in urine samples. Careful palpation of the abdomen, during consultation, can often reveal stones in the bladder as well.