Urolithiasis in canines is a disease that can affect many pets. Miniature Schnauzers are particularly likely to develop this condition. Urolithiasis is caused by urolith (stones), calculi or kidney stones in the urinary tract. The condition is also referred to as urinary calculi, cystitis or bladder stones. They are very much like kidney stones in human beings and may develop in the kidneys, urethra or any other place in the urinary tract of a Miniature Schnauzer or other dog. The most common place they occur is in the bladder and whether it is crystals or stones, they cause irritation to the lining of the urinary tract, pain, blood in the urine or changes in the urinary bladder lining. In more severe cases of urolithiasis, the flow of urine may be blocked and make urinating very painful, if not completely impossible.
Symptoms of a dog with urolithiasis are quite similar to that of a human being; bloody urine, increased urination, dribbling of urine, appetite loss, vomiting and pain. It is very important that the dog receives immediate medical attention if he shows any of these symptoms, as lack of proper medical treatment of this condition can result in death. The Miniature Schnauzer may show all of these symptoms or maybe just a few, so either way, it is imperative they get medical attention. There are also different types of stones, so it is important to know which type your dog has.
Though a specific cause for urolithiasis has not been determined, many different factors can contribute to its likelihood; age, breed, sex, diet and living quarters are just a few examples. Although a young pup may get this disease, it is much more common in dogs aged 2-10 years old. Males and females can both suffer from urolithiasis, but it is much more common in males because they have a longer and more narrow urethra than a female. Smaller breeds such as the Miniature Schnauzer are more likely to get this disease than a larger breed. A lack of exercise, low fluid intake or the dog being confined so they cannot urinate frequently can all be contributing factors to this disease. Diets that are rich in certain minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein may also lead to urolithiasis developing.
If the dogs urinary tract is blocked, a veterinarian will need to manually empty the bladder and try to fix it the blockage. Years ago a veterinarian would need to surgically remove the stones, which oftentimes is still likely. Most cases of urolithiasis can be cured with proper treatment and a special diet to help reduce excessive amounts of minerals so the dog may more easily pass the stones on their own. This can usually take from 4-6 weeks and depends entirely on the severity of the stones. If an infection is also present, the dog will need to take antibiotics.
It is extremely important for a Miniature Schnauzer to follow the right diet so as to help the stones to disappear. After the dog is healthy again, it is equally important the dog stays on a diet that will not cause urolithiasis to develop again at a future point in time. Urolithiasis can be a very serious disease for a Miniature Schnauzer or any other dog, and almost 50% of dogs who have it, suffer from a relapse at a future time, if they go back to the same type of diet they were consuming before the onset of the disease.