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Emergency Procedures:

Dalmatian Cannot Pass Urine
("Urinary Obstruction")

  • RUSH DOG TO YOUR VETERINARIAN OR EMERGENCY CLINIC! Obstruction of the urinary pathway quickly reaches life-threatening status within 24 to72 hours as urine backs up into the body system instead of being expelled. It is not unknown for bladders to burst as urine continues to collect!  
  • Have dammed-up urine easily but immediately removed from bladder either by "cystocentesis" or by catheterization. This may have to be done several times while diagnosis and treatment are being evaluated. Draining urine "buys time."  
  • Have the type of stone identified by urinalysis: abnormal urinary crystals are apparent and identifiable under an office microscope. Urates form in acidic urine (pH below 7.0). Struvite known as "infection" crystals/stones form in alkaline urine (pH above 7.0). Their treatment is different!  
  • Have size of the stones confirmed by x-ray but remind veterinarian the most commonly-seen urate stones in Dalmatians may not visualize under normal x-ray procedures. Urates require skillful "indirect radiography" to be visualized in situ.  
  • Non-surgical clearing of the obstruction can be often accomplished by "hydropropulsion" whereby, under anesthesia, the stones are flushed back up into the bladder. This sometimes must be done two to three times, also under anesthesia, before a free urinary stream is sustained. If stones quickly move down and constantly re-obstruct after short periods of time, then bladder surgery may be unavoidable to restore normal urinary flow. Request "Isofluorane"for the anesthetic if surgery is unavoidable. "Urethrostomy" is not "bladdersurgery!" It is a surgical creation of a false urinary opening generally at the base of the scrotal sacs and should be considered A LAST RESORT after all other anti-stone procedures have failed. It should be performed only by an experienced surgeon, preferably one who is "Board certified."  
  • Have Dalmatian started on antibiotics for existing urinary infection or to prevent the onset of one. A bacteriology culture including "antibiotic discing" may point to the most effective antibiotic for the species of bacteria inducing the infection.  
  • Shift the stone-former to distilled water, only.  
  • Rush either stones passed or catheterized or removed surgically - or sediment centrifuging out during urinalysis - to one of the two urinary stone centers listed to confirm assay by electron micrography, chromatography and other highly specialized testing procedures. (Minnesota Urolith Center does not charge.)

Study Group on Urinary Stones
Research Committee
Dalmatian Club of America
contact: Tracie Tepke, Director

August 1996

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