Diagnosis and surgical management of ureteral calculi in dogs: 16 Cases (1990-2003)

D. M. Snyder, Michele A Steffey, S. J. Mehler, K. J. Drobatz, L. R. Aronson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


AIMS: To examine the clinical signs, laboratory and radiographic findings, surgical technique, ureterolith composition, and post-operative outcomes in dogs managed surgically for ureterolithiasis to determine whether surgical removal of ureteroliths in dogs resulted in a positive clinical outcome. METHODS: The medical record database of a university veterinary hospital in Pennsylvania, USA, was searched for dogs that underwent surgery to remove obstructive ureteral calculi between 1990 and 2003. Records were reviewed for signalment, clinical history and examination findings, radiographic and laboratory test results, surgical technique, and ureterolith analysis. Follow-up information was obtained from telephone interviews with owners or referring veterinarians, or by reviewing the medical record of subsequent hospital visits. RESULTS: Sixteen dogs were included in this study; ten were neutered females, two intact females and four castrated males. Abdominal radiography revealed ureteral calculi in 14/16 dogs, renal calculi in 8/16, cystic calculi in 8/16, urethral calculi in 1/16, renomegaly in 6/16 and renal mineralisation in 5/16. Ureterolith type included struvite in six dogs, calcium oxalate in five, calcium phosphate in one, and a mix of struvite, calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate in another. Compared to dogs with non-struvite ureteroliths, those with struvite ureteroliths had a higher pre-operative white blood cell (WBC) count (25.6, SD 7 vs 17.6, SD 6 × 103 cells/μl; p=0.046), and were more likely to have a purulent discharge from the ureteral incision noted at the time of surgery (p=0.015). Following discharge, 14/16 dogs were re-evaluated. Median survival time was 904 days (range 2-1,876). Two dogs required additional surgery on the urinary tract. Four dogs died or were euthanised because of azotaemia and clinical signs related to the urinary system or non-specific signs of illness (vomiting, lethargy) at 8, 90, 333 and 904 days post-operatively. CONCLUSIONS: Surgical management of ureteroliths was successful and resulted in good long-term survival in the majority of dogs examined in this small study population. Similar proportions of calcium oxalate and struvite ureteroliths were identified. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The use of ureteral surgery may increase as the frequency of diagnosis of ureteroliths in dogs increases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalNew Zealand Veterinary Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium oxalate
  • Canine
  • Struvite
  • Ureterolith
  • Ureterolithiasis
  • Ureterotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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