Delightful Humphrey came to see us recently as his owners noticed some blood in his urine. Dr Kelly examined Humphrey and he was started on some antibiotics, but after a couple of weeks there was still blood present in his urine when it was tested. Sometimes blood in urine cannot be seen obviously and a sensitive test will detect its presence.
Dr Kelly suggested we ultrasound Humphrey to check to see if there was an underlying cause to the blood in his urine. Humphrey was a model patient and coped with the ultrasound well. The ultrasound showed that Humphrey did indeed have an underlying issue - or rather quite a number of them - he had about a dozen 'stones' in his bladder. These stones are formed from microscopic crystals in the urine, which eventually clump together to produce tiny hard sand-like structures.
These 'stones' start very small, but eventually more crystals and bacteria latch onto the clumps and the stones get larger. Sometimes these crystals are due to a chronic bladder infection but sometimes in cases like Humphrey's, animals are genetically predisposed to forming them.
Dr Cathy and Dr Ele performed surgery on Humphrey to remove the stones. Humphrey coped well with the procedure and was soon back to his bouncy self. He is now on a special diet that will help balance Humphrey’s urine to minimise the chances of him forming crystals in the future. Humphrey will also have his urine monitored regularly to also reduce the risks.