Laser lithotripsy is equally as successful as traditional surgery for removing stones from female dogs. The main benefit of lithotripsy is the procedure is completed without an incision which typically results in a faster recovery time for the patient.
To date, the VTH Small Animal Internal Medicine team has achieved a 100% success rate in removing stones from the urethra of male dogs. However, the typical success rate for removing bladder stones from male dogs is less than females. This is due to the smaller size of the male urethra and more complex urethral shape. As such, some dogs are not considered good candidates for laser lithotripsy, including:
The length of the lithotripsy procedure is dependent on stone size and number and patient size. A visit to our hospital for this procedure will proceed as follows:
The lithotripsy procedure includes the following steps:
Calcium oxalate, struvite, urate, and cystine stones are all susceptible to laser lithotripsy.
Thermal injury to the bladder/urethral mucosa is possible but risk is minimal as the laser energy only penetrates <1 mm. Urinary tract penetration with the laser fiber or cystoscope is rare, but possible. Urethral edema with subsequent stranguria or obstruction is possible. The inherent risk of anesthesia is present.
Please watch the video of endoscopic laser lithotripsy of the bladder stone.