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Frequency of incomplete urolith removal, complications, and diagnostic imaging following cystotomy for removal of uroliths from the lower urinary tract in dogs: 128 cases (1994–2006)

David C. Grant DVM, MS, DACVIM1, Tisha A. M. Harper DVM, MS, DACVS2, and Stephen R. Werre PhD3
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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech and University of Maryland, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
  • | 2 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech and University of Maryland, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
  • | 3 Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech and University of Maryland, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effectiveness of cystotomy for complete removal of urocystoliths and urethroliths in dogs, the types and frequency of diagnostic imaging performed to verify complete urolith removal, the complications that develop as a result of cystotomy, and predictors of each of these variables.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—128 dogs that underwent a cystotomy for removal of urocystoliths, urethroliths, or both from 1994 through 2006.

Procedures—The following data were obtained from medical records: sex, body weight, number and locations of lower urinary tract uroliths identified in preoperative and postoperative imaging reports, types of imaging used for urolith detection, number of uroliths recovered during cystotomy, quantitative urolith composition, and major complications attributable to cystotomy. Objective criteria were applied to determine whether a cystotomy failed or succeeded and whether appropriate imaging was performed. Associations between potential prognostic factors and outcomes were statistically assessed.

Results—Effectiveness of cystotomy could be determined in 44 (34%) dogs, of which 9 (20%) had incomplete removal of uroliths. Appropriate postoperative imaging was performed for only 19 (15%) dogs, of which 8 had incomplete removal. Dogs with both urethroliths and urocystoliths were more likely to have a failed cystotomy than dogs with only urethroliths or urocystoliths. Complications developed in 5 (4%) dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cystotomy was a safe and effective surgical procedure for removal of lower urinary tract uroliths in most dogs. Failure to remove all uroliths occurred in a substantial percentage of patients.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Grant (dgrant@vt.edu).