Marley was sent to us from a lovely practice in Cavan. He was quietly making bladder stones for years; but they had recently lodged themselves firmly in his urethra. They were stuck. This is painful. Stones can also be the source of urinary tract infections. Even worse, they have the potential to obstruct the urinary tract which would be life threatening.
We took a lot of radiographs to pinpoint their exact location. We attempted to flush them back into the bladder; but some had spiky surfaces and wedged themselves and wouldn’t budge.
We removed some of the stones from the urethra, and created a new permanent opening for him to pee. This is called a urethrostomy. This can be life saving procedure; meaning that if stones are made, they can easily escape through a wide part of the urethra.
During our flushing, a large bladder stone had lodged itself inside the pelvis. The negative pressure had moved it. We couldn’t reach it in our first surgery. After three hours; we had to abandon attempts and settle for having dealt with all but one stone.
We had to perform a second round of surgery to remove the last stubborn stone stuck in an inaccessible part of the urinary tract. The second procedure involved retroflushing lubricant and saline. It was frustrating and difficult. We all held our breaths. A big whoop went up in the team when we successfully flushed the last stone back into the bladder. We opened the abdomen and incised the bladder removed it with a special atraumatic spoon.
Marley has had a permanent solution to his problem. When he makes little stones now; he will easily pee them out. This is a great relief for him, his owner, and most of all his poor vets!