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Cystotomy for Pets

Pet owners do not like subjecting their animals to surgical operations, but sometimes they are necessary. For example, a cystotomy is an operation used to remove bladder stones that form inside an animal’s bladder. At Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic in McMurray, we provide a range of pet surgical procedures. Our team of veterinarians is always careful to ensure the safety and effectiveness of our surgical procedures.

The Procedure

Every surgery is critical and cystotomy is no different. Before beginning the surgery, the veterinarian needs to conduct a health assessment which involves radiographs, blood work, and an ultrasound to understand the condition of the bladder.

How is a Cystotomy Conducted?

The first step is to anesthetize your pet so the veterinarian has clear access to the trigone area. An incision of 10cm going up between the nipples is then created to exteriorize the urinary bladder for easy access. It is then held apart using sutures to hold the bladder. Some body organs can dry out and get damaged due to the exposure. The veterinarian prevents this by placing wet laparotomy sponges around the bladder.

The incision allows the veterinarian to flush out the bladder stones while the additional stones can be removed using a rubber catheter. The catheter is placed into the urethra and flushed at low pressure. Using high pressure, also referred to as forceful flushing, is dangerous as it can damage the urethra.

Another incision is made to allow the tube to exit the bladder. A purse-string suture around the tube is used to keep the path open to ensure a clear passageway. When the vet is done, we close the bladder in inverting patterns and the stay sutures are tied and trimmed short in place to avoid leaks. Urinary leaks after surgery can be life-threatening, and it is essential to add fluid to the bladder using a pezzer before stitching.

Signs Your Pet May Require a Cystotomy

Animals with bladder stones that may require a cystotomy display the following symptoms:

  • Urinating small amounts frequently
  • Visible traces of blood in the urine
  • Inappropriate urination such as in the house
  • Straining while urinating

If you notice any of these signs, contact our animal hospital to have one of our veterinarians perform a thorough examination and a proper diagnosis.

Dissolution vs. Cystotomy

When the type of stone is identified, sometimes the veterinarian may recommend dissolution as the most suitable procedure. Dissolution is a procedure that causes urinary alkalinization to dissolve uric acid stones. Cystotomy becomes the last resort when the dissolution options prove ineffective.

Visit Us for Quality Pet Care Services

If you notice any changes in your pet’s urinary behavior, contact Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic in McMurray. Call us today at 724-941-5484 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.

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  • "Dr. Hart and Madison were ABSOLUTELY AMAZING with my dog. Both of them made me comfortable the entire time. My dog can be a bit overwhelming to those that don't know her because she LOVES people. I kept apologizing for her wanting to be hugged and so excited. It can be embarrassing sometimes. They both assured me that it wasn't a problem and they both actually showed love to her. That really made my heart happy! Thank you all so much I really appreciate it."
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