Bladder stones - ever heard of them or dealt with them? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-08-2012, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Bladder stones - ever heard of them or dealt with them?

This afternoon my vet did an ultrasound on my 29 yr old thoroughbred because he has been having urination problems. Fast has been having trouble peeing for about a month so we had started him on antibiotics thinking UTI but with no improvement we ultrasounded. The scan showed a bladder stone about the size of a quarted at the bottom of the bladder partially blocking the urethra.
From what I have read and what the vet said this is really rare. Of course my big boy would develope 1 .
Anyhow treatment (again from what I've read) is surgery or lithotripsy which is breaking the stone up with a laser and flushing the bladder. The vet is doing research to see what our options are and what treatment if any is in Fast's best interest. She said she'd let me know something tomorrow.

Has anybody out there ever dealt with this? I'd love any imput. I have 8 horses here at the sanctuary but Fast is my heart. He has taught me more about trust and patience than I ever thought I could learn. I'm not ready to loose him yet.

This is Fast
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-08-2012, 11:58 PM
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Hi! My good friend's horse had a bladder stone a few months ago... he was urinating blood and it was confirmed to be a bladder stone. I'm not sure whether they just let it pass but I know for sure that he didn't have any surgery. His may have been smaller than Fast's though...

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post #3 of 14 Old 05-09-2012, 12:13 AM
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it's either this month's Equus magazine, or the month prior that has a story on bladder stones, and the surgery required to save the gelding.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-09-2012, 01:21 AM
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A friend of mine had a bladder stone just removed from her FEI horse. He is in his early teens and fit and had no complications with the surgery and was only laid up for a relatively small amount of time.

Good luck with whatever you choose!
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-09-2012, 04:10 AM
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About 6 months ago, a friend at my barn (who also happens to be my vet) brought her horse back from a few years of lease. He came back with a bladder stone the size of a baseball and had to go in for surgery to remove it. It was way too big to be broken up and passed as can be done with some of the smaller ones. It was the biggest one she or the surgical staff had ever seen!

He recovered well from the surgery without any complications and is now starting to be used in my barn's lesson program.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-09-2012, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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The Equus magazine article was what got us thinking bladder stone. Fast's symptoms were identical.
Surgery due to his age isn't an option. He is also a stress choker. He chokes at the sight of a trailer so taking him to NC State for more than a day trip is risking major complications. I'm hoping the vet tells me they can bring the laser here to the farm. Maybe I'll hear something today.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-09-2012, 10:36 AM
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The other thing I thought of last night is to check his diet (to slow growth/prevent a new stone). I seem to remember something about the stones being caused by excess protein in the horse's diet. Being older, he does not have the same protein requirements as a younger horse in heavy work.

Good luck!

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post #8 of 14 Old 05-09-2012, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Talked with our vet today. We don't really have any options other than keep Fast comfortable until we can't. Surgery is not an option and NC State doesn't have a lazer. We'd have to go to Blacksburg, VA to the school up . The 5+ hour trailer ride, then 2 days there and a 5+ hour ride home would be too much for Fast to handle. He stresses way too bad with trailering and change. It's not worth the risk to put him through all of it.
We are going to do a 7 day course of antibiotics once a month, put him on vitamim C to bring the acidity of his urine up and modify his diet the best we can to lower his calcium intake. In a few months we will ultrasound again to see how fast this thing grows. Depending on that, it may not be the bladder stone that kills him. Big thoroughbreds - he's 17-2 - rarely make it past 30.
I got off the phone and had a good cry then accepted this is the fairest course of action for Fast. It is in his best interests. It doesn't make sence to put him through so much at his age. I will love and spoil him worse than I already have and pray for the strength to did with things when the time comes.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-01-2012, 04:03 AM
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I just really wanted to know how poor Fast got on. I am having the same problem with my gelding at present so i was researching this topic and came across post. Anyone have any updates on him? Hope he is ok. xx
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-01-2012, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Fast is holding his own for now. We have added 20mg of vitamin C to his daily diet to up the PH of his urine. This may help prevent the stone from growing. I am looking at everything he eats to make sure the calcium is the lowest possible and he gets frosted mini wheats for treats (no calcium). He has no privacy anymore everytime he pees when Mom is bent down watching . He doesn't appear to be in pain or have any discomfort so we are just taking it day by day.

So what is going on with your gelding sapphire123/ Is lipotripsy or surgery an option?
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