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What is Rupture of the Bladder?

A ruptured bladder is where the bladder is torn, and urine leaks into the rest of your dog’s abdominal cavity. Trauma to the bladder is incredibly common, and can be a very serious condition that may  lead to uroperitoneum. This has been linked to serious metabolic and multisystemic disorders, that if not treated promptly and correctly, can be deadly. A ruptured bladder most commonly happens when there is blunt force trauma, but can also happen a number of other ways.

Rupture of the bladder occurs when the bladder has burst or been torn, allowing urine to leak into the abdominal cavity.  Most often this is due to blunt force trauma.

Rupture of the Bladder Average Cost

From 338 quotes ranging from $18,000 - $3,500

Average Cost

$2,200

Symptoms of Rupture of the Bladder in Dogs

The symptoms of a ruptured bladder will vary depending on the cause of the rupture; there will always be some degree of pain associated with it. Ruptured bladders will most often have symptoms prior to the tearing that you can keep an eye on. 

  • A urinary tract infection
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Unable to urinate
  • Bloody urine (hematuria)
  • Depression
  • Change in appetite 
  • Vomiting
  • A distended belly
  • Hypovolemic shock (a loss in blood volume)
  • Peritoneal signs (the swelling of the abdominal cavity)
  • Fractured pelvis (will almost always be present in blunt force trauma causes)
  • Significant bloody urine (will also almost always be present in a blunt force case)

Types

There are only two different types of classifications of injured bladders, and they are classed by the severity of the injury. Each type of injury can be located just outside the abdominal cavity in a space called the extraperitoneal space, inside the abdominal cavity being called intraperitoneal space, or within both locations. 

Contusion

– Injury with bruising but no broken or torn soft tissues; presents pain, sensitivity to touch, and inflammation

Rupture

– Injury that produces the bursting open of the bladder, allowing for urine to spill out into the abdominal cavity

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Causes of Rupture of the Bladder in Dogs

  • Only a few things will cause your pet’s  bladder to rupture, the most common being blunt force trauma to his lower abdominal cavity
  • Other reasons can be a blockage in his urinary tract, a tumor, a bladder disease, and during surgery 
  • The bladder is the most injured organ during surgery in the abdominal cavity and pelvic region, happening during the surgery itself or even while having a catheter administered 
  • Surgeries that can injure your dog’s bladder are gynecological surgeries, a colon resection, and a transurethral surgery
  • Past surgeries, and radiation treatments that create scarring can become a predisposition for a ruptured bladder as well
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Diagnosis of Rupture of the Bladder in Dogs

As a pet owner who physically takes your dog out to relieve himself, it will be easier to notice any changes in your dogs urinating habits. If you start to notice him having difficulty voiding himself, the inability to void, or blood in his urine call your veterinary office immediately. By monitoring any changes in his behavior, eating, or swelling in his belly and abdominal cavity, you can assist in your veterinarian correctly and promptly diagnosing your dog. If you know of any blunt trauma he may have sustained, call your veterinarian immediately. 

Once you have contacted the veterinary office, the team of caretakers will run tests to ensure a correct diagnosis. These tests may include a retrograde cystography. This is simply a test that utilizes x-rays with 350 mL of contrast placed into the bladder using an IV. The contrast gives the ability to also see if there are any intra-abdominal injuries and fractures to the pelvis.

Another method will be a plain abdominal radiograph. This is a plain x-ray without using contrast in the bladder. A rectal exam may also be conducted to look for any blood. If blood is found to be present it may indicate a concomitant bowel injury. Abdominal ultrasounds may be used to see if there is any fluid in the peritoneal space, and help guide an abdominocentesis (fluid taken from the abdominal cavity for testing).

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Treatment of Rupture of the Bladder in Dogs

The first and most important step in treatment will be to stabilize your dog for surgery, after this has been done your veterinarian will drain any leaked urine from his abdominal cavity. Stabilizing your dog will be done in steps as well. 

Isotonic saline will be given through an IV, though the amount will depend on your dog. ECG monitoring will most likely be the next step in tracking any cardiac changes. Pain medication and antibiotics will be administered.

Draining the urine will also require steps to be taken:

  • Peritoneal dialysis catheter
  • Urethral catheter
  • Cystostomy tube (if a urethral catheter can not be used)

Once your dog has been stabilized, the next step will be a procedure called an exploratory laparotomy. This is will enable a visual view of any tears in his bladder. If necessary, any tissue that has been damaged or died will be removed. The bladder will be stitched, and cultures taken for microbial and septic testing. A lavage (the cleansing of the internal cavity by water) will be done, with the abdomen being closed immediately following.

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Recovery of Rupture of the Bladder in Dogs

Recovery for a ruptured bladder will come in steps, and barring any possible complications is very high in prognosis. IV fluids will be given directly following surgery until your dog is able to drink on his own and antibiotics will be prescribed if your dog was found to be septic. Pain medication will be given for the first 48 hours following surgery in addition to gastric protectants to ensure there is no more injury from stomach acid. 

Home care should be restricted to rest with very short leashed walks for the first 2 weeks, ensuring the laparotomy to heal. Stitches will be removed 7-10 days following surgery if no complications have arisen. Your veterinarian may have other suggestions for home care, it is very important to follow the instructions given to you and to keep all follow up appointments. Your companion should be able to eat and drink unhindered within one to two days following surgery.

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Rupture of the Bladder Average Cost

From 338 quotes ranging from $18,000 - $3,500

Average Cost

$2,200

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Rupture of the Bladder Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Pit Bull

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Eleven Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Painful Urination

leaking pee. testicles are swollen. dog is constipated & straining due to eating hard masses such as rocks/wood/mulch

Sept. 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is feeling better. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 23, 2020

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Pit Bull

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Leaking Pee

His bladder was full and he peed inside and now he is leaking pee.

Aug. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I'm sorry that he is having these troubles. If he is leaking urine, he may have a bladder infection, a problem with his prostate, or another problem with his systemic function. It would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible, as they can examine him, test his urine to see what might be going on, and get treatment for him so that he is better. I hope that all goes well for him and he is back to normal soon.

Aug. 2, 2020

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Bully Pit

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almost 2 months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Blood In Urine

Puppy was backed over by a truck on July 15th. Was taken to vet & she did nothin for him. She should have her license taken away. Now he has blood in urine. Could he have a torn bladder

Aug. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question, I'm sorry your puppy had that happen. 2 weeks is a long time to go with a torn bladder before showing signs, and I suspect that is not related to the accident at this point. There may be something more going on, and it would be a good idea to have a recheck with a veterinarian oh, probably a different veterinarian than you saw before. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 2, 2020

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Pit Bull

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Eight Weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Blood In Urine

Rotten adjusting my older dog he squeeze down on her stomach now she depressed and I see blood in her urine. Her stomach doesn't seem to be sensitive but everything is harder

July 16, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I'm not sure I understand your question, but if your older dog bit your 8 week old puppy, and you see blood in the urine now, it would be best to have the puppy seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. If you think that the abdomen is distended or harder, there may be internal injuries. I hope that all goes well for your puppy.

July 16, 2020

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Olive

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Toy fox mix

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4 Months

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Ruptured Bladder

My puppy jumped off of the porch and ruptured her bladder. Is there any way that the tissue could be healed itself. Also will there b any complications after ifwe go through with the surgery. Shes 4 months old and I'm not ready to say goodbye.

June 18, 2018

Olive's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

The bladder will not heal on it's own, unfortunately, and surgery is needed to repair the rupture. There may be complications with the surgery, but it depends on the degree of rupture and time since the injury. That really is the only option for her. I hope that everything goes well for her.

June 18, 2018

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Babe

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Labrador Retriever

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6 Months

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

I took Babe to have a spay done. I thought this would be a simple surgery I have never had ant of my previous dogs neutered or spay. So I dropped her off in the morning and they said they would call me when they were done and id I didn't here anything it was good news. But they would still call me. Ast 4:30 I decided to call because I hadn't heard from them they said everything went well and I could pick her up in the morning. The next morning I get A phone call from ther Vet and he tells me there was blood in her urine in the kennel and when her did aultra sound her cavity was full of fluid. Then her said her eased going to have to do another surgery. When he called me back a after surgery he told me her bladder was ruptured and they sewed it back together and flushed her whole cavity out and she was doing fine and we could pick her up in the morning. She is doing fine. The only problem is now that she thinks she has to pee every 10 minutes and wants to go out. The vet told me her bladder would stretch bad book out to normal size I hope so.

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Snow

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Pomeranian

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Wound
Bloody Urine

My Pomeranian was attacked by a dog. Not a big one, she is 5 pounds and the dog was about 10-12. She has 3 puncture wounds but seems to be able walk, but she is sore. She puts weight on her legs so I don’t think they’re broken. She’s eating and drinking normally, but when I took her out to pee, she had blood in her urine. I am taking her to vet now but a second opinion would help. Could her bladder be ruptured? Or can the bloody urine be caused by something else? This all happened today. She does not have a swollen abdomen and doesn’t cry and I touch her abdomen. Only cries if I touch near her wounds. The 3 are all on her legs.

Rupture of the Bladder Average Cost

From 338 quotes ranging from $18,000 - $3,500

Average Cost

$2,200

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