Prepare for unexpected vet bills

Youtube Play

What is Cystotomy?

A cystotomy in dogs is surgical procedure that involves creating an opening in the wall of the urinary bladder. This type of procedure is used to treat a number of canine conditions, but is also performed to diagnose a problem that other diagnostic tests did not reveal. A veterinarian may perform a cystotomy in a dog to collect a biopsy, conduct an exploratory, or to treat an identified problem such as a tumor, bladder stones and urethral obstructions. The total operation usually last approximately 45 minutes to an hour and the patient will be hospitalized for two to three days postoperatively. 

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

Compare plans
advertisement image

Cystotomy Procedure in Dogs

Prior to conducting the cystotomy procedure, a general health assessment will be completed on the dog. Blood work, radiographs and an ultrasound are usually the primary pre-operative exams done on a dog with a condition of the bladder. 

  1. The patient will be placed in dorsal recumbency on the sterile surgical table and draped. The veterinary surgeon will be focusing on the ventral aspect of the bladder to better expose the trigone area. 
  2. An incision will be created, allowing the urinary bladder to be exteriorized for easy access to the vet. Stay sutures will be placed to hold the bladder outside the dog’s body. To prevent the moist organ and surrounding tissues from drying out, laparotomy sponges will be moistened to be placed around the bladder. The bladder will then be aspirated to remove urine. 
  3. The surgeon will then pierce the canine bladder lumen on the ventral midline, using a suction device to remove any remaining waste fluids in the organ. The incision will then be continued across the midline using Metzenbaum scissors. 
  4. Once the surgical opening has been created, a scrubbed-in nurse will keep the bladder lumen open to allow the surgeon to remove the abnormality (polyps, tumors, urethral calculi, uroliths). If a biopsy or exploratory is in the treatment plan for this dog, the surgeon will also perform these test at this time. 
  5. The bladder is then sutured using a continuous stitch pattern through the serosa, muscularis, and submucosa. Once the vet surgeon is content with his/her stitching and positive the bladder will not leak, the abdomen wall will also be closed. 
arrow-up-icon

Top

Efficacy of Cystotomy in Dogs

Cystotomy in dogs is a highly effective surgery for diagnosis, correcting and treating abnormalities within the urinary bladder. Like all surgical procedures, complications should be considered with this operation and discussed with a working veterinarian. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Cystotomy Recovery in Dogs

Following a cystotomy procedure, the dog will be hospitalized for a period of time for monitoring purposes and to continue the administration of fluids. The passing of blood clots through the urine is a common occurrence for canines who have undergone a cystotomy and the patient will not be allowed home until the clots have minimized. Pain will be controlled through the use of opioids directly following surgery, but at home, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) should continue for 3-5 days. The patient should receive a higher than normal water intake at home to keep the dog hydrated and to routinely flush the bladder. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Cost of Cystotomy in Dogs

The estimated cost for a cystotomy in dogs is around $1,700. The total cost of the procedure includes the cost of medications, imaging and analysis of biopsied matter. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Dog Cystotomy Considerations

Complications following a cystotomy in dogs is rare, but the patient should be monitored for the following post-operative problems: 

  • Dehiscence or suture line leakage 
  • Infection 
  • Persistent hematuria 
  • Excessive stranguria 
  • Obstructions 
  • Impaired urinary output 
arrow-up-icon

Top

Cystotomy Prevention in Dogs

Cystotomy in dogs is used to treat and diagnose a number of complications seen in canines. Some canine breeds are highly prone to developing bladder conditions, especially Dalmatian dogs with bladder stones. All Dalmatians are born without the ability to convert uric acid to allantoin acid, or urine. The high concentration of the acid within the bladder imbalances the pH levels between acid and basic, leading to calcified formations called urolithiasis (bladder stones). 

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Cystotomy Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

Jeremy

dog-breed-icon

Dachshund

dog-age-icon

8 Years

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

6 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Bladder Stones

Hello my dog (approx 8yo) male dachshund mix just got a cystotomy for bladder stones. He’s always had alkaline urine and struvite crystals (with no infection), and now “many” stones were discovered on ultrasound. I just visited my dog 24 hours post op at the hospital and he was completely incontinent leaking urine constantly. Is this normal and how long should I expect this to last when I take him home? The vet on his case today was extremely rude and wouldn’t answer any questions.

Aug. 24, 2018

Jeremy's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

6 Recommendations

Urinary incontinence may occur after cystotomy and may be temporary or in some cases may be permanent; however give it time and monitor for improvement. Speak with the Veterinarian (if you can) next time and see what they say about the surgery. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 24, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Bella

dog-breed-icon

Yorkie

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Frequent Urination

My dog is having a cystotomy on Thursday. She is a one year old yorkie. She will be staying the night at the vet. I'm worried because there will no one there to monitor overnight Should I be concerned over this?

Aug. 1, 2018

Bella's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

2 Recommendations

Some clinics have a 24 hour presence on site whilst others don’t, the surgery in a one year old Yorkie shouldn’t have any complications as it is normally straightforward. If you have concerns, you should raise them with your Veterinarian prior to surgery. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 1, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

advertisement image
ask a vet placeholder
Need pet insurance?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install