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Cystotomy in Dogs

By: Dr. David Diamond

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After discharge from the hospital your pet must be kept quiet to allow him to heal properly. Restrict activity for two weeks by keeping your pet confined to a carrier, crate, or small room whenever he cannot be supervised. Do not allow your dog to play or rough-house (even if he appears to be feeling well) and confine your dog to a leash when taking him outdoors.

If a culture sample was taken, the specific type of antibiotic that your pet was originally sent home with may need to be changed based upon those results. Antibiotics may lead to decreased appetite or diarrhea – contact your veterinarian if you note any of these potential side effects.

If the cystotomy was performed because of a bladder tumor the biopsy report will indicate whether it is benign or malignant. Your veterinarian will have further advice based on these results and may refer you to a veterinary oncologist for additional treatment.

Depending on the specific type of stone a special diet may need to be given to prevent further stone formation.

Monitor the skin incision daily for signs of excessive swelling or discharge. These can indicate problems with the incision healing or suggest that an infection if present. Contact your veterinarian if you note these problems.

It is common for animals to have some blood in their urine after a cystotomy; however, the bleeding should resolve within a few days. If it persists or becomes profuse, inform your veterinarian.

Straining to urinate is also common after bladder surgery, especially if stones were removed from the urethra. This straining usually decreases over the first few days after surgery. It is important to make sure that your dog is actually able to urinate, even though he is straining to do so (make sure urine is coming out). If your pet is not able to urinate, contact your veterinarian immediately.

In rare cases, the bladder may not heal well after cystotomy and urine may begin to leak into the abdomen. If this occurs your pet may begin feeling poorly and the abdomen may appear distended. If your pet is not improving steadily after surgery or begins to feel badly (decreased appetite, lethargy) your veterinarian must be informed. If it is confirmed that the bladder is leaking, another surgery will be required to fix it.

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