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Rupture of the Bladder in Dogs

By: Dr. David Diamond

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After discharge from the hospital, the animal must be kept quiet in order to heal properly. Activity must be restricted for a couple of weeks after surgery. Restricted activity means that the animal should be kept confined to a carrier, crate, or small room whenever he cannot be supervised. The dog cannot play or rough-house, even if he appears to be feeling well, and should be confined to a leash when taken outdoors.

Oral antibiotics may be given at home for several days if a urinary tract infection is present or suspected until culture results are complete. Medication should be given as directed by your veterinarian. Analgesics for pain such as butorphanol (Torbugesic®) can cause sedation. Anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or carprofen (Rimadyl®) can cause upset stomach. Your veterinarian should be informed if any adverse side effects do occur.

The skin incision needs to be monitored daily for signs of excessive swelling or discharge. These can indicate problems with the incision or possible infection. Contact your veterinarian if these occur.

It is common to have some blood in the urine after a repair of a ruptured bladder. This bleeding should resolve within a few days. If it persists or becomes profuse, inform your veterinarian. Straining to urinate is also common after surgery on the bladder, especially if stones were removed from the urethra or bladder. This straining usually decreases over the first few days after surgery. It is important to make sure that the animal is actually getting urine out while he is straining. If no urine is coming out, contact your veterinarian immediately.

In some cases, because of the trauma or the underlying disease of the bladder wall, the bladder may not heal well after repair and can begin leaking urine into the abdomen. The animal may begin feeling poorly again and the abdomen may distend with fluid. If your dog is not improving steadily after surgery or begins to feel badly again, your veterinarian must be informed. If it is confirmed that the bladder is still leaking, another surgery will be required to fix it.

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