What does it mean that my healthy dog has urine crystals?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – my dog had crystals in his urine found on a normal wellness exam. He does not have any problems – he is 4-year-old and in good health. He urinates normal, eats well and has no problems. Does the presence of crystals in his urine mean that he may get a stone (or a urolith)?


Penny B – Huntington, WVa


Hi Penny– thanks for your email. You asked a very good question – which was – does having crystals in the urine put a pet at risk for developing stones (such as bladder stones – commonly referred to (Urolithiasis).

The answer is no. Many pets have urine crystals without problems. Some pets have urine stones and no crystals. Studies indicate that crystalluria (crystals in the urine) does not represent a risk for stone formation if there is no evidence of urinary infection. (There are some infections that are associated with stone formation when crystals are present – primarily struvite uroliths).

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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