Laser Lithotripsy and Cystotomy Are Equally Effective for Management of Canine Urocystoliths and Urethroliths
ACVIM 2008
J. Bevan; J. Lulich; C. Osborne; E. Pluhar
University of Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN, USA

We performed a case-control study to compare effectiveness, resources and complications between lithotripsy and surgery. Between October 2004 and October 2006, urocystoliths and urethroliths affecting 39 male and 27 female dogs were managed via laser lithotripsy. Surgical records from 66 dogs of similar gender, weight, and similar urolith type, volume, and location were selected for comparison.

Incomplete urolith removal occurred in 15 dogs managed with lithotripsy. Seven had uroliths >3 mm in diameter; 5 had uroliths 1 to <3 mm, and 3 had uroliths <1mm. Incomplete urolith removal occurred in 9 dogs managed with surgery. Seven had uroliths > 3 mm in diameter; 1 had uroliths 1 to < 3mm, and 1 had uroliths <1 mm. Efficacy between lithotripsy and surgery was not different (p value = 0.18). In the lithotripsy group, seven ancillary procedures were performed to completely remove urolith fragments >3mm. In the surgery group, 11 ancillary procedures were performed to completely remove uroliths >3mm.

Laser lithotripsy required more (23 minutes) time (p value = 0.0024). Procedure time was not different when unsuccessful cases were culled. Neither procedure cost nor anesthetic time for lithotripsy was different from surgical urolith removal. Duration of hospitalization for dogs undergoing lithotripsy was significantly shorter than dogs undergoing surgery.

There were no major complications (i.e., death or dehiscence) in any dog in either group. One dog developed acute urinary obstruction 1 day post-lithotripsy.

Laser lithotripsy is a minimally invasive, comparable alternative to surgery for managing canine urocystoliths and urethroliths.

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Jody Lulich

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