Everything You Should Know About Pet Cystotomy and Urethrostomy

Surgical procedure of cystotomy and Urethrostomy

Do you know that kidney stones are a common disease among pets? No worries, advanced treatments can cure this discomforting and painful disease. Here we are going to reveal detailed insights about cystotomy and urethrostomy. These critical procedures can make a difference in your pet's life. 

What Are Cystotomy And Urethrostomy?


Cystotomy surgery is often necessary for both cats and dogs. It involves the removal of the urinary bladder or creating a temporary opening to remove bladder stones or for biopsy purposes. Let's dig deeper into the specifics of this procedure. Here is what you need to know, 

Cystotomy Dog & Cystotomy Cat: 

Both dogs and cats might need this surgery. It's often used to remove stones from the bladder or take biopsy samples.

Indications and Symptoms

  • Bladder Stones: If your pet frequently urates or shows discomfort during urination, it might indicate bladder stones.
  • Tumors: In some cases, the cystotomy procedure helps diagnose or treat bladder tumors.


A perineal urethrostomy is another procedure that may be necessary for both cats and dogs, especially males. It involves the creation of a permanent opening in the urethra to ease urination.

Indications and Symptoms

  • Blocked Urethra: This procedure is often a lifesaver for pets with chronic urethral blockages.
  • Painful Urination: If you notice your pet straining to urinate or producing only small amounts of urine, consult your vet immediately.

Why Are These Cystotomy And Urethrostomy Procedures Performed on Pets?

Medical Need

  • Urinary System Surgery: Both procedures are related to the urinary system, addressing specific issues like blockages or stones.
  • Removal of the Urinary Bladder Stones: Cystotomy helps explicitly in removing stones that can cause painful urination or blockage.
  • Chronic Issues: These surgeries might be life-saving if your pet faces ongoing urinary issues.

Improving Quality of Life

  • Pain Relief: Imagine your pet's relief after removing those pesky stones.
  • Long-term Health: By addressing urinary issues, these procedures ensure that your pet's overall health doesn't deteriorate.

Types of Cystotomy And Urethrostomy

Types of Cystotomy

  • Standard Cystotomy: Regular procedure for removal of urinary bladder stones.
  • Emergency Cystotomy: Sometimes performed urgently due to severe blockages.

Types of Urethrostomy

  • Perineal Urethrostomy: Often performed on male cats.
  • Scrotal Urethrostomy: An option for dogs, focusing on the scrotal area.

Preparing for Cystotomy And Urethrostomy

Knowing how to prepare your pet for these procedures can ease your worries.

Before Surgery

  • Consult Your Vet: Discuss the need for cystotomy or urethrostomy with your veterinarian.
  • Preoperative Tests may include blood tests to ensure your pet is healthy enough for surgery.
  • Fasting: Usually, pets are required to fast the night before surgery.

Day of Surgery

  • Arrive Early: Bring your pet to the veterinary clinic on time.
  • Comfort Your Pet: Your furry friend might be nervous, so soothing words and gentle touches help.

Some Considerations

There are some potential risks to the gallbladder stone removal procedure, though it is simple. The complications included in the procedure include the following:

  • Allergic reaction to the anesthesia
  • Remaining obstructions or stones
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Wound rupture
  • Hemorrhage
  • Reoccurring the same condition
  • Urine leakage
  • Infection
  • Anesthetic death

There are chances that all stones will not be removed in the surgical procedure, so the surgery extends to urethrostomy. However, the complications mentioned earlier can emerge in male cats. Also, it is essential to check that no obstructions remain behind with the assistance of an X-ray.

Risks and Complications

Cystotomy Risks

  • Infection: As with any surgery, infection can occur.
  • Bleeding: Proper care post-surgery is essential to prevent excessive bleeding.
  • Recurrence of Stones: Regular check-ups are needed to monitor for new stones.

Urethrostomy Risks

  • Stricture Formation: Narrowing the new opening might require further treatment.
  • Urinary Incontinence: Temporary loss of bladder control is possible but usually improves with time.

Outcome and Post-Operative Care After Urinary System Surgery

Using paper or pelleted litter after the surgical procedure would be best. The cats will have swelling, and there are high chances of urine leakage. Thus, it is best to place the urinary catheter for three days. Moreover, the Elizabethan collar will be ideal for a cat to wear for at least 14 days. Also, the collar will protect the cat from self-trauma, one of the most devastating outcomes of this surgical procedure.

In some pets, the surgeon will use absorbable sutures, while sometimes, the surgeon uses non-absorbable sutures requiring removal after 14 days. In addition, the cats should be checked from time to time for proper post-operative care and results.

After the surgery, the cats will have swelling and bleeding. The narrowing of the urethrostomy will traumatize the cat, and there could be urine leakage. There are chances of reoccurrence of the disease. Cat infections occur in cats (ratio 25% of the first year of urethrostomy. The urethrostomy does not provide a permanent solution for stone formation and bladder inflammation.

All in all, the prevention of urethral blockage highly depends on the blockage causes. In the most efficient surgical performance, the pet will have a low chance of developing urinary obstructions. Likewise, the perineal urethrostomy does not prevent diseases in the urinary tract in some cat breeds.

Surgery Cost

Understanding the financial aspect of cystotomy and urethrostomy is essential.

Cystotomy Surgery Cost

  • Standard Cystotomy Surgery: Costs vary widely, from $800 to $2,000.
  • Factors Affecting Cost: Location, the case's complexity, and your vet's expertise can all affect the price.

Urethrostomy Surgery Cost

  • Typical Cost Range: For a perineal urethrostomy, expect to pay between $1,200 to $3,000.
  • Inclusions: These costs usually include pre-surgery blood work, anesthesia, and post-operative care.

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