Animal Emergency & Specialty Care

Cystoscopic-assisted urolith retrieval

Many times cystoliths can be removed via a cystoscope, sparing your patients the discomfort of surgery. There are two ways of achieving this. If there are several small stones the cystoscope can be attached to an Ellik evacuator. The Ellik evacuator allows for flushing of small uroliths from the bladder. For uroliths that are a little larger in size they can often be retrieved via a basket passed through the cystoscope. This is done the same way that we remove stomach foreign bodies with the gastric scope. Once the stones are removed they can be sent off for analysis.

Often, all of the stones can be removed, making the procedure both diagnostic and therapeutic. Occasionally most, but not all, of the cystoliths can be removed. In this case, the stones can be analyzed to see if they could be medically dissolved.


-Allows for minimally invasive cystolith removal

-Patients are usually able to go home the same day

-Minimal discomfort

-Often able to avoid surgery (important for dogs with recurrence)

Patient selection:

-Females dogs only (we cannot pass a rigid cystosope in a male)

-Female dogs need to be over approximately 10 pounds (depends on body condition)

-Often used for repeat offenders where uroliths are discovered early on routine recheck

-No active urinary tract infection—pretreat as needed prior to cystoscopy

-Stone size and shape-some stones are too large or jagged to safely ` remove, evaluated on pre-treatment radiographs

Cost of procedure:

-Generally $600-800. This includes preanesthetic blood work, anesthesia, monitoring, cystoscopy, cytolith removal and analysis.

For more information: Contact Dr. Anne Dalby, DACVIM at Animal Emergency & Specialty Center.