Vets remove 'massive' four inch wide bladder stone from Labrador, nine

Stunned vets remove four inch wide bladder stone from nine-year-old Labrador Marley after it was discovered during surgery to remove tumour

  • Marley, nine, was having surgery for unrelated procedure when vets found rock
  • Labrador had the stone removed at Chantry Vets in Wakefield, West Yorkshire
  • Vet Fraser Reddick said the bladder stone is the biggest he has seen in 20 years  
  • These stones can develop for reasons such as high mineral content in dog food

A nine-year-old dog has been given a ‘new lease of life’ after stunned vets removed a ‘massive’ four inch rock from her bladder.

Labrador Marley was under the knife for an unrelated procedure when shocked surgeons found the 220 gram stone nestled in her abdomen.

Senior hospital vet Fraser Reddick became aware of the dog’s issue when he felt something firm around her belly while patting her on the operating table.

An x-ray confirmed Marley’s bladder contained the huge stone, known as a urolith, which was the biggest Mr Reddick had seen in 20 years as an animal practitioner.

The rock-like formations can develop due to high mineral content in food, a dog’s genetic makeup, metabolic deficiencies or infections in the bladder.

Nine-year-old Labrador Marley was under the knife for an unrelated procedure when shocked surgeons – including senior hospital vet Fraser Reddick (pictured) – found a 10cm (4inch) stone in her abdomen

Marley has since made a full recovery after the stone, along with other smaller rocks weighing 60 grams, were removed and her bladder was flushed out.

Her owner Carol Thorpe, who has had Marley since she was seven months old with David Chappell, said the pair were ‘mesmerized’ at the size of the stone.

‘When we got there and saw the big stone it was unbelievable. We were both mesmerized,’ said Ms Thorpe. 

The 10cm stone was accompanied by other smaller rocks weighing 60 grams in Marley the dog’s abdomen

‘They are actual stones like pebbles on a beach – and the size of them! Poor little Marley – they must’ve been weighing her down.

‘There had been no signs apart from that she used to urinate little and often. We just thought that was to do with her getting older. Marley now has a new lease of life.’

Experienced vet Mr Reddick said that he was now planning to turn Marley’s bladder stone into a paperweight.

‘It is not uncommon to have a build-up of stones, but this is probably the biggest one I have seen in about 20 years of being a vet,’ he said. 

‘It is massive. I am planning to make it into a paperweight!’

Ageing Labrador Marley had gone in for an operation at Chantry Vets, in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, when surgeons noted the firmness in her abdomen.

When scans revealed she was carrying the massive stone measuring 10cm by 7cm by 5cm, along with a selection of smaller ones, they rushed to remove them. 

Marley’s owners, Carol Thorpe (middle) and David Chappell (right) have had their pet since she was seven months old and said they were ‘mesmerized’ by the size of the bladder stone

Mr Reddick said: ‘There were quite a lot of smaller stones which were still a fair size.

‘Marley recovered well and went home the same day. She is brighter and comfortable and has been back in for two checks which showed she is doing well.

X-rays of Marley’s abdomen show the 220 gram bladder stone that was weighing her down

‘The surgery has obviously had an immediate effect as Marley has shown a significant improvement in her urination.

‘I expect this to continue to improve as the bladder was chronically inflamed and stretched so will take time to return completely to normal.’

The rocks were later analysed to determine their chemical composition, which revealed they were a type of stone called Struvite.

According to her owners, Marley will be put on a special diet to prevent them from reforming.

Without the chance discovery, the stones would have continued to cause cystitis, which could lead to complications such as bladder rupture, sepsis and kidney damage.

Senior vet Mr Reddick removed the stone from Marley’s abdomen and said it is so big that he is ‘planning on making it into a paperweight’ 

Marley is now back at home, just outside Wakefield, with Ms Thorpe saying she seems ‘so much better’ following the operation.

She said: ‘She is a lot calmer. You can tell she is so different. She goes to urinate straight away, and she seems so much better in herself.

‘We have been with Chantry Vets for years and years, and it’s a good job because of what happened to Marley.

‘They have been brilliant with her, and Marley likes them; she is not scared of going to the vets as some animals are.’

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