Skip to Primary Content

Independent Hill Veterinary Clinic

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Urinary Stones

Boxer in Grass

IHVC & Dr. Chang Present Integrative Know How

What are urinary stones?

Urinary stones are the solid crystalline masses that can occur anywhere in the urinary tract, commonly in the urinary bladder and kidneys. The medial term is “urolithiasis”. It is a common issue in both humans and animals.

It is estimated that about 8-15% of people in North America develop urinary stone in their lifetime. In dogs, the prevalence is at 0.5-1 percent. The recurrence is high. The most common urinary stones in dogs and cats are struvite and calcium oxalate.

Increased urinary frequency, blood in urine and difficulty in urination are the common clinical signs of urinary stones, but not specific. The diagnosis of urinary stone requires abdominal x-ray, and sometimes, ultrasound, to confirm the presence of stones. Main treatment for urinary stones is surgical removal.

In certain circumstances, diet resolution or scope may be an option for stone removal. However, the recurrence is common, especially in calcium oxalate stones. Diet modification and stimulating urine production are the main maintenance treatment for reducing chances of recurrence.

How can Traditional Chinese Medicine help?

Wu Ling San is a Traditional Chinese Medicine formula first documented in the book "Shang Han Lun”, which is written on over 1,800 years ago. This formula contains 5 different herbs and serves as a basic formula for many other formulas. Traditionally, it is used for treating vomiting, problems urinating and internal dampness.

In previous studies, this formula is shown being able to reduce the recurrence of calcium oxalate stones and increase urinary output. And there is no side effects associate with this formula. Other herbs, such as Jin Qian Cao, also can reduce chances of calcium oxalate formation.