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Laser lithotripsy in canine medicine
Laser lithotripsy is a standard technique in human medicine for many years now. In a prospective, randomized preclinical trial 19 intact male adult dogs with different kinds of uroliths were treated with Ho:YAG laser and also acute and chronic tissue effects of laser lithotripsy were evaluated.


Via cystotomy, a single urolith was inserted into the urethra to the level of the base of the os penis to simulate obstruction. Uroliths (calcium oxalate, urate, or magnesium ammonium phosphate) were fragmented by Ho:YAG laser, in contact mode through a 320 optic fiber, passed through the operating channel of a 2.8 mm flexible endoscope. The time and total energy to fragmentation were recorded.
Dogs were euthanatized immediately after lithotripsy (3 dogs) or at 3 days (7 dogs), and urethral lesions and any stone remnants were evaluated. Urethral integrity was also evaluated in 9 other dogs by endoscopy on day 10; these were also monitored clinically for 30 days.

The mean time for adequate fragmentation was 166.7 seconds (range, 47-494.5 seconds). The mean±SD energy used was 1418±851.2 J. In part 1, 2 dogs were obstructed with urolith fragments at necropsy. Eight dogs had minimal (<30 mg) or no urolith material evident within the urethra. Four dogs had gross focal or circumferential erosion, ulceration, or hemorrhage of the urethral mucosa. Lesions were not associated with the site of laser irradiation in 2 dogs. In dogs observed for 30 days, hematuria, pollakiuria, and stranguria that were observed after lithotripsy, resolved in all affected dogs by day 5. No mucosal lesions were observed by endoscopy and none of the dogs became obstructed.

Laser lithotripsy with the Ho:YAG laser in contact mode successfully fragmented obstructive uroliths in male dogs. It may be a clinically relevant technique for treatment of urolithiasis in male dogs; clinical studies to evaluate long-term effects on urethral mucosa and the role of repeat treatment for recurrence are indicated.


Source: Davidson, Ellen B., Ritchey, Jerry W., Higbee, Russell D., Lucroy, Michael D. & Bartels, Kenneth E. (2004): Laser Lithotripsy for Treatment of Canine Uroliths. In: Veterinary Surgery 33 (1), pp 56-61.



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