Urinary tract stones in cats and dogs can now be ‘pulverised’ by new lasertechnology acquired by The University of Queensland’s veterinary hospital.

UQ veterinary specialist and lecturer Dr Erika Meler announced UQ VETS hasstarted to use the minimally invasive technology to offer a gentleralternative for pets.

“This technique gently breaks up urinary tract stones and uses the body’snatural passages to get rid of the stone,” Dr Meler said.

“Pulsed laser energy destroys the stones under the guidance of endoscopy,removing the need for a scalpel blade or surgery.

“Pain scores for the pet are lower and it reduces their recovery andhospitalisation time – it means we are able to provide the best possible carefor our patients.”

Laser lithotripsy is now being used at the Gatton-based veterinary hospitalmostly for dogs suffering from bladder and urethral stones.

The laser can also correct congenital defects in the urinary tracts of dogsknown as ectopic ureters.

Versions of the technology have been used on human patients since the 1980s,but this will be one of the first uses of the technology for animal patientsin Australia.

“The use of this advanced technology really places us at the forefront ofveterinary medicine in Australia,” Dr Meler said.

“UQ VETS is one of the only vet hospitals in Queensland to have acomprehensive team of specialists, including anaesthesiologists andradiologists, who work collaboratively to ensure the best outcomes forpatients.

“Combining this new technology with high-level specialist teams puts UQ on thecutting edge of animal medicine.

“We’ll be able to teach our students more innovative ways to treat smallanimals using laser lithotripsy.

“It will create a whole new generation of vets ready to improve the lives ofprecious companions.”

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