Chihuahua with 20 bladder stones saved in lockdown emergency surgery


A tiny Chihuahua from Merseyside had a whooping 20 stones removed from her bladder during emergency surgery at PDSA’s Pet Hospital in Huyton, Liverpool.

Ellie’s owner Sharon Duke knew something was horribly wrong with her 12-year-old pet, who had become quiet and withdrawn, when she noticed she had difficulties peeing – and once she did, her urine was filled with blood.

Sharon called PDSA’s Pet Hospital, who told her to bring Ellie in straight away. Once in the operating room, vets removed 20 marble-like stones from Ellie’s bladder. Had the stones not been removed, they could have caused a fatal blockage for Ellie – but the operation itself was risky.

bladder stones

PDSA Vet Lizzie Whitton says, “The operation was intense and we didn’t know if she’d pull through due to her age and size. Once she’d recovered from surgery she was able to go home that evening for lots of rest and recovery.

“Usually, bladder stones can be a difficult condition to diagnose as there are several explanations as to why they form in the first place, although a pets’ diet does have a role to play.”

PDSA vets have sent the stones for analysis and hope to use the results to prescribe a special diet for Ellie and help prevent the condition reoccurring. Sharon said she is “delighted” to have Ellie back home.

“Her recovery has been quite slow, probably because of her age – the operation has taken its toll on her but she’s on the mend now and I’m so happy,” she says.

“The PDSA staff were absolutely brilliant and did all they could do ensure Ellie had the very best care. I don’t know what we would have done without them and I can’t thank them enough. They are risking their health to be out working during this worrying time, and I am eternally grateful to them for that. Without their emergency service, Ellie wouldn’t be here now – they saved her life.”

PDSA’s emergency service, which is still running during the coronavirus crisis, is funded by donations. The charity has launched an urgent appeal for support after its high street shops closed and fundraising events were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic.

Images by PDSA


  1. Can you please send me pictures of the radiograph and treatment plan made for this case. I’m a vet student, and i would like to present this case. Thank you


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