Skip to Main Content

The University of Tennessee

The College of Veterinary Medicine

Frequently Used Tools:



Clinical Services » Urology » Idiopathic Cystitis in Cats



Cystoscopic Procedures


Minimally Invasive Alternatives to Cystotomy

All procedures are performed by
Dr. Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN

Many pets require intervention for urinary bladder stones. At The University of Tennessee we are offering some options that decrease recovery time and that donít necessarily require surgical treatment.

Cystoscopic procedure
  • Cystoscopy

    The Cystoscope is a small camera that allows us to visualize the entire lower urinary tract. In this procedure, the cystoscope is passed through the urethra and into the bladder. At this time we are able to visualize any abnormalities. If stones are present and small enough to fit through the urethra we are able to remove them with retrieval devices that are fed through the cystoscope. This allows us to remove the stones and leave no incision decreasing discomfort and recovery time. This procedure can be done in all female dogs and cats. Male dogs are eligible if they are over 15 pounds. This procedure cannot be performed in male cats.

  • Laser Lithotripsy

    If during a cystoscopy we see bladder stones that are too large to be removed through the urethra intact we are able to use a laser to break them into smaller pieces. The laser fiber is passed through the cystoscope, the stones are fractured, and removed with retrieval devices. The laser is very safe and offers us another alternative to a surgical cystotomy.

  • Laparoscopy

    If your pet is too small for the procedures listed above, he is still eligible for laparoscopy. During laparoscopy a small incision is made in the body and bladder walls. A cystoscope is inserted into the bladder through this incision and we are able to visualize the urinary bladder. If stones are present retrieval devices are used to remove the stones thorough the incision. This procedure is used in all male cats and in male dogs less than 15 pounds.

During all of our procedures the stones that are removed are sent away for analysis. Once the stones are analyzed we are able to work with your referring veterinarian to recommend the best dietary treatment for your pet. Most of the patients undergoing these procedures are able to be sent home later that same day.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these procedures or would like to make an appointment, please contact Amanda Callens.


Dog Bite Prevention Knox Cattlemen UT Veterinary MRI