Ureteral obstructions in dogs and cats: a review of traditional and new interventional diagnostic and therapeutic options


  • The author declares no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to
Dr. Allyson C. Berent, The Animal Medical Center, 510 E. 62nd St, New York, NY 10065, USA. Email: allyson.berent@amcny.org


Objective – To describe and review both traditional and newer diagnostic and therapeutic options for canine and feline ureteral obstructions currently being performed clinically in veterinary medicine.

Data Sources – A Medline search with no date restrictions was used for this review.

Human Data Synthesis – The human literature would support the use of minimally invasive endourological techniques for the treatment of nearly all causes of ureteral obstructions, whenever possible. This typically includes extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy, intracorporeal lithotripsy via retrograde ureteroscopy or antegrade percutaneous nephroureterolithotomy, ureteral stenting, percutaneous nephrostomy tube placement, and laparoscopic endopyelotomy. Typically open surgery is only suggested in cases of ureteral or gynecological malignancy when en bloc resection is considered a good option, or when various methods of endourological techniques have failed.

Veterinary Data Synthesis – The veterinary literature is scarce on the use of interventional endourological techniques for the treatment of ureteral obstructions and has been growing over the last 5 years. The current literature reports the use of extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy for ureteral stones, as well as the use of ureteral stents for the treatment of trigonal obstructive transitional cell carcinoma, ureterolithiasis, and ureteral strictures. Traditional surgical interventions, like ureterotomy, ureteronephrectomy, and ureteral reimplantation is more vastly reported and accepted. This review will focus on new clinical data using interventional endourological techniques for ureteral obstructions.

Conclusions – Various treatment options for ureteral obstructions are now available for veterinary patients, and the trend away from traditional surgical techniques will hopefully be followed now that they are technically and clinically available for dogs and cats.