Meet Chow Chow and her "New Ureter"

Chow Chow is a 7 year old Miniature Schnauzer who came to VSH for treatment of a recurrent ureteral obstruction, or blockage between the kidney and the bladder.

When the VSH Internal Medicine team met Chow Chow, her ureter was blocked by urinary stones as well as a migrated stent. The stent had previously been placed to help urine pass from the kidney to bladder. Unfortunately, one of the complications of ureteral stents is migration (the stent becoming dislodged and moving within the urinary tract). After stents migrate they are no longer functional and must be removed or replaced.

Meet Chow Chow and her "New Ureter"

The IM team discussed all the options with the owners. The options for treatment of an obstructed ureter include removing the kidney, ureterotomy (opening the ureter and removing the obstruction), stents, and a subcutaneous ureteral bypass (SUB) device. We do not advocate taking the kidney out for obstructions, and ureterotomies are associated with high complication rates (leaking, stricture/scar formation, and re-formation of stones). Stents are a good option in dogs, and in female dogs they can be placed endoscopically, without surgery. The downside to stents is that they can have complications like migration, re-obstruction, hematuria, chronic infection, stone formation on the stent, and dysuria (abnormal urinations).

Sub-cutaneous ureteral Bypass (SUB) devices are artificial ureters. A catheter is placed in the kidney and another catheter is placed in the bladder; we leave the ureter alone. The two catheters are connected to a port under the skin. This device allows urine to pass from the kidney to bladder. These devices require long term management including flushing the system every 3 to 6 months to decrease the chance of stone formation. They can be flushed without anesthesia through the skin using a specialized needle. Unlike stents, the SUB device will not migrate, however there are a low number of other complications including chronic infection, hematuria and, without monitoring, stone formation within the device.

Due to the complications with the previous stent placement, Chow Chow's owners were reluctant to have another stent placed. Luckily for Chow Chow, Dr. Josh is one of very few specialists worldwide to have completed prestigious post-residency training in interventional procedures like SUB placement. A SUB device was placed, and Chow Chow did well in surgery, where the previously placed stent was removed. She was discharged 2 days later with no more evidence of ureteral obstruction.

X-ray showing Chow Chow's migrated ureteral stent

X-ray showing Chow Chow's migrated ureteral stent

Post-operative X-ray of Chow Chow's new SUB device

Post-operative X-ray of Chow Chow's new SUB device

Dr. Josh Steinhaus

Dr. Josh Steinhaus


Dr. Josh Steinhaus is an American and European board-certified Small Animal Internal Medicine practitioner. He is the only board-certified specialist in Asia to complete a fellowship in Interventional Radiology and Endoscopy following his four years of internship and residency training at the Animal Medical Center (New York, NY). During his time at the Animal Medical Center he was trained by two of the founding veterinarians of Interventional Techniques. In addition to this training he has also pursued further training through the University of California –Davis in Urology (Kidney disease) and Hemodialysis.

Sign Up for News



Veterinary Specialty Hospital of Hong Kong
1/F Lucky Centre,
165-171 Wan Chai Road,
Wan Chai, Hong Kong.


EMERGENCY TEL: +852 2408 2588

Getting There

Below are some of the bus routes that have stops close by to VSH:

  • New World Bus:  15, 23, 66, 101
  • City Bus:  1, 5X, 6, 10, 75, 101, 111, 115, 182, 789

MTR : VSH is just 5 minutes walk from WAN CHAI MTR EXIT A3. When you walk out of exit A3, cross the pedestrian crossing then turn left. Walk along Johnston Road until you reach Wan Chai Road. Continue along Wan Chai Road until you reach Lucky Centre. We are right next to it.