Preventing Cystinuria

Cystinuria is a genetic kidney defect, and the only real prevention is to discover the mode of inheritance in the breed in question and not produce dogs with the condition. And in Newfoundlands and Labrador Retrievers, such a DNAtest exists and can be utilized to prevent cysinturia in those breeds.

The rest of us are not, as of this writing in June of 2005, as lucky. The mode of inheritance of canine cystinuria in several other breeds is being researched at the University of Pennsylvania, but has not been established at this time. There is a 2005 update on Dr. Henthorn's research, written by John Dillberger, DVM, here.)

Preventing or even predicting the incidence of stone formation in a dog with the underlying condition is harder than we might wish it were. Not all dogs with cystinuria form stones (although all dogs with cystine in their urine do have cystinuria). We do not at this time know why some dogs with cystinuria form stones and others do not. Genetic factors probably have the greatest influence on whether or not a dog with cystinuria is a stone former than anything to do with environment, diet, etc., but there may be environmental factors involved as well.

If a dog is a known stone former, there are several things that can be done to reduce the risks of stone formation. Those are discussed in the Treatment section.

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