CYSTINE UROLITHS (STONES)
Cystine is an amino acid (a building
block of protein molecules). Cystine stones occur in dogs when
they excrete high levels of cystine in their urine. This is thought
to be caused by an inherited defect causing abnormal transport
of cystine within the kidney tubules.
These type of stones are less common
in dogs than other types of uroliths. However, they are more likely
to be found in males, dogs between 1 and 7 years old and certain
breeds including Newfoundlands which seem to be more severly affected.
Surgery to remove the stones may
be recommended, depending on the individual. However, diet plays
a big part as an aid in the management. As cystine is a component
of protein, a low protein diet is recommended. Hills Prescription
Diet Canine u/d is usually suggested for this condition.
A diet which produces an alkaline
pH is advised to help avoid the occurrence of cystine stones.
It is essential that intake meets
but does not exceed requirements. Fresh water should be available
at all times.
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