Common Health Problems affecting Dogs and Cats

Veterinary advice from John Burns BVMS MRCVS

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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.


Common pet health problems
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