Urinary

This is a Kidney and Bladder condition.

Urate Kidney & Bladder Stones

What is HUU?

This condition causes kidney and bladder stones composed of urate; if caught early, it is responsive to dietary management. Uric acid is an intermediate of purine metabolism. In most dogs, uric acid is converted to allantoin, an inert substance that is then excreted in the urine. Dogs with HUU have defects in the pathway that converts uric acid to allantoin. As such, uric acid builds up, crystallizes and forms urate stones in the kidney and bladder. While hyperuricemia in other species (including humans) can lead to painful conditions such as gout, dogs do not develop systemic signs of hyperuricemia. Urate stones are invisible on X-rays and must be diagnosed by a veterinarian via ultrasound or urine sediment analysis. If left undiagnosed, bladder stones can lead to urinary obstruction, which can be life-threatening.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

Affected dogs will show no clinical signs of disease in the early stages. As stones form, dogs will often urinate more frequently, urinate in inappropriate places, and possibly have blood in their urine. If a urinary obstruction forms, they are unable to urinate despite frequent straining. This is a medical emergency.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Most dogs are adults before they show any signs of urinary issues (4-6 years on average).

How do vets diagnose this condition?

Urate stones are invisible on X-rays and must be diagnosed by a veterinarian via ultrasound or urine sediment analysis. If left undiagnosed, bladder stones can lead to urinary obstruction, which can be life-threatening.

How is this condition treated?

If caught early, it is responsive to dietary management. Surgical intervention is often required when stones or an obstruction forms.

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