Clinical, clinicopathologic, radiographic, and ultrasonographic abnormalities in cats with ureteral calculi: 163 cases (1984–2002)

Andrew E. KylesDepartments of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616

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Elizabeth M. HardieDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.

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Brent G. WoodenDepartments of Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Christopher A. AdinDepartments of Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
Present address is Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

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Elizabeth A. StoneDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.

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Clare R. GregoryDepartments of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Kyle G. MathewsDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606

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Larry D. CowgillDepartments of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Shelly VadenDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.

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Thomas G. NylandDepartments of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Gerald V. LingDepartments of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical, clinicopathologic, radiographic, and ultrasonographic abnormalities in cats with ureteral calculi.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—163 client-owned cats.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed, and information on signalment, history, clinical signs, and results of clinicopathologic testing and diagnostic imaging was obtained.

Results—The number of cats in which ureterolithiasis was diagnosed each year increased progressively during the study period. Clinical signs tended to be nonspecific and included inappetence, vomiting, lethargy, and weight loss. A combination of survey radiography and abdominal ultrasonography revealed ureteral calculi in 66 of 73 (90%) cats in which the diagnosis was confirmed at surgery or necropsy. Ultrasonography revealed that ureteral calculi were causing ureteral obstruction in 143 of 155 (92%) cats. One hundred thirty-four of 162 (83%) cats had azotemia, 84 of 156 (54%) had hyperphosphatemia, and 22 of 152 (14%) had hypercalcemia. Urinary tract infection was documented in 10 of 119 (8%). Fifty-eight of 76 (76%) cats with unilateral ureterolithiasis had azotemia and 33 (43%) had hyperphosphatemia, indicating impairment of renal function in the contralateral kidney or prerenal azotemia. Ultrasonographic imaging of the contralateral kidney in cats with unilateral ureteral calculi suggested that preexisting renal parenchymal disease was common in cats with ureterolithiasis. Ninety-one of 93 (98%) ureteral calculi contained calcium oxalate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that abdominal imaging should be performed in all cats with chronic nonspecific signs or with acute or chronic renal failure to rule out ureterolithiasis. Preexisting renal disease may be common in cats with ureteral calculi. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226: 932–936)

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical, clinicopathologic, radiographic, and ultrasonographic abnormalities in cats with ureteral calculi.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—163 client-owned cats.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed, and information on signalment, history, clinical signs, and results of clinicopathologic testing and diagnostic imaging was obtained.

Results—The number of cats in which ureterolithiasis was diagnosed each year increased progressively during the study period. Clinical signs tended to be nonspecific and included inappetence, vomiting, lethargy, and weight loss. A combination of survey radiography and abdominal ultrasonography revealed ureteral calculi in 66 of 73 (90%) cats in which the diagnosis was confirmed at surgery or necropsy. Ultrasonography revealed that ureteral calculi were causing ureteral obstruction in 143 of 155 (92%) cats. One hundred thirty-four of 162 (83%) cats had azotemia, 84 of 156 (54%) had hyperphosphatemia, and 22 of 152 (14%) had hypercalcemia. Urinary tract infection was documented in 10 of 119 (8%). Fifty-eight of 76 (76%) cats with unilateral ureterolithiasis had azotemia and 33 (43%) had hyperphosphatemia, indicating impairment of renal function in the contralateral kidney or prerenal azotemia. Ultrasonographic imaging of the contralateral kidney in cats with unilateral ureteral calculi suggested that preexisting renal parenchymal disease was common in cats with ureterolithiasis. Ninety-one of 93 (98%) ureteral calculi contained calcium oxalate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that abdominal imaging should be performed in all cats with chronic nonspecific signs or with acute or chronic renal failure to rule out ureterolithiasis. Preexisting renal disease may be common in cats with ureteral calculi. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226: 932–936)