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Evaluation of trends in urolith composition in cats: 5,230 cases (1985–2004)

Allison B. CannonDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Jodi L. WestroppDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Annette L. RubyDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Philip H. KassDepartment of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine trends in urolith composition in cats.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Sample Population—5,230 uroliths.

Procedures—The laboratory database for the Gerald V. Ling Urinary Stone Analysis Laboratory was searched for all urolith submissions from cats from 1985 through 2004. Submission forms were reviewed, and each cat's age, sex, breed, and stone location were recorded.

Results—Minerals identified included struvite, calcium oxalate, urates, dried solidified blood, apatite, brushite, cystine, silica, potassium magnesium pyrophosphate, xanthine, and newberyite. During the past 20 years, the ratio of calcium oxalate stones to struvite stones increased significantly. When only the last 3 years of the study period were included, the percentage of struvite stones (44%) was higher than the percentage of calcium oxa-late stones (40%). The most common location for both types of uroliths was the bladder. The number of calcium oxalate-containing calculi in the upper portion of the urinary tract increased significantly during the study period. The number of apatite uroliths declined sig-nificantly and that of dried solidified blood stones increased significantly, compared with all other stone types. No significant difference in the number of urate stones was detected.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The increasing proportion of calcium oxalate uroliths was in accordance with findings from other studies and could be a result of alterations in cats' diets. However, the decreased percentage of calcium oxalate calculi and increased percentage of struvite calculi observed in the last 3 years may portend a change in the fre-quency of this type of urolith.

Abstract

Objective—To determine trends in urolith composition in cats.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Sample Population—5,230 uroliths.

Procedures—The laboratory database for the Gerald V. Ling Urinary Stone Analysis Laboratory was searched for all urolith submissions from cats from 1985 through 2004. Submission forms were reviewed, and each cat's age, sex, breed, and stone location were recorded.

Results—Minerals identified included struvite, calcium oxalate, urates, dried solidified blood, apatite, brushite, cystine, silica, potassium magnesium pyrophosphate, xanthine, and newberyite. During the past 20 years, the ratio of calcium oxalate stones to struvite stones increased significantly. When only the last 3 years of the study period were included, the percentage of struvite stones (44%) was higher than the percentage of calcium oxa-late stones (40%). The most common location for both types of uroliths was the bladder. The number of calcium oxalate-containing calculi in the upper portion of the urinary tract increased significantly during the study period. The number of apatite uroliths declined sig-nificantly and that of dried solidified blood stones increased significantly, compared with all other stone types. No significant difference in the number of urate stones was detected.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The increasing proportion of calcium oxalate uroliths was in accordance with findings from other studies and could be a result of alterations in cats' diets. However, the decreased percentage of calcium oxalate calculi and increased percentage of struvite calculi observed in the last 3 years may portend a change in the fre-quency of this type of urolith.

Contributor Notes

Presented in part at the 24th Annual American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, Louisville, May 2006.

Address correspondence to Dr. Westropp.