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Mineral composition of urinary calculi from potbellied pigs with urolithiasis: 50 cases (1982–2012)

Munashe ChigerweDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Ryoji ShirakiDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Erik C. OlstadDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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John A. AngelosDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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

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

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Abstract

Objective—To determine the mineral composition and anatomic location of urinary calculi and to investigate sex and reproductive status as predisposing factors for development of urolithiasis in potbellied pigs.

Design—Retrospective case series

Samples—Urinary calculi from 50 purebred and crossbred potbellied pigs.

Procedures—Laboratory records for urinary calculi of potbellied pigs submitted to the University of California-Davis Stone Laboratory from 1982 through 2012 were reviewed. Mineral composition of calculi was determined by polarized light microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and, in some cases, x-ray diffractometry.

Results—Of the 48 urinary calculi analyzed by infrared spectroscopy, 21 (44%) were composed primarily of amorphous magnesium calcium phosphate; another 9 (19%) were primarily composed of calcium phosphate in the form of apatite. Of 50 urinary calculi, 22 (44%), 14 (28%), 10 (20%), 3 (6%), and 1 (2%) were removed from the urinary bladder only, urethra, both urinary bladder and urethra, urine, and renal pelvis, respectively. Sex of 6 potbellied pigs was not recorded. For 44 urinary calculi, 41 (93%) were from males (11 sexually intact males and 30 castrated) and 3 (7%) were from females (2 sexually intact females and 1 spayed). Among males, 73% (30/41) of submissions were from castrated males.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In contrast to results from studies in commercial pigs, the most common composition of urinary calculi identified in purebred and crossbred potbellied pigs was amorphous magnesium calcium phosphate. Potential predisposing factors for urolithiasis in potbellied pigs may be similar to those for urolithiasis in commercial pigs. These include diet, urinary tract infections, and sex. Thus, prevention of urolithiasis should target these potential predisposing factors.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the mineral composition and anatomic location of urinary calculi and to investigate sex and reproductive status as predisposing factors for development of urolithiasis in potbellied pigs.

Design—Retrospective case series

Samples—Urinary calculi from 50 purebred and crossbred potbellied pigs.

Procedures—Laboratory records for urinary calculi of potbellied pigs submitted to the University of California-Davis Stone Laboratory from 1982 through 2012 were reviewed. Mineral composition of calculi was determined by polarized light microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and, in some cases, x-ray diffractometry.

Results—Of the 48 urinary calculi analyzed by infrared spectroscopy, 21 (44%) were composed primarily of amorphous magnesium calcium phosphate; another 9 (19%) were primarily composed of calcium phosphate in the form of apatite. Of 50 urinary calculi, 22 (44%), 14 (28%), 10 (20%), 3 (6%), and 1 (2%) were removed from the urinary bladder only, urethra, both urinary bladder and urethra, urine, and renal pelvis, respectively. Sex of 6 potbellied pigs was not recorded. For 44 urinary calculi, 41 (93%) were from males (11 sexually intact males and 30 castrated) and 3 (7%) were from females (2 sexually intact females and 1 spayed). Among males, 73% (30/41) of submissions were from castrated males.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In contrast to results from studies in commercial pigs, the most common composition of urinary calculi identified in purebred and crossbred potbellied pigs was amorphous magnesium calcium phosphate. Potential predisposing factors for urolithiasis in potbellied pigs may be similar to those for urolithiasis in commercial pigs. These include diet, urinary tract infections, and sex. Thus, prevention of urolithiasis should target these potential predisposing factors.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Chigerwe (mchigerwe@ucdavis.edu).