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Variation in mineral types of uroliths from ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) submitted for analysis in North America, Europe, or Asia over an 8-year period

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  • 1 From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
  • | 2 Department of Animal & Food Sciences, Ferguson College of Agriculture, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
  • | 3 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon SK S7N 5B4
  • | 4 Laboklin Laboratory for Clinical Diagnostics GmbH & Co KG, 97688 Bad Kissingen, Germany
  • | 5 Urolithiasis Laboratory Inc, Houston, TX 77024
  • | 6 Canadian Veterinary Urolith Centre, Laboratory Services Division, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1H 8J7, Canada
  • | 7 Minnesota Urolith Center, Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare mineral types of naturally occurring uroliths in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) from North America, Europe, and Asia and to identify potential risk factors associated with cystine urolithiasis in ferrets.

SAMPLES

1,054 laboratory submission records of uroliths obtained from ferrets between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2018.

PROCEDURES

For this cross-sectional study, the medical records databases at 4 diagnostic laboratories were searched for records of submissions of uroliths obtained from ferrets. Data collection included submission date; ferret sex, neuter status, and age; receiving laboratory and continent; and urolith mineral type. Regression analyses were performed to identify variables associated with cystine uroliths.

RESULTS

Of the 1,054 urolith submissions, 1,013 were from North America, with 92.6% (938/1,013; 95% CI, 90.8% to 94.1%) cystine uroliths, and 41 were from Europe and Asia, with only 26.8% (11/41; 95% CI, 15.7% to 41.9%) cystine uroliths. Median age was 2.0 years for ferrets with cystine urolithiasis versus 4.0 years for those with other types of uroliths. Submissions were more likely cystine uroliths for ferrets in North America versus Europe and Asia (adjusted OR [aOR], 59.5; 95% CI, 21.4 to 165.6), for ferrets that were younger (aOR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.77), or for submissions in 2018 versus 2010 (aOR, 21.1; 95% CI, 5.1 to 87.9).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that the proportion of submissions that were cystine uroliths dramatically increased in North America between 2010 and 2018. There is an urgent need to determine underlying causes and mitigate cystine urolithiasis in ferrets.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare mineral types of naturally occurring uroliths in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) from North America, Europe, and Asia and to identify potential risk factors associated with cystine urolithiasis in ferrets.

SAMPLES

1,054 laboratory submission records of uroliths obtained from ferrets between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2018.

PROCEDURES

For this cross-sectional study, the medical records databases at 4 diagnostic laboratories were searched for records of submissions of uroliths obtained from ferrets. Data collection included submission date; ferret sex, neuter status, and age; receiving laboratory and continent; and urolith mineral type. Regression analyses were performed to identify variables associated with cystine uroliths.

RESULTS

Of the 1,054 urolith submissions, 1,013 were from North America, with 92.6% (938/1,013; 95% CI, 90.8% to 94.1%) cystine uroliths, and 41 were from Europe and Asia, with only 26.8% (11/41; 95% CI, 15.7% to 41.9%) cystine uroliths. Median age was 2.0 years for ferrets with cystine urolithiasis versus 4.0 years for those with other types of uroliths. Submissions were more likely cystine uroliths for ferrets in North America versus Europe and Asia (adjusted OR [aOR], 59.5; 95% CI, 21.4 to 165.6), for ferrets that were younger (aOR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.77), or for submissions in 2018 versus 2010 (aOR, 21.1; 95% CI, 5.1 to 87.9).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that the proportion of submissions that were cystine uroliths dramatically increased in North America between 2010 and 2018. There is an urgent need to determine underlying causes and mitigate cystine urolithiasis in ferrets.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 146 KB)
    • Supplementary Table S2 (PDF 144 KB)

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Di Girolamo (nicoladiggi@gmail.com).