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Cystine Uroliths (Stones)

Cystine is an amino acid (a building block of protein molecules). Cystine stones occur in dogs when they excrete high levels of cystine in their urine. This is thought to be caused by an inherited defect causing abnormal transport of cystine within the kidney tubules.

These type of stones are less common in dogs than other types of uroliths. However, they are more likely to be found in males, dogs between 1 and 7 years old and certain breeds including Newfoundlands which seem to be more severly affected.

Surgery to remove the stones may be recommended, depending on the individual. However, diet plays a big part as an aid in the management. As cystine is a component of protein, a low protein diet is recommended. Hills Prescription Diet Canine u/d is usually suggested for this condition.

A diet which produces an alkaline pH is advised to help prevent the occurrence of cystine stones. Burns aids the management of these types of stone by a different, more holistic approach. It is low in fat and protein and (if fed correctly) avoids an excess of all nutrients, thus, limiting the amount of waste matter available in the urine to form stones.

The feeding amount of Burns is lower than the recommended prescription diet therefore giving the same net effect. It is essential that intake meets but does not exceed requirements. (The protein and mineral levels can be reduced further, by adding some cooked rice and reducing the Burns food). Fresh water should be available at all times.

As with most health problems, feeding Burns sparingly can be a positive aid in the prevention of Cystine uroliths.
Dogs Worldwide.com - This article has been reproduced courtesy of Burns Pet Nutrition

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