Evaluation of the morphologic characteristics and prevalence of canine urocystoliths from a regional urolith center

Ralph C. Weichselbaum, Daniel A Feeney, Carl R. Jessen, Carl A. Osborne, Lori Koehler, Lisa Ulrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective - To determine whether morphology of single-mineral urocystoliths and age, sex, or breed data could be applied to facilitate radiographic and clinical urocystolith mineral type prediction, respectively, in dogs. Sample Population - Database of 2,041 dogs with pure mineral composition urocystoliths. Procedure - All uroliths were characterized according to geologic descriptive terminology and by breed, sex, and age of dog at time of sample submission. Summary statistics were used to compare features with specific mineral types. Observed trends were analyzed for statistical relevance between observed and expected frequencies for age, sex, color, size, shape, and surface, using the null hypothesis that differences by urocystolith mineral type did not exist. On the basis of expected breed occurrence derived by equations, the null hypothesis that urocystolith occurrence paralleled canine breed popularity was tested. Results - Urocystoliths > 10 mm in any dimension were > 92% likely to be magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate (MAP). Smooth, blunt-edged or faceted, and pyramidal urocystoliths were usually MAP. Jackstone shapes were almost always silica. Botryoidal (grape-like clusters) urocystoliths were likely to be oxalates. Breeds with high relative likelihood of urocystoliths included: English Bulldog, Pekingese, Pug, Welsh Corgi, and West Highland White Terrier. Breeds with low relative likelihood of urocystolith production included: German Shepherd Dog, Shar-Pei, and German Shorthaired Pointer. About 94% of urocystoliths produced in females or spayed females were MAP, whereas males and neutered males produced a greater assortment. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - For pure mineral composition urocystoliths, trends in mineral type among breeds and between sexes can be exploited clinically in the diagnosis and management of urolith-related disease. Size and shape, used in conjunction with age, breed, and sex, can facilitate pure urocystolith mineral type prediction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-387
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1998


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