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Risk factors with feline urolithiasis

da Rosa Gomez V, Ariza PC, et al. Risk factors associated with feline urolithiasis. Vet Res Commun. 2018 Mar;42(1):87-94.

Diseases of the urinary tract are common among cats, and often require veterinary visits. One of the most common maladies in this category are uroliths or stones in the urinary tract, often in bladder and urethra. These usually occur as a consequence of several disorders. Knowledge of these factors is necessary to mitigate the occurrence of this disease process. According to the authors, “…risk factors for urolithiasis can be divided into three groups: etiological factors, such as infectious, toxica nd teratogenic agents; demographic factors, that is, species, breed, age, gender, genetic predisposition, and environmental factors that include living conditions, water and food source, and socioeconomic status.

Hot weather, including climate and time of year are one factor due to increased fluid loss not compensated by water ingestion. Obesity is another risk factor as is reduced physical activity. Castration has increased risk over 8-fold due to decreased activity and obesity.

Breed predilection varies with the mineral make-up of the urolith. Some such as struvite, one of the more common types, affects middle age and older cats. Urate stones may form in cats on diets high in protein due to higher renal excretion of urate crystals. These tend to form in younger cats.

Other uroliths, such as xanthine and cystine are uncommon in cats. The authors conclude: The knowledge of the formation of the different types of uroliths, as well as their predisposing factors is important, so that the preventive and treatment measures can be traced, so it is necessary to perform the analysis of the composition of the calculus. (MK)

See also:

Thumchai R, Lulich J, Osborne C, et al. Epizootiologic evaluation of urolithiasis in cats: 3,498 cases (1982-1992). J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1996 Feb 15;208(4):547-51.