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Pet Health Concerns: Cystinuria

Cystinuria is a genetic condition that affects the kidney tubules in humans and certain dog breeds alike. With this condition, cystine based amino acid stones form in the kidneys, bladder, and ureter causing blockage. When healthy kidneys function properly, they filter out the cystine and do not allow it to pass into the urine.When affected with cystinuria,  this filtering mechanism fails, causing crystals and stones to form. These cystine stones, also called uroliths can obstruct urinary flow, more so in males than females. Although possible in many dog breeds, this condition is most commonly seen in the Mastiff, Newfoundland, Scottish Deerhound, and Labrador Retriever dog breeds.

With this inherited condition, it may take years for symptoms to appear, such as kidney stones forming and urine blockage occurring. This condition can vary in severity but can be life threatening if not taken care of. There is a surgery available called scrotal urethrostomy, however, it is a very serious surgery to undergo. There is no cure for this condition, however, there are ways to help manage it by drinking plenty of water and sticking to a methionine free diet because it would decrease the cystine amino acid amounts in the body.

To learn more about Cystinuria in pets, check out our Pet Health Concerns Guide. By enrolling your pet with Trupanion, your cat or dog’s policy will include coverage for diagnostic tests, medications, surgeries, hereditary and congenital disorders, as long as treatment for a certain condition is required after enrolling and is not pre-existing.

Has your cat or dog ever been diagnosed with this Cystinuria? If so, we would love to hear from you and any comments, advice, experiences, of thoughts on this condition.

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