Understanding Genetic Risk for Developing Calcium Oxalate Urinary Stones

Scientific Title:Novel Mutations Associated with Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis Risk in Dogs

Eva Furrow, VMS, PHD, University of Minnesota
Start Date: 10/1/2016, Projected Duration: 2 years

Summary: Researchers will investigate genetic mutations associated with increased risk for calcium oxalate urinary stones, a painful and common health problem in dogs.

Description: Urinary stones composed of calcium oxalate are a common problem in dogs. They can cause significant bladder irritation and lead to life-threatening urethral obstructions. Researchers discovered two genetic mutations strongly linked to calcium oxalate urinary stone formation in some dog breeds. In this follow-up study, the team will further evaluate these mutations in multiple breeds to confirm the mutations’ role in stone formation. Understanding the genetic basis of urinary stone formation in fundamental to developing new diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive strategies, including genetic testing. A genetic test would help inform breeding decisions and identify at-risk dogs that may benefit from regular stone screening, dietary changes or other medical interventions.

We are looking for certain breeds of dogs to help determine the genetic basis for developing calcium oxalate urinary stones. Your dog may be eligible if he/she:

● is a purebred Miniature Schnauzer, Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier or Miniature Poodle
● has a history of calcium oxalate stones (Case group)


● is at least 8 years old and has never had calcium oxalate stones (Control group)
● is not currently receiving any steroid medications (ex. prednisone, dexamethasone, methylprednisone) or diuretics (ex. Lasix, hydrochlorothiazide)
● has never been diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease

If you are interested in the study, please contact Dr. Furrow at 612-625-6222 or furro004@umn.edu or minork@unm.edu or 612-624-5322.
For more information on our Small Animal Medicine Department, please click here .