UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
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Evaluation of Urate Urolithiasis Recurrence in Dalmatians Consuming Royal Canin Veterinary Diet® Urinary U/C™18

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November 10, 2011

Faculty members of the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital are seeking Dalmatians and that have had urinary stones for participation in a clinical study. Dogs of other breeds that have had urate stones and have the same genetic mutation* as the Dalmatian can also participate.

The background

Urate urolithiasis is a common disease in many Dalmatians due to a defect in uric acid metabolism. Prevention strategies for the management of urate stones in the Dalmatian have been suggested and include low protein diets, bicarbonate supplementation, xanthine oxidase inhibitors, and increased water intake.

No data exists as to the efficacy of any of these recommendations. Protein restricted diets are often prescribed for Dalmatians with urate stones to decrease the purine load and uric acid excretion. The typical diet prescribed for this disease contains only 9-13% protein on a metabolizable energy (ME) basis, and no studies have been published regarding this diet’s efficacy.

Because prolonged protein restriction could lead to unwanted side effects, a newer diet has been launched by Royal Canin. This diet contains almost twice as much protein (19% of calories) as the standard prescription diet and has been reported to be very palatable.

What researchers hope to accomplish

Therefore, the goals of this study are to evaluate the efficacy of this diet over a one-year period in Dalmatians with a history of urate urolithiasis by performing imaging studies, urinalyses and relative supersaturation studies for urate. Furthermore, we will screen for protein malnutrition by determining serum albumin, protein and plasma amino acid concentrations as well as analyzing each dog’s body composition using body condition scoring and deuterium oxide (D2O) analysis.

All diagnostic testing and the prescribed diet for one year are free.

Clients do need to be aware that all diagnostic testing needs to be performed at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Four evaluations during the year are required to participate.


To inquire about this study, please contact Dr. Jodi Westropp, jlwestropp@ucdavis.edu, or Dr. Jennifer Larsen, jalarsen@vmth.ucdavis.edu.

*Information regarding the genetic test can be found at www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/dog.php. If you have questions about the genetic testing, please feel free to contact us.