Canine Urate


Often radiolucent, these stones become more visible as their size increases. A small liver may be an additional radiographic feature in dogs with porto-vascular anomalies.

General Information

Two distinct diseases are associated with urate urolithiasis in dogs, hepatic portovascular anomalies and an inherited alteration of the urate transporter encoded by the SLC2A9 gene. Common to both is inefficient transport of serum uric acid into hepatocytes where uric acid is enzymatically degraded into the highly water-soluble end-product, allantoin.


• Serum bile acids in hepatic shunt breeds (e.g. Yorkshire terrier, Mn Schnauzer, Maltese, Pug, Shih Tzu) • Genetic tests for hyperuricosuria variant ( in suspected breeds (e.g. Bulldogs, Black Russian terriers, Labradors, American Staffordshire terriers, Weimaraners, others). Most Dalmatians are positive for this mutation.


• Allopurinol (5 to 7mg/kg q24hr or divided q 12hr) with genetic variants, not for dogs with liver shunts. • Potassium citrate if urine pH is consistently ≤6.5 (starting dose: 75mg/kg q12-24h).


• Low purine/protein foods that produce neutral to alkaline urine. • Dogs with genetic variants consider u/d, Derm Complete, HA hydrolyzed, others. • Dogs with liver disease consider Derm Complete, L/d, HA Hydrolyzed, others. If needed, feed canned therapeutic foods or add water to achieve a urine specific gravity ≤1.020.


Urinalysis every 3 to 6 months to adjust pH to ≥ 7, and urine specific gravity to 1.020 and lower. Medical imaging every 6 to 12 months to detect recurrent stones when small to permit their easy removal without surgery.


We advise reviewing manufacturer's literature regarding selected therapeutic foods to determine indications and contraindications. For pets with multiple health concerns,we suggest that the selection of diet should take into consideration all health needs of the pet.

Link to Full Recommendation PDF

Canine Urate