Epidemiological evaluation of cystine urolithiasis in domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo): 70 cases (1992-2009).

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Summary of "Epidemiological evaluation of cystine urolithiasis in domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo): 70 cases (1992-2009)."

Objective-To determine the prevalence of cystine uroliths in domestic ferrets with urolithiasis and determine whether age, breed, sex, reproductive status, anatomic location, and season are risk factors associated with cystine urolith formation. Design-Retrospective cross-sectional case-control study. Sample-Records of 435 ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) with uroliths submitted for analyses between 1992 and 2009, of which 70 were cystine uroliths. Procedures-Specific descriptive information was obtained about each ferret to determine whether specific risk factors were associated with the development of cystine uroliths. Results-Cystine uroliths comprised 70 of the 435 (16%) uroliths. Cystine uroliths were more common in male (n = 54) than in female (16) ferrets. All cystine uroliths were retrieved from the lower portion of the urinary tract (bladder and urethra [n = 67]) or were voided (3); none of the uroliths were retrieved from the upper portion of the urinary tract (kidney and ureters). Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Awareness of the prevalence of cystine uroliths along with knowledge of etiologic, demographic, and environmental risk and protective factors for urolithiasis may facilitate development of surveillance strategies that result in earlier detection of cystinuria. Genetic factors associated with this disease have not yet been reported in ferrets, but a familial pattern of inheritance determined to be a major underlying factor in cystine urolithiasis in dogs and humans suggests that this may be a factor in ferrets and that the parent stock of ferrets in the present study may have been inbred.


Minnesota Urolith Center, Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
ISSN: 1943-569X
Pages: 1099-103


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A species of MORBILLIVIRUS causing distemper in dogs, wolves, foxes, raccoons, and ferrets. Pinnipeds have also been known to contract Canine distemper virus from contact with domestic dogs.

A covalently linked dimeric nonessential amino acid formed by the oxidation of CYSTEINE. Two molecules of cysteine are joined together by a disulfide bridge to form cystine.

A metabolic disease characterized by the defective transport of CYSTINE across the lysosomal membrane due to mutation of a membrane protein cystinosin. This results in cystine accumulation and crystallization in the cells causing widespread tissue damage. In the KIDNEY, nephropathic cystinosis is a common cause of RENAL FANCONI SYNDROME.

An inherited disorder due to defective reabsorption of CYSTINE and other BASIC AMINO ACIDS by the PROXIMAL RENAL TUBULES. This form of aminoaciduria is characterized by the abnormally high urinary levels of cystine; LYSINE; ARGININE; and ORNITHINE. Mutations involve the amino acid transport protein gene SLC3A1.

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