Cystinuria Info

Cystinuria is a genetic disorder in the domestic dog that leads to recurrent urolith (bladder stone) formation. Cystinuria is an inherited autosomal recessive disorder and is characterized by the formation of cystine stones in the kidney, ureter, and bladder. In french bulldogs it is inherited recessively  and neutering is thought to be curative. There is hope to have a DNA test commercially available soon through University of Pennsylvania researcher Dr. Paula Henthorn.

More info and links:

I am trying to raise awareness and funding for Dr. Paula Henthorn's study on Cystinuria in french bulldogs. 

Paula Henthorn, PhD
Professor of Medical Genetics
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
3900 Delancey st.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010

(pictured left are cystine crystals)

If anyone out there has had a male diagnosed with cystine stones, I would love to share your story... I promise that all will be anonymous, but I think if we have real first hand accounts of the scariness of a male french bulldog obstructing or needing surgery, or whatever the course, it will help people learn about this disease. I do not need any names or pedigrees, nor do I want it. I do not care about that. JUST YOUR STORY... how you noticed an issue, how it was diagnosed, what procedures have been done to help your dog and if you decided to neuter.

In fact, to keep this completely anonymous, I have added a survey to my website. These all come from a generic email and I would have no way to trace them unless you want me to. Please follow the link here... Let's help save another frenchie from going through this!

If You Have a frenchie who has been DIAGNOSED with Cystinuria, please fill out the following info so we can help educate the public

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Data from informal Cystinuria survey. 8 dogs so far submitted  

Age of Dog when he was diagnosed with Cystine Stones (years)
  • 4
  • 3.5
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2.25
  • 4 

When did you first notice signs and what were they?
  • Straining while urinating. Holding the position until squatting like a female.
  • Blood in urine as a common bladder infection
  • February 2013. Blood in his urine. Frequent urination.
  • about 18mths
  • 3-4 weeks before diagnose had blood in his urine, we put him on clavamox as we thought its simple infection, after few days he had no blood in his urine . 2 weeks later we noticed blood again and problems with urinating.
  • Blood / urination in the house
  • Blood tinged urine
  • straining to pee, he also had blood in his urine. Took him to our vet, he found his bladder full of stones. Surgery to remove stones, sent out for analysis, came back 100% cystine.

How were the stones diagnosed?

  • By ultrasound. These type of stones don't show well, if at all, on xray.
  • Ultrasound.
  • He blocked. Xray revealed stones.
  • he had to be operated on to remove the stones from his bladder. And has now had this done 4 times as we cant get his PH levels correct.
  • when we noticed problem with urinating we took him for an xray and ultrasound. Vet said there is definitely blockage and decided to do surgery same day. cystine stones were visible in urine sample. he had over 50 stones.
  • U/A and Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound showed the stones as he was loaded with them. Stones were sent to lab by my Veterinarian.

What procedures did your french bulldog have?

  • He had 3 stones in his urethra. One was adhered to the wall of the urethra. They needed to be detached and pushed back up into his bladder. Then they opened up the side of the bladder and flushed out all the stones and crystals.
  • Surgery to remove the stones which were evaluated. He's now on a vegetarian diet with 2X water, small rations 3 X a day. He's having urine testing for pH and concentration. Doubling the water has helped to control the concentration. Ultrasound performed every 3 or 4 months and no stones have been seen
  • Catheter to push stones back to unblock...reblocked in 24 on his bladder to empty it of stones. This dog is already in Dr.Henthorn's database and has lived stone free on a vegetarian diet since his diagnosis.
  • he has had the operation to put a hole n his penis to help him wee but it only helps a bit he has still had a 2cm stone remover from his bladder last december
  • surgery to remove stones/crystals. doing great on limited ingredients food, no medications , checking his urine regularly no visible crystals
  • Surgery
  • Removal of stones
  • 1st time just removed stones and placed him on low protein dry kibble, along with Thiola. He blocked again 6 months later, This time we did Scrotal Urethrostomy and Castration, this was before we knew that neutering was curative in our breed.

Was Your dog neutered?

  • Not yet. I am trying to get some good information on whether or not neutering is a certain cure.
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • yes he was neutered few weeks after diagnose
  • Yes
  • Not yet, I am trying to decide the best possible course. I have ordered royal canine UC.
  • Yes, after 2nd blockage.