Inheritance of urinary calculi in the Dalmatian

D. L. Bannasch, G. V. Ling, J. Bea, T. R. Famula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Dalmatians are unique among dogs in that they excrete uric acid in their urine as the end product of purine metabolism rather than allantoin as do other breeds of dogs. Urinary calculi form from urate (salts of uric acid) and can cause urethral obstruction in male Dalmatians. Although all Dalmatians have the primary defect, only a subset develops clinical disease. We postulated that calculi formation might have a genetic component that segregates within the breed, causing some animals to form calculi and others to never form calculi despite excreting uric acid in their urine. We used a survey to ascertain the urinary calculi status based on clinical signs of adult Dalmatians aged 6 years or older, and we used pedigrees from these same animals to estimate the heritability of the clinical manifestation of urate calculi within the breed to be .87 (.75-.96). The prevalence of the disease was 34% (24.99-43.70%) among male Dalmatians in our survey. The high heritability of the disease makes it possible for breeders to effectively select against the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-487
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Canine
  • Dog
  • Genetic
  • Heritability
  • Inherited

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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