Articles "Urolithiasis (Urinary Calculi)" Article Index

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UROLITHIASIS (URINARY CALCULI)

By: "Nutrient Requirements Of Goats - Number 15, 1981, National Academy Press"
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Goats are known to be susceptible to urolithiasis (urinary calculi), and serious losses can occur when valuable breeding males are placed on calculogenic rations (Sato and Omori, 1977). It is not known whether they are more susceptible or less susceptible than other ruminant species or whether the predisposing factors are different. For the purpose of this discussion it will be assumed that goats do not differ from cattle or sheep with respect to calculus formation. Nutritional imbalances are generally considered the primary cause of stone formation, but infection has been identified as a predisposing factor with some species (Griffith et al., 1975). The problem is largely restricted to the male because his urinary tract is much more susceptible to blockage, and it is seen infrequently in grazing goats. The problem is important in only confined animals, which represent a small portion of the world's goat population but include some of the more valuable stud bucks. The chemistry of calculus formation is complex and not completely understood. One of the more important predisposing factors is a high phosphorus content in the diet, or a content high relative to calcium or potassium content (Robbins et al., 1965; Hoar et al., 1970). In dry lot rations the potassium levels should be maintained at 1.5:1 or greater. Additional protection may be obtained through the use of ration additives such as ammonium chloride (Shelton and Ellis, 1965; Crookshank, 1966), which will acidify the urine. Using medication to combat infection with a view to preventing calculus formation is not generally recommended, but such an action may be a secondary benefit of using antibiotics in the ration for other reasons.

About the author: The majority of this information was researched from various tests and sources.
"Nutrient Requirements Of Goats - Number 15, 1981, National Academy Press"
Subcommittee on Goat Nutrition
Committee on Animal Nutrition
Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources
Commission on Natural Resources
National Research Council

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