Urolithiasis: Review and case description of a Wagyu feeder steer with struvite crystalluria and urolithiasis treated with calcium boluses
Keywords:bovine struvite crysalluria, bovine urolithiasis, finisher steers, calcium bolus
Bovine urolithiasis, or formation of calculi in the urinary tract of cattle due to struvite crystalluria, is a life-threatening and painful disease. Clinical signs often go unnoticed until the prognosis of the animal is poor and immediate euthanasia is necessary. The author reports a treatment used to disrupt the disease process. The treatment allowed a valuable beef animal to comfortably complete its finishing stage without using medications that require a withdrawal period prior to harvest. A 27-month-old Wagyu steer in the finishing phase presented with inappetence, polyuria, dysuria and depression. Urinalysis showed an abundance of struvite crystals. Serum chemistry revealed a calcium:phosphorus ratio of 1.2:1. To avoid early harvest and progression of the disease, the steer was treated with over-the-counter calcium boluses, which were successful in dissolving the crystals. Daily urinalysis was used to determine
the frequency of treatment needed. The author proposes an alternative method for treating struvite crystalluria and preventing subsequent urolithiasis in feeder steers.