Epidemiological surveys are important tools to identify emerging trends in disease. The Minnesota Urolith Centre has been tracking the occurrence of uroliths for over 30 years. To evaluate global changes in the frequencies of canine uroliths, submissions to the Minnesota Urolith Centre in 1999 and 2000 (n = 39,965) were compared with submissions in 2009 and 2010 (n = 99,598). The proportion of calcium oxalate uroliths rose on every continent except in Europe. Seventy-five per cent of dogs with calcium oxalate uroliths were between 5 and 11 years old. The proportion of struvite uroliths decreased on every continent except in Australia-Oceania. Seventy-seven per cent of all struvite formers were between two and eight years old. The proportion of purine uroliths has declined slightly. Worldwide, uroliths composed of cystine, calcium phosphate, calcium phosphate carbonate and silica remain uncommon. Epidemiological studies of urolithiasis are essential for constructing effective experimental designs and selecting appropriate cases and controls to conduct clinical trials with meaningful results.
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