Every Dalmatian owner knowns that Dalmatians can have a genetic predisposition to hyperuricaemia, hyperuricosuria and the formation of urate uroliths (bladder stones), when compared with other breeds. This is due to the production of uric acid from purine metabolism, rather than the more soluble metabolite allantoin. An autosomal recessive mutation leads to alterations in both the hepatic and renal pathways with a decreased rate in conversion of uric acid to allantoin and renal reabsorption of uric acid. A missense mutation in a specific urate transporter gene (SLC2A9) has been identified in Dalmatian dogs, and the mutation also appears in other breeds with hyperuricosuria.
One of the main dietary strategies to reduce the likelihood of urate stone formation is therefore to reduce the dog's intake of purines. Purines are made up of three groups of compounds: oxypurines (hypoxanthine, xanthine, uric acid, allantoin), aminopurines (adenine, guanine), and methylpurines (caffeine, theophylline, theobromine). Foods that are high in purines include seafood and most meats, particularly offal. Dairy products, eggs, most vegetables and fruits are low in purines; so here are three tasty treat recipes specially for Dalmatians - hope you enjoy them!
Mini cheese and capsicum frittatas
Mini frittatas are a great treat for dogs with hyperuricosuria. Egg is very low in purines, and vegetables are high in moisture and other essential nutrients. Increasing urine volume by encouraging drinking and feeding a high moisture diet (including high moisture treats) will decrease the concentration of uric acid and ammonium in the urine, helping to prevent the formation of urate stones.
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup finely diced red capsicum
3 cups loosely packed baby spinach, finely chopped
6 large eggs
¼ cup milk (full fat)
2/3 cup shredded full fat cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 190 C.
Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with olive oil spray and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add diced capsicum pan-fry until softened, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and grated cheddar cheese
Pour egg mixture into muffin cups so that each one is about half full. Add cooked vegetables evenly to each.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown. Cool in muffin tin for about 5 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely before eating.
Banana, carrot and apple muffins
These muffins are sugar-free, and high in moisture due to the banana, apple and carrot (and are much more appropriate than drier biscuit-style treats). They are also rich in soluble fibre. Soluble fibre has many positive effects on colonic health and faecal quality. In particular, it is converted to volatile fatty acids which may help to acidify the intestinal tract and increase conversion of ammonia to ammonium. Ammonium is less freely absorbed and this may decrease the amount of ammonia entering the systemic circulation, which may reduce the formation of ammonium urate stones.
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large grated apple (not peeled)
1 large mashed banana
1 cup of grated carrot (packed)
80 grams apple puree (no added sugar)
½ cup milk (full fat)
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups spelt flour
½ cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
Pre heat oven to 190 C and prepare muffin tin with liners.
Melt coconut oil and add to the mashed banana, then stir to combine.
Add the apple puree, grated apple, grated carrot, eggs, milk and mix well.
Combine the spelt flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, and baking soda.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir.
Fill each muffin case to the top with the mixture.
Bake for approximately 35 mins (or until golden brown and you can stick a knife in and it comes out clean.)
Leave to cool completely before eating.
Baked zucchini fries
Did you know that the raw zucchini is 94.7% water? Perfect for dogs at risk of developing urate bladder stones (or any kind of bladder stones). As mentioned above, increasing water consumption to dilute the urine (USG should be 1.020 or lower) is such an important preventative strategy. This recipe is also low in protein, and purine-restricted.
1 cup Panko crumbs
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 large zucchinis