Low vs High Uric Acid

As you may know, purebred dog breeds all come with their own specific issues. It is the breeders responsibility to know and understand these issues to further improve the genetics of the breed and inform owners of any future problems that may arise and how to prevent them. I will attempt to explain issues that Dalmatians can get without overwhelming your brain! For more information, feel free to further study in the links listed at within the page.


Most Dalmatians happen to be prone to bladder and kidney stones. This is due to the specific breeding that occurred in the past to create what we know as the Dalmatian. While breeders were specifically breeding traits together to get the Dalmatian, they unknowingly picked up the recessive high uric acid genes. For years, all registered dalmatians were High Uric Acid (HUA), otherwise known as Hyperuricosuria. It was due to the Backcross Project started in 1973 by geneticist and Dalmatian breeder, Robert Schaible, Ph D, that we can now say there are Low or Normal Uric Acid (LUA) registered Dalmatians. Schaible bred in the gene by crossing the Dalmatian to a Pointer and re-breeding specifically back to purebred Dalmatians until the LUA gene carried over and the Pointer was practically bred out. It took several years for the Dalmatian Club of America (DCA) and American Kennel Club (AKC) to finally acknowledge Schaible's work to better the breed.


Most Dalmatians are HUA, where they have both hu genes (hu/hu). To be an LUA Dalmatian, there only needs to be one LUA gene but there can be two meaning the dog will not pass on any HUA genes (n/hu or n/n). The LUA gene is dominate so breeding a heterozygous LUA (n/hu) Dalmatian with an HUA (hu/hu) Dalmatian you will end up with 50% LUA and 50% HUA puppies. If you breed a homozygous LUA (n/n) Dalmatian all of the puppies will be LUA.

HUA versus LUA

HUA Diet

HUA Dalmatians have to be fed a low purine diet or they will develop kidney or bladder stones. These purines create crystals internally causing stones that may need to be surgically removed. Purines are usually associated with proteins, which is not always the case. Purines are higher in some meats than others. Organ meats, wild game, sardines, and other small fish are high in purines and should be avoided. Unprocessed whole meats are lower in proteins such as chicken breast and red meats. The below link identifies a list of foods high, medium, and low in purines.

Personally, Iowa Dalmatians has never had an issue with bladder or kidney stones. My recommendations to help prevent stones is by either feeding higher priced Uric Acid designed feeds or staying away from high protein feeds. High protein feeds tend to be made with organ meats to raise the protein level in the cheapest way. Iowa Dalmatians feeds Diamond dog food, Ol'Roy (Walmart), and Purina. For low purine treats, we feed cheese, bananas, strawberries, and eggs. Also make sure your HUA Dalmatian always has access to water and are not prevented from going to the restroom for more than six hours.

    Note: LUA Dalmatians do not need to be fed a special diet as they are not prone to bladder or kidney stones.