Call for cases of acquired Fanconi syndrome in dogs

As a recent paper in the Australian Veterinary Journal attests, acquired renal tubulopathy (also called Fanconi syndrome) is continuing to occur in dogs in Australia and overseas1. Australia is leading the way in documenting this condition and has set an example that is recognised internationally. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration recently issued another warning to pet owners about its concern for cases that have been reported since 2007.

Treat-associated renal tubulopathies in Australian dogs were initially found to be due to Kramar chicken treats. A large number of cases occurred between 2007 and 2009 and the incidence of acquired tubulopathy in dogs dramatically decreased once the treats were withdrawn from the market.

However, this problem has not gone away entirely and cases are still being intermittently diagnosed. Some cases have been responsive to removal of pork based treats such as pigs ears but worryingly, some cases have been associated with quality commercial diets and have responded to diet change. In Labradors especially there has been a link to copper-associated hepatitis so this is not only a small breed issue, as was largely the case with the original dogs.

The most identifiable pathology is glucosuria in dogs with normal blood glucose. Urinalysis is essential in every ill pet and glucosuria is one change that cannot be ignored in a diagnostic investigation. Some dogs do have increased liver enzymes also. The cause of this problem is just not known but the pet food industry is fully co-operating with investigations into the problem. Any suspect food or treats should be kept for possible analysis.

Linda Fleeman, Sue Foster and Mary Thompson are still actively collecting cases of acquired renal tubulopathy. We request that all suspected cases are lodged via PetFAST, which is the Australian reporting system for suspected adverse events to pet food, pet treats, and pet meat. If you can provide additional details in the Acquired renal tubulopathy report, that would be very helpful to the researchers.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Linda Fleeman, Sue Foster or Mary Thompson.

More information about PetFAST

More information about Australian cases of acquired Fanconi syndrome

1 Thompson MF et al Acquired proximal renal tubulopathy in dogs exposed to a common dried checken treat: retrospective study of 108 cases (2007 - 2009) Aus Vet J 2013;91:368-373.

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