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© 1979, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This publication discusses the symptoms, management and treatment of various types of urinary calculi diseases in cattle and sheep.

The term "urinary calculi" refers to deposits in the urinary tract. These deposits may block the flow of urine, particularly in male cattle and sheep. Prolonged blockage generally results in rupture of the urinary bladder or urethra, releasing urine into the surrounding tissues. This produces the condition commonly referred to as "waterbelly."

Two types of urinary calculi, both mineral in nature, predominate in cattle and sheep: (1) the phosphatic type formed principally under feedlot conditions and (2) the siliceous type occurring mainly in range animals. Other types of calculi can also occur.