Multicystic renal dysplasia

From Cow
Polycystic kidneys in a one-day-old calf

Polycystic kidney disease is a rare autosomal dominant genetic disease of cattle worldwide.

Clinically affected cattle are often young and show signs of renal failure, with dehydration, anorexia and lethargy common[1].

Diagnosis is based on histopathological analysis of affected renal tissue. Characteristic of this disease is the presence of many irregularly enlarged cysts, immature glomeruli, small ducts and anomalous stromal connective tissues containing focal persistent mesenchyme characterized by a proliferation of stellate cells with myxomatous area[2].

This disease needs to be differentiated from hydatid cysts due to Echinococcus spp[3] as well as other parasites affecting the kidney such as Dictyocaulus spp or leptospirosis.

There is no treatment for this genetic disease and most affected cattle are euthanized.


  1. Tockner F & Baumgartner W (1986) Cystic kidney in a calf. Tierarztl Prax 14(3):333-336
  2. Ushigaki K et al (1999) Multicystic renal dysplasia in a Japanese black bull. J Vet Med Sci 61(7):839-842
  3. Regassa F et al (2010) Study on the prevalence of cystic hydatidosis and its economic significance in cattle slaughtered at Hawassa Municipal abattoir, Ethiopia. Trop Anim Health Prod 42(5):977-984