Bladder Stones In Cats
Bladder stones are rock-like formations of minerals that develop in the urinary bladder. All stones form because of disease or inflammation in the bladder. The most common signs of bladder stones in the cat are blood in the urine and straining to urinate. Large stones may act almost like a valve, causing an “on-off” or partial obstruction at the neck of the bladder. In males, small stones become lodged in the urethra and cause an obstruction. X-rays or ultrasound may be necessary for diagnosis. The fastest way to remove bladder stones is via a surgical procedure called a cystotomy. Special diets or passing a catheter may be successful for some bladder stones. Your veterinarian will advise you of the best course of action for your cats particular situation.
How Is Flutd Diagnosed
Because FLUTD has many causes, it can be difficult to diagnose. Based on your cat’s symptoms, your veterinarian will do a physical examination and most likely will run a urinalysis assessing urine pH and concentration and presence of crystals, bleeding, inflammation and infection. If the cause is still not identified, tests such as urine culture, x-rays, blood work and additional urine tests may be recommended.
What Causes Lower Urinary Tract Problems In Cats
When you take your cat to the vet, they may have questions about your cat’s symptoms to try and narrow down the cause of the problem. There are several common reasons for urinary tract problems in cats, including the following.
Urinary Tract Infection
Cats get UTIs when there is a bacterial infection in their bladder or urethra. Your vet will need a urine sample to diagnose this condition.
Urine naturally contains minerals that can clump up and form tiny crystals, and even large stones, in your cat’s bladder. They can irritate the lining of the bladder or urethra and cause bloody urine and pain while urinating.
Your vet will need to do urine tests, x-rays, or an ultrasound to diagnose urinary stones.
In some cases, your cat’s urethra can be completely blocked, either by stones or by a build-up of minerals and tissue called a “urethral plug.”
A cat with an obstruction like this won’t be able to pass urine at all. An obstruction of the urethra is a medical emergency and you should call your vet right away.
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis
Occasionally, the inside of a cat’s lower urinary tract will get irritated without an infection or stones being present. Sometimes it can be a symptom of stress or a reaction to a change in diet.
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Causes Of Bladder Infection In Cats:
Precise or actual causative bacterial agents cannot bedetermined, as a number of species can cause feline bladder infectionor felinecystitis.In most cases, results for pH and urease content show that thespecies of Staphylococcus and Proteus are the major causative agents,while many other species of bacteria that infect a cats bladder occursoccasionally.
Some permeable factors of the cat bladders wall have beenidentified for cat bladder infection. The wall may permit thepassing of bacteria, resulting in severe infection.Similarly, some factors like weight, age and habits may also play arole in cat bladder infection. Bacteria can enter fromoutside the body and travel up the urinary tract to infect the bladder.
How To Prevent Uti’s In Cats
The best way to prevent urinary tract infections from occurring in a cat is to ensure the urinary tract opening is kept clean at all times. Regular litter box cleaning and the washing of cat beds will aid in this task. Overweight cats may have trouble cleaning themselves and may need help keeping their urinary tract openings clean with a wet cloth or wipe. Adequate water intake will also help flush the bladder out regularly.
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Urinary Catheters For Cats With Bladder Cancer
Treatment options for cats with urinary bladder cancer also include the introduction of a urinary catheter, though catheters are more supplemental than anything. For cats, a urinary catheter is the best choice when the natural flow of urine is obstructed. However, it can be used for treatment in cats that are having any unnatural urination patterns. If a urinary catheter is part of the chosen treatment plan, a professional will attach a catheter to your cat’s bladder.
From there, the urine is redirected into a container known as a drainage bag. The goal is to allow for the removal of urine even when the cat’s body isn’t operating in the ways it is intended to function. Long story short, catheters for feline bladder cancer allow the bladder to be emptied when it otherwise cannot be, and this can alleviate a lot of the tension cats feel as a result of their condition.
The kidneys tend to be the primary organ that is pressed down upon, seeing as the urine remains inside of the kidneys if the bladder is not accessible. Additionally, catheters are helpful in situations where obstruction of the bladder isn’t the main contributing factor. Sometimes, cats cannot control when or where they urinate, so catheters take that difficulty away by collecting the urine whenever it begins to flow through the bladder.
Tips For Cat Uti Prevention
It’s important to speak to your vet about the best diet and prevention plan for your cat, as age and health all play a role. Your vet may recommend a specific food, such as wet food or a renal diet, and feeding schedule for UTI prevention. Feeding your cat a high-quality diet is one of the best ways to promote overall good health, including urinary tract health.
Additional steps that may not only aid in preventing UTIs, but will also keep your cat healthy in general include:
- Increase your cat’s water consumption. Make sure their water bowl is clean and filled with fresh water at all times. You can also encourage your cat to drink more by setting up multiple water bowls around the house, ensuring all water bowls are wide and not too narrow, adding a small amount of chicken broth to the water or purchasing a cat drinking fountain.
- Place litter boxes in quiet areas of the house where your cat feels comfortable.
- Keep litter boxes clean. Be sure to scoop them twice a day and change the litter at least once a week.
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Types Of Bladder Cancers In Cats
There are a few different types of cancer cats can be diagnosed with, the most popular of which being transitional cell carcinomas. All the following cancers may benefit from using CBD oil alongside their treatment.
We’ll talk about that in more detail shortly, but the less common types of bladder cancers stem from bladder tumors. When tumors appear in the urinary tract of cats, the cells that line the urinary tract are affected.
What Does A Urinalysis Look At
If your cat presents to your veterinarian with urinary signs, your veterinarian will first perform a urinalysis. The urinalysis can reveal so much important information about the urine when a UTI is suspected. Your veterinarian will look for the following:
- urine-specific gravity
Once these levels are measured, the urine specimen is placed into a centrifuge and spun down to allow cells and other debris to accumulate at the bottom of the sample tube. That debris can then be evaluated, revealing the presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, and crystals.
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Preventing Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Your vet may recommend a diet that helps not only with healing but prevents recurrence as well. Certain stone-dissolving foods can help prevent crystals from forming in your cats urinary tract. There are also commercial foods that promote urinary tract health. Consult your vet on what type of food is right for your cat.
Feeding your cat a canned-food diet or mixing wet food with dry kibble helps provide additional hydration.
Because anxiety may play a part in urinary tract disease, its important to keep your cats stress level as low as possible. Cats do not like change, no matter how subtle it may be, so try to keep changes to your cats routine and/or environment to a minimum.
Treatments For Bladder Infection In Cats
If your veterinarian suspects that your cat is suffering from a bladder infection, theyll carry out a full physical exam. It can be helpful to bring along a urine sample, if possible, so that your vet can check it out. In some cases, they might use an ultrasound to investigate the cause.
Once the vet has confirmed the diagnosis, the course of treatment they prescribe might include a combination of anti-inflammatory medicine to help alleviate any pain, along with antibiotics if theres a bacterial infection.
If crystals are found in the urine, then the cat might require a surgical procedure to remove crystals from the bladder.
While your cat recovers at home, its important to provide a calm and stress free environment for them. In some cases, vets may recommend a change of diet to help ward off the chances of any further infections.
Has your cat ever had a bladder infection? What advice did your vet give you to help your cat recover? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Symptoms Of Bladder Inflammation In Cats
Owners most frequently recognize the symptoms of bladder inflammation when they become frustrated with changes in their cat’s behavior both inside and out of the litter box. The signs of cystitis can be subtle initially, but cats frequently will urinate outside of their litter box when suffering this painful condition because they begin to associate the litter box with those feelings of discomfort.
If your cat is displaying any of these signs, it is important to schedule an exam with your cat’s veterinarian as soon as possible to determine and treat the cause of their cystitis:
- Inappropriate urination outside of the litter box
- Straining to urinate
- Blood in urine or near litter box
- Smaller than average output of urine
- Frequent urination attempts
What Are The Symptoms Of Cats With A Uti
Cats may have a pretty predictable bathroom routine, but cats with a UTI might begin exhibiting unusual behavior relating to urination. They might be drinking a lot more water and trying to urinate frequently, but unable to pass more than a little bit of urine at a time. They might also loss control and urinate when theyre not supposed to. All of this can lead to confusion and anxiety that causes them fear or avoid the litter box. Cats with a UTI can also just seem sick, showing signs of lethargy or vomiting.
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Preventing Male Cat Urinary Blockage
Unfortunately, once a male cat has a urinary blockage, there’s a higher risk of it happening again. At the first sign of urinary issues, you should have a conversation with your vet about selecting proper nutrition to better support your cat’s urinary health to reduce the risk of recurring issues. In highly recurrent cases it’s also possible for your vet to suggest a cat urethrostomy a surgery that creates an opening in the urethra above the blockage to allow for normal urine drainage.
Water consumption is an important part of flushing debris from your cat’s system and preventing blockage try offering them water from a drinking fountain instead of a bowl, flavoring a second water bowl with some tuna juice and switching them to canned food if they currently eat dry food.
Nutrition can also play an important role in preventing blockage. If your cat already experiences urinary health issues, then a therapeutic cat food may help dissolve your cat’s crystals or make it less likely they form new ones and maintain a healthy urine pH that contributes to overall urinary health. This food is available through your veterinarian and should be fed under the supervision of a vet ask your vet if a Prescription Diet cat food might be right for your cat..
Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Most cats with urinary tract infections will make frequent trips to the litter box and seem restless. They may go into the box and strain to pee but produce either a small amount of urine or no urine at all. Occasionally, their urine may appear bloody.
Some cats will avoid the litter box because they have associated it with the discomfort caused by the UTI. Instead, they may urinate in other places in your home. Sinks, bathtubs, and clean laundry are popular spots. Your cat also may vomit and seem lethargic as the problem progressesespecially male cats.
In most cases, acute and chronic urinary tract infections will cause very similar symptoms. However, some cats with the chronic form show no signs of disease.
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection :
A Urinary Tract Infection or UTI is an infection that is caused when bacteria enters the urethra and builds a colony inside it. Urine in the urethra is usually sterile, but when bacteria have found their way into the urethra and multiplied, they can cause UTIs. On the other hand, Urinary Tract Disorders, also commonly known as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorders , can be caused by a number of different problems, such as kidney stones, inflammation of the bladder, bladder or urinary tract injury, urethral obstruction or other abnormalities in the urinary tract.
Obsessive Licking Of Genitals
When your cat is in pain, they attempt to soothe themselves and make the pain go away. Licking is the best way they know how to do that.
All cats lick their genitals occasionally. But thats not a a sign of a urinary tract infection. The red flag comes up when a cat starts licking with an urgent obsession. Distractions wont last for long, and your cat might choose to lick themselves instead of play with their favorite toy.
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Causes Of Bladder Stones In Cats
No two cats are completely alike. Since there are several different types of bladder stones that can form, the cause of bladder stones in cats can vary. Some of these causes may include:
- Excess phosphate, ammonium, or magnesium in the urine
- Urine pH out of balance
- Dietary supplements or drugs that affect the urine
- Congenital liver shunt
- Breed predisposition
Do cats get bladder stones at certain ages? Cats can develop bladder stones at any age. Some types of stones are more likely to form at different life stages. The risk of developing calcium oxalate stones, for example, increases as your cat ages. These commonly show up in cats between 5 and 14 years old.
Do some cats have a higher risk of getting bladder stones? Common belief has suggested that neutered male Burmese, Persian, Siamese, and Himalayan cats may be genetically predisposed to developing calcium oxalate stones, but more research is needed to prove this for sure. Overweight cats, male cats, and older cats are more likely to develop these stones as well.
Signs And Diagnosis Of Male Cat Urinary Blockage
The most common sign of what veterinarians call a “blocked cat” is going to the litter box to urinate, getting into position and having nothing come out. Your cat may also seem uncomfortable or yowl when trying to urinate. If the blockage continues, your cat will develop an electrolyte imbalance, which can result in a depressed or altered mental state, vomiting and a slow heart rate. They may also hide or avoid human contact.
The veterinarian will diagnose your cat based on their medical history, a physical examination, blood and urine tests and, possibly, an abdominal X-ray or ultrasound. If they suspect that your cat has a bladder infection, the vet may submit a urine sample for culture.
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What Can I Do To Prevent A Uti From Occurring In The Future
Your veterinarian will let you know if there is anything that can be done to prevent your cats UTI from coming back. There is evidence that specific diets can support lower urinary tract health. It is best to discuss UTI prevention and bladder health with your veterinarian in order to put into action an effective plan.
Summary Of Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
Urinary Tract Infections in cats are a fairly common condition, but can become serious if left untreated. They can sometimes be asymptomatic, but common symptoms include frequent, difficult or painful urination, or urinating in places outside the litterbox. Usually UTIs can be easily treated with antibiotics, but if theyre caused by bladder stones, these will also need to be treated. To help prevent recurrent UTIs, keep your cat at a healthy weight, ensure they get enough water and speak to your vet about whether dietary changes could help.
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Cat Uti Symptoms And Signs
UTIs in cats can occur at various ages, but we most commonly encounter them between the ages of one to five years or in cats older than ten years. Identifyingcat UTI symptoms can be easy if you know what to look out for, so here are some of the most common signs encountered:
- Discolored urine blood in the urine can be red, pink, or brown.
- Abnormal cries of pain or discomfort while urinating.
- Passing small amounts of urine as droplets only or in coin-sized puddles.
- Frequent and/or prolonged attempts to urinate.
- Overgrooming or biting of the genital area.
- Urinating in strange places such as the sink, bathtub, or directly in front of you.
- Difficulty urinating is seen as straining or misconstrued as constipation.
- Behavioral changes such as increased irritability, hiding, or lethargy.