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Urinary Tract infections are more common in cats than in dogs, they are very painful for your pet to have to suffer through. They can be caused by stones in the urinary tract, bladder stones, or a bacterial infection. The sites of the bacteria are usually in the bladder or urethra, which is the passageway to outside of the cat's body. Urinary problems should never be taken lightly, if left untreated they can develop into more serious conditions such as kidney failure.
Feline Urological Syndrome or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is basically an inflamed bladder. It is important to note that there could be several reasons why the disease occurs and many doctors over simplify the disease calling it Bladder infection and treating only the symptoms without looking any further for an underlying cause.
The causes of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is hard to determine because it is in fact a group of diseases that are lumped into this category, and in turn the causes will be different in different cats.
The average age of the cat that contracts Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is 4 years old. Testing in some cats will come up with no discernable cause
Some cats will have bladder stones
Some will have a urinary infection
Some will have a urethral blockage
Urinary tract cancer will be found in 1 - 5% of cats tested
Again that same percentage will apply to cats that have experienced severe trauma to that area of the body due to being beaten, getting hit by a car etc.
In cats of 10 years old and older,
About 66% will have renal failure
A few others will be incontinent (unable to hold their urine)
Blood in the urine
Straining to urinate
Urinating all over the place
Urinary blockage (mostly predominant in male cats)
Vomiting, nausea, and appetite loss
Bad smelling urine
Licking the urinary opening (usually due to pain)
It is almost impossible to diagnose a younger cat but in older cats the diagnosis is more readily made by
Physical examination, testing for anomalies in the bladder by probing
X-ray to determine bladder stones
Treatment does depend upon the underlying problem.
Types of Treatment
A catheter is placed inside the urethra to attempt to unblock or flush out the toxins
Fluids are used intravenously for a dehydrated cat
Special medication to facilitate normal urine flow
Medication to clear up the infection
Medication to lubricate the bladder
Surgery to remove the blockage if severe
Surgery to remove bladder stones
Kidney dialysis (for kidney failure)
Special diet reduced in proteins
Diet reduced in phosphate (special capsules)
Increasing your cat's water intake
Anti biotic steroids useful in anemic cats
Tranquilizers for stressed cats who are urinating in different places
If your cat shows any of the above-mentioned signs it is important to take it to the veterinarian for an examination. The symptoms could be simply a cause of territorial marking in a multi cat household to a much more serious life threatening disease. The earlier your cat is treated, the better its prognosis will be.
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