Why Do Some Cats Form Stones If Struvite Crystals Are Considered Normal
There are several things at play in this situation. The urine pH, the presence of proteins around which the crystals can cluster, and the amount of water in the urine are all critical considerations. All of these elements combine to produce urine that is supersaturated with struvite. In dogs, infection is required for the formation of a struvite bladder stone, while in cats, the condition was not needed in 95 percent of cases of struvite bladder stones
The mineral struvite is found in around 45 percent of feline uroliths, and the majority of feline struvite uroliths form in sterile urine, according to the American Urological Association.
What Are Bladder Stones And Urinary Crystals In Cats
Urine is produced in the kidneys, stored in the bladder and runs out of the body through the urethra tube. Urine carries away water, dissolved protein waste and excess minerals.
Crystals can form when there are more waste materials than can be dissolved in the urine. Often, if the cat has a perfectly healthy urinary tract, then these crystals can be passed out before they become big enough to cause a problem.
What Can I Feed My Cat With Struvite Crystals
Diet plays a big role in struvite crystal treatment. Feed your cat a balanced, healthy diet of canned or homemade foodwet canned food is preferable to dry because of its high water content. You can find specific dissolution dietsboth wet and dryon the market, or you can formulate your own wet, low-mineral meals.
Struvite dissolution diets only work when theyre your cats only source of pet nutritionno supplementary food, no foraging for critters, and no bonus treats .
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Whats The Difference Between Urinary Crystals And Stones In Cats
Urinary crystals and urinary stones are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are different. A few crystals in your cats urine likely wont cause a problem, but even one stone can lead to surgery.
Bladder stones form due to a buildup of crystals in a cats bladder. The presence of urinary crystals increases mucus production. Together, the crystals and mucus ball up to form mucus plugs or bladder stones. Stones can form in as little as a few weeks or take months to develop.
Dog And Cat Urine Crystals: What You Need To Know
It’s not uncommon to see crystals in cat or dog urine. In fact, crystals are so common as to be considered normal in some pets. When the crystals become overly abundant or when abnormal types of crystals present themselves, however, they may cause problems or indicate the presence of disease.
Crystals are typically most problematic for the urinary system, but the underlying issues leading to urine crystal formation often originate in other parts of the body.
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Signs Of Bladder Or Kidney Stones In Cats:
Sometimes cats will show no symptoms but things to look out for are
- Blood in the urine
- Are they showing signs of difficulty when urinating
- Are they urinating more often
- Are they excessively licking their genitals.
- Are they suffering from repeated urinary tract infections
- Are they urinating in unusual places
What Are Struvite Stones Or Crystals
The struvite stones are composed of mineral crystals called struvite. The struvite mineral crystals are microscopic in size and found in the urine of a feline. These crystals are a combination of ammonium, magnesium, and phosphate.
Grinding struvite crystals in the cats urine is not uncommon. But if the crystals get together and form a stone, then it becomes a big problem. Depending on the size of the crystal stone, you can decide the severity of the condition.
In most cases, the stones can be dissolved. But if the stone size is big, the cat may need surgery.
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What Is Crystals In The Urine
Cats who present with crystalluria need to be seen by a veterinarian in order to properly identify the crystals and diagnose any underlying conditions that may be causing them to form.
The development of crystals in the urine, or crystalluria, occurs when normal minerals that float in the urine bind to each other. Crystalluria often occurs as part of another condition. The microscopic crystals have the appearance of fine sand. Though crystalluria isn’t always indicative of an accompanying condition or illness, such as a urinary tract infection or kidney stones, the formation of crystals puts the cat at an increased risk of these problems. A urinary blockage due to crystals in the urine is an emergency, and the cat needs to see a veterinarian immediately.
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Why Do The Struvite Crystals Form
Struvite crystals are part of the greatest disease known as FLUTD . But, unfortunately, the real cause isnt well understood. What we do know is that struvite crystals are the most common stones and crystals found in cats. But, since there are many factors involved, one specific cause has not been identified by research.
Here are some of the factors known to cause struvite crystals:
- Reduced exercise or obesity.
- Your cats urine can change in odor and color .
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Urinary Tract Disorders: Urolithiasis
Uroliths may be composed of several different types of minerals struvite and calcium oxalate occur most commonly in adult cats.42,121,210 In kittens, infection-induced struvite and urate uroliths occur most commonly. In young adults struvite uroliths are typically not associated with a bacterial urinary tract infection. In older cats infection-induced struvite and calcium oxalate occur more commonly.12 Uroliths occurring in the upper urinary tract are typically composed of calcium oxalate.141,151,237
Urolith formation is associated with varying underlying causes. Sterile struvite uroliths are associated with the feeding of meals versus ad libitum feeding, dry foods, increased carbohydrate, certain protein sources, and alkaluria.* Conditions necessary for the formation of struvite crystals and uroliths include sufficient concentration of the composite minerals and retention of the components in the urinary tract for sufficient time to allow crystallization. Thus production of small volumes of concentrated urine would seem to be a contributing factor. In addition, a pH favorable for struvite precipitation must exist . However, many cats with struvite urolithiasis have a neutral or acidic urine pH at presentation.
The recommended dietary formulation for inducing dissolution of sterile struvite uroliths in cats is summarized in Box 18-12.79
Prevention of uroliths may involve dietary changes insofar as many types of feline uroliths are recurrent.
Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Disease
If your cat has been displaying symptoms of crystals in cat urinary tract disease and has been diagnosed with crystals, you are likely very keen to know what treatment options are available. Well, the treatment will depend on which type of crystal is involved, as the options are really quite different for each crystal type.
It is important to know if we are dealing with crystals alone, or if the crystals have developed into stones. In some cats, the stones that form are so big that they can actually be felt when the bladder is pressed on, though this is quite rare and most stones will be smaller than this. To determine if they are present or not, the vet will need to run a few more tests.
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The Treatment Of Surgical Removal
Struvite crystals are removed through another alternative, which is the surgical method. The process of removing crystals or stones from the bladder is termed as Cystotomy. This is done by making an incision in the bladder, and the present stones inside are removed by opening it. The bladder, as well as the belly, are shut, and the feline is officially discharged when it has a healthy appetite and proper urination. It is very normal to find your feline having trouble urinating in the first few days as it is recovering from the treatment. Blood in the urine is also expected after the surgery.
How To Control And Manage Struvite Crystals In Cats
You want the best for your cat’s health and it’s frustrating to be told that there’s nothing you can do to prevent struvite crystals in your cat other than to feed them the prescription cat food. My cat, Furball, had a blocked bladder at 2 years of age, but when I put him on the prescription food to control his crystals, I noticed his coat became dull. His vet didn’t have any other advice, so I took him to see a holistic vet.
She gave some advice that prevented him from having a repeat incident of FLUTD for almost 5 years even though I had stopped feeding him the prescription diet. At the second occurrence, I sought additional advice from another holistic vet. Furball has not had another occurrence in over a year. This article represents the summation of the advice I received and I point out the contradictions that I encountered. While it was helpful for my cat, you should not diagnosis and treat your cat yourself. These tips should be talking points for you to take to your vet to discuss the circumstances for your cat.
Ensure your cat is a healthy weight. I was stunned when 5 years after his initial diagnosis, a vet technician told me that being overweight increased Furball’s chances of getting a recurrent blocked bladder. Why hadn’t any vet told me this before? I put him on a diet immediately after I consulted with his new vet about an ideal weight.
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How To Prevent Recurrence Of Struvite Crystals
You cant always prevent struvite crystals and stones in your cats urine and cats who have developed struvite bladder stones are more likely to experience a recurrence later in life. However, there are factors that are known to increase the chances of your cat having struvite stones which include obesity, decreased water intake, and one of the most common causes, stress. Read below to find out you can reduce these factors.
· Giving prescribed medications and diets as indicated by your veterinarian
If you ever feel as though your cat is experiencing a urinary problem, especially if they are straining to urinate and seem uncomfortable, please seek veterinary attention.
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Best Cat Food For Urinary Crystals In 2022
This review aims to guide you to some of the best cat food for urinary crystals that can be found on cat food shelves.
As a feline Nutritionist and pet owner, I have bought various foods for my cats. My main concern always was how to provide the best nutrition for my pet.
I believe that our pets deserve the best possible food that we can provide.
In this article, I aim to show:
- Top 3 best cat foods for urinary crystals,
- What to look for when buying cat food for urinary crystals,
- Difference between diets and what they aim to treat,
- Signs and treatments.
So you can make an informed choice if particular cat food is best for your pet.
With so many options available on cat food shelves, it is easy to be overwhelmed, the best cat food for urinary crystals.
Lets see our top picks.
What Foods To Avoid For Pets With Struvite Crystals In
Prescription Diet Feline s/dhas been formulated to help dissolve struvite crystals and stones in your cat. Helps dissolve struvite stones. Targets an acid urinary pH to help increase the solubility of struvite. Please consult your vet for further information and guidance on what is best for your cat Struvite is a phosphate mineral with formula: NH 4 MgPO 4 ·6H 2 O. Struvite crystallizes in the orthorhombic system as white to yellowish or brownish-white pyramidal crystals or in platey mica-like forms.It is a soft mineral with Mohs hardness of 1.5 to 2 and has a low specific gravity of 1.7. It is sparingly soluble in neutral and alkaline conditions, but.
How Do You Dissolve Struvite Crystals In Cats Naturally
Give your cat lots of water. This advice was given to me by Furballs first holistic vet. She said that increasing his water intake kept things flowing through his system to help reduce the concentration of struvite crystals in his urine. I added water to Furballs food as he wouldnt drink it normally.
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Does Tuna Cause Crystals In Cats
Tuna contains high concentrations of unsaturated fats that are quite unhealthy for cats. It can cause a serious vitamin E deficiency, which can lead to a dangerous condition called steatitis. This is a painful disease where the cats body becomes inflamed. Tuna is also high in minerals that can cause bladder stones.
What Is The Treatment For Struvite Bladder Stones
There are two basic categories of treatment for struvite bladder stones: medical dissolution and surgical removal.
Medical dissolution is accomplished by feeding a specially-formulated prescription diet. These diets are intended to alter the pH and chemical composition of the urine in a way that causes the stone to gradually dissolve. In order for dissolution to be effective, the cat must eat only the prescription food no treats or other food can be given. Radiographs are repeated every few weeks during this process, to monitor progress and ensure that the stones are shrinking in response to the diet. Most struvite stones will dissolve within one to two months.
“Radiographs are repeated every few weeks during this process, to monitor progress and ensure that the stones are shrinking in response to the diet.”
Less commonly, bladder stones are removed via a process known as cystoscopy. This involves inserting a small camera into the bladder, with a basket or other retrieval device that can be used to remove the stones. Alternative techniques have also been described to remove bladder stones, but these techniques are less commonly used and are only practical for very small stones.
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What Food Should I Feed My Cat
As we mentioned, diet has a huge role to play when it comes to your cats overall health and wellness. Choose a premium quality cat food that offers your cat everything they need to meet their nutritional requirements. Its important to remember that the initial formation of these crystals and stones can be discouraged by feeding a proper diet and maintaining water consumption. But once developed, they may require veterinarian care and specific, interim prescription feeding.
Here are some of our tips that our experts recommend to support urinary tract health and prevent struvite crystals and stones from occurring in the first place:
Create a feeding schedule. Feed your cat smaller meals frequently throughout the day this will cause less fluctuation in their urine pH.
Ensure you feed a variety of Tetra Pak pâtés and stew recipes, otherwise known as wet food. Have fun and change it up! Doing this will help to hydrate and prevent concentrationof urine. If your cat isnt taking a liking to wet food right away – try mixing it with some dry food.
Provide clean, fresh water at all times and consider having multiple water dishes, or even a fountain. You can also try a delicious chicken broth to encourage your cat to drink more.
Provide a few litter boxes throughout the house and keep them in a quiet, safe place where your cat will feel comfortable going to.
Health and Nutrition Specialist
What Ingredient In Cat Food Causes Crystals In Urine
#2: Reevaluate Your Cats Diet Urinary diets have restricted amounts of minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium, which can contribute to urinary crystal and stone formation. They are also formulated to make your cats urine slightly acidic, which discourages crystal formation.5 Dec 2019
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Urinary Stones In Cats
, VMD, PhD, DACVIM, Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia
Minerals that naturally occur in urine can clump together to form tiny crystals. When crystals clump together, they form uroliths . These stones can develop anywhere in the urinary system, including the kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra. Certain types of stones appear to have increased in cats in recent years. The cause is not clear, but researchers are looking at the effects of diet to determine if there is any link.
Veterinary researchers do not completely understand what causes stones to form Why Cats Develop Uroliths , below). There are many different types of stones, each formed from a complex mixture of various minerals. The most common types are made of struvite, calcium oxalate, and urate. These and some other types of stones only develop under certain conditions. They can be caused by a problem with the minerals themselves or by a problem with other chemicals that exist in urine and which, under normal circumstances, prevent stones from forming. The environment of the urinary tract may also contribute to stone formation. All of these conditions can be affected by urinary tract infections, diet, digestion, the amount of urine that a cat produces, how frequently a cat urinates, medications, and genetics.
Understanding The Idea Behind Preventing Struvite Crystals
There are a ton of issues and questions surrounding a felines health, and one of them is on how to prevent crystals in cat urine. The prevention of this issue isnt far-fetched at all. The best way is to create and stick to a diet plan that isnt prone to the risk of stone formation. There are a ton of urinary formulas for felines. It is best to choose canned food for your cats new dietary plan. The canned foods are watery in nature, which will dilute your cats urine, and this, in turn, will lead to less formation of crystals. Your veterinarian may also monitor through some tests to balance out the urine and the concentration of pH. This will lead to less or no formation of crystals at all.
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