Use Of Antibiotics For Treating Utis In Dogs And Cats
Dr. Foster is an internist and Director of the Extracorporeal Therapies Service at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C. He has lectured around the world on various renal and urinary diseases and authored numerous manuscripts and book chapters on these topics. He is the current president of the American Society of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology.
Urinary tract infections are common in small animal practice it has been reported that up to 27% of dogs will develop infection at some time in their lives.1
Most UTIs are successfully treated with commonly used drugs, dosages, and administration intervals. However, infections can be challenging to effectively treat when they involve the kidneys and prostate . In addition, it can be difficult to create an appropriate antibiotic prescription in patients with kidney disease due to reduced drug clearance.
Understanding drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics is essential when determining the most effective antibiotic therapy. In addition, successful antimicrobial therapy requires appropriate choice of antibiotic, including dose, frequency, and duration .
What Are The Causes Of Flutd
One possible cause of FLUTD is the formation of urinary stones, also called uroliths, in the bladder and/or urethra. These are collections of minerals that form in the urinary tract of cats. X-rays or ultrasound are usually needed to diagnose urinary stones. The most commonly seen uroliths are calcium oxalate and struvite . While a special, stone-dissolving diet can be prescribed to dissolve struvite stones, calcium oxalate stones need to be removed surgically. If the diet fails, or if the stones form again, then surgery may also be necessary for struvite stones. In female cats, it may also be possible for a veterinarian to help a cat pass stones by flushing its bladder with sterile fluids or remove small stones directly from the bladder using a cystoscope when the cat is under anesthesia. A veterinarian may then recommend medication or dietary changes after surgery to help prevent recurrence.
Infection of your cats urinary tract with bacteria, fungi, parasites or possibly even viruses can cause signs of FLUTD. Although bacterial infections are more common than fungal, parasitic or viral infections, they are still relatively uncommon in cats. If an infection is found, your veterinarian will probably look for another disease or problem that may have put your cat at risk of infection. For example, uroliths and diabetes can increase the risk of urinary tract infection.
Feline idiopathic cystitis
How To Treat A Cat Uti At Home
A cat UTI is more common in female cats than male cats.
However, male cats can have serious complications from UTIs as well.
Cats diagnosed with idiopathic cystitis can also have crystal formation. Male cats may experience blockage in their narrow urethras, which can become deadly.
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria grows in the bladder.
UTIs and bladder infections usually cause physical discomfort, although some show no signs at all.
Cats with UTIs typically exhibit:
Recommended Reading: Foods That Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Causes Of Urinary Tract Issues In Cats
A urinary tract infection is caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that have worked their way into the urethra . Most UTIs are caused by bacteria and typically affect the urethra and bladder. Left untreated, they can spread to the kidneys, causing a serious infection called pyelonephritis.
UTIs are not especially common in cats, but other urinary tract issues occur often. Your cat’s trouble urinating can have a number of possible causes, some of which can be painful. Urinary conditions can block the flow of urine or inflame parts of the urinary tract. If you’ve been on the hunt for information online, you may have heard about feline lower urinary tract disease , which is a catch-all term for a variety of possible culprits, including UTIs and the following conditions:
- Urinary stones, which develop in the bladder from microscopic crystals
- Urethral obstruction, possibly caused by crystalized minerals in the urine, an injury, a tumor, or an abnormality your cat has had since birth
- Feline idiopathic cystitis , which is inflammation of a cat’s bladder with an unknown cause. This is a common diagnosis in cats less than 10 years old. A veterinarian may diagnose the condition after ruling out other conditions.
What Are Cat Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
Symptoms of urinary tract infections in cats can be similar whether they have sterile cystitis or they have a bacterial infection.
Common signs of a cat bladder infection or cystitis include:
- Frequently urinating
If youre seeing any of these signs in your cat, you need to take them to your veterinarian for an examination and additional diagnostics.
Recommended Reading: Can Urinary Tract Infection Cause Blood In Urine
How To Recognize Your Cat May Have A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection in cats can be completely miserable for your cat as well as lead to more unfortunate circumstances. Unfortunately, cats are frequently abandoned or left at an animal shelter due to urination issues. A cat that has urinary problems, such as feline lower urinary tract disease or a urinary tract infection typically struggles with urinating and frequently urinates outside of their litter box. When cats have a urinary tract infection it is stressful for both the cat and the cat parents. It can be disheartening for cat parents to watch their cat suffer with the symptoms. But the good news is with vigilant care, a visit to the veterinarian and an appropriate diet, your cat can get over a urinary tract infection.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections
Unfortunately, some cats may not show any signs of a urinary tract infection until it becomes a more serious problem. This is especially common in outdoor cats and cats that roam freely inside and out, because their cat parents may spend less time with the cat that do owners of strictly indoor cats. Some of the most noticeable signs of a urinary tract infection may include:Straining to urinateThere may be inflammation and/or the formation of stones in the bladder, which leads to blockage, making it extremely difficult for the cat to urinate.
Recommended Reading: Can You Lose Taste And Smell With A Sinus Infection
When Should You Go To The Vet
If left untreated, a UTI can get worse and cause additional problems for your feline. Bladder stones and even kidney infections can develop if the UTI isnt addressed in time. Worse, UTIs can even lead to FLUTD.
At the first sign of any UTI symptoms, you might be able to head off the infection and cure it early with one or more of the at-home natural remedies weve shared with you. But if things continue to get worse, youll need to take your cat to see a professional and ensure it gets the proper care necessary for treating a full-blown UTI.
If your cat is completely unable to urinate, youll need to take it to the vet. Likewise, if you see that their urine is bloody, things might be getting serious and you need to see a vet. Also, seek professional help if your cat is in high levels of pain.
Your vet can determine whether a UTI is the real issue or not and then treat the problem from there. They often use antibiotics to cure such ailments and this might be the only option if your cats UTI has progressed past the beginning stages.
Recommended Reading: Can Urinary Incontinence Be Cured
Important Information On Flutd & Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Feelings of fear and anxiety can affect our cats much like they affect us. Stress can occur in your cat for multiple reasons. Perhaps youve recently moved or brought a new pet or family member home. Whatever the case may be, if you have a stressed cat, there could be an underlying problem. One of the first ways to detect this problem is when your cat stops using her litter box. She may be peeing in a new spot, spraying on a wall, or having trouble urinating.
Unfortunately, inappropriate urination is one of the most common reasons why cats are left at shelters or put outdoors. If your cat starts marking her territory away from her litter box, its not out of revenge or spite its probably because something is wrong. While it could be a behavioral problem, or she doesnt like her litter box for some reason, a medical condition should first be ruled out. One of the most frequent medical causes of a urination problem is feline lower urinary tract disease.
How To Tell If A Cat Has Urinary Tract Infection
How To Tell If A Cat Has Urinary Tract Infection. Some cats are prone to. If you want to treat your cat’s urinary tract infection before it’s too late, it’s important to keep abreast of these signs and symptoms.
If your cat’s bathroom habits change, it might be a sign that they have a urinary tract problem. If you want to treat your cat’s urinary tract infection before it’s too late, it’s important to keep abreast of these signs and symptoms.
Frequent attempts to urinate, including multiple trips to the litter. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection in a cat:
Ad how to tell if your cat has a uti. Some cats are prone to.
This includes the bladder and urethra (tube that pee. If your cat’s bathroom habits change, it might be a sign that they have a urinary tract problem.
Ad how to tell if your cat has a uti. If your cat’s bathroom habits change, it might be a sign that they have a urinary tract problem.
Recommended Reading: Whole Foods Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections And Inflammation In Cats
Before we get started, let us define what we mean by urinary tract infection. The term urinary tract infection, or UTI, refers to the condition in which bacteria colonize the normally sterile urinary system. As we will discuss in our blog article on Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease , inflammation can develop in conjunction with or without infection.
- Effortlessly urinating
Treating Utis In Cats
Antibiotics will be prescribed to kill the bacteria in the bladder and symptomatic treatment may also be necessary to ease a cat’s discomfort. This usually includes pain medications. Probiotics may also be recommended to restore a healthy population of bacteria in the gut after the antibiotics since beneficial bacteria may also be wiped out by a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
The choice of antibiotic should be guided by the culture and sensitivity results, however, ease of administration, such as pills vs. liquid vs. injection, may also play a role in addition to any underlying conditions your cat may have.
Don’t Miss: Purina One Urinary Tract Health
What Are The Symptoms Of Bacterial Infections In Cats
Bacterial infections can affect any part of your cats body, and the symptoms they cause depend on the type of bacteria and the area of your cats body that is affected.
Common clinical signs of a bacterial infection include:
Other signs tend to be more specific to the area of the body that is affected. Common bacterial infections in cats include:
How Long Can A Cat Uti Go Untreated
If your cat has UTI, it is critical that you consult a veterinarian. Male cats are especially prone to death if they wait for an extended period of time. Female cats should only be fed canned food and see a veterinarian within 24 hours.
The urethral tract infection can occur in both young and old cats. UTIs are relatively simple to diagnose and treat, but they can develop into more serious problems if left untreated. Because feline UTIs are not as common as human UTIs, they may not be visible to the naked eye, allowing for the discovery of other medical issues that may contribute to the infection. It is common for bacterial contamination in the urethra to cause urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections are diagnosed with an important and useful test. Blood pressure, x-rays, ultrasonography, biopsy, and a cystoscopy are other possible tests. If you have a urinary tract infection, you can treat it as an outpatient.
Don’t Miss: Petco Royal Canin Urinary So
How Can I Help My Cat Pee
Bringing your cat to a vet is the single most reliable way to get your cat unblocked and able to pee again. Veterinarians have the tools and know-how to physically clear the blockage and get your cat back on the path to recovery.
A simple procedure could save your cats life. Anything else is a dangerous waste of time.
Other Types Of Urinary Tract Problems In Cats
If your cat is straining, crying when urinating, urinating outside of the box, or having blood in its urine, it may very well have a condition that is not a UTI. Some of the more common causes include:
Feline Urological Syndrome – Also referred to as sterile cystitis, this is a sterile inflammation of the bladder that is incredibly common in cats. The exact cause for this inflammation is unknown but is likely multi-factorial including stress, genetics, diet, anatomy, and lifestyle. This is a disorder that cannot be cured but requires management in the form of stress reduction, special diets, medications, and sometimes surgery.
Urinary Tract Blockage– More often a problem in male cats, the urethra may become blocked with grit and other debris and the cat will be unable to urinate. This is an emergency! Steps must immediately be taken to unblock the cat to avoid kidney failure and death. Any cat with urinary tract symptoms that is not urinating for more than eight hours or only producing small drops of urine should be seen by a vet right away.
Bladder Stones – Bladder stones may also cause signs that look like a UTI. The cat may strain, urinate frequently, have pain when urinating, and have blood in its urine. Testing with your veterinarian, including a urinalysis and x-rays, is necessary for diagnosis.
Don’t Miss: Why Do Cats Get Urinary Tract Infections
Recovery Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Your cats recovery will depend on the underlying cause of the infection. Generally, cats will start to show improvement within 2-3 days of treatment, if the case is not serious.
Always follow your vets treatment instructions. Be sure to provide clean water at all times. Encourage drinking where you can and ensure that litter boxes are clean. This can help reduce your cats stress and may speed up recovery.
Urinary tract infections can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your cat has a urinary tract infection or is at risk, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Trupanion. Find the pawfect plan for your pet in just a few clicks!
How To Treat A Cats Uti
This article was co-authored by Lauren Baker, DVM, PhD. Dr. Baker is a Veterinarian and PhD candidate in Comparative Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Baker received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Wisconsin in 2016, and went on to pursue a PhD through her work in the Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 72,717 times.
UTI stands for urinary tract infection, an infection which can occur in felines as well as humans. Treating a UTI without the use of antibiotics is difficult, if not impossible. If you try to clear an infection and only partially succeed, you run the risk of suppressing the symptoms, whilst bacteria are still present. This could lead to a long-term infection that could potentially damage your catâs health. A low grade urinary infection is a ticking time bomb, because the bacteria could travel up to the kidney and cause a more serious infection. When possible, always seek veterinary attention and an appropriate course of antibiotics.
Also Check: Cat Years Vs Human Years Chart
Also Check: Does Constipation Cause Urinary Incontinence
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.
When To See A Vet
These at-home treatments and remedies may be effective for clearing up minor infections, but more serious infections need to be treated by a professional animal doctor.
If your cat is experiencing mild or moderate symptoms, you can try these remedies to relieve their symptoms. If their symptoms show no sign of improvement in a few days, talk to a veterinarian. If your cat seems to be in pain or is unable to pass urine, see a vet immediately. This could be a sign of urethral obstruction, which can be fatal if not treated within 24 to 48 hours.
A vet may be able to prescribe antibiotics to target the harmful bacteria. Be sure to give your cat the full dose of prescribed antibiotics to prevent the UTI from returning or becoming resistant to treatment.
Even if youre pursuing professional treatment, these remedies can be effectively used alongside antibiotics to strengthen the bladder and balance your cats pH levels. Some can also be used as a daily supplement to prevent the UTI from coming back. Remember to check the urine pH prior to starting some of the remedies to make sure you don’t make the problem worse.
Also Check: Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms And Treatment