Pet Health Alert: Urinary Blockage In Cats Can Be Life Threatening
Toby, an eight-year-old male tabby, had never had any medical issues until he suddenly became blocked, or unable to urinate, one day last month.
He was going to his litter box constantly, said Carlos B. of the Bronx, who adopted Toby as a kitten. Back and forth, back and forthand his personality seemed to change.
So Carlos and his girlfriend, Julie, brought Toby to the ASPCA Animal Hospital , where he was diagnosed with Feline Urological Syndrome , or urinary blockage, by Dr. Maren Krafchik.
Most cats affected by FUS are in the one- to eight-year range, like Toby. Common symptoms include:
- Straining to urinate
- Inappropriate urination
- Straining without urination
- Crying, restlessness, or hiding because of discomfort
- Loss of appetite
Urinary blockage is a life-threatening emergency, says Dr. Krafchik. Potassium levels rise in the bloodstream and can cause death in a cat.
A urinary catheter was placed to unblock Tobys urethra and allow urine to drain from Tobys bladder, and he received intravenous fluids and pain medication. The urinary catheter was removed a few days later, and Toby was sent home. Unfortunately, this condition can reoccur, and Toby returned to the Hospital three weeks later with another urinary obstruction. He went back to his old symptoms, Carlos said.
Male cats are susceptible to developing obstructions of the urethra because their urethral diameter is so small, says Dr. Krafchik.
What Causes Urinary Blockage In Male Cats
Neutered male felines are more likely to experience urinary blockage since their urethras are more narrow. Their urethras may be extremely thin to the point where muscle spasms in the urethra can prevent proper urine flow.
The urethra of a male cat can also become blocked by urethral plugs, sludge, or by tiny urethral stones. Additionally, urinary blockage in cats can be caused by consuming foods with a high magnesium content or an underlying disease known as feline idiopathic cystitis .
This Urinary Condition Can Be Deadly For Male Cats
Thanks to scooping and cleaning, cat owners are likely to be more familiar with their pets litter boxes than theyd like to be. But in some cases, this close attention to your kittys bathroom habits can be a good thing! Paying attention to your cats litter box can help you uncover problems with their health. One such problem might be a urinary blockagea painful and potentially life-threatening condition common in male cats.
A urinary blockage, also known as a urinary obstruction, occurs when something blocks the urethra of a cat, leaving them unable to urinate normally. The blockage might be caused by crystals or stones formed from minerals in the kidneys or bladder or by plugs formed by cells and mucus. In some instances, the obstruction might be caused by an infection or a tumor. The blockage might be complete or partial, depending on its size and orientation.
Urinary blockages can happen in all cats, but they are of particular concern in neutered male cats. When a male cat is neutered, their urethra is narrowed. This increases the risk of urethral obstruction, since the space to block is much smaller.
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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..
Bring Your Cat To West Park Animal Hospital
For cat parents in West Park, North Olmsted, Berea, Rocky River, Lakewood, Fairview Park, and Cleveland, seeing your kitty in anguish caused by a urinary blockage can be heartbreaking. Fortunately, a urinary blockage can be treatable, and the staff here at West Park Animal Hospital will take good care of your beloved cat. Contact us today and let us determine the best treatment plan for your feline friend.
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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.
Fluid Lower Urinary Tract Disease/pandora Syndrome/ Feline Idiopathic Or Interstitial Cystitis
Bacterial UTIs occur much less frequently in cats than in dogs. More commonly what cats have is Pandora Syndrome which does not in most cases have a bacterial component and treatment consists of more than just an antibiotic.
Disease of the lower urinary tract is one of the most common problem in cats. It involves inflammation and discomfort in the bladder and the urethra which is the tube leading from the bladder out of the body. This has gone by various names, FLUTD or FIC and most recently, Pandora Syndrome.
Pandora syndrome, like the name implies, has no single cause. The underlying causes are likely due to multiple factors: among these include bladder and hormone abnormalities, neurological disorders, environmental stressors or trauma, infections, urinary stones, and/or rock-hard collections of minerals formed in the urinary tract of cats which obstructs the normal flow.
Cats with Pandora syndrome most often show signs of bladder inflammation, difficulty and pain when urinating, increased frequency of urination, urinating outside of the box and blood in the urine. Often cats who have Pandora Syndrome will have chronic urinary issues that wax and wane.
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Does Dry Cat Food Cause Urinary Problems
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a variety of factors, including the cats diet, overall health, and genetic disposition. However, some experts believe that dry cat food may contribute to urinary problems, as it is typically high in carbohydrates and low in moisture. This can lead to dehydration and increased concentration of urine, which can predispose cats to developing urinary crystals or stones. If your cat is having urinary problems, it is best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment.
Urinary problems are frequently encountered in cats. Untreated, they can sometimes be fatal. Plain water is the most important food for your cats urinary system. Due to their naturally voracious appetite, it can be difficult to get your cat to drink a large amount of water. A Kitty Fountain or a bowl of fresh water in multiple bowls can help you increase your cats water intake. Canned cat foods are healthier for your urinary system than dry cat foods. If you prefer to feed your cat dry food, you can supplement with canned food on a daily basis.
Urinary Blockage In Cats: What All Cat Owners Should Know
A urinary blockage in cats is a very common and serious condition that can become fatal quickly if the symptoms are not noticed. The condition is caused by a blockage in the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. When the urethra is blocked, urine cannot flow properly and can back up into the bladder leading to the buildup of uremic toxins into the bloodstream. This is a very serious condition and can become fatal quickly if the symptoms are not noticed. The goal of this blog article is to educate cat owners as to the symptoms and disease of urethral obstruction in cats.
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What Food Is Right To Prevent Urinary Problems In Cats
Regardless of the food options given to your cat daily, the only elixir for your feline friend is the adequate intake of pain water. It is important because neither bladder stones nor crystals can form if the minerals present in the food are diluted sufficiently.
However, making your cat drink enough water can be a tough job. Cats are thirst-tolerant by nature. So, as a pet parent, you need to develop strategies that can help increase the pets water intake. You can either purchase a cat water fountain that would continuously provide your pet with fresh water.
Several pet parents swear by this method as it keeps the water fresher for longer. Apart from this, it would help if you switched from a dry cat diet to wet variants slowly. Veterinarians suggest the use of wet food instead of dry options as it is an ideal way to get more water into your pets body.
It helps balance out the urine pH and ensures that the minerals present in the food are diluted enough to avoid the formation of crystals in the excretory system.
Even if your cat refrains from having a wet diet, it is your responsibility as a pet parent to get a good amount of water into their body. Try to add some flavors to your cats water to ensure they drink it all.
Several cat owners are under the misinformation that only male felines are prone to having urinary issues. Although the risk factor is higher in males, it is equally risky for female cats as well.
Dont Ignore The Problem
Its important to address urinary tract disorders in cats because of the other health consequences of stress-related disease. If the problem is ignored in male cats, due to their anatomy a potentially lethal blockage can occur. Because idiopathic cystitis can cause crystals, the narrow urethra of male cats can get blocked by crystals being lodged in the tube. If this problem is not addressed, it can become deadly to the cat.
This is a multi-systemic disorder in which the urinary system is just one aspect that is affected, explains Dr. Gal. These cats have gastrointestinal and behavior problems as well.
The stress causes numerous problems, so to have a happy, healthy cat, be sure to address possible behavioral or environmental stressors.
If you have any questions or concerns about a possible urinary tract infection in your cat, contact your local veterinarian.
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Blocked Male Cats: What Is It And What To Do
Urethral blockages are common in cats, particularly amongst males, and have the potential to be a life-threatening emergency. However, with prompt identification of the symptoms and professional intervention by your vet, its possible for your male feline to make a full recovery. Heres what you need to know about blocked male cats and what to do if your furbaby is affected.
Treating Cystitis In Cats
Feline idiopathic cystitis can be tricky to treat and takes lots of patience and time and may even require help from a feline veterinary specialist or behaviourist. Its a condition that can also go away by itself but, considering the discomfort and pain it can cause your cat, its best to seek treatment as soon as you spot the first symptoms.
The good news is that with veterinary help, many cats with urinary problems go on to have normal and happy lives. Some of the most common treatment options for cystitis and urinary issues in cats are listed below.
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What Further Tests Are Required To Diagnose The Cause Of Flutd
“When clinical signs are persistent or recurrent, a number of tests may be required to differentiate idiopathic FLUTD from the other known causes of urinary tract inflammation.”
When clinical signs are persistent or recurrent, a number of tests may be required to differentiate idiopathic FLUTD from the other known causes of urinary tract inflammation. These diagnostic tests include:
- Laboratory analysis of a urine sample.
- Bacterial culture of a urine sample.
- Blood samples to look for other evidence of urinary tract disease or other systemic disease such as kidney disease.
- Radiographs and/or ultrasound examination of the bladder and urethra.
Treatment For Urinary Tract Problems In Cats
There are different ways that urinary tract problems in cats can be treated. Urinary problems in cats treatment options depend on what caused the condition in the first place. When the underlying causes are treated, symptoms of FLUTD may improve, and the risk of recurrence may also be greatly reduced.
One particular problem often faced with FLUTD in cats is the fact that in as many as 64% of cases, the condition is classified as idiopathic. This means that no actual physical cause can be identified. It becomes harder to initiate an effective treatment protocol to help address any underlying root causes.
Antibiotics are often used when an infection is suspected to be present. The possibility of infection can be confirmed by testing the cats urine. Urinary acidifiers may also be administered to the cat. Another possible medical option may include fluid therapy.
You may also be advised to increase the cats intake of water and to make appropriate dietary changes, depending on the cats existing diet.
In more serious cases, surgical procedures may be used to remove stones. Surgery may also be used when congenital abnormalities are present. There is also a surgical procedure that can be used to assist in removing an obstruction or blockage within the cats urethra. This may help to relieve symptoms associated with urinary problems in cats.
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Recovery And Management Of Utis In Cats
Most cats will fully recover within 7-10 days of developing a urinary tract infection, but they may need to remain on a canned diet for longer. Your vet may check a urine sample after treatment to determine if all the bacteria are gone.
Occasionally, cats will develop repeated urinary tract infections. Cats with recurring UTIs often require more testing to determine the underlying cause.
What Types Of Foods Should I Feed My Cat
If your cat is at risk for urinary blockage, your veterinarian may recommend a urinary diet to help reduce crystalluria and dissolve stones. Increased water consumption is very important in reducing the risk of urinary blockage in cats. Please avoid feeding low-quality kibble-based diets to your cats as these types of foods can increase the risk of urinary blockage.
Urinary blockage in cats is a medical emergency. This condition can easily become fatal if the symptoms are not noticed. The causes of urinary blockage in cats can be due to urinary crystals, stones or inflammatory plugs. With proper treatment, the prognosis can be good and prevention depends on the cause of the urinary blockage. The best prevention is to feed your cat a high-quality diet with at least 50% of the daily amounts in the form of canned food. If you have any further questions about urinary blockage in cats, please contact your veterinarian.
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Case And Control Selection
Medical records of feline patients visiting the Small Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University from November 2016 to October 2017 were reviewed. Cats were diagnosed with FLUTD and considered cases if they presented with dysuria, haematuria, stranguria, pollakiuria or periuria. The causes of FLUTD were identified by radiography, ultrasound, urinalysis or urine culture. Cats were considered clinically normal if the results of a physical exam by the veterinarian on duty and blood tests were both normal. These cats were aged-matched to the cases and used as controls. The age-matched controls were cats that visited the hospital for spaying, neutering or vaccinations during the period of case selection. The clinically normal cats were excluded if they had previously been diagnosed with FLUTD or other diseases. All cats were included without regard to sex or breed.
The protocol was approved by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University Animal Care and Use Committee .
Preventing Urinary Blockage In Male Cats
Regrettably, if your male cat has experienced a urethral blockage, there is a high chance that this will happen again. The good news is that there are certain steps that a cat parent can take to minimize this risk.
First and foremost, water intake is essential to preventing urinary blockage and flushing debris out of your cats system. You can try installing a drinking fountain for your cats to encourage water intake. You can also add a little tuna juice to a bowl of water to give it some flavor that your cats are sure to enjoy. Consider switching to canned food if your cats diet primarily consists of dry food.
Proper nutrition can help to prevent urinary blockage in male cats. If your feline has already experienced urethra health issues, , a therapeutic diet may be vital in helping dissolve the crystals or reduce the chances of forming new crystals, leading to better urinary health. You can buy therapeutic food from a veterinarian. Ensure you strictly adhere to the doctors instructions regarding this therapeutic diet.
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