How Vets Diagnose Utis In Cats
Vets diagnose urinary tract infections by collecting a urine sample and examining it for the presence of bacteria. These samples must be collected through a process called cystocentesis, where urine is drawn directly from the bladder with a fine needle. This is necessary to prevent contamination of the urine sample from cups, tables, or any other surface the urine may come into contact with.
After cystocentesis, your veterinarian will run a culture-and-sensitivity test. During this test, the bacteria are isolated and studied. This helps the vet determine the best antibiotics for your cats exact infection.
Occasionally, acute infectionsespecially first-time infections that show up suddenlyare treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic without trying to determine which bacteria are involved.
Chronic infections, however, almost always require more testing to isolate the type of bacteria causing the problem and identify the best antibiotic.
When To Get Medical Advice
It’s a good idea to see your GP if you think you might have a UTI, particularly if:
- you have symptoms of an upper UTI
- the symptoms are severe or getting worse
- the symptoms haven’t started to improve after a few days
- you get UTIs frequently
Your GP can rule out other possible causes of your symptoms by testing a sample of your urine and can prescribe antibiotics if you do have an infection.
Antibiotics are usually recommended because untreated UTIs can potentially cause serious problems if they’re allowed to spread.
What Can Be Done About Utis
Several antibiotics are available to treat UTIs, and other basic precautions can help reduce risks, such as urinating before and after sex, wiping from front to back, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding douches and feminine sprays.
UTIs are unfortunately easy to get and can become chronic, but we can help. Make an appointment with Dr. Kohli and BostonUrogyn today , including Wellesley and South Weymouth, or book your visit online.
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Role Of Urine Dipstick Testing
Dipstick testing of urine is often used as a fast method for ruling out UTI as the cause of symptoms. This test detects the presence of leucocyte esterase and nitrites . However, Gram-positive bacteria and other organisms such as Enterococci and Pseudomonas species account for larger proportion of UTI in older adults and these microorganisms do not reduce urinary nitrates to nitrites. This may mean that urine dipstick nitrite test will not test positive for these organisms.
Results from a study conducted by Juthani-Mehta et al. in nursing home residents suggests that a dipstick test result that is negative for both leukocyte esterase and nitrite can effectively exclude the diagnosis of UTI. This study, however, observed a positive predictive value of only 45% suggesting that dipstick test is not useful for identifying patients who meet laboratory criteria for UTI. Another study conducted amongst nursing home residents with asymptomatic bacteriuria also observed a very high negative predictive value of urine dipstick testing.
Cortes-Penfield et al. provide a great analogy of urine dipstick testing interpretation. They note that the clinical utility of the urinalysis for diagnosing UTI is similar to that of the D-dimer for the diagnosis of a pulmonary embolism a negative result is of great value for ruling out embolism in patients with all but the highest pre-test probabilities of disease, while a positive result is not sufficient to establish the diagnosis.
Uti Causes And Risk Factors
The most common cause of a UTI in the urethra is a sexually transmitted disease. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two STDs that can cause a UTI. STDs are also the most common cause of UTIs in younger men.
Prostate problems can also cause UTIs. An enlarged prostate is common in older men and can block the flow of urine. This can increase the odds that bacteria will build up and cause a UTI.
Prostatitis, which is an infection of the prostate, shares many of the same symptoms as UTIs.
Diabetes and other medical issues that affect your immune system can also make you more likely to get a UTI.
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Youve Got A Cold The Flu Or Allergies
You may be tempted to curse your seasonal sneezes, a cold, or the dreaded flu for making your life even more miserable with a UTI, but these ailments arent the cause. The meds you take to manage symptoms could be.
Though theyre the bomb at keeping your runny or stuffy nose in check, antihistamines and decongestants might make you go less by causing urinary retention. And see No. 6 that may lead to a UTI.
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You Dont Pee After Sex
The threat of getting a UTI shouldnt stop you from getting it on. But that doesnt mean resigning yourself to the afterburn.
One simple way to cut your risk: Head to the potty after youve finished your romp. Youll possibly flush out the bacteria that may have made their way into your urinary tract. Urinary Tract Infection. .
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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 Causes A Uti
UTIs occur when bacteria get inside the urinary tract, the drainage system that expels liquid waste from the body. Strains of Escherichia coli account for 90 percent of all UTIs, but other bacteria may also cause the infection. E. coli bacteria live inside of the intestines, where theyre harmless. But if they get trapped inside the urinary tract, they trigger an immune response that leads to inflammation. When this occurs, you are likely to experience symptoms of a UTI.
Typically, chronic UTIs affect the lower urinary tract, which includes:
- Bladder: an organ that resembles a triangle located in the pelvis behind the pubic bone. It stores urine produced by the kidneys. The scientific name for a UTI that impacts the bladder is cystitis.
- Urethra: the tube that shuttles urine from the bladder to the outside of the body during urination. A womans urethra is in front of the vagina, while a mans travels through the penis. The scientific name for a UTI that impacts the urethra is urethritis.
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How The Urinary Tract Works
Urine is made by your two kidneys, one on each side of the tummy . Urine drains down tubes called ureters into the bladder. There it is stored and passed out through a tube called the urethra, when you go to the toilet.
In the average adult patient there should be a urine output of: 0.5-1 ml/kg/hr. This means that an average 70 kg man should produce 35-70 mls an hour. However urine output decreases in older patients and the target urine output should be 0.25-0.5 ml/kg/hr. This means that a 70 kg man who is aged over 65 years should produce 17.5-35 mls per hour.
Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infections
And now a brief note about reproductive parts: Although people with penises do get UTIs, people with vaginas are more at risk. It all boils down to the anatomy, Minkin says.
Bacteria that cause UTIs often make their way from the back door to the front and then up the urethra to wreak havoc on the urinary system.
Because the male reproductive system has a longer urethra than the female reproductive system, the bacteria have farther to travel, which makes it more difficult for a UTI to develop.
But regardless of anatomy, once youve had one UTI, youre more likely to get another, especially if you have a vagina. Hickling DR, et al. . Management of recurrent urinary tract infections in healthy adult women.
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Cranberry Juice And Tablets
Cranberry juice and tablets have been shown to reduce RUTIs as they contain a compound called tannin, or proanthocyanidin, which reduces E. coli vaginal colonisation., Although earlier, smaller studies have shown that consuming cranberry juice or tablets can prevent RUTIs, an updated Cochrane review showed that evidence for its benefit in preventing UTIs is small therefore, cranberry juice cannot be recommended any longer for UTI prevention.,
Urinary Tract Infections In Babies And Young Children
Babies and children are at risk of UTIs. These infections always need to be investigated as they may indicate a serious underlying condition, such as urinary reflux. Reflux is caused by a bladder valve problem allowing urine to flow back into the kidneys from the bladder. Reflux can cause the urine to stay inside the body increasing the risk of infection. It may lead to kidney scarring, which in turn leads to high blood pressure and sometimes kidney problems.
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How Do Utis Affect Pregnancy
Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy raise your risk for UTIs. UTIs during pregnancy are more likely to spread to the kidneys.
If you’re pregnant and have symptoms of a UTI, see your doctor or nurse right away. Your doctor will give you an antibiotic that is safe to take during pregnancy.
If left untreated, UTIs could lead to kidney infections and problems during pregnancy, including:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
Can I Prevent Recurrent Utis
There are steps you can take to help reduce UTIs. The most basic is to drink plenty of fluids. This encourages frequent urination and helps flush out bacteria.
For women, following good hygiene practices is especially important:
- After a bowel movement, wipe from front to back to reduce the chance of moving E. coli bacteria from the rectal area to the urethra.
- Pee immediately before and after sex.
- Wear cotton underwear.
For older adults, take care to deal with retention problems, which are especially an issue as you age.
I tell them to double-void urinate and then go back and urinate again, Dr. Vasavada says.
What about drinking cranberry juice to fight UTIs?
Thats one of the most commonly asked questions, Dr. Vasavada says. Theres conflicting data. Its not going to cure an infection, but it could help prevent one, so we dont discourage it.
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What If They Keep Coming Back
Recurrent UTIs are defined as having two infections in a period of six months or three infections in a year. Most recurrences are due to a new infection as opposed to the old infection lingering. There are a few reasons why these recurrences might happen, including having cell receptors that bacteria is more prone to affecting. Those who are sexually active are also more prone to infections, due to the fact that bacteria is more likely to spread during sex, which is why proper hygiene and urinating after sex is very important. Your diet can also contribute. If youre not well hydrated, your body may have difficulty flushing out bacteria effectively. Additionally, a balanced diet can keep your bowels running properly, meaning theres less pressure on your bladder from your bowels. Diarrhea can also more easily spread bacteria. If you feel like you might have a urinary tract infection, especially if you suffer from recurrent UTis, its important to book an appointment with Mississippi Urology Clinic for an official diagnosis. A simple UTI can develop into a more complex infection if untreated. On the other hand, the symptoms could also come from a different type of infection that may require a different type of treatment. Most importantly, dont suffer these symptoms without reaching out for help. We can diagnose a UTI and have you feeling better soon with the proper medication and treatment.
How Are Chronic Utis Treated
If you have recurrent or chronic UTIs, your doctor may send you to a urologist who specializes in diseases of the urinary system. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, some of the ways that recurrent UTIs are evaluated and treated include:
- Testing The doctor will want to take a urine sample to test for bacteria and white blood cells. It may be necessary to do special X-ray studies to see if there is an obstruction or stones in the urinary tract. A urologist may look into your bladder by passing a special scope through the opening into your bladder. This exam is called cystoscopy.
- Antibiotics for Treatment Normally, UTIs responds very well to antibiotics, and you may only need to take medication for a few days. For recurrent UTIs, antibiotics may be needed for 10 days or more.
- Surgery In some cases of prostate disease, stones, or other obstruction of the urinary system, surgery may be done to restore normal flow of urine and help clear up infections.
- Antibiotics for Prevention Some strategies to prevent recurrent UTIs with antibiotics include taking low-dose antibiotics for six months or taking antibiotics after sexual intercourse.
- Frequent Urine Testing Women who have recurrent UTIs may benefit from testing their urine frequently with a dipstick that warns of any bacteria in the urine.
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Uti Symptoms In Seniors: What To Watch Out For
For seniors, many of the symptoms of a urinary tract infection are linked to changes in behavior, and they may include:
- Social withdrawal
Many of these atypical UTI symptoms mimic the signs of dementia, and the initial reaction to a senior acting in this way may be fear of developing or worsening dementia or Alzheimers. The first thing to do is to find out if the elderly individual has a UTI, since a UTI can exacerbate symptoms of dementia or cause these symptoms in an elderly individual who has not developed dementia.
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Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection In Pregnancy
UTI is the most frequent medical complication of pregnancy. The risk factors of preterm delivery, low infant birth weight and abortions are most commonly associated with symptomatic and asymptomatic bacteriuria during pregnancy.77 In pregnancy, factors that contribute to UTI risk are ureteric and renal pelvis dilation increased urinary pH decreased muscle tone of the ureters, and glycosuria, which promotes bacterial growth. Treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnancy reduces the risk of pyelonephritis. As RUTIs are common in pregnancy, they need prophylactic treatment if they occur. Screening for bacteriuria is recommended in all pregnant women at their first prenatal visit and then in the third trimester.82,83 They should subsequently be treated with antibiotics such as nitrofurantoin, sulfisoxazole or cephalexin.21,24,8284 Antibiotic prophylaxis for RUTI in pregnant women is effective using continuous or post-coital regimens. The causative organisms of UTI in pregnancy are similar to those found in non-pregnant patients, with E. coli accounting for 8090% of infections.85,86 Urinary group B streptococcal infections in pregnant women need to be treated and followed by intrapartum prophylaxis.21
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You Dont Drink Enough Fluids Every Day
Urination plays a crucial role in protecting the urinary tract. Peeing washes microbes out of your urinary tract, decreasing your risk of infection. If you dont urinate often enough, bacteria may have the opportunity to build up.
Drinking fluids is essential to urine production. When you dont drink enough, you may not make an adequate supply of urine. Its possible to be dehydrated enough to slow down urination and not experience any other symptoms. Thats why its important that you drink fluids throughout the day.
Most people need to drink six to eight, 8-oz. glasses of fluid to remain hydrated. Water is the best option for preventing dehydration. Caffeinated beverages supply fluid, but caffeine can worsen dehydration. As a result, you shouldnt include drinks like soda and coffee in your fluid intake.
Examining the color of your urine can give you insight into your hydration levels. Although its normal to have darker urine first thing in the morning, dark, amber-colored pee during other times of the day may mean you need to drink more. When youre properly hydrated, your urine will usually appear light yellow to medium gold in color.
What Is A Uti
Before we talk about recurrent UTIs, lets talk about UTIs in general.
A UTI is an infection in any part of your urinary tract, the Mayo Clinic explains. The infection usually starts when bacteria normally found in your bowels get into the urethra, where pee exits from. Instead of urine flushing out the bacteria or your immune system fending it off like its supposed to, the bacteria begin to colonize the urinary tract, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . Most UTIs stay in the urethra and bladder , per the Mayo Clinic.
Sometimes a UTI keeps coming back, which is called a recurrent UTI or a chronic UTI. Most people would say a true recurrent UTI is either two within six months or three within a year, Sandip Vasavada, M.D., urologic director of the Center for Female Urology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic within the Glickman Urological Institute, tells SELF.
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And It Wont Hurt To Try These
Like many women, you may have memorized the following age-old advice for preventing UTIs:
Wipe from front to back.
Urinate before and after sex.
Drink lots of water.
Avoid tight underpants and jeans.
These suggestions are directed at flushing the bladder and keeping E. coli from spreading into the urinary tract. Although studies have failed to show that they prevent either primary or recurrent UTIs, theres no harm in trying them, Dr. Gupta says. They cant hurt, and if they help, youre ahead of the game.