Has your cat been diagnosed with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)? This is a common condition in cats that may be brought on by stress and diet. Crystals in the urine may cause severe irritation to the bladder and may even form stones, some of which may need to be surgically removed. Cats may show painful urination, blood in their urine, urinating in inappropriate places in the household or increased frequency of urination. Cats that show frequent attempts to urinate and do not pass urine may have a bladder or urethral stone. Such cats will need to have a catheter passed to ensure urine can be voided. This is an emergency procedure as any delay may have detrimental effects on the kidneys and well the body as a whole.
Treatment may include:
•Diet changes – depending on the crystals found the urine pH/acidity and salts in the urine need to be adjusted in order to minimise their formation. Specific urinary diets will also make the urine more dilute and ease some of the discomfort in the bladder.
•Pain medication .
•Calming medication/antidepressants – the role of stress in this condition cannot be understated.
•Antibiotics – only a small percentage of cases actually have a bladder infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics. Within 12 months, up to half of the cats will have a repeat episode so it is vital to monitoring these cats and to report to your veterinarian urgently if any of the following symptoms are seen:
•Increased frequency of urination
•Pain or crying whilst urinating
•Increased straining whilst trying to urinate
•Straining but no urine being passed
•Blood in urine
Do not change the diet from the prescribed urinary diet unless you have consulted with your veterinarian. Remember the role of stress in this disease and try to minimize stressful situations such as changes in the environment and new pets. Speak to your veterinarian if you need more advise on minimizing stress for your pet.