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Cats - Cystitis and FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease)

  • Cystitis means inflammation of the bladder, or a bladder infection. This can be from bacteria making their way up the urethra, and into the bladder.
  • Animals affected will normally strain to urinate, urinate more frequently, may cry when urinating, lick at their genital area more frequently and may pass blood stained urine.
  • A urine sample will be needed to confirm the diagnosis and check to see what type of bladder infection is occuring.
  • Cats can also get bladder infections related to their diet, and related to stress.

Diagnosis

  • A urine test is essential to getting an accurate diagnosis. Animals with bacteria and pus cells (neutrophils) present in their urine will require antibiotics to treat their cystitis. Extended courses of Antibiotics can be required.
  • Animals with only blood and no bacteria present in the urine often have what is known as Interstitial cystitis. We do not know why this occurs, but is frequently related to stress and boredom
  • Ultrasound: to look for signs of bladder stones, unusual thickenings within the bladder wall
  • Radiograph: To look for signs of bladder stones that may not show up on ultrasound.
  • Culture and sensitivity: This will find out what bacteria is causing the infection in the bladder, and also allow us to know what Antibiotics will be effective in treating it.

Treatment

  • Exercise: if you have an indoor cat; make the time to play games in the house. You can try a laser pointer and see if your cat will chase this.
  • Diet: some animals will require a special prescription diet, especially if there is any crystals present in the urine, or your pet is having trouble maintaining an acid pH. Also try to increase the wet food content. It should be at least 50% of the diet.
  • Water: Try using a water fountain to increase oral intake of water to have a flushing effect in the bladder.

Medications

  • This may include anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, antibiotics or injections that increase the protective glycoaminoglycan layer of the bladder wall.

Management

  • These cases can be very difficult and frustrating to manage for you, your pet, and your vet!
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