Cat Bladder Problems
"Cat bladder problems can be infectious and non–infectious. When feline bladder function is curtailed, it can lead to generalized problems throughout the lower urinary tract. Problems such as lower urinary tract infection, cystitis, calculi (stones), cancers and congenital obstructions are some common feline bladder problems. Typically, any of cat bladder problem can be identified by symptoms such as difficult, painful and frequent but reduced urination. There are some specific symptoms as well such as the passing of blood and/or mucous, anorexia and progressive weakness. Along with clinical a clinical examination, laboratory procedures are needed to confirm any diagnosis including the use of urinalysis and detailed radiographs. Treatment varies based on the specific cause of the cat bladder condition. This can include the use of antibiotics, diuretics and drugs which address specific symptoms. Surgery may be needed in some cases. Natural remedies and supportive supplements are usually needed as of any treatment plan in order to support the urinary system and also to enhance any immunity depressed as a side effect of the extensive use of certain drugs."
Overview of Cat Bladder Problems:
A cat's urinary bladder is a sensitive organ. A feline bladder collects urine excreted from the kidneys prior to disposal by lower urinary tract organs. In terms of maintaining the physiology of micturation (another term for urination) and sphincter musculature, the cat bladder has a vital role.
Different feline bladder problems have been identified, which may be infectious or non infectious. Both types of problems can cause severe risk to the cat's health status.
The following is a brief overview of common feline bladder problems;
- Feline Lower Urinary Tract
Disease (FLUTD); Earlier, this condition was
thought to be a syndrome, but now it has been identified as an
problem of lower urinary tract in cats, including the urinary bladder.
FLUTD may be caused either by infections or calculi (stones). Infections related to this disease are mostly secondary in nature caused by urolithial damage to soft tissues of the urinary tract lining.
- Bacterial Cystitis:
Bacterial cystitis is a commonly occurring bladder
infection in cats. Bacterial species such as Staphylococcus, Proteus,
Streptococcus etc. may cause infections in the epithelial walls of the
bladder, causing severe inflammation and clinical symptoms. Generalized
illness and loss of body condition are some related features of this
- Calculi (Stones):
Urolithiasis is other name for condition related to
occurrence of calculi or feline bladder stones. This is one of the
major cat bladder
problems, which can also lead to secondary bacterial infections
as well. Different types of calculi or bladder
stones in cats are calcium oxalate stones, struvite
stones, ammonium urates and uric acid calculi.
- Neoplasia: Though less common, neoplasia is seen in older cats and queens. The condition is also referred to as cat bladder cancer. Both the benign and malignant forms of cancer have been reported. Cat bladder cancer appears as a compact mass or projection which is distributed throughout the bladder lining.
Symptoms of Cat Bladder Problems:
In either case of a cat bladder problem, typical symptoms such as painful and strained urination, frequent but reduced volumes of urine are passed (incontinence) and an affected cat may ignore litter box training and start to urinate in inappropriate places.
Other then the typical symptoms, clinically, different conditions may be identified by problem specific symptoms. In the case of infection, blood and pus may pass at the end of the urine stream. Urine may appear cloudy and dark in color.
Similarly, in the case of cat bladder stones, fresh blood may appear in the urine. It will appear thoroughly mixed together and appear light pink to reddish in color. Crystals of calculi may pass, represented by severe pain during urination.
Urinary obstruction is common in cases of cancerous development. Projections or the existence of a compact mass not only blocks the urinary tract, but can also cause secondary infections and severe inflammation. This can result in a partial or complete blockage, ending with extreme pain and possible cat renal failure (kidney).
An obstruction may be congenital (inherited) in some cases. Generalized loss of body condition, anorexia, weight loss and weakness may occur in cases that include infection or cat bladder cancer.
Diagnosis of Bladder Problems in Cats:
Along with the clinical features of cat bladder problems, laboratory procedures such as urinalysis, biochemical profiling and radiography are used as confirmatory techniques. Both physical and chemical features of the urine sample are examined for the possible cause of the cat bladder problem. Radiographs can help in identifying different types of tumors, obstructions and the anatomical status of the urinary bladder. Metastasis )spread) in cases of malignant cancer is assessed with the help of radiographs.
Treatment of Cat Bladder Problems:
Different options are available for treating feline bladder problems. Antibiotics, diuretics and some non steroidal drugs are specifically used for overcoming the exact cause of the bladder problem. Surgery is considered to be a specific treatment option in cases of obstruction and cancers.
Symptomatically, cat bladder problems are treated by using pain killers, urinary tract dilation preparations and by managing a cat's feeding pattern. Fresh and clean water is usually recommended in abundance and diets with lower mineral components are preferred.
Natural remedies and supplements are considered very effective for the reason that they can help restore body condition. They also can be used when treating any of the cat bladder problems, with out any restriction or prescription. Remedies tend to be problem specific. For example, for overall urinary health, particularly for cats that are susceptible to bladder infections, products like UTI-Free Formulacan be helpful. Other products such as Better-Bladder Control can be of help when urination issues exist, such as leaking from the bladder.
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