Friday, October 17, 2008

Feline Urinary Syndrome

Pet owners be on the lookout for symptoms of FLUTD or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. It seems to be more prevalent in the Fall and Winter months. Cat owners will notice strange elimination habits of their feline children. They begin to frequent the litterbox. Spend a great bit of time therein. Sometimes spots of bloody pee are found outside the box.

What is the cause of this problem? Why in the fall?

The cause is thought to be multi-fold. The urine of these patients is usually found to contain fine crystals or "sand". Some cats have urine that when placed in a tube and held to the light appears like a snowglobe with the crystals floating like snow. Diet change is probably the most common cause of the syndrome. The delicate balance of urine pH and chemical composition is changed causing the precipitation of of the crystals which irritate the bladder and can reduce urinary outflow. Many cats avoid water drinking causing the urine to become quite concentrated. This also contributes to crystal formation. Many cats who eliminate outdoors will avoid doing so in bad weather which is typically starts in the fall with rain. This may be one factor for urine retention and crystal formation. Sometimes no crystals are formed and the bladder is simply inflammed resulting in the same symptoms. These cats frequent the litter box with little or no success urinating. If your cat is exhibiting these signs, veterinary attention should be sought immediately to avoid a life-threatening emergency, usually in male cats, where complete urinary blockage can occur. The cat will become very lethargic and may vomit from toxin build up. You may have only hours to save a life.

No comments: