Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Abnormal urination could be sign of medical or behavorial issue for cat

Here's an excellent article about the significance of abnormal urination in cats and why it should never be simply written off as "the way cats are". The author is a veterinarian, which is what I like to see in articles about feline health (as opposed to being authored by lay journalists who may not be able to address medical issues coherently or may just get their facts wrong).

"Abnormal urination is a common problem in felines. Symptoms center on urinating in inappropriate places, but problems can also include spraying, increased frequency of urination, straining to urinate, inability to urinate, and the presence of blood, bacteria, pus or crystals in the urine. If the underlying cause is not addressed, the patient can become very ill.

"The key to resolving this matter is to determine if this is a medical or behavioral issue. Both categories occur frequently, but the treatment differs.

"Your veterinarian will want to know:
» When this problem started,
» Frequency and type of symptoms.
» Water consumption.
» Appetite, energy and weight.
» How many cats are present in or around the household.
» Information about the litter and litter box.
» Stressful household changes.

"Lab work will minimally include a blood panel and urinalysis. Other diagnostics may include a urine culture, X-ray or ultrasound.

"Medical causes for abnormal urination can include diabetes, kidney disease, cystitis, a urinary tract infection, a kidney infection, urinal crystal formation, urinary stone formation, kidney stones and cancer."

I'm going to add an important request: when bringing your cat in for evaluation of urinary problems (or ANY illness for that matter), if it has been seen by another veterinarian for that problem within the past couple of years, please bring with you a complete compy of the prior medical record so we can offer a VALID second opinion rather than guessing at what has been done/seen previously.