Urinating outside the litter box? What your cat could be trying to tell you

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

It's important that your cat always has access to fresh water

Sophia is not only very spiritual but she is also extremely creative; she’s involved in the local poetry organization and has become quite a star in the South Florida poetry reading events. As an employee who usually volunteers to work late each day when asked, I was surprised when she suddenly began running out the door at the end of her shift without even saying goodbye. Sophia also seemed a bit distracted and not behaving like the lively and happy employee that I had come to know over the past several years. Out of concern, I decided to ask her if there was anything wrong or if there was anything I could do to help her. As she began speaking her eyes filled up with tears and she became visibly upset.

I have come to realize after years of being around musicians and artists that creative people tend to be extremely sensitive and emotional. Through her tears she was able to describe the situation at her home involving her cat who had turned the family’s beautiful rug into her large personal litter box. Each day Sophia had to run home and clean up after the cat before other members of her family came home and smelled or stepped in the urine. Her biggest fear was that she would be forced to give up her cat. After suggesting to her that it is possible that this condition may actually have a cure, Sophia called her veterinarian. The doctor did diagnose the cat with a urinary tract infection and prescribed a week-long course of antibiotics. Apparently the infection was causing all these problems and after a week, what seemed like vindictive peeing was totally cleared up after the infection was cured. Read More »

Treating and preventing bladder stones in cats

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Cats can get several different types of bladder stones

“My cat never bites!” is what my friend Joe kept telling me right after his twenty-something pound cat sunk his teeth into my hand. My main concern at that time had nothing to do with diagnosing the emotional health of his cat but rather I was mostly concerned about possibly getting a serious infection or not being able to play my guitar again. After I was able to stop the bleeding, cleaned the wound with peroxide, put antibiotic ointment on it, and wrapped it up, my hand was still throbbing. With a regular pulse like a drummer hitting a snare drum to the beat of a Michael Jackson tune, I could feel my hand through the bandages; I really thought I was in trouble this time. I also realized that in a day or so, if my hand didn’t improve considerably I would have to go visit the emergency room since cat bites can cause serious infections if not treated properly. Read More »

How to prevent future urinary tract infections

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Filed under New Pet Products at PetMeds

Urinary tract infections are more common in dogs than cats

Did you know that urinary tract infections are more common in dogs than in cats? In addition, older female dogs, and dogs with diabetes are more prone to urinary tract problems. UTIs can be painful for pets, and if left untreated can lead to more serious medical problems like bladder and kidney infections, bladder stones, and if very serious, kidney failure. Read More »

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

FLUTD is a term used to describe several different conditions of the urinary tract in cats.

Many phone calls come into the pharmacy from concerned cat owners trying to buy a medication to stop their cat from taking too long to urinate or from urinating outside the litter box. When urination habits change in cats it is important to visit the veterinarian because it’s possible that the cat is suffering from a condition called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). My last blog explained bladder and kidney stones so I decided to discuss another related condition in order to cover feline urinary tract health more thoroughly. Read More »

Bladder and Kidney Stones in Pets

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Treatment of kidney or bladder stones depends upon the type of stone

When I noticed drops of blood in the litter box and saw how much pain my cat “Oliver” was suffering, I wanted to do something immediately to try and help him. At first I wasn’t sure what was wrong, but after a quick visit to his veterinarian it became apparent that we were dealing with a stone called struvite. The veterinarian put Oliver on an antibiotic along with a special diet and after a few weeks the stones seemed to be completely gone. Now some four years later Oliver is still healthy and without any symptoms of stones. Treating stones is however not always that easy and permanent. Depending on the type of stone found, treatment could vary a considerable amount. Read More »

Urinary Incontinence in Pets

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Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
The most  cause or urinary incontinence is hormonal deficiency associated with spaying and/or neutering

Urinary incontinence is a common clinical finding, especially in middle-aged to older canines, and less commonly in senior cats. Probably the most common cause in affected animals is hormonal deficiency associated with spaying and/or neutering. Other causes include genetic defects of the urinary tract, trauma and urinary tract tumors.

Symptoms of urinary incontinence include involuntary urination when resting or sleeping, as well as dribbling when walking. Any pet with urinary incontinence should have a full exam and urine analysis to rule out other medical disorders, including urinary tract infections. Urinary incontinence is often effectively treated with a medicine known as Proin, which acts to tighten the muscles that line the urethra. In other cases low doses of hormones, including stilbesterol or DES may also be helpful in some animals.

Prognosis in treating urinary incontinence will depend upon the underlying cause, but most commonly is excellent for control of symptoms.

Kidney Disease: Appreciating Today Without Losing Hope

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

 Certain cat breeds such as Abyssinians seem to be at higher risk for kidney disease

I just finished reading an interesting story in The Washington Times about a man who climbed the 103 floors of Chicago’s Willis Tower (previously knows as The Sears Tower) with a “Bionic” right leg. Replacement body parts are just another example of the miracles that modern medicine has been performing recently. Eradicating many diseases, replacing limbs, and even the prospect of living forever are being debated among some of the world’s brightest minds.

Many stories of fiction describe people who are indestructible and the latest fascination with vampires also touches on our curiosity and interest in a life that goes on indefinitely. It is quite amazing how fiction originating from a creative imagination has transformed into reality in many areas such as transportation, communication, and recently more than ever in the fields of science, computers, and medicine. With all the medical discoveries that have occurred over the past few decades and with the speed of those discoveries, the prospect of one day eliminating death by disease no longer seems out of reach. Read More »

Incontinence: Some Causes and Some Treatments

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

In urinary incontinence, urine involuntarily leaks from the urethra while the dog is even resting or sleeping

My first dog “Trooper” was a Siberian Husky who loved to run and roam around; he was a free spirit and did not like to be indoors surrounded by walls. Huskies are used as “sled dogs” and apparently do well when they are working and pulling things around in cold weather. One day the door to the garage was open a little and Trooper got out and started running as fast as he could go. I tried to catch up to him, called him, nothing worked. I then got in my car and started driving around the neighborhood and still I could not find him. I went to bed that night very sad thinking that I might have lost “Trooper” and I was hoping and praying that he was not injured and he did not get into a fight with another dog. Read More »

Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Pets

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Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

Recurrent urinary tract infections are common in dogs

Recurrent urinary tract infections are common in dogs and less so in cats, but can be frustrating causes of urinary tract symptoms in our companion animals. Symptoms may include painful or difficult urination, increased frequency of urination, inappropriate urination, as well as bloody urination.

The most common cause of recurrent urinary tract infections in pets is inadequate length of appropriate antimicrobial therapy when treating initial infections. While many veterinarians will dispense 7-10 days of an antibiotic, I find it more helpful to administer antibiotics for 2 to 3 weeks, even in a first time infection to make sure the infection is eradicated. If a flare-up recurs in the future, I will often culture the urine to check for resistant bacterial overgrowth, as well as to help guide my antibiotic therapy. A full exam to check for anatomic problems of the penis or perivaginal area, where often extra skin folds exist, or poor vaginal conformation may be present, which may predispose to relapsing urinary infections. X-rays are also often indicated to rule out urinary tract stones, as well as sometimes ultrasound to assess for any bladder polyps or tumors, especially in older pets.

In cats who have had repeated catheterization for urinary tract blockages, recurrent urinary tract infections are common, as it is in cats who have had perineal urethrostomy surgeries for such blockages. In these cases, periodic urine analyses and urine cultures are indicated to monitor for relapse and to allow us to institute prompt antibiotic therapy when indicated.  In those cases where no predisposing causes can be found in pets with recurrent urinary infections, options include pulse antibiotic therapy the first 5 days of every month, or even low dose chronic evening antibiotic therapy to keep infections in check.

A consultation with a homeopathic vet (www.doctordym.com) may help address dietary and immune system issues, and will often allow us to strengthen the pet’s health and minimize relapses.

FLUTD in Cats

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Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is a complex of various disease symptoms causing various lower urinary tract signs in both male and female cats.  Symptoms may include bloody urination, increased urgency and frequency, as well as inappropriate urination.  The lower urinary tract inflammation may lead to the development of crystals and mucous plugs, which may cause urinary tract obstruction, especially in male cats.

Primary urinary tract infections rarely are the cause of lower urinary tract disease in cats, and usually are only secondarily involved after urinary catheterization. Risk factors for cats in developing FLUTD include indoor-only overweight cats, and cats on dry food only diets. Environmental stresses often play a big role in cats with feline lower urinary tract disease.

FLUTD is a complex of various disease symptoms causing various lower urinary tract signs in both male and female cats.

I have found that even polyvalent vaccination can also predispose some cats to recurrent episodes of urinary tract inflammation. If your cat is experiencing any urinary tract symptoms, a veterinary exam and urine analysis with possible x rays to asses for bladder stones is recommended.  Treatment of feline lower urinary tract disease usually is palliative with use of anti-spasmodic prescription medications such as Phenoxybenzamine, as well as medications to lessen pain such as Buprenex and Amitryptylline.    I have found the herbal remedy Tinkle Tonic from Animal Essentials also helpful in managing cats with urinary discomfort.

Most cases will spontaneously improve over 5-7 days; however, some cats do need chronic therapy.  I have also found supplements such as Cosequin for cats helpful to soothe the urinary bladder.  Feeding all canned food or a proper homemade diet is also important in reducing symptom relapses. I have not found many of the processed commercial pet foods sold by many veterinarians useful in my experience.  I find that the poorer quality of these foods may lead to other health problems as well.