FLUTD in Cats
|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.
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.