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The reoccuring urinary saga.....

TulipRoxy
May 21st, 2009, 10:41 AM
Hello all, its been a while. I have been so busy with school and finals! But now its summer, yay!

Unfortunately my kitty Sencha has been going through more urinary problems, sigh. Some of you may remember that a year ago I took him to the vet as he was straining and had blood in his urine. It turns out he had struvites, and was put on antibiotics, urinary acidifiers and a special diet. Since then I have put all of my pets on raw and have had great success ( until now)

A couple of days ago I noticed that Sencha was starting to pee all over the house again. I was concerned but, at the same time he has a tendency to do that from time to time. Especially since its spring and he has the urge to get outside ( he is not allowed out, but he used to be an indoor/outdoor cat in his first home, so he still longs for it) The symptoms got worse when we started pulling the house apart and painting, and I got really worried so we took him to the vet yesterday.

Unfortunately it was not the same vet that we had seen before, so I wasnt sure what to think. He took x-rays and everthing looked normal. The strange thing was that Sencha had nothing in his bladder. But he has been straining to go. Also the vet found what he thought was a giant hairball in his large intestine. So he couldnt do a urinalysis as Sencha had nothing in his bladder. So he couldnt really tell if he had struvites or an infection. But he still prescribed antibiotics (Amoxicillin), antiinflammatories( Prednisone) and struvite dissolution formula food ( Hills s/d) I really dont like that he put him on all these things without really determining the cause of the incessant peeing ( or trying to pee) Also I dont think that having an empty bladder is typical of a case with struvites as my understanding of it is that they can't empty thier bladder.But I am a bit of a wuss and didnt speak up. He said that the hairball may be sucking up a lot of water as well and gave him hairball medication.

He seems to be doing better now. I think the anti-inflammatories are calming down his bladder. I am happy for that at least, but I would like to get to the bottom of this. I have been reading that most ( 99%) of cystitis cases are not caused by infection and now I'm hesitating to treat him with Antibiotics if is is not needed. I mean why kill all the good bacteria in his digestive system?

I reallly think that his problems are caused by stress mostly as last time he had problems was right after we moved and this time it was when we moved all the furniture around to paint. But I mean how do I limit stress in his life entirely?

I never mentioned to the vet that I fed raw, as I was afraid of the reaction. I'll post more about potential diet issues in the food section. I just wanted to vent I guess and see peoples opinions.

Thanks for listening!

Love4himies
May 21st, 2009, 11:58 AM
Just wondering if you saw any blood in his urine? Could the peeing be from stress rather than crystals or infection?

TulipRoxy
May 21st, 2009, 12:09 PM
Yeah I totally think its from stress. I think he starts peeing then his bladder gets so inflamed that he is uncomfortable and can't pee a lot a time. This would explain why his bladder was empty...its not that he can't pee, just not lots at a time. He has blood in his urine last time but none this time that I saw.

sugarcatmom
May 21st, 2009, 12:26 PM
But he still prescribed antibiotics (Amoxicillin), antiinflammatories( Prednisone) and struvite dissolution formula food ( Hills s/d)

Ugh. :wall: Personally, I wouldn't be using any of these meds (or "food":yuck:) without a proper urinalysis and a culture & sensititivity to determine whether bacteria are actually present, and I find it majorly irresponsible of vets to be handing antibiotics out like candy.

I think you're right about this being related more to stress than anything. There is something called idiopathic interstitial cystitis, which is sterile inflammation of the bladder/urinary tract. Stress is thought to be a large component. Here is a previous post on the subject: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=647445&highlight=idiopathic+cystitis#post647445

Is it possible for you to monitor Sencha's urine ph at home? Some cats do have difficulty maintaining the proper 6.0-6.5 aciditity even when fed a quality meat diet.

Some other things you can try would be adding Cosequin to Sencha's diet to strengthen the bladder lining, and also either cornsilk or marshmallow root powder to help sooth inflammed urinary tract and bladder membranes.

Adding extra water to Sencha's meals would be a good idea, and perhaps the amount of bone he gets in his raw diet might need to be cut back a bit.

TulipRoxy
May 22nd, 2009, 08:08 AM
Ugh. :wall: Personally, I wouldn't be using any of these meds (or "food":yuck:) without a proper urinalysis and a culture & sensititivity to determine whether bacteria are actually present, and I find it majorly irresponsible of vets to be handing antibiotics out like candy.

I know, I know. Its so frusterating to me, because of course I couldnt just watch him suffer, but at the same time you take him to the vet and you get all this stuff you don't need. I mean, I know that the vet should have done a UA, and culture before prescribing atbs. The other frusterating thing is that he put him on pred, which has some pretty nasty side effects.

I think you're right about this being related more to stress than anything. There is something called idiopathic interstitial cystitis, which is sterile inflammation of the bladder/urinary tract. Stress is thought to be a large component. Here is a previous post on the subject: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=647445&highlight=idiopathic+cystitis#post647445

I think so too. But how do I keep his life less stressful? Do you think using something like Rescue Remedy would help?

Is it possible for you to monitor Sencha's urine ph at home? Some cats do have difficulty maintaining the proper 6.0-6.5 aciditity even when fed a quality meat diet.

Yeah of course I could do that. I didnt think of doing that. How do you go about getting a urine sample?

Some other things you can try would be adding Cosequin to Sencha's diet to strengthen the bladder lining, and also either cornsilk or marshmallow root powder to help sooth inflammed urinary tract and bladder membranes.

That sounds great. I'll write those down and see if I can get them at the health food store.
What about things like cranberry, ACV, or vit C? I have been reading about those, but I think those 3 are more on the side of natural urinary acidifiers.

On another note I didnt start giving him the antibiotics. I dont know, I dont feel good about giving them without knowing he needs them. Also I was planning on keeping him on the vet diet until his pred. is done, as I know it interferes with the immune system. Does this sound like a good idea?

Thanks for all your help!

sugarcatmom
May 22nd, 2009, 01:25 PM
I think so too. But how do I keep his life less stressful? Do you think using something like Rescue Remedy would help?

It might, although I find it's better suited for an acutely stressful situation rather than a chronic issue. Perhaps a Feliway diffuser (or 2) would work better. There are also other individual flower essences that can be chosen specifically to suit Sencha's personality traits (kinda like homeopathy remedies). I only have a limited knowledge in that area but I can certainly point you in the direction of those who know more, if you're interested.

There are some other tips on how to minimize stress in this PDF: http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/wsava/2007/pdf/82_20070523070546_abs.pdf Scroll down to page 6 where it talks about Environmental Modification (EM). Basically, keeping a routine (as much as that's possible when you're a student!), implementing play therapy, providing some outdoor time within a safe enclosure if feasible, and trying to eliminate any hostile interactions with other housemates. Some of these are easier said than done.

How do you go about getting a urine sample?

Depends on how shy a pee-er Sencha is. My guy has no problem letting loose while I'm hovering around the box, so what I do is keep a shallow jar lid handy in the area and when I see him heading to the facilities, I'm ready with my lid. After he starts to pee, I just slide the lid gently under his butt and he doesn't even flinch. Well maybe he glances over his shoulder with a "do you mind?" kinda look, but it doesn't otherwise deter him from the task at hand.

If Sencha isn't so free and easy, you could also replace his regular cat litter with some clean aquarium gravel. Vet clinics have No-sorb, which is unabsorbent litter for just such a purpose, but they never give you enough and it costs a ridiculous amount.

And finally, some people have success just covering the cat litter with some loose cling wrap. Urine will collect in the folds and since you only need a tiny amount to dip the test strip in, it should be enough even if the cat digs it up.

What about things like cranberry, ACV, or vit C? I have been reading about those, but I think those 3 are more on the side of natural urinary acidifiers.

For urine acidification, I prefer l-methionine. You should also be able to get it at a health food store, but I'd only use it if you can monitor Sencha's urine ph regularly. Urine that's too acidic is even worse than when it's not acidic enough. Cranberry can be okay to use if urinary tract infections are a common occurance (as opposed to urinary tract inflammation), because it has antibacterial properties, specifically towards e-coli. Better than that though, would be D-mannose powder, a sugar derived from cranberries (that's where their antibacterial-ness comes from).

Hope that helps!