Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

cat blood in urine

johmac
May 19th, 2010, 11:56 AM
Hi,

My cat Scooter started spotting blood about 2 months ago. I had to go away on business so vet gave an antibiotic injection that lasts 10 days. Scooter was great for about 1 month, then started spotting blood again. Took him back, vet, he gave antibiotics in pill form. On last last day of his 2 week antibiotics, he started spotting blood again.

Back to the vet, he says he will keep him in for an x-ray to see if crystals or stones. Nothing. Says he has a very bad infection. Great oceans of pee for another 2 weeks, then he started spotting blood again, last day of 2 week antibiotic. What I don't understand is that he pees an ocean for a couple of weeks then in an nano second, blood starts. Scooter behaviour is great, no change - preens himself, sleeps (not up and down in the box), jumps on counter, plays, eats with gusto, looks great.

I am perplexed. He is always wanting at the dog food no matter how hard I try to keep him from it and this last bout, I had changed dog food and both cat and dog got a little diarrhea, which is fairly normal. Dog is fine, cat pooh has become solid but the blood is there.

Anyone know. The only thing that encourages me to hope it isn't cancer or something life-threatening is that he seems to get better.

I will likely be back at the vet but am curious if this has happened (or something similar) to others.

Thanks

14+kitties
May 19th, 2010, 12:07 PM
IMO if your vet is not looking at this harder than giving your cat more medications and not doing urine samples and blood work then it's time to find a new vet. :shrug:
Please try to keep your kitty away from the dog food. It is not safe for him to eat. Maybe a bite here or there but not constantly. In fact no dry food is good for a cat. Especially a male cat as they are more prone to blockages.
Cats are very good at hiding their discomfort and pain.
www.catinfo.org - tons of info as to why cats should not be fed dry food.

Frenchy
May 19th, 2010, 12:20 PM
IMO if your vet is not looking at this harder than giving your cat more medications and not doing urine samples and blood work then it's time to find a new vet. :shrug:


I totally agree. Your vet needs to know what is wrong with your cat instead of trying meds on the poor cat. I would go to another vet !

sugarcatmom
May 19th, 2010, 12:44 PM
Says he has a very bad infection.

How old is Scooter?

Has the vet ever sent a urine sample (acquired via cystocentisis) out to a lab for a culture and sensitivity? That's the only way to know for sure if there truly is an infection (which is actually quite rare in cats under 10 yrs old), and what type of antibiotics will be effective against the bacteria. If your vet hasn't done this, I would get one done immediately - preferably by a new vet that knows what they're doing.:rolleyes:

I also concur with 14+ that you need to get your cat off of all dry food.

johmac
May 19th, 2010, 01:08 PM
Well,

Thanks for the responses.

I don't want to be too hard on my vet. I have been going there for years with cats and dogs and have not had problems. There was a test (presumably urine since they kept him in over night for him to pee), and although I did not ask, presumably it was some sort of infection, hence the injection.

I was told by the vet tech on the second antibiotics that sometimes (as in humans and have read on internet) there isn't always a response. By the third visit he did an x-ray but saw nothing. Don't forget, vets are expensive and I am sure they don't all jump to every test out there right away. If I take him back, I will put my faith back in what he says. I am watching Scooter like a hawk for his behaviour and every time he pees so if there any change I will know. I just find it all very strange that he is fine and then he is not.

I know by reading about cats and urine/blood etc, it is not always an easy diagnosis.

Thanks again, I would still be interested in knowing if anyone else has had a similar problem.

johmac

pugsrule
May 19th, 2010, 01:21 PM
I have no experience with cats, but if they are the same as dogs, a bladder infection (UTI) can be a lingering, chronic condition if you havent done a culture and sensitivity on the urine to find the exact antibiotic that the bacteria is susceptible to.

Usually vets will perscribe a broad spectrum antibiotic, and this will cover many organisms. But what will happen if it is not specific to the bug your cat has, is that is just effective enough to suppress the symptoms you have described, and then when you discontinue the med, the original bacteria flares up again. This will continue to happen until you get lucky and find the right antibiotic by chance.........or the faster and by far superior method is to have a urine sample sent off to the lab, and they will grow that exact organism and then test to see the most effective drug possible. If this continues for much longer, it can cause some other changes to the bladder wall that you do not want to incur.

Most vet will do the lab culture after an unsuccessful antibiotic therapy, and in this case you have gone through it more than once, so I am sure your vet is now ready to get the sample sent off and resolve the problem once and for all. It is cheaper for you in the long run, and much better for your cat.

JMO

Love4himies
May 19th, 2010, 01:43 PM
I agree with 14+kitties and SCM, you need to know what is causing the blood. In the meantime, I think changing your cat's food to a quality canned, with a bit of added water will help keep the kidneys and bladder flushed. The will help clear up the infection, if there is one.

Cats are not good drinkers of fluid, they actually have a very low thirst drive and are meant to get their fluids from raw meat (their food), not kibble. I compare a pet eating kibble to a human eating crackers all day and having to get their fluids by licking up water.

Also, not sure what type of food you are eating, but for your cat's immune system to be functioning at a good level, they need an appropriate diet.

Here are a couple of good links to read:

http://catinfo.org/

http://catinfo.org/

Two of my favourite foods are:

Nature's Variety Instinct and Wellness, grain free.

Dog food is not nutritionally complete for cats so please try to keep your cat away from it.

Good luck and please keep us updated.

johmac
May 19th, 2010, 02:20 PM
One more thing during his recent vet visits. He never has a fever - always normal. Does that mean, or not mean anything with a cat. I wish I could get a handle on any of this but all will come to pass in time.

I give him the vet endorsed Science Diet for years but during a move a couple of months ago, I didn't have ready access to it so I gave another brand, which is when the problem may have started (my fault). Also, I have been travelling a lot for the company recently so maybe he has been more stressed with the move and not having me around as much. Hard to know with a cat. He hasn't changed toward me in any way.

This is a very good forum with lots of information. I am going to be getting some dog training for my 16 month old - that's if the cat doesn't use up all my budget so I will look at that section. I have already changed my plans for a new living room chair.

Thanks everyone,
johmac

14+kitties
May 19th, 2010, 02:37 PM
One more thing during his recent vet visits. He never has a fever - always normal. Does that mean, or not mean anything with a cat. I wish I could get a handle on any of this but all will come to pass in time.

I give him the vet endorsed Science Diet for years but during a move a couple of months ago, I didn't have ready access to it so I gave another brand, which is when the problem may have started (my fault). Also, I have been travelling a lot for the company recently so maybe he has been more stressed with the move and not having me around as much. Hard to know with a cat. He hasn't changed toward me in any way.

This is a very good forum with lots of information. I am going to be getting some dog training for my 16 month old - that's if the cat doesn't use up all my budget so I will look at that section. I have already changed my plans for a new living room chair.

Thanks everyone,
johmac

Please take the time to read the site I gave you. It is an eye opener. Cats need a grain free, corn free diet. They are obligate carnivores which means they need to eat meat, not grains. We can't digest corn properly. How can we expect cats to? Unfortunately the food vets sell is not always the best choice.
You aren't sure if your vet did a urine sample on your cat? You didn't ask? I bet he charged you for keeping your kitty overnight, right? Is it a 24 hour vet office? I'm thinking if it isn't the urine sample the vet got may not have been fresh enough to actually pick up on any infections.

sugarcatmom
May 19th, 2010, 04:32 PM
There was a test (presumably urine since they kept him in over night for him to pee), and although I did not ask, presumably it was some sort of infection, hence the injection.

Was likely just a urinalysis, which is not the same as a culture and sensitivity. It takes about 3 days to get the results of a C&S.

Again, how old is Scooter?

I was told by the vet tech on the second antibiotics that sometimes (as in humans and have read on internet) there isn't always a response.

If they didn't pick the correct antibiotic based on the "sensitivity" part of the C&S, then yes that could happen. Or, which I suspect is more probably the case, we aren't dealing with an infection here at all but a case of sterile cystitis.

Don't forget, vets are expensive and I am sure they don't all jump to every test out there right away.

What they should do, though, is recommend from the beginning those tests that would be the most useful in narrowing down the problem, instead of just throwing random drugs at the cat (some of which have serious side effects, including injectible antibiotics like Convenia - which can cause deadly anemia - or Baytril - which can cause blindness).

If I take him back, I will put my faith back in what he says.

Your choice of course, but remember that you're Scooter's main advocate. I'm a big fan of researching things first before blindly assuming everything the vet is doing is in the best interest of my pet.


I just find it all very strange that he is fine and then he is not.

This is why I suspect idiopathic cystitis. More on that below.


I give him the vet endorsed Science Diet for years but during a move a couple of months ago, I didn't have ready access to it so I gave another brand,

Which brand does he eat now, and what specific SD version was he eating before?

Also, I have been travelling a lot for the company recently so maybe he has been more stressed with the move and not having me around as much.

Stress, along with a dry food diet, are the big factors in the development of cystitis in cats. First thing to do is completely eliminate kibble from Scooter's life. That part of the equation is essential. If you're worried about leaving food out for him, don't. I and many others leave wet food out all the time, for many hours, without problems. If insects or hot weather are an issue, you can get automatic feeders with ice-packs in them that open up at set times. Freezing meal-sized portions of canned and letting them slowly thaw in Scooter's dish is another option.

If you need tips for transitioning a kibble addict over to canned, let me know. There's also lots of info in the link that 14+ mentioned.

To help deal with potential stress in Scooter's life, some suggestions are to pick up a Feliway diffuser or 2 (contains calming pheromones that helps cats feel at ease), and to set up a routine if possible. Cats love routine. So if you can set meal times, or regular play times, that can go a long way towards making Scooter feel more comfortable, especially in the newer surroundings.

Does Scooter have anywhere that he can look out the window while you're gone? Maybe a window hammock or a tall cat condo? Boredom is a big stress for cats, so if he has something to entertain him, like watching birds or people walking by, that could help.

Lastly, make sure you keep his litter box scrupulously clean. Use only unscented litter, and maybe even add an extra box or 2. Sometimes cats will hold their urine longer than they should because they're reluctant to go into a dirty box, and that can cause bladder issues.

Good luck!

johmac
May 19th, 2010, 05:48 PM
Scooter is 9 years old. Took care of him and his siblings when I saw his mother (feral) killed on the road outside my work. You are right I did not wait 3 days for results. I can't leave food out for him because he will scoff the lot. He's 20 lbs, that's why I have all these challenges with the dog food. Dog doesn't care if he eats of not. I have begun picking up dog dish but that cat is very sneaky.

Like I said, I am watching him like a hawk. Luckily I work from home so I have a couple of advantages. I will have to take dog for his heartworm meds soon so I'll bring Scoots along.

Thanks everyone for the advice and concern. I have already learned a few things.

sugarcatmom
May 19th, 2010, 06:15 PM
He's 20 lbs,

Ah-ha! All the more reason to switch to wet food. Dry food is the number one cause of obesity in cats, and merely transitioning to canned (even without restricting the amount) almost always results in an appropriate weight loss. Be very careful though that Scooter doesn't lose weight too fast. Overweight cats are at higher risk of developing hepatitic lipidosis (aka "fatty liver") if caloric intake is too restricted (or if he goes on a hunger-strike because he doesn't like the new food). More info on that here: http://www.catinfo.org/feline_obesity.htm

johmac
May 19th, 2010, 08:25 PM
Can I ask a question please?:)

From some of the answers, there seems to be great knowledge of a lot details of these ailments. Am I in a discussion thread with vets or people who have come by with experience. This would be a good place for information on certain things. Not that I would follow what is said without going to a vet but it opens the door for me to research more about what is going on with my animals. One lady who was waiting at the vet with me said that linseed is good for cats with UI.

p.s. when I said I took care of Scooter and his siblings when I found them under the warehouse after their mother had died, I actually only kept Scooter. I had two other cats at the time who were getting very old 17 and 15 and I knew it would be very hard to lose both of them close together so I kept Scooter. Scooter actually bit me and drew a tiny spot of blood when he was a tiny kitten. Because he was feral I had to go to the hospital and they put me on antibiotics for 10 days.

The hospītal called Public Health and I had to keep a close eye on him in case he died (rabies). If he did die I was to take him to Public Health to be checked, if I could not find him then they would have had to put me on medication for rabies as a prevention. Luckily, all Scooter wanted to do was play, play, play. All turned out for the best and I brought him home and he has had a great life since.

Also, not that I am advocating bad food for cats but my other cats ate Walmart brand all their lives and I never had a problem with them, ever. I think sometimes it is just the luck of the draw.

14+kitties
May 19th, 2010, 10:54 PM
You lucked onto a site that has a sugarcatmom. :D She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to cat health. Partly because of necessity. Partly because she does so much research it's mind boggling. Partly because she's a terrific person!
Normally if she says something about a cat's health it is worth getting checked out.
15 and 17 for kitties is not that old. It's getting older yes, but these days with correct diet and care cats can live into their 20s.
Thank you for being Scooter's hero. I hope his siblings had heroes too. :fingerscr

sugarcatmom
May 20th, 2010, 06:29 PM
Am I in a discussion thread with vets or people who have come by with experience.

I'm not a vet, I just play one on TV :laughing:. Seriously though, I've done far too much reading on cat-related issues, everything from health and nutrition to behaviour and welfare. Nutrition is my main thing though, ever since one of my cats developed diabetes 7 years ago. That was when I finally made the connection between food and health, although unfortunately not soon enough to save my other cat's life (he died of inflammatory bowel disease at the tragically young age of 11). On top of experience with IBD and diabetes, I've also dealt with blocked urinary tracts, hepatic lipidosis, obesity, dental disease and allergies in my cats. Every single one of these issues can be traced back to a dry food diet.

One lady who was waiting at the vet with me said that linseed is good for cats with UI.

Linseed oil (aka flax seed oil) is great for humans, not so useful for cats. It does contain some essential fatty acids that could possibly help with inflammation, but cats aren't very good at using plant-based EFAs. They are a finely tuned machine designed to get all of their needs met through the consumption of meat and so have "lost" many of the physiological processes required to extract nutrients from plants (that's an oversimplification but you get the idea).

Better than flax oil would be a fish oil like sardines/anchovies or krill, which are high in omega3 oils that cats can use. Salmon oil (preferably from wild Alaska salmon) is also acceptable, but for environmental reasons I prefer the smaller fishies.

Also, not that I am advocating bad food for cats but my other cats ate Walmart brand all their lives and I never had a problem with them, ever. I think sometimes it is just the luck of the draw.

More like Russian Roulette. Yes, many cats will live long, apparently healthy lives on crappy food, just like there are people that will live to 100 while smoking and drinking to excess (eg George Burns), or people that manage to stay thin while eating the most processed junk food imaginable. But there are many many more that suffer with chronic illnesses, or succumb to early and entirely preventable deaths. Couple things to think about: there's a big difference between merely surviving and thriving; and every cat does fine on dry food, until it doesn't.

Oh, and sadly, the great majority of vets (although this seems to be slowly changing) are probably the last people you should be asking about what to feed your cat. Their education on the subject is minimal and incredibly biased (classes taught by pet food companies; free pet food, pizza and backpacks from those companies while they go to school, etc), and to top it off, they're selling the very products they recommend. Conflict of interest, no? So while you could certainly mention to your vet that you plan to change Scooter's diet, don't be surprised if you get some flak for it. In fact, let me know what s/he says, I'd be interested to see if they're one of the "enlightened" ones or if they fall into the brainwashed category.