The most common emergency we see at our 24-hour hospital is a urethral obstruction in male cats. This painful condition can occur for a variety of reasons – most often urinary crystals are due to stress.
Urinary crystals are formed when the pH in the urine is too alkaline. Resulting in these crystals irritating the bladder lining and can form plugs which completely obstruct the urethra (urine outflow).
Stress can cause abnormal urethral spasm – also obstructing urinary outflow. When the urethra is obstructed, cats quickly become painful and will often vocalize, strain in the litter box, not want to eat, and overall act distressed. It is crucial to unblock these cats in a timely fashion before electrolytes become imbalanced in the bloodstream, or even worse, the bladder can rupture.
Early signs of urinary tract disease in cats are blood in the urine, urinating outside of the litter box, straining, or producing smaller than normal urination.
Fortunately, we have a variety of diets in a variety of textures and flavours made to address urinary issues in cats. Each brand has a formula designed to dissolve urinary crystals and restore the normal pH to the urine – preventing further crystal formation.
There are also diets to address stress-causing urinary issues in cats – they contain calming ingredients and amino acids. These reduce the overall stress that contributes to sterile cystitis and urethral spasm. These diets have the added benefit of being completely balanced – and not requiring any other supplemental feeding, which means that these at-risk cats can remain on their urinary diets for life. There are calorie-reduced urinary diets for those cats who may have weight issues as well – which can also contribute to urinary obstruction. Newer diets have even come out for cats that also have food allergies – meaning there is a urinary diet for every cat.
If you have any questions, give us a call at 902.225.7543.
Written by: 4Paws Veterinary Hospital