Bladder Infection in CatsBoth dogs and cats get bladder infections. Although bladder infections are not unique to one breed, the short leg, heavy-muscle build of certain breeds can increase the tendency of bladder issues. In dogs, females are more prone than males because of their short urethras. In cats, male cats are especially prone to bladder infection because of the position of the prepuce below the rectum. If they have bladder issues, they need to be treated before sandy stones form a plug that prevents urinating.
Clinical SignsOften, an early sign of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) is excess licking of the genital area, progressing to burning and then frequent trips to the litter box with little urinating. Cats may also start urinating outside the litter box. UTI will cause squatting for an extended period of time due to bladder spasm infection and stones irritating the urethra. As the infection and spasms progress, small amounts of blood may be seen in the urine.
Why the Stones?With bladder infections, urine becomes more alkaline (like baking soda), and sandy stones tend to form. This sand can harbor bacteria that cannot be killed by antibiotics because the antibiotic cannot get into the crevices of the stone. The bacteria can then set up house after the antibiotic is removed, reestablishing the UTI. Eliminating bacteria and sand where bacteria hide will eliminate the bladder spasm that causes discomfort.
Treatment of Bladder Infections is a Two-Fold Approach
- Antibiotic to take care of the infection.
- Urinary acidifier Cranberry and Potassium Citrate to remove stones. The acid urine gives the pet two advantages in fighting UTI:
- Pulls and holds antibiotic in the urine where it is more effective, rather than in the blood where it wants to stay.
- The mild acid environment is soothing to bladder tissue and makes urine unfavorable for bacterial growth and stone formation.
PreventionIf you have a breed that is prone to bladder infection, it is best to prevent an infection before the burning and sand or stones happen. Once a bladder infection is cleared, maintain bladder health with Doc Roy's Potassium Citrate + Cranberry at half the treatment dose. By creating an unfavorable environment for bacteria and stone formation, we can control and prevent bladder infections.
Prevention is always preferred to treatment and a lot more comfortable!
If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.
Don Bramlage, DVM, Former Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.