Meow all, Lexi here with ya’ today. If you remember Dezi is off with the cat scouts having fun with a jamboree. But never fear she left the blog in my paws and I won’t steer ya’ wrong. After all, we have the same mommy. Anyways, we wanna address something very serious over the next couple of days, so that’s why the blog is being written in all human speak. We don’t want to take a chance that somebody can’t understand it and then has to go thru what we did when it could have been avoided. As Dezi has told you, I lost my brofur Lucky to a UTI. A lot of you have never dealt with this, and for that we are so grateful. But over the next couple of days we’re going to be dealing with what mommy calls “The Silent Killer”.
UTI’s or Urinary Tract Infections are more common than you might think, and are completely curable. So why then did I lose my brofur Lucky you ask? That’s why mommy calls it the Silent Killer. I will be telling his story, but first I would like to give you more information on this potentially fatal illness. I do want to preface this by saying altho’ we will be referring to this as a feline disease and we will be focusing on cats, this post in it’s entirety applies to all animals; dogs, rabbits, pigs, etc..
I’ll start by giving you all the definition of a UTI. It’s a bacterial, fungal, viral or algal infection developing anywhere along the animals urinary tract. The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra and/or prostate gland (applies to males only). The urethra is the tube from the bladder to the outside that urine travels through. They can also be called FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease), FUS (Feline Urologic Syndrome), FIC (Feline Idiopathic Cystitis), and Interstitial Cystitis. Now if those aren’t some big words…And since it covers such a large area and can go by so many names are you starting to see why mommy calls it the Silent Killer? It could be as simple as stress to stones or a complete blockage of the urethra. Altho’ UTI’s are more common in males, females are not immune. If you look at the photos, you will be able to see why males are more prone to a blockage. The urethra is longer and has a rather large bend in it whereas a females urethra is shorter and has an almost direct route to the outside.
What are the causes of this horrid disease you ask? Let me tell you what 2 different websites have to say, and you’ll really start to understand mommy’s frustration. Pet MD says UTI’s can be caused by Stones, Crystals, a urethral plug, bladder inflammation, injury, incontinence from excessive water drinking, stress, spinal cord problems or congenital abnormalities. And most of these are symptoms, not causes. But the vet section of Web MD says what most VETs say, and that is, a disease that arises spontaneously, or for which the cause is unknown. In other words, nobody is certain, or at least they can’t truly agree exactly what is the cause of this disease. Although for the most part they can at least agree on some of the causes, those being diet, stress, liquid intake, and injuries to the urethra. This horrible disease can affect any animal at any age, altho’ it is most often diagnosed/seen in males between the age of 1 and 5 years old. Now you’re starting to see why Dezi’s recent 5th birthday was such a landmark for mommy. We lost Lucky right before he turned 5 and Ransom also had this horrible disease and we lost him right before he turned 5.
Mommy calls this disease a silent killer. While some cats will show no symptoms until it’s too late or the disease has progressed to it’s final stages, it’s not uncommon for animals with a UTI to cry out while using the litter box. Or eliminate inappropriately; like in your bath tub, or on the floor or in your plants, etc.. It hurts to urinate and they associate the litter box with that pain and don’t want to go back there. Typically there is blood in the urine as well, and as the blockage increases, the cat will strain to urinate. I would like to interject here that a normal urine sample for cats is at least a tablespoon size amount at a minimum of 2 times a day. Now remember that will vary based on your cats size, age, liquid (diet) intake and other health issues.
The symptoms aren’t always immediate, and of course as with everything else, some of them could point to something entirely different. Some of those symptoms are lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, depression, and licking excessively around the penis or vaginal area especially right after urinating as this may be a sign of burning during urination. Often mild cases often go undiagnosed in cats specifically until discovered during a routine annual checkup, and may often clear up on their own.
We really want to do this justice, so we will continue tomorrow as we have given you a lot of information to digest today. But before we go, we want to say that if you suspect your cat or animal is having difficulty urinating or may have a UTI please go to the VET immediately!!! Don’t wait, it may mean the difference between life and death.
Till the next time………………………Be Blest!!!