Kidney stones in cats – Symptoms and treatment
Many animals, such as cats, may suffer from the same diseases as humans, although we often ignore this fact. That is why in YourCatCareguide we recommend that you be aware of possible symptoms, strange and unusual behaviors, since cats are habit animals, so any change in their habits indicates that there is a problem. In this article we will tell you about kidney stones in cats, their symptoms and treatment , as it is a condition that attacks cats more often than you think.
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What are kidney stones?
Also called uroliths and popularly known as “kidney stones”, it is the excessive accumulation of certain minerals in the urinary tract of cats, affecting their ability to urinate.
In cats, there are two types of minerals that are most commonly affecting the feline:
- Struvite type calculations, originated by magnesium.
- The calcic type calculations, caused by the high levels of acids in the urine.
Quando o seu gato tenta urinar, os cálculos acumulam-se nos seus condutos, impedindo expulsar a urina por mais que o animal se esforce para o fazer, causando-lhe uma forte dor. A presença de cálculos renais não só gera este tipo de incômodos e infecções urinárias, como também um diagnóstico tardio ou a falta de atenção médica pode provocar a morte do animal em muito pouco tempo, ao ocorrer uma falha renal. A condição pode piorar em apenas duas semanas.
Causes of kidney stones
Some elements can make your cat prone to developing kidney stones:
- Genetic predisposition : The Himalayas , Persians and Burmese usually suffer from this disease more often than other breeds.
- Gender : It is more common in males than females.
- Age : from the age of five is more likely to appear.
- Medications : Prolonged use of some medications, such as cortisone or tetracycline, among others, can lead to kidney and urinary failures.
- Dehydration : lack of water causes kidney failure and accumulation of minerals.
- Diet : When your cat’s food is high in carbohydrates, magnesium, phosphorus or calcium.
- Infections : Some urinary infections may result in the formation of kidney stones in the cat.
What are the symptoms of kidney stones in cats?
When it comes to kidney stones, the most important thing is to detect the condition in time , so be aware of any changes in your cat’s habits, such as:
- Problems urinating , reflected in an effort during urination, which sometimes do not work.
- Pain when urinating.
- Restlessness and nervousness.
- Presence of blood in the urine .
- Urine in small amounts and frequently, not being able to expel everything in just a micturition.
- Moans of pain when using the litter box.
- The cat licks its genital area more often.
- Vomiting .
- Lack of appetite.
How is the diagnosis made?
The veterinarian will need you to describe all the unusual signs you have noticed in your feline, and will use this and some analysis to determine whether or not it is a kidney stone:
- Squeeze the abdomen of the animal to detect pain and swelling or swelling in the area.
- Perform an x-ray to examine the kidneys, bladder, and urinary system for mineral deposits.
- Urinalysis to detect possible infections.
- Laboratory analyzes to perform a study with a calculation of the sample collected.
All these studies will serve to detect the urinary obstruction and at the same time determine what type of calculation is involved.
Treatment for kidney stones in cats
The treatment indicated by the veterinarian will depend on the type of mineral accumulation that is affecting the feline and the level of severity of the disease. There are several options:
- Diet change : there are dry cat foods specially made to treat kidney conditions but the most advisable is to opt for damp foods, since a greater amount of water helps to dilute the accumulated minerals in the urine.
- Cystotomy : this is a surgical operation applied to extract the stones.
- Disposal of mineral deposits : A catheter is used to clear bladder area stones. This is a rather uncomfortable procedure for the animal, but it is routine in these cases.
- Urethrotomy : tiny microscopes are used to evaluate the state of the urinary system and to extract the calculi, enlarging the urethra.
Any of these procedures are usually accompanied by home-based drug treatments:
- Use of anti-inflammatories , to decrease swelling and relieve pain, improving the mood of the feline.
- Use of antibiotics , necessary in the event of a urinary tract infection.
- Increased consumption of fresh water , both to neutralize dehydration and to aid in the dissolution of the calculations. You should do everything that is possible for your cat to increase his water consumption, about 50 to 100 milliliters per kilogram of weight is the recommended average.
Is it possible to prevent it?
Once you have clear the symptoms of kidney stones in cats and their treatment, you should know that you can help your cat to prevent its appearance with some very easy to follow habits:
- Offer fresh and clean water in abundance.
- Give it a diet based on dry, moist food in addition to low in salt.
- Avoid stressful situations.
- Perform semiannual check-ups to detect any illness on time.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.