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Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

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By Dr. Christine Simon

Tampa, FL – Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) refers to a group of urinary tract diseases which can cause discomfort, inappropriate urination, bloody urine and most seriously urinary tract obstruction. Causes include crystals (which may grow to form stones), idiopathic cystitis (inflammation due to an unclear cause), and urinary tract infections (an uncommon cause especially in young otherwise healthy cats).  The most important initial step for appropriate diagnosis is a thorough history, exam and urine evaluation. Frequently additional diagnostics are required including abdominal x-rays to evaluate for stones, urine culture for hidden infections and possibly abdominal ultrasound for less common stones and structural abnormalities. Beyond pain control, treatment is based on the underlying cause.  However, we have also found that certain environmental adjustments may also help prevent or manage urinary tract disease in cats. These include increasing the moisture in their diet by increasing the percentage of canned food, reducing stress in the household by promoting a routine while still providing variety and entertainment for your cat.

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