This post is written by our holistic veterinarian at "I and love and you", Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT.
Tinkle troubles are common in both cats and dogs. Cats are prone to bladder problems and dogs commonly get leaky in their golden years. It’s important to know the signs of urinary trouble for your pet, so you can help them feel better fast.
Signs of Urinary Problems
If your pet is experiencing any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian:
- Frequent urination
- Straining to urinate
- Blood in urine
- Unable to pass urine (this is a life threatening condition)
- Urinating in the house or outside of the box
- Leaking urine when sleeping
What Causes Urinary Problems?
Common Urinary Tract Disease in Cats:
- Bladder crystals: Cats can get crystals and small stones in their bladder that can cause an obstruction in their urethra. These kitties usually require medical or surgical intervention. If your kitty cannot pass urine, this is considered a medical emergency. This is most common in male cats.
- Cystitis: Cats are prone to inflammation of the bladder and lower urinary tract. There are multiple factors that influence this inflammation including stress, diet and possibly weather. Cystitis in cats tends to come in episodes and is treated with wet food diets (no kibble), fluids, glucosamine, pain control, and by decreasing stress in the environment and between cats.
- Bladder infection: Older cats with kidney disease are especially prone to bladder infections. Unfortunately, these infections often do not cause symptoms and can cause life threatening infections of the kidneys if left untreated. Once a bladder infection is diagnosed, they are often easily treated with antibiotics.
Common Urinary Tract Disease in Dogs:
- Bladder infections: These are especially common in female puppies but can affect any age of dog. Pups with urinary tract infections usually urinate more frequently, may have blood in the urine and sometimes vomit. These infections are detected in the urine and are treated with antibiotics.
- Urinary incontinence: Spayed female dogs are very prone to urinary incontinence in their senior years. This is due to lack of estrogen controlling the urethral sphincter. These pups often leak urine at rest or during sleep. Your veterinarian will ensure that your dog doesn’t have an infection. Urinary incontinence can usually be controlled with herbs and pharmaceuticals.
Preventing Urinary Problems
The easiest and most effective way to prevent urinary tract disease is promoting hydration. Keeping your pet hydrated can prevent many other health problems. For cats, I recommend a canned or raw diet and suggest water fountains to promote water consumption. For dogs, I recommend adding water to their kibble, or feeding a canned or raw food diet.
I would love to hear from you! If you have questions about your pet, I would be happy to answer!