What do you know about FLUTD?
A short definition of FLUTD
FLUTD, an abbreviation for Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, is a pathological condition that frequently affects cats, regardless of background or age. Although FLUTD can occur in any cat, it is apparently more frequent in the case of indoor felines that use litter boxes and eat a diet consisting of dried food.
Urinary symptoms are typical for the condition, at least at the beginning of its evolution. Common signs are:
- bloody urine
- effortful urination
- absence of appetite
- urination occurs in uncommon sites of the house
- the cat has the continuous tendency to clean the urogenital area; constant licking can also cause skin situations
- while the evolution of the disease progresses, cats experience vomiting, depression and dehydration
FLUTD is a severe condition and can become life-threatening especially because symptoms are rather confusing for pet owners. Moreover, if pet owners spend the majority of their days at work, they do not have the means to observe and control the evolution of a pathological condition such as this one.
The most probable causes for FLUTD are the ones mentioned down below:
- Cystitis – Cystitis is the inflammation of the urinary bladder, that mostly occurs in the case of infections. However, bladder infections can go up the system in time, therefore affecting the kidneys and the cat’s existence
- Urolithiasis – This is a recurrent issue in felines, particularly in male cats, that regularly eliminate urinary crystals through the urine, but that are incapable of doing so when they are in heat. Crystals conglomerate, thus forming stones.
- Urethral obstruction – It can occur also in the case of urolithiasis. It is extremely severe because the pet isn’t able to normally discharge urine.
- Urine is rich in urea, a substance that has to come out of the organism in order to ensure its normal functionality. If pets aren’t capable of eliminating it through the urinary pathway, urea can reach toxic levels and is eliminated through the lungs or stored inside the nervous system. Which is why, in a classical evolution of an untreated urethral obstruction, towards the end an animal can slip into a coma.
- Treatments of urethral obstruction range from catheterization to surgery. Prevention is always to be preferred. Let’s say you are the owner of a cat and you’ve discovered it has urinary issues. The most reliable piece of advice we can give you is to take the cat to a vet clinic right away. Even catheterization requires a mild sedation and if the urea has reached the nervous tissue, your cat may be in danger of losing its life.
- Surgery is not extraordinarily complicated, but the cat has to be diagnosed correctly before taking any measures of this kind. The presence of stones inside the bladder can be revealed with the help of radiology or ultrasound, to mention the simplest measures a vet can take to establish a clear diagnostic.
What happens after FLUTD?
There are some things cat owners have to keep in mind at all times, after having discovered their pet suffers from a urinary condition.
We recommend using special diets that are produced for the specific type of stones your cat is predisposed to. A larger number of litter boxes in various points inside the house could also be a good idea for the cat not to hold its urination, thus preventing pressure from forming inside the urinary bladder. Fresh water at all times is a mandatory requirement.