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Urinary Tract Blockage & Crystals

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My 7-yr-old castrated male has been having this problem for the past 6 weeks.

The vet put him on a course of antibiotics and Vit C for 3 weeks to clear up the infection thinking that no crstals were present until he was hospitalised 2 weeks ago. She withdraw his urine with a syringe to find crystals in it.

2 wks forward, the crystals were not cleared up yet. She estimated about 70% of the crystals remain in his bladder. So, she recommended that he to be fed with a special commercial diet which is acidic (Royal Canin for Mature Felines) to dissolve the crystal over time.

Apparently, this problem is common in mature male cats because of the very tiny tract size. How many of you face this problem and how do you finally get around to resolve the problem? What special care and diet do you undertake to make sure your cat feels better? I'll appreciate your input v much.
post #2 of 15
Welcome to TCS

Uti and crystal issues are often a male issue ....

What type of crystals???

what was kitty eating before the new food ??
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sharky View Post

What type of crystals???

what was kitty eating before the new food ??
I didn't ask but the ones normally associated with UT blockage.

Kitty's diet was a combination of dry (all day) and canned food. When he was hospitalised, he was fed an assorted of boiled fresh meat.
post #4 of 15
Both of my cats have issues with crystals. He's going to need a stronger RX food (from the vet) not a commercial brand. I'm surprised they suggested that. If its struvite crystals (more common) Science Diet S/D worked for Zoey and then C/D as maintenance. Walthams urinary SO is good as well, its for both types of crystals. It keeps their ph neutral so that neither kind of crystal can form.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, #3. I just did a crash course on the 2 diff types of crystals.

While I need to talk to the vet to confirm the type tomorrow, I suspect that it may be struvite since she wanted to put kitty on an acidic diet.

I'll check with her tomorrow about the diff types of diet available for such a patient.
post #6 of 15
Sturvite often need an RX only to stabalize ( lots of OTC foods that can help)

Oxalate usually RX or other specialty diet ...
post #7 of 15
Pico, my 2 year old castrated fawn tabby, was straining in the litter box a few months ago. I noticed this as I was folding laundry so it was a complete coincidence that I caught it so early. Having read a lot of veterinary books, I knew that any type of feline urinary disease in males was serious so we rushed him to the animal emergency room. Upon urinalysis, our vet found a TON of struvite crystals and the pH of his urine was around 7.5. The vet recommended having his bladder flushed with saline under anesthesia and luckily, Pico wasn't completely blocked. After release from the hospital, he was prescribed Metacam (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) and a round of Baytril antibiotics for 10 days.

He was on the Hill's S/D for 4 weeks and upon a clean urinalysis was put on a the Royal Canin/Waltham's Urinary SO canned and dry foods (my choice). We feed him 1/4 can plus 1/4 cup of dry per feeding (plus extra water mixed in) twice a day. On top of that, we got the boys Petmate water fountain. However, with the addition of the highly moist canned food to his diet, Pico hasn't really been drinking a lot of water but the amount of clumps in their litter have been plentiful! He's never been much of a water drinker, which probably contributed to his problem in the first place!

Here are a few of my recommendations for FLUTD: feed a quality RX maintenance diet such as Royal Canin Urinary SO or Hill's C/D after you get the ok from your vet; feed wet food exclusively or a combination of RX wet and dry; encourage water intake by adding a bit of water to each meal and/or by purchasing a cat fountain (Walmart sells them for $25-30 - half price compared to Petsmart); keep a VERY close eye on your cat's litter box habits with special attention to straining, blood, pain (important for all cat owners IMHO); decrease cat stress levels as much as possible (this is pretty hard!); obtain routine urinalyses at least every 6-12 months (double-check with your vet for his/her recommendation) to ensure that urinary pH is optimal.

Getting a urine sample naturally from a cat is a challenge! We purchased the No Sorb kitty litter (cost = $10!), but it only came in tiny container and barely covered the bottom of a small litter box (previously cleaned with bleach). Pico refused to urinate in the sparsely-covered litter box after 4 h while locked up in a room! After reading some cat forums, alternative recommendations for non-absorbent litter included dry beans, foam bubbles (used to pack breakables) etc. I had some dry long-grain rice in the cupboard and poured 1 cup into the litter box. Pico did his business immediately and I quickly poured the urine sample into the sterile vial and transported it to the vet. I would only recommend using rice if you're able to pour the urine into a clean container IMMEDIATELY. Leaving the sample with a starch-based food may destroy the sample. In some situations, you may require a sterile urine sample and in this case, you will have to take your cat to the vet for cystocentesis (removal of urine with a needle through the bladder wall).

Hope this info helps - if you have any more questions, feel free to message me.
post #8 of 15
I feel like a robot, I have posted this message so many times, but I realize it is the first time for you.

I have good results with Carpon, developed by Dr. Belfield. I give two pills a day and we no longer have crystals, and it is completely safe and botanic.
I copied an earlier post as follows, if you search carpon you will find more posts on crystals since I replied to everyone of them.

I have used it on Fang for a few months now. My vet recommended using dried cranberry sprinkled on the wet food, which I did for a while but he stopped eating it. Carpon is formulated from cranberries, I think, and it is easier to give than the powder, plus it is the right dosage etc. It does cost more though. The above link will explain it, plus I have emailed Dr. Belfield with questions, and he has always given me detailed answers.

I give Fang two pills a day and he pees in abundance in his box. He does still occasionally pee at the rug spot, not sure if it is the smell, or he wants me to watch, or he is mad at me. He only does it when I am there to see. I know he no longer has crystals because once he peed on a piece of plastic (in front of me) and I had the pleasure of touching his urine to check for them. I just bought him new litter (swheat) because I am thinking he doesn't like the chicken feed, although the other two don't have a problem with it. Fang acts like he is stepping into water, so I am thinking that might be part of our present inappropriate peeing. Anyway, I gave you a lot more info than you asked for. The carpon is great, I highly recommend it.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks all very much for your generous replies.

Snowy did have struvite and he's put on the Feline Urinary SO 30 diet (http://www.royalcanin.us/vetdiet/felineurinary.html) since Tue. I got the diet name wrong in one of my earlier postings above. He's still in hospital and recently caught the flu bug

He doesn't drink enough thus contributing to the illness too. The vet informed me that commercial dry food is the culprit in FLUTD. Is this true?

I also read about the cranberry extract and pill. Thanks for the extra information!
post #10 of 15
yes the all dry modern diet is likely the main reason for FLUTD ....
post #11 of 15
My vet told me that crystal problems in cats just depends on the cat and their body, not necessarily the food they've been eating. Because I tried to blame it on Innova and my vet told me that its not the food, its how certain foods react with certain cats systems.

wintervixen, that is the food I am feeding Saki for 'maintenance'. Hopefully that will be strong enough to rid your cat of the crystals. We tried this food first on Zoey when she had her crystals but it wasnt enough.. the Hills S/D was the food that actually got rid of the crystals for her, then she was put on the urinary SO for maintenence.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Sicycat, the RX diet contains pork fat. My family and I are forbidden from consuming and handling pork and its derivatives. Before anyone points out that for the sake of Snowy's health if we can shut an eye about the lard, I'm afraid the answer is no. My vet was notified so hence the switch to Urinary SO diet.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
I finally took him home after him spending nights at the vet. A week before he was due home, he caught the flu. Sensing that he might be stressed in an alien environment (but with several highly trained nurses who were infatuated with the white crippled cat) and not seem to be healing a week later, I decided he should be taken home, back to his favourite room and folks in the family. With the TLC from my mom, brother and I, I'm confident he will be well faster.

I learnt from the vet and nurse there how to clean him up (he still has a urinary catheter to help drain the urine from his bladder and this causes the urine to leak all over his lower abdominal and anal area) and flush his bladder with sterile NaCL solution and sterile syringes. I had to do this 2x daily to flush out the struvites and clear blockages, if any, in the catheter. To give his some comfort, make cleaning easier and prevent any rashes on his skin, I made him wear a newborn diaper with a hole cut at the back for his long tail. It works for the nurses at the hospital. The diaper has to be changed few times daily.

He's on antibiotics for 10 days and the blocked nose prevented him from eating (no smell -> no appetite). He was put on drip on Sunday since he refused to eat for 2 days at the hospital. Now with no drip at home, I had to convince him to eat or else back to the vet 2 days later. I decided to feed him liquified homemade protein-based porridge (white polished rice) using fresh boned fish, chicken or beef. For now, I have to use a syringe to feed him a few times a day to fill his stomach. I shall continue to do so until his appetite improves and he will soon return to his prescribed vet diet when ready.

Since his return, my daily schedule (& mom, my assistant) runs around his care. He's the most important patient in the family. I hope he'll recover from the bad flu soon and then we can focus on his FLUTD recovery plan. He shall visit the vet probably every fortnight for follow-up to check his health.

This forum helps me to unload these thoughts in my mind so that I can get a breather and know that everyone here understands what I'm going through. I learnt it took a cat person to sympathesize with you over what you're going through.
post #14 of 15
You and Snowy have certainly been through a lot. Hugs to you for all you are doing to help him. I'm sure that will help to speed his recovery. I hope his sense of smell and his appetite return soon. He'll feel so much better if he can eat and enjoy his food.
post #15 of 15
This is an area I know something about. About 1-1/2 years ago my neutered male cat had this problem. The crystals were struvite. I had him catherized because he couldn't pee and we put him on the SO food but he re-blocked again quickly. I could go and have him catherized over again or have a bladder operation to remove the stones or have a P-U procedure done. To be running to the vet for catherizations is pretty traumatic for a cat, we opted for the P-U surgery. I believe the name is perineal urustrostomy (spelling?) in this operation a part of the penis is cut off to open up a larger hole for urination. It sounds horribly painful but the cat recovers soon and doesn't even miss his . There is still a chance of re-blockage following the operation - from scar tissue. So....my poor cat had to under go a revisional operation... Well, after we spent about $1300 on Monty we have had no further problems with urinary blockages. He is still on the SO diet to help prevent crystal formation. I also add a little other dry food that is a urinary formula becuz he's totally bored with SO. He's also getting canned food which I add extra water to it (water is sooo important with this condition) and I use distilled water (free of mineral deposits) for his drinking water. The tendency to form these crystals can be a lifelong problem and changing the diet does help. Also there are urinary supplements available on the on line pet pharmarcy sites, most of these contain methione (again spelling?) which helps to dissolve crystals.
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