Originally Posted by Maxy24
She called back now he's peeing blood so they are on the way to the vet. Unfortunately they live in the middle of no where so it takes 40 minutes to get to the vet. Do you think it will require surgery? I know UTI's don't but do crystals? and you mentioned a blockage, what type of blockage, like a stone? She wants me to be as specific as possible with my descriptions (so does her mom) So what exactly are crystals and how do they form? How can she prevent it from happening again?
Crystals form in the urine in certain pH ranges, a lower than normal pH can produce calcium oxalate crystals, and a higher than normal pH can produce struvite crystals. The treatment for each type is different, it depends on the type. The problem can be managed in minor cases by increasing water intake, with wet food, fountains, and other ways to get more water in the cat. For more chronic cases, crystals can be managed with a special diet.
The male cat's urethra is very small, and is somewhat funnel shaped...so crystals can easily get 'stuck' in the urethra, which would prevent a male from being able to urinate. That is a blockage. When the cat is unable to urinate, the urine eventually can back up into the kidneys, and then toxins get into the bloodstream...and then the cat's life is in grave danger. Sounds like your cousin caught it early. Catching a blockage early is the key, as when it's caught early treatment is pretty straighforward and successful. A blocked cat is usually treated by inserting a catheter to flush the bladder and restore urine flow.
A stone is basically a clump of crystals that can form in the bladder.
A UTI will cause all the same symptoms as crystals, for the most part. Usually when it's "just" a UTI, there's no blockage, but a male cat can get blocked with "mucous" or "sludge" that can occur with a uti. A UTI is treated with antibiotics.