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Recurrent UTI - Advice please!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My cat Aussie had a UTI about 2 months ago and was treated with antibiotics for 10 days, rechecked and cleared. Well, I was out of town for two nights and came home to a horrible mess in my bathroom. My kitty had vomited, pooped and peed all over the bathroom. The vomit did have two hairballs in it so for now we're thinking that's all it was. However, I knew immediately that she had another UTI b/c the urine on my bath mat was very dark and reddish. I rushed her to the vet and they did an x-ray to rule out stones. The vet ended up putting her on another round of stronger antibiotics for 21 days and will recheck her after to make sure it has resolved. I should also mention that my cat was checked last time for crystals and none were found, so for now they are ruling that out.

Even though it seems that the first UTI was never completely cleared, I'm SO concerned that something else may be going on, even though the vet didn't feel so. She's never had recurrent UTI's before and I've been making sure she stays clean and hydrated since the last one. I started thinking that maybe the switch from clay to Nature's Miracle litter might have something to do with it, since her first UTI came within about 2 weeks of me switching, but the vet didn't feel that was an issue. She does still use the litter box the same amount as she did before so I'm inclined to believe it is just coincidental.

Has anyone here dealt with recurrent UTI's like this? I did a search and didn't find much. I just want to get a better understanding of what may be going on with her as this absolutely terrifies me. She is 10 years old and extremely overweight so the vet said she may not always empty her bladder completely which could be the cause. She only eats Science Diet S/D dry to keep her from forming crystals. As much as I'd love to put her on wet she just will not eat it. I'm also thinking of adding Cosequin to her diet as I've read good things on that. Any other suggestions or ideas as to what might be going on with her? Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 19
My Coco keeps getting Bladder Infections too. She is on C/D now and has been for over a year. She was on S/D to break the Stones before she had teh C/D. Her last infection lasted from Nov until Jan. She had to take 6 Bottles of Antibiotics before it was gone. Her Very first infection was at age 9.5 years old. I dont understand why she is on S/D. S/D is to break up Bladder Stones. The C/D is so they do not form Crystals. Coco still gets slight Blood sometimes. I hope your Cat feels better. My Cat is 16 now.
post #3 of 19
We have been going through something similar (but longer term) with my eldest cat, Bird, and here is what I ended up doing, after several rounds of antibiotics:

She was already on a fish free diet, as one of my cats gets a bladder infection everytime she eats a food with fish, but I accidently discovered that fish also bothers her (Bird) and Meggie , as well as Butterbean, now that they are all older (Bird turns 15 this year, and Meggie and Butterbean are turning 13).

The food I had switched them from originally (after a round of Prescription diet dry, for crystals that have not reoccured even off prescription food since eliminating fish from their diet) had a magnesium level of .08, but the new one I changed them to for the nutrition had a level of .095 . 085 is ideal for UTI issues (thanks Sharky).

Bird also had blood in her urine, but her cultures came back clear. She also had a cytology test run (to check for cancer- it's rare, from what I have read) that came back clear, but she does have a thickened bladder wall. Her specific gravity test also came back fine.

I tried the Walmart version of Cosequin to begin with, which did help a bit, but not a lot. On my vet's advice, I switched to the name brand Cosequin (human version, also at a good price comparatively- and you can go to the Cosequin website and get a $5 coupon ) and things have been much, much better.

She goes for her yearly check up on Thursday, so we'll see, but I have only had the occasional "peed on" clothing left on the floor, etc. , instead of the every-day-drive-me-nuts-pee issues that we were having.

My best friend had a cat who was overweight, and she did have recurrent UTI's, due to the fact that she could not properly clean herself (her cat had an eating disorder-long story).

You also might want to ask about other dry Prescription foods, like Royal Canin and Purina, and I have read that some people have gotten pet water fountains to encourage their cats to drink more water...

I hope Coco gets feeling better soon!
post #4 of 19
How old was Bird when she started getting Bladder Infections. I should ask the Vet about Cosequin. I do not feed Coco Fish it makes her Sick.
post #5 of 19
She started this round of issues about...1 to 1 1/2 years ago. So, when she was about 12 1/2 -13 years old or so, I guess. Bird also has high thyroid, and takes medication for that now (about 2 years).
post #6 of 19
I guess there are not alot of female Cats that get the problems.
post #7 of 19
Mitties had a round of UTI's last year. Her's were mostly bacteria infections. I eliminated fish from her diet and also have her on a urinary acidifier supplement since then and I believe it has helped tremendously! However, it's not for cats with stones. It's comprised of DL Methionine (spelling?) which is essential for cat urinary health. How come more people aren't trying this wonderful item? My cat thinks it's a treat and begs for it! Just 1/2 a pill morning and 1/2 at night. Highly recommended!
post #8 of 19
As much as I'd love to put her on wet she just will not eat it.
Perhaps she didn't like the brand? Try warm it up a bit to bring out the aroma, different texture (chunky instead of mushy), or maybe she likes it a bit soupy? I'd try a variety of different brands and flavor, it's the only way to find out what she likes.

Since she's already uncomfortable on top of vet trips you may also want to get Rescue Remedy & spray it around the room to reduce stress.

I eliminated fish from her diet and also have her on a urinary acidifier supplement since then and I believe it has helped tremendously! However, it's not for cats with stones. It's comprised of DL Methionine (spelling?) which is essential for cat urinary health. How come more people aren't trying this wonderful item?
TickyTat, I think most people didn't know or they are nervous giving it. One of our cat was hospitalized for FLUTD 2 mo. ago. He didn't have any bacteria in his bladder, just crystals. After he came back I mix chicken gizzards in his food and check his pH with test strips to make sure it's within normal range. Chicken gizzards contain a good amount of L-methionine (470 mg per 100 g), he didn't even know it was in his food (raw or wet).
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback everyone and I'm very glad to hear I'm not alone on this and that there is hope. I'm definitely going to give the Cosequin a shot. I'll have to search around for good prices but will probably go ahead and pick some up from Petsmart tonight.

The first UTI a few months ago did not actually show any bacteria, just a high white cell count in her urine. They said the infection might be elsewhere (i.e. urethra) which is why it didn't show on the urinalysis. Hopefully, this stronger antibiotic will knock it out and the Cosequin will maintain everything.

My cat is restricted to S/D. She first developed crystals when she first had her spinal cord injury around 5 years ago. At that time, they tried her on the C/D but the crystals still formed. The S/D was the only food that kept them from forming which is why she is restricted to it. The only canned food at this point I would be willing to try is the S/D as I don't want to go through the crystal issue again. However, I have presented her with a multitude of canned food options and she literally almost gags when she sniffs it. It's actually pretty funny. I was hoping that she would see the kitten eating it and eventually try it, but no.

Since my baby is extremely obese, she cannot clean herself which is why I do my best to clean her often. My dog helps with this too. Hopefully the new meds and cosequin will turn this around. I just felt so terrible when I came home to see all that blood in her urine. She showed absolutely no signs this last week so I didn't have a clue that she was still having problems. I gave her lots of treats and cuddles last night so we'll see how everything goes. Thanks again everyone!
post #10 of 19
I think being obese is part of your Cats problem. My Cat had the infections. I hope your Cat feels better.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I think being obese is part of your Cats problem. My Cat had the infections. I hope your Cat feels better.
Yep. That's actually why I got a new kitten. She was my last hope in getting my cat to exercise as she doesn't have much interest in toys anymore. The diet is already as restricted as possible. She eats less than 1/4 cup per day and does drink a lot of water. I'm still hopefull that once she gets used to the kitten they will start to play together. She used to love playing with other cats in the past. Unfortunately, right now with her not feeling well and the kitten being so hyper and active it just isn't a good combination.
post #12 of 19
Hi, I just want to add that I feel for you and your kitty.
My female cat started have this problem around 3 1/2 yrs old with the repeated UTI infections went on and on for like a year plus. Just like
yours she had a lot of blood in urine and would suddenly appear
even if she was fine just earlier in the day. She is not grossly
heavy or anything and she can clean herself without any problem.
Anyway repeated antibiotics, different ones did nothing for her.
I made alot of changes after desperation of this going on and on.
Here is some of the things I did to stop this madness.
By the way the last one she had was in January (very mild case)and before that it was another 4 months before that. So, I am so happy!
1) I give with a syringe, water every morning. She is not a big drinker.
2) She eats at least 50-60 percent canned food, with water added daily.
3) I did try a couple of supplements in the beginning. Cranberry extract
added to her canned. I also purchased the DL Methionine ... supplements
tabs from Dr Foster & Smith -she loves them.
4) I canged cat litter. From clay to Swheat / pine scooping
Also I bought some Cat Attract litter & mixed in,
thinking she was holding it to long and not flushing often enough.
5) I added a radio on when I went to work, thinking could be stress.
I still am using the radio.
6) I added the Nutro max chicken dry to her dry food (Per Sharky)
I will continue to buy this food.
I wanted to add I give her only distilled water.
SO in summary, I dont know what stopped the repeated UTI infections
exactly, as you can see I changed about everything. All I know is
that something has sure helped her.
post #13 of 19
I just got Swheat Scoop the other day. I wonder if that would help Coco? i have Yesterdays Mews in her Pan still. I hope your Cat starts to play. All of a sudden Coco has been playing alot. She is even chasing balls again and she is 16. Coco used to be fat when she was around 10 but she is normal weight now. Can you get your Cat to play with toys a little.
post #14 of 19
I'm in the middle of a similar situation. We've completed 3 courses of antibiotics and his problem kept recurring about 3 weeks after we completed each round. Muddy has been cleared of bacteria, crystals, and stones via xrays. But I read over the weekend that xrays alone don't always show stones and an ultrasound is better to detect stones. Muddy goes in for his ultrasound tomorrow morning. Muddy just turned 5 years old last month.

The vet's gut feel is that he has idiopathic cystitus. Idiopathic meaning they have no clue what the underlying cause is. She suspects an inflammed bladder because of his response to the antibiotics. Antibiotics can serve as an anti-inflamatory and cats with this disease appear to respond to them as it does provide pain relief, but then the effects disappear a few weeks after taking them.

If your baby relapses after this round of antibiotics, I suggest that you talk to your vet about an ultrasound. If you definitely rule out crystals, stones and bacterial infections, then you are dealing with what Muddy probably has. The treatment is basically a diabetic type diet - high protein, low carb, low magnesium, no fish. On top of it, using things like Cosequin for inflamation management.

Good luck - please let us know what you find!
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks again everyone! I started her on the Cosequin last night so we'll see if that helps her. I plan to give it to her indefinitely, as long as I don't see any side effects from it. Since she's overweight I had already planned to try it for her joints, as she has been having trouble jumping up and down over the last six months. I've read that it has also helped other cats lose weight and increased energy so I'm crossing my fingers there too.

I just found out that my new kitten my have Tritrichomonas Foetus and I'm taking her to the vet to test her tonight. If that's the case, I will have to treat Aussie as well since they have been using each other's litter boxes for a couple of weeks. I'm wondering if that may have been why she pooped all over the bathroom as well. I had assumed she did that because I gave her lavatone (sp?) three days before for hairballs/constipation and assumed it just kicked in along with the litter box avoidance from her UTI. I'm going to give her this once a week from now on so that she doesn't get too constipated any more. The vomit had two hairballs in it so she apparently needs it for that reason anyway.

I'll keep everyone posted when I find out the results of the TTF test. I think it takes a couple of weeks though. Argh, it's always something isn't it?

Thanks again!
post #16 of 19
Tamgirl99, once you have the problem under control perhaps try again to switch her to canned food? You mentioned your kitty is obese and I think getting her to lose some weight may help. Mix old food with a bit of new one so she can't detect it's there, then gradually increase.
post #17 of 19
Originally Posted by Rone View Post
Tamgirl99, once you have the problem under control perhaps try again to switch her to canned food? You mentioned your kitty is obese and I think getting her to lose some weight may help. Mix old food with a bit of new one so she can't detect it's there, then gradually increase.
I agree. I have a very lengthy word document on how to do this. If you want a copy, PM me with your e-mail address and I'll send it to you. It's too long to post here.

And an update on my Muddy. Even though the x-rays showed no stones, the ultrasound today showed something that looked like a stone. So don't assume that an x-ray will rule out stones. They are doing surgery on him next week to remove it.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Momofmany - I just sent you a pm!
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Now my kitty has another problem, her back leg. I noticed on Monday that she was holding it out to the side when she would sit or lay down. I had never noticed it before so I started keeping an eye on it. That next night I had to take my kitten to the vet and while I was there I had the vet check her x-ray from Sunday to make sure he didn't see anything going on with that leg. He didn't and I told him I wasn't too concerned b/c she wasn't limping or anything and that I'd continue to keep an eye on it.

Well, I got home and was on my computer when Aussie came out of my bedroom to see me and she was limping terribly. I immediately called the vet back and had to return to pick up some metacam. I started that last night so fingers crossed that it helps. If it's not better by Saturday the vet wants me to bring her in to check it. We assume she just fell or turned it funny when I was out of town. This would also explain the poop/pee all over the bathroom since she was probably too sore to climb in/out of her litter box. Poor baby.
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