Urinary Tract Diseases in Cats
Most urinary tract diseases are associated with a disturbance in the normal pattern of voiding. That is why it is so important to get a veterinary checkup for any cat who has been using the litter box faithfully and suddenly stops doing so. Signs include the following:
How to Collect and Test Urine
In the diagnosis of urinary tract disease, laboratory analysis is of considerable help. Routine tests are urinalysis, blood chemistries, and a complete blood count (see appendix C). Your veterinarian may request a sample of your cat's urine. The procedure for collecting a urine sample at home is as follows:
If you have more than one cat, it will be necessary to isolate that cat with her own litter box.
You may be asked to test the urine pH with a laboratory strip provided by your veterinarian. Follow the instructions exactly.
There are also diagnostic litters that can be used to indicate various health conditions. Scientific Professional Cat Litter will change colors (becoming progressively pinker) with changes in urine pH. Purina Glucotest Feline Urinary Glucose Detection System uses a litter additive to indicate urinary glucose levels. Hemalert detects blood in the urine.
The samples you collect from your cat will not be sterile and are not ideal for culturing. A sterile urine sample can only be obtained by your veterinarian. The veterinarian will either pass a sterile catheter into the cat's bladder to take a sample or draw a sample through the body wall with sterile equipment-this procedure is called cystocentesis.
This article is excerpted from “ Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook” with permission from Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Copyright © 2008 by Delbert Carlson, DVM, and James M. Giffin, MD. All rights reserved.
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