How to Prevent the Recurrence of Struvite Crystals
What Exactly Are Struvite Crystals?
Struvite crystals are tiny crystals that some ats’ urine includes. Stauvite is a chemical that mostly consists of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate.
Low concentrations of struvite and struvite crystals in your cat’s urine are regarded acceptable, but when the crystals combine to form grit or stones of different sizes and shapes, issues might occur. These stones can form in the bladder, urethra, or kidneys. On rare occasions, the stones may leave the body or even dissolve. In other circumstances, they need to be surgically removed. They can be acquired by male and female cats.
Symptoms of Cats’ Struvite Stone
Stones frequently cause severe bladder wall inflammation and irritation, as well as the potentially fatal condition known as a urinary blockage, in which they produce no or very little pee. Some cats might not show symptoms right away or might show just slight symptoms, and your vet might find them when conducting tests for another issue.
Symptoms of feline stragite stones include:
- Urinating outdoors of the bathroom
- Having small volumes of urine produced Any amount of urination
- Using the bathroom a lot while urinating, vocalizing, or straining
- Bloody or otherwise altered in color or odor urine
- Extensive licking and grooming of the genitalia
- Cystitis or recurrent bladder infections a decreased appetite or not eating
Causes of Struvite Crystals
According to VCA Hospitals, “in some cats, struvite bladder stones develop as a result of a urinary tract infection, but this is less common in cats than in dogs.” However, struvite stones are commonly produced in cats without an infection. In some cases, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. The development of concentrated urine, higher pH levels (alkaline urine), and elevated amounts of magnesium and phosphorus in the urine have all been implicated as causes of these stones.
The main factor causing the creation of struvite crystals in cats is their reluctance to drink water from bowls. Over many years, they have evolved to get the majority of their moisture from prey. When coupled with a diet of dry cat food, this can cause the cat to produce crystals in its urine.
Diagnosis of struvite crystals
The earliest you may contact your veterinarian if you see any of the aforementioned signs is recommended. Your veterinarian will do an examination and diagnostics during your appointment in order to rule out the known causes of struvite crystals and stones and establish a diagnosis.
- History: The veterinary technician will help your doctor understand your cat’s past. The way your cats behave, any changes to their environment, how they go about their everyday lives, and any other warning flags you may have noticed at home will all be considered.
- Physical Examination: Your veterinarian will examine your pet physically.
- Urinalysis and blood tests: By requesting and carrying out bloodwork and a urinalysis, your veterinarian will be able to evaluate the health of your cat’s internal organs as well as screen for dehydration, bladder irritation, and infection.
- The best method for gathering a urinalysis sample is through a cystocentesis, which involves inserting a needle through the abdominal wall into the bladder and taking a sample of urine. A urine culture test can identify the specific bacteria that may be the cause of a urinary tract infection. The goal is to generate more acidic, diluted urine. The results of a second test are often used to select the most effective antibiotics to use against the implicated bacteria (a sensitivity test).
- To ascertain whether the bladder appears abnormal or if bladder stones are present, X-rays and ultrasounds are employed. The best method for identifying bladder stones is often radiography because the majority of them, including struvites, are visible on them. Radiographs of bladder struvite stones typically show smooth boulders or pebbles. Ultrasound can also be used to detect bladder stones.
Depending on the underlying reason and the particular cat, the two most popular ways to treat struvite stones are either surgical removal or dissolving the stones with a prescription diet. Additional therapies include painkillers, dietary changes, increasing water intake, anti-spasmodic medications to help the bladder relax, fluid therapy, and stress reduction.
Stones made with stauvite are usually soluble. A urine sample must be placed on a particular medium, allowed to incubate so that the bacteria can develop, and then the microorganisms must be identified. The best prescription diets are those in canned form that acidify the urine, while dry versions are also available for cats who won’t eat wet food. Medication that makes the urine more acidic can be given to a cat when it needs to switch to a different kind of special diet. Additionally, if there is an infection, antibiotics will be needed. Your veterinarian will periodically check on your cat utilizing rechecks (exams, radiography, urinalysis, and/or ultrasound) until the stones are completely gone.
Struvite stones occasionally need to be removed surgically or via another method since they cannot be manually removed.
If your cat has a urethral obstruction, such as a bladder stone, your veterinarian will need to remove the obstruction as soon as possible. To do this, they’ll likely need to sedate or anesthetize your cat. In addition to treating your cat’s pain and other symptoms, they’ll also install a urinary catheter.
How to Prevent the Recurrence of Struvite Crystals
The formation of struvite crystals and stones in your cat’s urine cannot always be prevented, and cats who have already had struvite bladder stones are more likely to have them again in the future. But some factors, like obesity, a lack of water consumption, and one of the most common causes, stress, are known to increase your cat’s risk of developing struvite stones. 4 Continue reading to discover ways to reduce these factors.
Feedings and prescription medications as prescribed by your veterinarian
- Be sure to watch your cat’s behavior and elimination patterns and to let your veterinarian know if anything appears strange or changes.
- Keep your cats busy with play and food puzzle toys to fight obesity.
- To prevent urinary issues in your cat, drink more water. You can entice your cat to drink by providing multiple water sources, such as water fountains and broad, shallow bowls, and placing them on each floor of your home. Feeding your cats wet food, a canned urinary prescription diet, and water may help them stay more hydrated.
- Toys, play spaces, scratching posts, hiding spots, water, food, hiding places, perches, resting/sleeping areas, and litter bins are just a few of the key environmental resources that should be included in an enriched environment. This lessens social tension, competitiveness, and territorial incentives as well as stress and terror. Additionally, it offers individuals choices, all of which help to lessen stress and promote a secure workplace.
- There are several ways to help your cat cope with stress. Phermones, Feliway, Feliway Multicat, and classical music like Through a Cats Ear can all help create an environment for cats that is both relaxing and stimulating. Keep your cat on a regular routine as much as you can, and be aware of the stress that adjustments like home renovations, vacations, etc. can cause.
- constructing a litter box correctly: The placement of a cat’s litter box is commonly improper, which can lead to stress and urinary issues. For every cat residing in the home, there should be an additional litter box. If the house has more than one storey, there should be at least one litter package on each floor. The better, the more room a package has. It should be kept tidy, situated in an area with sufficient ventilation, and be 1.5 times longer than your cat.
If you ever think your cat may be experiencing a urinary problem, please consult a veterinarian, especially if the cat is having difficulty urinating and seems uncomfortable.
If you suspect your pet is ill, schedule an immediate appointment with the veterinarian. Always consult your veterinarian with any health-related questions; they’ve examined your family pet, know its medical history, and often have the best recommendations for your pet.
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