Feline Urological Syndrome
Researchers are continuously working to find the cause, cure and prevention of Feline Urological Syndrome [FUS]. Although a definitive cause is still not known, inadequate diet, inadequate water intake, bacteria, viruses and stress are suspected. Therefore, the cause, cure and prevention may be different on each cat.
Feline Urological Syndrome leads to several disorders. The first indication that the cat has FUS is when blood and mucus form in the urine. This is caused by the inflammation of the lining and wall of the bladder, and is known cystitis. Urolithiasis occurs when the salt in the body combines with the blood and mucus in the bladder to form crystals. These crystals in time can enlarge to form stones blocking the urinary canal partially or completely.
The first symptoms of this urinary problem are frequent urination, straining and blood in the urine. Some cats stop using the litter box and instead use a sink or bathtub. A cat will show one, some, or all of these symptoms.
When blockage occurs, it is essential that immediate veterinarian care is rendered. If not treated quickly, death may follow from uremic poisoning. Uremic poisoning is the accumulation of poisonous wastes in the blood stream. Signs of uremia are depression, weakness, vomiting and collapsing.
Diet is an important factor in prevention of FUS. Read the label on the container to establish the source of protein. Most foods consist of meat by-products or animal by-products. The source of these by-products is from disabled, dead, dying of diseased animals. These include farm animals, unclaimed dogs at animal pounds and dead animals found along our highways. The only difference between meat or animal by-products and beef by-products is the animals used. The best protein in animal foods is good wholesome beef, liver or chicken, not a by-product.
Another important factor is the ash content in the food. High ash content could be a contributing factor in the formation of crystals in the bladder. The best prevention is to find a food with low ash content. a high preteen, low ash food will increase your ability to fight off infections and remain healthy.
Further steps must be taken if you have an FUS prone cat. You must feel your cat's bladder once or twice a day. Your veterinarian will be able to show you how to do this. He may even prescribe medication. Keep the cat's urine as acid as possible to reduce the formation of crystals. After the cat eats, the urine becomes alkaline. If your cat nibbles all day, its urine will stay alkaline and promote crystal formation. Feed your cat once or twice a day. The urine will become alkaline for just a short period of time and then return back to being acid.
Adequate water intake is essential. By adding water to your cat's food its water intake will be increased. Some veterinarians recommend distilled water for cats with FUS. You can help your cat to a healthier life by making sure the food you use does not contain by-products for its source of protein, by providing a high protein, low ash content diet and making sure it gets and drinks an adequate amount of water. These are the best preventatives you can provide for your cat until a cause and cure for FUS can be found.
Jan Stewart, Director
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