Cats, which develop masses of stones or crystals –also known as kidney stones or nephroliths in the urinary tracts or kidneys are thought to be suffering from a condition known as nephrolithiasis. Moreover, the kidney is composed of thousands and thousands of nephrons, each consist of blood capillaries and a group of tubes that are filter fluid flows as the urine passes. In this article, we will mainly tackle about kidney stones in cats. What is it, its causes, symptoms, prognosis and treatments? Read on to this article to know more about it!
Kidney Stones in Cats: What is this feline condition?
The kidney stones in cats do not usually present the symptoms until they grow enormously, irritating the kidney ducts, as well as potentially causing a chronic obstruction or infection. Male cats and the domestic short-haired cats are more probable to develop these kidney stones more than the female ones and some other cat breeds.
Moreover, the kidneys are what’s responsible for the filtering of the blood, thus removing wastes like urea, toxins, and salts. As well as excreting these strained wastes with water via the urine. Some of these filtered wastes, which are commonly excreted by the kidneys are not entirely soluble and stay in the kidneys, thus forming renal calculi or crystals. Over time, the crystals may form stones and cause the feline condition.
Causes of Cat Kidney Stones
There are about 10 different kinds of minerals, which may form kidney stones in cats. Each of the kinds of kidney stones may be attributed to various causes. Some of these causes may include the following:
- Certain concurrent conditions or illnesses
- Certain medications
- Urinary retention
- Genetic defects
- Diets or supplements that produce urine with a high pH level of alkaline
- Increased levels of calcium in the urine and blood
- Causal urinary tract or bladder infection
- Underlying kidney infection
Symptoms of Cat Kidney Stones
Often, the small kidney stones do not present and just get detected throughout a diagnostic test or some other medical condition. However, once the kidney stones grow, they might cause the following symptoms:
- Frequent urination, which only produces a small amount of urine
- Frequent urinary tract infection
- Abdominal pain
- Painful urination, which is hard to pass
- Bloody urine
- Loss of appetite
Prognosis of Cat Kidney Stones
The vet may need to know the complete medical history of the cat, which may include a list of the symptoms, recent conditions or any urinary tract infections. As well as any recent vicissitudes to the diet of the cat. Moreover, the vet may physically test the cat, as well as draw numerous labs that will include a CBC, biochemical profile, urinalysis, and bacterial urine culture. All of these tests may point to some other organ systems, which are being affected, some other compatible conditions or illnesses, the existence of UTI, as well as a type of bacteria, which is existent in the urine.
Moreover, ultrasounds and X-rays may also be done. All of these tests may show the esxistence of kidney stones in cats. To be able to properly identify the kidney stones, a process known as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy might be made. Through this noninvasive process, shock waves may be used in breaking up the stones, thus allowing pieces to be eliminated from the urinary tract. Ascertaining the minerals in the kidney stones may be beneficial in determining the best possible treatment for your cat.
Treatment for Cat Kidney Stones
In the event that the kidney stones pose a medical emergency, surgery might be necessary. In the course of surgery, the vet might make one small opening in the kidneys with the help of an ultrasound to remove the stones, which are hindering the urine flow. The opening may be closed with sutures and the cat may remain in the vet clinic where it’ll be closely monitored. In addition, surgery may pose the risk of possible infection and of causing a kidney damage, hence, it’s just used when some other treatment choices are not working.
Stones, which are obstructing the urine flow may need to be promptly removed to prevent kidney failure from happening. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is commonly the first choice used by vets for the kidney stones removal, because of its noninvasive nature.
Cats that are dehydrated may need to be admitted to a vet hospital to receive fluid intravenously. The vet may also monitor the heart and kidneys during the fluid therapy to make sure the fluids are properly received by the cat’s body.
In the event that the kidney stones are not obstructing the urine flow, the cat might be prescribed some medication to dissolve the kidney stones, thus allowing them to pass from the cat through the urine. Further, the urine culture may identify any bacteria that’s present in the urine and proper antibiotic may be identified and recommended to treat the cats with UTI. Moreover, medication for pain may also be given to the cat to reduce their levels of pain while the treatment for the kidney stones takes place. 1 \lsdl