Monday, March 1, 2010

Bladder Stones And Cats

A kind reader of my blog brought to my attention last week that her dear kitty (Roxy)  recently had to have bladder stone surgery. Bladder stones? I have heard of cats having kidney stones (my Angel Bobo had to have surgery to have 6 kidney stones removed) and by the way bladder stones and kidney stones are NOT one and the same. Bladder stones are also not related to gall stones.

Since I am going through the "after shock" from my Lithotripsy this past Friday for my own stone issues (kidney stones for me) I figured it was only appropriate whether the two are related or not to  post some information about cats and bladder stones.

WHAT ARE BLADDER STONES?

I found out through "Pet-Yard.Com" that bladder stones "resemble a rock-like formation in the urinary tract, more particularly in the bladder. The stones are usually made of mineral residue in the blood" Like kidney stones and gall stones they "obstruct the normal flow of blood, urine and other fluids inside the body, causing extreme pain."

SYMPTOMS

blood in your pets' urine
pain or straining during urination

CAUSES

There are varying opinions on this but one theory is diet (high salt content)
"They may also be caused by a certain type of bacteria or infection which makes the cats' system become irregular leading to an overproduction of certain minerals that would only solidify in the bladder, leading to bladder stones."

DIAGNOSIS

Usually done by Xrays but Ultrasound seems to be the preferred method for diagonosing the stones.

TREATMENT

A vet prescribed special diet and medication
Surgery (which according to "Pet-Yard.com" is the fastest way to get rid of the stones"

The woman who brought the bladder stones to my attention is going to start her cat on a "raw food" diet....has anyone out there tried this type of diet with their cat? I am interested in hearing any and all feedback.

I recently researched some info myself about the "raw food" diet and will be doing a blog about that soon.

Until then,  regardless of not being the same, kidney stones, gall stones and bladder stones do cause a ton of pain in both cats and we humans who suffer from them and if left untreated can cause a myriad of other serious health issues. If your cat exhibits any of the symptoms listed above consult your veterinarian.

5 comments:

  1. Even though this is a cat blog, it's ironic to be reading about this topic just a week after my sister's
    miniature schnauzer had surgery to remove his bladder stones. Surgery is also the most effective method to remove bladder stones in our canine friends. My sister wanted to avoid surgery, so tried the medicine route first. Unfortunately it did not work, so he did end up having surgery and is doing great. He's also on non-wheat diet..

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  2. Thanks for doing the blog, Caren!
    I think the biggest thing I've learned from this bladder stone experience is that a diet change is essential. We pet owners need to be aware of the "junk food" we are unknowingly feeding our animals in the form of dry kibble. Our animals don't need corn or wheat or any other fillers. Cats are carnivores. They need protein. Small mammal prey is about 55% protein, with very less than 2% carbohydrates (ie. wheat/corn/rice..."fillers.") Look at your pet food labels. You might be surprised at the content. There are good nutritionallly sound canned food out there...you just have to start reading the labels. Also, you may be paying more up front for a high-end food, but if your cat eats less of it because it doesn't have any fillers in it you are cost-wise even.

    We also need to be aware that the pH level in our cat's urine is affected by diet. A meat consuming cat should have a pH below 7.5 (acidic). A dry kibble diet causes the urine to have an alkaline pH (above 7.4). This alkaline environment can then cause inflammation of the bladder which can lead to Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and then lead on to bladder stones. Also, dry kibble-fed cats are severely dehydrated and their urine is very concentrated. Combined with the pH level being off, the conditions in the bladder are prime for UTIs.

    I personally chose to pursue a raw food diet for Roxy because my research convinced me that this was the proper combination of nutrition and moisture for her. To others who may be considering a vet recommended "special diet" to eliminate stones (as I was offered by Roxy's vet), please read the labels for these foods. I don't think we should have to sacrifice nutrition in order to eliminate urinary tract issues in our kitties.

    Sorry it's a bit of a windy comment, but I'm really happy we are opening a discussion about this. Two months ago I was devastated by the news about bladder stones in my 3 yr old kitty. If I had her stones removed and didn't make the best decisions for her health to prevent them from re-occuring, then what sort of pet owner would I be?

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  3. Hey Caren, LOVE the blog!!! About the cat food dilemma, can tell you frm personal exp. that kibble aint the bad guy here. Had a sweet kitty that passed frm kidney/heart failure at 12. The vet assured us of several things -a) too much protein in the diet for a kidney-compromised kit is very dangerous. -b) male cats are more susceptible. -c) other kitty's 17 and had nothing but kibble all her life. I'd be more concerned about the quality of the kibble, or any pet food for that matter. The main reason cats suffer frm kidney/heart related disease is gum/teeth trouble, which can be helped by regular brushing and special additives to the water. keep up the good work and happy tails :) -Ms Z.

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  4. (Roxy's Mom) Hello Caren, just wanted to wish you happy holidays and update you on Roxy's condition. She has been on the raw diet since February after her surgery and has been crystal and stone-free since! Her vet is amazed at her recovery and health. Her coat is lush; she has tons of energy. I got my kitty back!

    Thank you for doing the blog on our furry friends...I do check in every once in a while and you post some interesting things. Happy New Year! =^^=

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  5. If you are suffering from gallbladder attacks symptoms there are a few things you can do at home right now that may help to relieve the discomfort right away.

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