Bladder And Urethra Inflammation - Cystitis And Urethritis
Bladder and associated urethral conditions affect all ages. Bacterial infection, mineral deposit, injuries, tumours, even stress can cause cystitis, an inflammation to the lining of the bladder or urethritis, an inflammation of the urethra. These inflammations often occur together and are called lower urinary tract disease or LUTD. They are most common in overweight, indoor, neutered cats. When infection occurs it is more common in females than males because of the shorter distensible urethra. Chronic corticosteroid therapy increases the risk of cystitis. In males the condition is often associated with prostate inflammation, prostatitis. (see below) Mineral crystals in the bladder or urethra can develop as a consequence of bacterial infection. (see below) Cystitis and urethritis cause pain. A pet urinates and licks the vulva or penis more frequently. Urine may appear cloudy and often has a sour smell.
On urinalysis there are usually high levels of white blood cells, nitrites, and alkaline rather than normal acidic urine (because of bacterial fermentation).
Antibiotics are given usually for a minimum of two weeks. Subsequent urinalysis should be normal before antibiotic treatment ends. If another episode of cystitis occurs shortly after, bladder sediment or stones are suspected.
Bladder Sediment And Stones - Crystals And Uroliths - Urolithiasis
Pets of any age or breed can produce mineral sediment, called "crystals" or mineral stones, called "uroliths" in any part of the urinary tract. They usually develop in the bladder and pass down into the urethra. (Kidney stones are rarer in dogs and cats than in people.) The most common stone, struvite, usually occurs as a consequence of lower urinary tract infection. Other stones develop for different reasons (see below) While some pets with bladder stones show no clinical signs, others behave as pets do with lower urinary tract pain. A stone can lodge behind the bone in a dog’s penis (the os penis), completely blocking the urethra. Stones and associated mucus can plug a male cat’s urethra. This causes considerable straining, no urine and dramatically increasing pain leading to shock as the bladder increases in size.
A diagnosis is made by examining urine sediment, x-ray and ultrasound. FINDING A FEW CRYSTALS IN URINE IS NOT ON ITS OWN OF ANY SIGNIFICANCE. CRYSTALS ARE ONLY SIGNIFICANT IF THERE IS ASSOCIATED DISEASE OR A HISTORY OF PREVIOUS DISEASE. EQUALLY, FINDING NO CRYSTALS IN SEDIMENT DOES NOT ELIMINATE UROLITHIASIS. A SOLID BLADDER OR URETHRAL STONE MAY BE SHEDDING NO CRYSTALS.
The largest stones can actually be felt on abdominal palpation while others are revealed by plain or contrast x-ray or ultrasound. Treatment varies according to the type of stone but always involves eliminating the underlying cause such as bladder infection and reducing the quantity of sediment or preventing its recurrence though diet management. Large stones or those causing urethral blockages are surgically removed.