Urinary Tract Disease


The diagnosis of most urinary tract diseases can be made from careful examination of a fresh urine sample and from accurate information from you about your pet's drinking and urinating routines. Most urinary tract disease causes changes in the normal pattern of drinking and urinating. The opposite is not true however.  Not all changes in drinking or urinating are caused by urinary tract disease. If you are visiting the London Veterinary Clinic concerning your pet’s waterworks, please bring a fresh urine sample with you. We can provide you with collection material, including non-absorbable cat litter. 

Causes Of Increased Urinating - From Outside The Urinary Tract

There are highly specific causes of increased urinating. This makes a differential diagnosis a logical, organised procedure. Causes from outside the urinary tract include:

  • Sugar diabetes (diabetes mellitus)
  • Pituitary diabetes (ADH deficiency diabetes)
  • Liver disease (Hepatic insufficiency
  • Womb infection (Pyometra)
  • Overactive adrenal gland (Hyperadrenocorticism)
  • Underactive adrenal gland (Hypoadrenocorticism)
  • Underactive thyroid gland (Hypothyroidism)
  • Excess calcium in the blood (Hypercalcemia)
  • Insufficient potassium in the blood (Hypokalemia)
  • Congenital disorders
  • Trauma
  • Drugs or diet

Causes Of Increased Drinking

There are very few primary causes of increased drinking. All of them are triggered by problems outside the urinary tract. These are:

  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Altered behaviour (psychogenic polydypsia)
  • Physical brain conditions (encephalopathies)

Causes Of Increased Urinating - From Within The Urinary Tract

  • Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)
  • Kidney insufficiency
  • Kidney failure
  • Lack of kidney response to ADH

Causes Of Increased Frequency

While increased urinating usually leads to increased frequency, there any many conditions where frequency is increased but quantity is not. These conditions may trigger only mild increased drinking but obvious increased frequency.

  • Bladder inflammation
  • Urethral inflammation
  • Bladder sediment or stones
  • Prostate conditions
  • Lower genital tract inflammation

Signs Of Pain Or Difficulty Urinating (DYSURIA)

  • Pain or difficulty may cause your pet to:
  • Strain
  • Dribble urine
  • Squat or lift a leg but pass nothing
  • Lick the penis or vulva more frequently
  • Cry out
  • Resent being touched
  • Pass small quantities frequently
  • Pass blood, sediment or mucus

Causes Of Pain Or Difficulty Urinating

Most causes are associated with lower urinary tract disease including:

  • Bladder sediment or stones
  • Trauma
  • Lower urinary tract inflammation
  • Urinary tract tumours
  • Prostate conditions

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