Did you know that cat bladder stones are often accompanied by urinary tract infections? Many owners do not realize that one problem can lead to another. Anyone who has been through it with their pet will attest that a feline bladder stone can be very painful and even dangerous.
Females will experience cat bladder stones more often than males. The reason for this is because the urethra (the tube where urine exits from the body) is shorter in females than in males. It is also much closer to the rectum which allows for more bacteria to enter the urethra, thus leading to more infections. As infections increase, the chance of developing a cat bladder stone increases as well.
While it is very possible to develop feline bladder stones due to infections, owners must remember that infections can be caused in a variety of ways. In many cases, the owner may not even notice the pet has a problem until the symptoms of the infection present themselves. This means that feline bladder stones often have plenty of time to develop before the problem is noticed.
The creation of feline bladder stones is similar to how oysters produce pearls. A small granule develops and onto this minerals begin to cling. As time passes, the particle becomes bigger. Once it gets to a particular size it will begin to irritate the lining of the bladder. If it gets too big, it may block the urethra, reducing the pet's ability to void its urine. If the cat bladder stone is left untreated, it may completely block the urethra which leads to incredible pain and even life-threatening sepsis.
Only your veterinarian can properly diagnosis a feline bladder stone. He or she may recommend antibiotics to fight off any infections, and these usually do the trick. It is important to remember, too, that there are many types of cat bladder stones (struvite and oxalate) and only your veterinarian will be able to determine the type that is causing problems.. Knowing the type is important as this leads to the proper treatment regime. Many types of cat bladder stones can be treated with medications, but others may require surgery (oxalate). Only your veterinarian can decide which is which.
Dietary change and natural supplements can help keep struvite bladder stones from recurring. Products such as Hill's Prescription Diet c/d Multicare might help to dissolve struvite stones and possibly help with the other type of stone (oxalate). These diets work by limiting magnesium intake and by helping your cat's urine have a higher percentage of acid. You might also consider a switch to a canned cat food. Canned foods contain 80% more moisture than dry and will help to increase the frequency and amount of urination. If you stay with dry cat food, consider one that has a higher level of salt which will cause your cat to drink more.
Natural Remedies that are specifically made for cat bladder stones can also be helpful. Ingredients such as Arctostaphylos uva ursi, Berberis vulgaris, Cantharis and Staphysagris are recognized natural ways of helping to maintain the PH of a normal urinary tract system which will help to keep a cat bladder stone from forming.
It is also important to keep plenty of clean water available for your pet as this is one of the best ways to prevent cat bladder stones from forming in the first place. Water helps to dilute the urine, which in turn reduces the ability of the minerals to pack together and form a cat bladder stone. Also a clean litter box will help with the spread of infection.