Intended use: dissolution of struvite stones, reduction of struvite stone recurrence, feline lower urinary tract disease
This article will give you answers to:
- How to treat struvites
- What is the natural pH of a cat's urine
- The most common diseases of the urinary tract in cats
- How to prevent urinary tract problems
- How the Calibra Struvite diet helps in the treatment of struvite stones
Struvites are a type of urinary stone and belong to the most common kinds that occur in cats. Chemically, they are a compound made up of phosphate, ammonia, and magnesium. An alkaline pH (>7) contributes to their formation. This type of urinary stone can be completely dissolved using a special diet, and they generally do not require surgery (providing that animal is able to urinate).
In this case, the veterinary diet is the primary treatment. Thanks to the diet’s special formulation, urinary pH can be lowered (urine acidification), which is one of the factors that prevents the formation of further struvites and supports the dissolution of existing stones. The diet also dilutes the crystal-forming substances and promotes water intake. By diluting the urine, RSS (relative supersaturation) of mineral levels can be reached that enable existing struvites to dissolve. The prerequisite for success is a well-constructed diagnosis that clearly defines the type of stone and excludes bacterial infection.
In case of bacterial infection, targeted antibiotic therapy is needed. Regular clinical checks are necessary.
What is normal urine pH for cats?
Healthy cats have a urine pH of around 6.3 to 6.6. This value can vary based on diet. A protein diet (based on meat) lowers pH towards acidity (<7), while a plant-based diet raises (alkalizes) the urine’s pH.
FeLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease) refers to a disease of a cat’s lower urinary tract. This disease has many causes and can result in difficult urination or life-threatening complete blockage of the urinary tract and the inability to urinate.
The lower urinary tract includes the bladder and urethra. The upper urinary tract includes the kidneys and ureters.
Factors influencing the development of FeLUTD
- Obesity (neutered cats with a tendency to gain weight are at the highest risk)
- Stressful living environment of the cat
- Low fluid intake
- Minimal activity
What diseases trigger FeLUTD?
- Inflammation of the bladder (FIC)
- Urinary stones (uroliths)
FIC – Inflammation of the bladder
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder for which there is no apparent cause. It is a sterile inflammation – one that is not caused by any infection (viruses or bacteria).
The onset of this disease can be attributed to stress. Cats are susceptible to stress and changes in their environment. Stress can activate the hormonal axis – the innate “fight or flight” instinct is triggered, releasing the hormones adrenalin and noradrenaline.These hormones prepare the body to fight or flight - the respiratory rate and pulse increase, blood flows to the brain, and as a result of this cascade, the flushing of hormones (called effectors) and mediators alters the permeability of the epithelium in the bladder. It also leads to a change in the structural components of the epithelium and to exposure of the nerve fibers, which are constantly irritated by urine.
Long-term irritation causes inflammation, inflammation causes pain,and pain supports further stress...
Which cats are at risk for FIC?
Obese and inactive cats are at risk.
Fat tissue releases hormonal effectors that can trigger an inflammatory response and cause bladder inflammation. For this reason, cats must maintain a proper weight.
The condition of an animal’s body is evaluated, considering differences in breeds and sizes, using the Body Condition Score – an internationally recognized system. A cat is at its ideal weight when we can see a well-defined waist and body silhouette, and we can feel its ribs while cuddling.
Urinary stones (uroliths)
Urinary stones, or uroliths (the disease is called urolithiasis), are clusters of minerals that have crystallized due to changes in conditions in the urinary tract. Improper feeding, bladder inflammation, genetics, or other health factors can cause these changes.
Crystallization occurs when the urine contains a large quantity of dissolved minerals
or the urine is too concentrated (low fluid intake, excretory tract problem).
Urinary stones can occur anywhere, but they usually form in the bladder or the urethra. Clinical symptoms then vary based on the location. The greatest danger is when a urinary stone blocks the urethra and the animal cannot urinate – this is a life-threatening condition.
Symptoms of urinary tract diseases
- Frequent urination (pollakiuria)
- Painful urination and difficulty urinating (dysuria)
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Urinary blockage (inability to urinate) – life-threatening condition!!!
- Increased/decreased thirst
- Sleepiness, lethargy
- Anorexia, decreased appetite, weight loss
- Unusual behavior
- Poor coat quality
How can I tell if my cat is showing these symptoms?
- The cat gets in an unusual position when urinating.
- The cat urinates in unusual places.
- The cat shows signs of pain while urinating.
- There is no urine in the litter box – the cat is not urinating.
- Feed your cat only a high-quality, meat-based food (cats are carnivores, this type of food is natural for them).
- Maintain your cat’s ideal weight.
- Avoid extremely stressful influences.
- Clean the litter box regularly (some cats won’t urinate in the box if it is not clean) and have more than one litter box available in your home.
- Pay special attention to your cat’s environment – reduce stressors.
- Provide opportunities to drink regularly (more bowls, drinking fountain).
- Encourage your cat to move and play, and if there are multiple cats in the household, try to find out whether the cats are stressed by one another.
In households with multiple cats, it is very easy to overlook these symptoms! Cats can hide signs of illness for a long time, and the full extent of the illness is often not apparent until it is too late. Therefore, it’s essential to pay close attention to each cat in the household.
In general, a cat requires about 50 ml of water per 1 kg of body weight per day. For a cat weighing 5 kg, this means about 250 ml of water a day. Felines in the wild, however, are adapted to low water intake, because their environment is
dry and hot, and they can meet their daily fluid requirements with moisture from their prey. Cats also have a higher urine density than dogs – they can concentrate it more and thus recover more water from their bodies.
If your cat eats wet food, it will drink less. If your cat eats dry food, however, it needs to drink more. Some cats are very particular about where they drink - they will drink only water flowing from the tap or a glass. In this case, we can support their water intake by using a water fountain for cats or whatever method they prefer.
- struvite stones (dissolution, prevention of formation)
- issues of the lower urinary tract in cats (FeLUTD)
To dissolve struvites and reduce their formation:
- Balanced mineral content – reducing precursors – i.e. minerals necessary for forming urinary stones (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium).
- [#product-247]Calcium sulphate (an additive that acidifies urine) – To lower urine pH.
- Increased sodium content – Encourages the intake of liquids and dilutes the urine. The sodium content is in a concentration that is not harmful to the animal (= well below the nutritional maximum standards).
- Optimum protein content – The veterinary diet has a balanced protein content and a high-quality amino acid profile – it contains chicken protein and pea protein.
To support treatment of FeLUTD syndrome, it contains:
- A special combination of substances to support the physiological functions of the urinary tract(URINARY TRACT HEALTH COMPLEX):
- A unique blend of herbs (cranberry & nettles & silver thistle)
- Omega-3 (from salmon oil, seaweed and green-lipped mussel)
- Vitamins and antioxidants (polyphenols and flavonoids from green tea and turmeric)
- Balanced mineral content: Organic forms of zinc, iron and copper, which are essential for the proper functioning of the body. The organic form is better utilized and absorbed.
- Enriched with L-tryptophan – An amino acid that helps reduce stress.
Important – how to support treatment
When using a veterinary diet aimed at treating struvites, the veterinarian must check the cat regularly. The veterinarian will also determine the duration of such therapy. It is also essential to ensure that the cat has access to a constant supply of fresh water.
Vytištěno v říjnu 2021
Calibra VD Struvite for cats has been specially developed by veterinarians based on the latest scientific findings. The composition is tailored precisely to their needs. And because Calibra veterinary diets lie somewhere between medicine and food, they help support medical treatment in the most natural way.