Feline Lower Urinary Track Disease (FLUTD)

by Dr. Tim Brandes from Hinsdale Animal Hospital

"Felix" is a 3 year old male neutered cat. He is usually a very healthy, well behaved kitty. However, one night he presented to Hinsdale Animal Hospital for bloody urine and urinating outside of the litter box.

Upon initial presentation Felix’s exam was fairly unremarkable, except for a sensitive bladder upon palpation. Once urine was obtained there were signs of blood and a few crystals within the urine. Felix was suffering from a syndrome not uncommon in young male cats where their bladders become thickened, inflamed and very bloody. The risk from what we call feline lower urinary track disease (FLUTD), is that the male cat may become blocked and not be able to urinate. That becomes a medical emergency quickly, fortunately, for Felix this did not occur. We were able to switch his diet, flush his bladder with fluids and relieve his discomfort with pain meds.

The causes for this syndrome are not well understood but theories range from stress to diet to genetics. The key to this case was catching the situation promptly to avoid obstruction. So if your male cat is showing discomfort while urinating, bloody urine or both see a vet right away, before it becomes a crisis. Felix is doing well on his special diet to control urine crystals and blood and will be on this prescription diet indefinitely.

Also, as a side note I really like to use a product called Adequan which is normally used in dogs for arthritis. However, the ingredient in Adequan is also an important component of the protective layer on the inside of the bladder. By supplementing this compound it helps build up that protective layer and reduce the chance for reoccurrence and or blockage. So, Felix received 3 doses about 1 week apart, to reduce the chances he would return with the same problem.