What is Urinary Tract Disease?

Urinary Tract Disease is one of the common problems in pets; however, it is a condition which can be treated once the cause has been diagnosed.

Bacterial cystitis is the most common cause of lower urinary tract disease in many animals. Cystitis is defined as any inflammation of the bladder wall, the usual cause for such inflammation is a bacterial infection.

Bacteria can find its way to the bladder either from the kidneys, through blood circulation or most commonly via the urethra (the tube from the bladder to the outside world).

These infections can be caused by a number of different problems. Certain underlying medical conditions can predispose the body to infections such as Diabetes, Cushing’s disease, long-term steroids. Physical abnormalities such as bladder stones, polyps, tumours can irritate the bladder lining making it more prone to infections.

Another common lower urinary tract disease in older dogs is incontinence due to a weak urinary sphincter muscle. Treatment for this condition is very effective.

Cystitis in cats is very common and easily treated. Feline idiopathic cystitis is inflammation of the bladder with unknown cause and is very common especially in younger cats. Stress is thought to play a big part in this too.

Male cats that suffer with cystitis are at risk of developing a urinary blockage, which is a very serious condition requiring emergency treatment. If your cat is unable to urinate then he should be taken to your vets immediately. A bladder blockage can cause dangerous toxins to build up and if left untreated can be fatal. However, treatment can be carried out very quickly and effectively.

Here are a few signs to look out for;

Symptoms of urinary tract disease

  •         Frequent urination
  •         Inability to urinate/passing very small amounts
  •         Incontinence/accidents in house
  •         Blood in urine
  •         Crying out when urinating
  •         Straining to urinate
  •         Discomfort and licking the genital area
  •         Lethargy

If your pet is showing any of the above signs please contact our Pet Health Helpline on 03333 321 947 and our expert vet nurses will advise you on what to do next.