Causes Of Cat Urine Crystals
There are several root causes believed to contribute to the buildup of urine crystals and struvite stones in cats. According to Veterinary Centers of America, struvite stones can be caused by the bacteria associated with a urinary tract infection. These bacteria produce a chemical called urease, which can alter the urines acidity, leading to the accumulation of crystals and the formation of struvite stones.;
If there is no infection present, as Dr. Goldstein says, veterinarians dont always know why a cat develops urinary crystals or stones. Its thought that can lead to a higher concentration of minerals in urine, causing crystals to form. Cats have evolved as a species to get the majority of their water from live prey, but this is unrealistic for domestic cats, especially if theyre indoor-only and prefer dry food. If a cat is less inclined to drink water alongside their dry food, theres less water present in the body to flush out waste, leading to a buildup of toxins and potential health issues. ;
Why Do Some Cats Form Stones If Struvite Crystals Are Considered Normal
There are several things at play in this situation. The urine pH, the presence of proteins around which the crystals can cluster, and the amount of water in the urine are all critical considerations. All of these elements combine to produce urine that is supersaturated with struvite. In dogs, infection is required for the formation of a struvite bladder stone, while in cats, the condition was not needed in 95 percent of cases of struvite bladder stones
The mineral struvite is found in around 45 percent of feline uroliths, and the majority of feline struvite uroliths form in sterile urine, according to the American Urological Association.
Causes Of Struvite Crystals
According to VCA Hospitals, in some cats, struvite bladder stones form as a result of a urinary tract infection, but this is less common in cats than in dogs.;;In most cases however, cats develop struvite stones in the absence of an infection. In these cases, the exact cause is unknown. A number of different factors have been found to contribute to these stones, including the formation of concentrated urine, increased urine pH , and increased levels of magnesium and phosphorus within the urine.
An underlying cause for the development of struvite crystals is that many cats are reluctant to drink water from bowls. They’ve evolved over millennia;to get most of their moisture from prey. This, partnered with a diet of dry cat food, can lead to crystal development in the cat’s urine.
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Crystals are microscopic precipitants that can develop in your cats urine. Theyre usually discovered when you bring your feline to the veterinarian because of common urinary issues, such as urinating too frequently, not enough, or having accidents outside the litter box. Your veterinarian will run a urinalysis to check for sediment or crystals in your cats urine.
How To Prevent Recurrence Of Struvite Crystals
You cant always prevent struvite crystals and stones in your cats urine and cats who have developed struvite bladder stones are more likely to experience a recurrence later in life. However, there are factors that are known to increase the chances of your cat having struvite stones which include obesity, decreased water intake, and one of the most common causes, stress. Read below to find out you can reduce these factors.
·;;;;;;;Giving prescribed medications and diets as indicated by your veterinarian
;If you ever feel as though your cat is;experiencing a urinary problem, especially if they are straining to;urinate and seem uncomfortable, please seek veterinary attention.
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Types Of Struvite Stones
Crystals develop due to supersaturated urine and pH or urease producing bacteria. Stones can be sterile or infected. Infected stones are caused by bacteria that produce urease which increase the concentration of ammonia in the urine, alter pH and alter the change in the ionisation state of phosphorus.
Sterile stones are associated diets with increased levels of magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and chloride, accounting for 95% of struvite stones in cats. Factors that lead to the formation of struvite stones include the concentration of urine, pH, presence of proteins around which the crystals can aggregate and diets high in magnesium.
The Treatment Of Cystoscopy
A Cystoscope is used in this treatment and is less invasive. It is a long thin medical instrument that comes with a small-sized video camera attached to it. The instrument is inserted inside the cats bladder. However, this method is only meant for female cats as the urethra of the male cat is too small for the instrument to enter. The instrument has a stone basket meant for retrieving stones from the bladder. There are cases when the crystals inside the bladder get too big and so a laser called Lithotripsy is used to break the stone down into smaller pieces to pass through the urethra. The laser within the instrument is positioned in close contact with the stones, which are then dissolved and retrieved. There is an addition of extra expenses involved with this procedure as it requires the need for special equipment to carry out the treatment.
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How Does Diet Play A Role
When it comes to helping prevent struvite crystals and stones in your cat and maintaining their urinary tract health, nutrition plays a significant role! Both diet and water consumption can play a role in your cats urinary health. Cats arent natural water drinkers. As theyve evolved over millions of years and derived most of their moisture from their prey, its common for cats today to not always drink enough water. This is important to understand because struvite stones tend to form in a concentrated urine. Therefore, it is important to encourage adequate fluid intake can help prevent mineral concentration in urine and discourage stone formation. Dry cat food provides your cat with very little moisture in their diet, so considering incorporating wet food can be a great way to increase your cats water consumption.
Will Struvite Bladder Stones Recur After Treatment
Cats who have developed struvite bladder stones are likely to experience a recurrence later in life, unless the conditions that led to the formation of stones can be corrected.
The most important step to preventing recurrence is to feed a prescription diet. These diets are specially formulated to create a urine environment that is less favorable for the formation of struvite bladder stones. In general, these diets decrease the urine pH and restrict the levels of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphorus in the urine.
“The most important step to preventing recurrence is to feed a prescription diet.”
Additionally, you will need to increase your cats water intake in order to make your cats urine less concentrated. In most cases, using the canned version of your cats prescription diet will keep the urine dilute. In some cases, you may need to take additional steps, such as adding a running water fountain to your home, offering flavored water , or adding additional water to canned food.
Your cat will require long-term, regular rechecks. This will allow your veterinarian to monitor your cats urine, in order to ensure that her urine characteristics remain within desired parameters. Regular monitoring will also allow future recurrence of bladder stones to be detected early, when treatment may be easier and more effective.
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How To Treat Struvite Crystals In Cats
Owner compliance is critical for the diet to succeed, cats on stone dissolving diets cannot have treats, table scraps, or any other type of food. It takes an average of six weeks for stones to dissolve. Introduce the new diet over a few days by gradually increasing the new food and decreasing the previous food One of my cats developing struvite crystals was my primary motivation for switching to a raw diet. In Jeta’s case the raw did the trick. I fed her a prescription diet until the existing crystals were dissolved and then fed her a raw diet for 8 years then an all wet diet for 2 years A generation ago, struvite crystals and stones were commonly found in cats with urinary tract disease, with calcium oxalate stones and crystals relatively rare. Because struvite, or magnesium ammonium phosphate, crystals formed because of too much alkalinity in the feline diet, commercial pet food manufacturers began acidifying their products
Whats The Best Cat Food To Reduce Urinary Crystals
Feeding a proven therapeutic diet for urinary tract care may help reduce crystals in cats who are prone to developing them. Also, if struvite urolith stones are present, your veterinarian may use a therapeutic diet;that nutritionally manages and dissolves stones, while preventing formation of calcium oxalate uroliths. If necessary, other types of stones can be surgically removed.
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An Improved Understanding Of The Role Of Ph Magnesium And Phosphorus; Greater Knowledge Of Risk Factors; And More Dietary Options Have Changed How Struvite Stones Are Treated In Cats And Dogs
While struvite uroliths may in some cases require surgical intervention, the recommended standard of care by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine is medical dissolution with a therapeutic diet formulated to alter urine acidity and encourage water consumption.
Dietary dissolution of struvite stones is both effective and inexpensive. Therapeutic diets limit calculogenic compounds and acidify urine. That makes the urine a less welcoming environment for stone formation and dissolves stones that are present.
Concerns medical dissolution places pets at risk of urethral obstruction are not borne out by the literature, according to the ACVIM consensus statement, published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2016.
Dietary management itself has changed as well. The shift from struvite-only dissolution or prevention diets to combination struvite dissolution/prevention and calcium oxalate prevention diets is the biggest change in management of these uroliths, says Cailin Heinze, VMD, Dipl. ACVN, assistant professor of nutrition at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.
Urinary Tract Disorders: Urolithiasis
Uroliths may be composed of several different types of minerals; struvite and calcium oxalate occur most commonly in adult cats.42,121,210 In kittens, infection-induced struvite and urate uroliths occur most commonly. In young adults struvite uroliths are typically not associated with a bacterial urinary tract infection. In older cats infection-induced struvite and calcium oxalate occur more commonly.12 Uroliths occurring in the upper urinary tract are typically composed of calcium oxalate.141,151,237
Urolith formation is associated with varying underlying causes. Sterile struvite uroliths are associated with the feeding of meals versus ad libitum feeding, dry foods, increased carbohydrate, certain protein sources, and alkaluria.* Conditions necessary for the formation of struvite crystals and uroliths include sufficient concentration of the composite minerals and retention of the components in the urinary tract for sufficient time to allow crystallization. Thus production of small volumes of concentrated urine would seem to be a contributing factor. In addition, a pH favorable for struvite precipitation must exist . However, many cats with struvite urolithiasis have a neutral or acidic urine pH at presentation.
The recommended dietary formulation for inducing dissolution of sterile struvite uroliths in cats is summarized in Box 18-12.79
Prevention of uroliths may involve dietary changes insofar as many types of feline uroliths are recurrent.
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What Are Struvite Stones Or Crystals
The struvite stones are composed of mineral crystals called struvite. The struvite mineral crystals are microscopic in size and found in the urine of a feline. These crystals are a combination of ammonium, magnesium, and phosphate.;
Grinding struvite crystals in the cats urine is not uncommon. But if the crystals get together and form a stone, then it becomes a big problem. Depending on the size of the crystal stone, you can decide the severity of the condition.;
In most cases, the stones can be dissolved. But if the stone size is big, the cat may need surgery.;
What Really Worked To Heal My Cat From Stones Crazy
Introduction. PRO-VET STRUVITE has been developed for adult cats with struvite urolithiasis.PRO-VET STRUVITE will dissolve crystals and stones in the urinary bladder and it will prevent recurrence of symptoms. PRO-VET STRUVITE provides sufficient nutrients to maintain the body. The development of crystals and stones containing struvite in the urinary bladder is a common condition by cats Struvite and calcium oxalate uroliths are the most commonly reported uroliths in cats. In the last 25 years, dramatic change in the prevalence of different urolith types has occurred. Until the mid-1980s, struvite uroliths made up 78% of submissions to the Minnesota Urolith Center
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What Foods To Avoid For Pets With Struvite Crystals In
Prescription Diet Feline s/dhas been formulated to help dissolve struvite crystals and stones in your cat. Helps dissolve struvite stones. Targets an acid urinary pH to help increase the solubility of struvite. Please consult your vet for further information and guidance on what is best for your cat Struvite is a phosphate mineral with formula: NH 4 MgPO 4 ·6H 2 O. Struvite crystallizes in the orthorhombic system as white to yellowish or brownish-white pyramidal crystals or in platey mica-like forms.It is a soft mineral with Mohs hardness of 1.5 to 2 and has a low specific gravity of 1.7. It is sparingly soluble in neutral and alkaline conditions, but.
Understanding The Idea Behind Preventing Struvite Crystals
There are a ton of issues and questions surrounding a felines health, and one of them is on how to prevent crystals in cat urine. The prevention of this issue isnt far-fetched at all. The best way is to create and stick to a diet plan that isnt prone to the risk of stone formation. There are a ton of urinary formulas for felines. It is best to choose canned food for your cats new dietary plan. The canned foods are watery in nature, which will dilute your cats urine, and this, in turn, will lead to less formation of crystals. Your veterinarian may also monitor through some tests to balance out the urine and the concentration of pH. This will lead to less or no formation of crystals at all.
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What Are The Clinical Signs Of Struvite Bladder Stones
Struvite stones, like other bladder stones, cause significant inflammation and irritation of the bladder wall. Therefore, they cause signs similar to those of a urinary tract infection or other inflammatory bladder disease.
Signs of bladder stones typically include frequent urination, straining to urinate, blood in the urine, and urinating outside of the litterbox. Some cats show nonspecific signs of discomfort, such as lethargy and decreased appetite.
In some cats, bladder stones do not produce any symptoms at all. These stones may be detected as part of the workup of another condition.
How To Dissolve Struvite Crystals In Cats
What are struvite crystals? How to dissolve struvite crystals in cats? No matter if you are a new cat parent or an experienced one, you must have heard the term cat crystals. This is the easy term for Struvite crystals.;
The struvite stone or crystal is quite common in cats. When your cat is suffering from this condition, he will be unable to urinate. This occurs because the struvite crystal blocks the urinary tract of the kitty.;
Though the condition is curable, ignoring it can be life-threatening for the cat. So, it is important to know more about the condition, and how to dissolve the struvite crystal. In this article, you will get all the information you need on cat crystal. So, do not forget to read.;
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Risk Factors Associated With Struvite Uroliths
- Age: The peak occurrence of struvite uroliths in cats appears between the ages of 2 and 7 years.
- Gender: Female cats appear to be at higher risk for struvite urolithiasis than male cats.
- Breed: Breeds like the Burmese, Persian, Himalayan, Rex, Abyssinian, Russian blue, Birman, and Siamese have been shown to have a lower incidence of struvite uroliths than other breeds. However, according to one study, Siamese cats are at an elevated risk of developing struvite uroliths.
- Concurrent infection: Struvite uroliths linked with the disease are more common in kittens and older female cats than in adult cats. The following characteristics increase the risk of urinary tract infection in cats: female gender, Persian breed, increasing age, decreasing body weight, chronic kidney disease , hyperthyroidism, and diabetes.
How To Prevent Struvite Crystals In Cats
When you discover how to prevent struvite crystals in cats, you open a pandoras box. You discover new ways to keep your cat healthy, not just by preventing or getting rid of struvite crystals.
Struvite crystals are the most common form of mineral crystals that form in a cats urinary tract. Around half of all urinary stones in cats are struvite crystals.
You may be alerted to this problem when you see your cat straining to urinate, urinating outside the litter box, urinating frequently, has an increased thirst and/or has cloudy or bloody urine. The latter can only be seen if they urinate on a solid surface or a pale coloured fabric.
If you take your cat to the vet, you will almost always be given antibiotics and a speciality diet.
It is likely that neither will help the problem, because the cause was not addressed.
Struvite crystals in cats are formed when the urine pH is too high, ie too alkaline. Healthy cats have low pH urine, ie acidic.
So how do cats get urine that is too alkaline?
This means the antibiotics you are given, along with the speciality diet, which is inevitably high in plant based foods, will only exacerbate the problem, rather than help it.
Antibiotics kill off all bacteria, creating a digestion problem. The speciality diet is likely to be high in plant based food, so is a sideways move.
So what sort of diet will prevent struvite crystals in cats? Or dogs, for that matter. Or any health issue, as the right diet is key to good health in anyone.
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