I have been having major problems with my female cat bella. She is 5 years old and we have had her since she was a kitten. We have been to our vet several times for the following issues:
-Urinary tract infection 2 times in the last year
-Urine marking everywhere in our new house (we moved about 11 months ago and the house is brand new so no animals were ever in the house before her)
-The vet diagnosed her with bladder stones in March and since then she has been on a special diet which seems to have cleared the stones from what they can see from tests
-She is suppposed to be strictly on wet food due to her urinary problems but she does not favor wet food - she really likes dry food
-Over the past three months she has lost about 2 pounds and in the last month has been hardly eating anything at all. I have tried both wet and dry food with little or no interest
-The vet has suggested putting her on prozac for cats
-The vet doesn't seem to know what the exact problem is, we have had both blood and urine tests run and everything always comes back good
I know this is very complicated to explain and understand because there are so many factors involved but I am hoping that you can help me. I really love my cat so much and I want her to feel good. I will do anything to make her better but I just need to know what to do!
In order for me to give you the best opinion, we are probably going to have to write back and forth a bit.
If you write back to me with additional information that I request or with additional questions, please write in the comment area of this question. You will also find my subsequent answers or questions in the comment area also.
My first question for you concerns the method of diagnosis of the stones. You mention blood and urine, but were x-rays taken or ultrasound performed? Also, was she put on a special diet formulated for crystals or stones or urinary problems? And is she still on it?
What was given for the urinary tract infection? How was it diagnosed? Have you made any environmental changes recommended by the vet to encourage her to use the box?
I look forward to hearing back from you,
I think the best way I can help you to give you some information that differs a bit from what's been done or what is being done.
This won't necessarily be in any kind of order.
Bladder stones are diagnosed with x-rays or ultrasound. Some vets attempt to dissolve them with diet, which is ok if the cat is not suffering and if the crystals from the urinalysis of the type that can be dissolved. (Not all are). However, surgery is the only sure cure.
You cannot tell a bladder stone is gone unless an x-ray or ultrasound is performed. Urinalysis will not tell you that.
Baytril is a great antibiotic for cat urinary tract infections. However, if it is given for 7 to 10 days and then the symptoms come back, it should be given for a longer period. Sometimes 3 weeks. Sometimes even 6 weeks.
Urine culture is the best way of checking to see what bacteria are present and what antibiotic is best. However, a culture can be negative and yet an infection still present. A urinalysis can be normal and yet still have bacteria grow in the culture.
I have treated many cats who were miserable and did not have obvious stones on x-ray or ultrasound, but had so many crystals in their urine that I performed a cystotomy and literally had to scoop crystals out of the bladder. These cats had their urinary problems resolve only after this procedure. After the surgery, I also use Baytril and change the diet, based on the urinalysis. If the bladder wall was thickened, as many are, I will prescribe eleavil also.
According to the manufacturer, SD should only be given 2 to 3 months or up to 6 months if a urinalysis is done to confirm that the urine is not becoming too acidic.
I believe firmly that Bella has a medical problem. She, of course, has developed behavioral problems on top of that, but her medical issues need to be resolved first.
You said she had a urinalysis 45 days ago, but was on antibiotics 60 days ago. That urinalysis would most likely have been negative because she was just on antibiotics. That doesn't mean she's clear of infection now.
You also mentioned her last urinalysis as being 45 days ago, but then also said there was one last week. I'm confused?
I like SO diet very much. However, Hill's prescription diets have been around for ages and are tried and true. If a cat doesn't like SO and starts losing weight, I would quickly change to CD. They have a version similar to SO.
Canned is better than dry simply because it gets more water into the cat, but if the cat won't eat it, then I suggest dry. Dry SO or CD is better than non-prescription canned food.
I really believes Bella still needs medical attention and of course you can be working on the behavioral side of it also. To tell you all about that would take dozens of emails! If you like, you can go to my website page called "Litter
Box Problems" and at the bottom of the page is my ebook on treating the behavioral aspects of inappropriate urination. I'm embarrassed to say, however, that I'm being told that at the moment there's a problem with the download, so don't do it now!
After you digest what I've written, let me know anything I've missed or anything you'd like to respond to.
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