Our cat is struggling to urinate and has bloody urine. What would be the course of treatment?

Original Question: Dear Dr. Greenway, we have a cat that has repeated episodes of bloody urine with some discomfort to urinate or struggling to urinate. She will often cry in the litter box. My vet has given us repeated treatments on an antibiotic called Clavamox but the symptoms seem to keep coming back. Is there something we're missing or is there a better food I could put her on to control this problem? Thank you" - Jenny

Our cat is struggling to urinate and has bloody urine. What would be the course of treatment? Mar 1, 2018

Hi Jenny,

So there’s a few pieces of advice I would give you here.

First, if you ever check her urine, make sure you perform a culture and sensitivity test.  This test identifies the particular bacteria in the bladder and tell you which antibiotic kills it. If it’s an E.coli or Proteus bacteria, then you have to treat for longer, approximately 4 weeks.  The Convenia is a good medication and it’s always my first choice for a bladder infection since it’s very effective.

Your food choices should be based on the urinalysis to prevent further problems. If there are crystals present, there will be specific foods that would be recommended based on the type of crystal. If she is getting recurrent infections then you should consider increasing her water intake with wet food or a water fountain, and consider a cranberry supplement you can find online.

There is a condition called idiopathic cystitis which is a recurrent condition where it appears that they have a urinary tract infection but there are actually no bacteria present. This condition is thought to be brought on by stress and has various other treatments. To determine whether this is present, you have to always perform the culture I spoke about earlier when you see symptoms.

Hopefully this helps. Good luck.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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