Urinary tract infection is a name given to a group of symptoms that occur due to inflammation, irritation or obstruction of the urinary tract. It is usually related to the lower urinary tract that comprises of the urinary bladder, urethra and penile urethra. Although, the kidneys that produce urine are part of the urinary system, they are usually considered to be a part of another field of medicine and are dealt with separately.
Feline urinary infection can affect any of the organs along the urinary tract. Bladder infection and cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder) are among the most common diseases of the lower feline urinary tract. Infection is mostly bacterial in nature but inflammation can occur without infection too. Treatment of the urinary tract infection in cats normally depends upon the underlying cause and the severity of the infection.
A simple infection is usually treated with an antibiotic course. A urinalysis is done to determine the bacterium that has caused the infection. This helps in choosing the correct antibiotic that should be administered to fight the harmful bacteria. Although, the symptoms start to show some results in two days, it is recommended that the full course of antibiotics be completed. This is necessary to ensure complete removal of the bacteria and to avoid a recurrence of the disease. To be doubly sure that the infection has been totally eradicated, a urine sample is cultured again after five days of completing the treatment.
There is a strong correlation between bladder stones and urinary infection. Sometimes bladder stones form due to excessive mineral deposits in the urine, which leads to inflammation and eventually an infection of the bladder. Just as stones can also cause urinary infection, they can also be a result of urinary infection. Certain types of stones can only be removed through surgery while some can be dissolved by changing the diet of the cat.
Even when infection has been clearly identified and is being treated, a pet owner should be observant about signs of blood in the urine. Such a symptom can indicate the prevalence of a tumor in the bladder. Bladder tumors that grow in the neck of the bladder often get infected and blood in the urine is also a strong indication of a cancer that may be developing inside.
The matter of urinary tract infection does not end here. In cases where the immune system of the cat has been adversely affected, there are chances that the urinary infection may ascend into the kidneys. If a kidney infection is suspected, the antibiotic course may last for four to six weeks.
If the results of urinalysis show a bladder infection, there is an alternative to prescription drugs. Alternative medicine is considered to be more effective than conventional drugs. You can choose between herbal antibiotics and homeopathic remedies, both of which are based on natural substances and devoid of side effects.