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 is comprised 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.
Courtesy of Tess Thompson, PetAlive.com
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Practically the same drugs and antibiotics that are used for treating UTI in humans are used for treating urinary tract infections in cats. Amoxicillin is semi synthetic oral penicillin that is used for treating bacterial infections and is one of the primary antibiotics indicated for treating feline urinary tract infection.
As is widely known, antibiotics should be used only when they cannot be avoided as they are liable to become ineffective over time and with overuse. It is necessary that proper information be gathered about the drug before it is used to treat urinary infection in cats. For veterinarian use, amoxicillin is available in the 100mg dose as amoxicillin trihydrate. It works by inhibiting the biosynthesis of large structural molecules in the cell walls of bacteria. It is indicated in the treatment of cystitis, urethritis and genitourinary tract infections along with infections of the upper and lower respiratory tracts.
The hypersensitivity reaction to the injection of penicillin is well known and amoxicillin infections can also result in similar reactions. Such hypersensitivity can even be fatal at times. Since there are no skin or patch tests that can be done before taking the medicine orally or otherwise, extreme care is required when it is being administered for the first time.
Even though patients with a history of sensitivity to multiple allergens are more vulnerable, the reaction can happen to anyone. An allergic reaction may present itself in the shape of salivation, shivering, vomiting and itchy skin eruptions. In the event of an allergic reaction, the antibiotic should be discontinued immediately and a new appropriate therapy should be adopted. Serious allergic reactions require immediate treatment with epinephrine to stimulate the autonomic nerve reaction.
On the positive side, amoxicillin remains stable in the presence of gastric acids and can be safely given with feed. The drug diffuses quickly into the body tissues and fluids even on oral digestion. The dosage of amoxicillin depends on the weight of the cat.
The recommended dosage is quarter of a tablet (25mg) for a cat weighing less than 2.25 kg and half a tablet (50 mg) for those weighing between 2.25 to 4.5 kg. A full tablet is prescribed for heavier cats. After daily administration for 5 to 7 days, the drug should be continued for another couple of days till the symptoms of the urinary tract infection subside completely.
For instances of severe urinary tract infection in dogs and cats, a higher concentration of the drug is required. In such cases, the dosage is invariably doubled. However, care needs to be taken to avoid an overdose.
Even though there are no absolute side effects that have been observed in unborn kittens, the benefits of the drug need to be weighed against the possible threat to the fetus when administering the antibiotic to a pregnant cat.
Courtesy of Tess Thompson, PetAlive.com
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