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Rona Y.
March 12th 06, 11:52 AM
My 7-ish year old female dsh cat has cystitis (her first case of
illness while with me). She is currently on Baytril for 10 days, and
the vet said she may have to have another course, depending on how she
responds to this round.

Questions:

How does a female cat contract cystitis?

Would a change in food be beneficial for her? She primarily eats wet
food (100 grams of Iams canned a day, plus about 20 grams of Science
Diet dry as a bedtime snack). She is on a diet, but has been eating
the same amounts for the last year or so. She was 12lbs3oz last July,
and is currently 11lbs9oz. Is that too much of a weight loss in a
6-month period, and would that have triggered the cystitis? (It took
two years for her to go from 15lbs to 12lbs3oz, but that was on a
mostly dry diet, with a little bit of wet food.)

What are the chances of it recurring?

Is there anyway to prevent it from recurring, or reduce the chances of
it recurring?

I did some research on cystitis in female cats, and ended up on Phil's
website. I also read some past posts on cystitis, and there was some
controversy about Baytril.

If she's currently on Baytril, and she doesn't suffer from any side
effects, is it OK for her to stay on Baytril if she needs another
course of medication? Or should I request they switch to another
antibiotic?

I should note that she is not living with me right now. I am in Japan
so she lives with my mother, and my mother is on an extended trip
(family-related obligations) so Kitty is with our cat-sitter. It's
actually a good thing, because I don't think my mother would have
noticed that anything was wrong, but our cat sitter is very diligent
about these things.

Steve Crane
March 12th 06, 03:59 PM
Rona,
I would defer to Phil on this one, but a couple things I would note.

In dogs - cystitis is almost always bacterial in origin, but that isn't
true in cats. In dogs we can use antiobiotics very effectively and
without much change in diet etc. In cats that isn't the case. While
feeding canned foods can make a big difference in cats by causing more
of the water to be excreted in the urine and thus dilluting the urine,
making it more difficult for cats to form crystals - feeding canned
alone is not a "cure all". Canned foods can have very high levels of
magnesium, phosphates etc that contribute to crystal formation. You may
need to work with your vet and make sure the dieet you are using has
low levels of mineral specific to the problem. On the other hand it may
have nothing to do with crystal formation at all.

In regards to Baytril - it does have some advantages. It is a
fluroquinolone (sp?) antibiotic and has almost zero problems with
resistant bacteria. Do make sure that no human ever ingests this stuff
as this particular fluroquinolone as a real no no for humans. I would
guess your vet wanted to make sure that whatever the bacterial problem
is, the antibiotic would work. One of the theories about problems with
treating cystitis is that if the cat has a blader stone present, even a
very tiny one, the bacteria can remain "protected" inside the urolith
and as the urolith dissolves or breaks down, it releases bacteria once
again to the system. In dogs we often keep the animal on antibiotics
for a month or more to make sure this problem is resolved.

Depend upon your veterinarian to make the right call - s/he has
examined YOUR cat and knows more about the situation than anyone else
possibly can.

Phil P.
March 12th 06, 08:14 PM
"Rona Y." > wrote in message
oups.com...
> My 7-ish year old female dsh cat has cystitis (her first case of
> illness while with me). She is currently on Baytril for 10 days, and
> the vet said she may have to have another course, depending on how she
> responds to this round.
>
> Questions:
>
> How does a female cat contract cystitis?


Cats don't actually contract cystitis- unless its bacterial cystitis in
which case an infection literally crawls up the urinary tract to the
bladder. Most cats with cystitis have what's called Feline Idiopathic
Cystitis. FIC is believed to be caused by a defect in the glycosaminoglycan
(GAG) layer that protects the bladder wall. A defect in the GAG layer
permits urine to come into contact with sensory neurons in the bladder wall
and induce inflammation.




>
> Would a change in food be beneficial for her? She primarily eats wet
> food (100 grams of Iams canned a day, plus about 20 grams of Science
> Diet dry as a bedtime snack). She is on a diet, but has been eating
> the same amounts for the last year or so. She was 12lbs3oz last July,
> and is currently 11lbs9oz. Is that too much of a weight loss in a
> 6-month period, and would that have triggered the cystitis? (It took
> two years for her to go from 15lbs to 12lbs3oz, but that was on a
> mostly dry diet, with a little bit of wet food.)


> What are the chances of it recurring?
>
> Is there anyway to prevent it from recurring, or reduce the chances of
> it recurring?


You might want to consider cutting out the dry food altogether. A few years
ago, an Ohio State study showed an association between the consumption of
dry food and FIC. Cats that were fed canned food only had fewer recurrences
and longer symptom-free intervals between episodes. I would switch her over
to an all canned diet which would increase her total water intake and her
water turnover. A higher water intake would dilute the noxious substances
in the urine and a higher water turnover would result in more frequent
urination. The more frequent she urinates the less time urine will be in
contact with the bladder wall. Frequent urination will also eliminate tiny
crystals before they accrete or grow into into larger crystals that can
irritate and inflame the bladder wall.

You might also want to speak to your vet about a GAG replacer such as
Cosequin or pentosan polysulfate to repair and maintain the integrity of her
bladder wall. GAGs can also exert analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.

I've tried a few drugs- but its hard to tell if any really work because the
clinical signs of FIC usually resolve spontaneously (with or without
treatment) in a few days. In my opinion, cats on Cosequin seem to have
fewer episodes or at least longer intervals between episodes.

You might also want to speak to your vet about pain management and a
tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline. Amitriptyline might help
reduce stress and also might have some analgesic and anti-inflammatory
effects. The most important thing is to try reduce stress as much as
possible- stress can exacerbate FIC in cats that are predisposed to it.
>
> I did some research on cystitis in female cats, and ended up on Phil's
> website. I also read some past posts on cystitis, and there was some
> controversy about Baytril.

There were reports of Baytril causing blindness in cats a few years ago.
Bayer has since recommended a lower dose- not to exceed 5 mg/kg/day.
Personally, I prefer Orbax-- Its the same class of antibiotic, less
expensive, requires a smaller dose and is much safer.



> If she's currently on Baytril, and she doesn't suffer from any side
> effects, is it OK for her to stay on Baytril if she needs another
> course of medication? Or should I request they switch to another
> antibiotic?

If she has FIC- antibiotics aren't necessary. Before I'd try another round
of antibiotics, I'd have her urine cultured. If bacteria is actually
present, then the appropriate antibiotic can be selected based on
sensitivity testing. I'm not a proponent of experimental antibiotic
therapy- it wreaks havoc on the cats natural intestinal flora and also leads
to antibiotic-resitant strains.



>
> I should note that she is not living with me right now. I am in Japan
> so she lives with my mother, and my mother is on an extended trip
> (family-related obligations) so Kitty is with our cat-sitter. It's
> actually a good thing, because I don't think my mother would have
> noticed that anything was wrong, but our cat sitter is very diligent
> about these things.

Ahh! That might be what's causing her symptoms. Its not uncommon for a cat
to develop clinical signs of FIC when a household member - or pet- either
leaves or joins the household.

Best of luck,

Phil

Rona Y.
March 13th 06, 10:13 AM
Thanks Steve and Phil, for the replies.

I've been planning on moving Kitty to an all-canned diet for awhile,
now. Before last summer she got about 2/3 of her caloires from dry,
and 1/3 from canned. When I was home last summer I changed it to most
of her calories from canned, with just a tiny bit of dry (1 or 2
tablespoons) at night so she didn't wake me up too early in the
morning. I was thinking of changing her over to all-canned when I'm
home this summer.

The vet Kitty went to see wasn't our regular vet. Our regular vet
doesn't have a lab, so Sandra (cat sitter) brought Kitty to her
vet--also a very good vet, from what I've heard of them. They couldn't
get a urine sample because Kitty didn't have anything left in her, so
Sandra was going to try to get one over the weekend and bring it in (so
Kitty didn't have to go again--she hates car rides!). Sandra will
e-mail me with the results tomorrow, and I'll post them here. That
will help determine if her diet influenced the development of cystitis,
at all.

I'll also have Sandra ask about Cosequin and ametriptyline. Her
baytril dosage is 15mg 2x/day, which is about 5mg/kg for her (a little
more, is that really bad?).

After reading about stress being a factor, I had thought of her being
at the pet sitter's too. Kittly likes Sandra's place (and Sandra loves
Kitty--Kitty get special perks like getting to sleep with them and
eating other cats' food :-)), but this is the longest she has ever been
there. I think previously, her longest stay was about 4-6 weeks. This
time around, she was there for 6 weeks just before the year end, went
home for 10 days, then back again and is due to stay until sometime
near the end of May or beginning of June!!! (It was supposed to be for
just another 3 weeks.) And while Kitty gets along with the other pets
in the household (there are two resident cats, one resident dog, plus
the boarding cats which change at any given time), she really prefers
to be the lone pet, I think, and is very attached to us. My mother
said that after I left, Kitty would follow her around *everywhere*.
She would even awake from deep sleep if she sensed my mother get out of
bed, and then follow my mother to the bathroom or wherever she went.

My poor Kitty.

Thanks again for all the info, and I'll post again when I know more
about her condition!

I really wish I could have brought her to Japan, but the plane ride
worries me, and I may only be here for another year so she'd have two
long plane rides in a relatively short period of time. If only my
mother didn't have to be away for so long--it really was unexpected.

Rona Y.
March 15th 06, 11:17 PM
This is the latest e-mail from our cat sitter. She was able to get a
urine sample from Kitty and took it to the vet for analysis. Any
suggestions? Should I go ahead with the x-ray/SD, etc?
-----begin paste-----
I was successful this morning in getting a urine sample from Kitty and
took
it into the Veterinary Clinic right away. Well thank goodness our
Kitty is
a girl or she would be in serious distress right now. The urine test
($41.70) confirmed that her urine is saturated with crystals. The good
news
is that this type of crystals is the dissolvable kind. The Vet wants
to do
a bladder X-Ray to insure that she doesn't have a large crystal stone
that
could block her urinary track. Also she wants Kitty to be put on a
special
diet of S/D as soon as possible.

The X-ray will cost $57.00 plus tax, a case of S/D is 53.04 plus tax
for a
total of $125.00 plus the urine test was $41.70.

Her urine output this am was good as the meds are helping to clear the
infection and is giving her some comfort. Please let me know as soon
as
possible if I can go ahead with treatment. She will only be on S/D wet
food
just to get as much moisture into her as possible right now and then
she
will have to go onto a another type of food for urinary track problems,
and
there will be further urine test or tests I don't know to monitor if
this is
clearing up. This is most certainly treatable.
-----end paste-----

I don't know what I should do. It's so hard to decide being so far
away!

Phil P.
March 16th 06, 10:55 AM
"Rona Y." > wrote in message
oups.com...
>
> This is the latest e-mail from our cat sitter. She was able to get a
> urine sample from Kitty and took it to the vet for analysis. Any
> suggestions? Should I go ahead with the x-ray/SD, etc?


> -----begin paste-----
> I was successful this morning in getting a urine sample from Kitty and
> took
> it into the Veterinary Clinic right away. Well thank goodness our
> Kitty is
> a girl or she would be in serious distress right now. The urine test
> ($41.70) confirmed that her urine is saturated with crystals. The good
> news
> is that this type of crystals is the dissolvable kind. The Vet wants
> to do
> a bladder X-Ray to insure that she doesn't have a large crystal stone
> that
> could block her urinary track. Also she wants Kitty to be put on a
> special
> diet of S/D as soon as possible.
>
> The X-ray will cost $57.00 plus tax, a case of S/D is 53.04 plus tax
> for a
> total of $125.00 plus the urine test was $41.70.
>
> Her urine output this am was good as the meds are helping to clear the
> infection and is giving her some comfort. Please let me know as soon
> as
> possible if I can go ahead with treatment. She will only be on S/D wet
> food
> just to get as much moisture into her as possible right now and then
> she
> will have to go onto a another type of food for urinary track problems,
> and
> there will be further urine test or tests I don't know to monitor if
> this is
> clearing up. This is most certainly treatable.
> -----end paste-----
>
> I don't know what I should do. It's so hard to decide being so far
> away!


Females have a wide and somewhat straight urethra- so plugging is unlikely.
Still, I would probably opt for the x-ray to make sure a stone or crystal
isn't embedded in the bladder wall and also to determine the size. I would
definitely opt for the s/d. Once the crystals dissolve, you might be able
to maintain her on a meat-based canned diet. Otherwise, she may need to be
on c/d.

Best of luck,

Phil

Rona Y.
March 18th 06, 06:25 AM
Phil P. wrote:
>
> A good meat-based diet- I've had good luck with Science Diet Turkey. A
> meat-based diet will also help keep her urine acidified- diets that contain
> a lot of plant material have an alkalinizing effect on urine.
>
> Best of luck,
>
> Phil

I'll ask specifically about SD Turkey for after her treatment with s/d.
I looked through some past posts, and someone also mentioned SD Light
as a low-ash food, which is supposed to help with crystal prevention.
The vet wants Kitty on s/d for at least 2 months. Apparently she does
have stones and crystals in her bladder wall. Aside from s/d, she's
going off the Baytril and on amoxicillan and is to be re-evaluated
after 1 month (more x-rays and urine samples). I've included the
latest e-mail below, so if you have any more suggestions, please feel
free to make them!

-----begin paste-----
Well Kitty had her x-ray today and it did confirm that she has crystals
/stones in the bladder wall, also she had a large amount of feces in
the
lower intestines. In other words Kitty is very constipated and should
get
more exercise (like if you can tell me how I don't know). She is to
start
takine Felaxin at least 3 times a week (about a 1inch.) at a time to
get the
bowels moving. Once she is finished the Baytril which will be Sunday
she is
to start on Amoxicillin which is a much less invasive antibiotic. I
may be
wrong but I know in humans antibiotics frequently cause constipation.
The
Vet wants Kitty on 1 tin a day of Hill's s.d food. This will put her
caloric intake just over what you wanted Kitty on but the vet would
like to
see her on this food for at least 2 months and then if you like I could
discuss other food options with the vet if that's ok with you Rona.
Kitty
is to be x-ray again in 1 month, again I will have to collect a urine
sample
(oh boy, wish me luck). The Vet is hoping that the large amount of
crystals
that are in the bladder and urine will be greatly improved in a month's
time. We can only hope.

Kitty was a very good little patient and took the x-ray in stride, I
had
explained to her not too worry that x-rays don't hurt. I may sound
strange
but I do believe that talking to them helps then to understand what is
happening and to be less afraid. In order to keep Kitty to her diet
she
will have to be kennelled over night and into the next morning until
all the
other boarders have eaten and then all food will have to be put away
from
everyone so that there is no chance for her to eat any of the other
boarders' food. Kitty really has been very good about not stealing
food
but I must take temptation out of her way. This will be difficult as
most
cats enjoy having free access to their food but it is important that
she not
over eat at all. She is to have no dry food at this time also.
-----end paste-----