More is known today, than ever before about urinary tract disorders in dogs and cats. The possible causes, treatment and prevention regimes
now considerd diet, feeding and environmental issues.
Common clinical signs include urinating with greater frequency, straining or urinating outside the litter box.
If a total urinary tract blockage occurs, immediate veterinary attention must be sought.
There are several different types of disorders that can affect the urinary tract and these fall into two primary groups, Crystals (stones) and 1nfections.
In the Crystals (stones) group, the two most common sub groups are: Struvite, made up of magnesium ammonium phosphate, these thrive in a urinary tract which is too alkaline (or not sufficiently acidic). Calcium Oxalate, these crystals form when the urinary tract environment is too acidic (or not sufficiently alkaline).
Struvite crystals were formerly the most prevalent type to affect cats in particular and in response, many manufacturers developed "acidifying" diets designed to dissolve the struvite crystals and discourage their future development. However, this change in many diet formulations is thought to be partly responsible for the recent increase in the development of calcium oxalate. The two types of crystals now occur with almost equal frequency.
More recent research indicates that
strongly acidic diets may actually do
more harm than good, particularly if fed to cats who are not actually affected by struvite formation, as they are then at greater risk of developing calcium oxalate.