Kidney Stones in Cats

Kidney stones form in felines for a few various factors. The various causes ultimately anticipate which type of nephro (kidney) + lith (stone) is most likely to form. And the type of stone impacts what treatments might assist. Felines with little kidney stones truly may have no signs at all. Kidney stones may show up on x-rays of the belly that are being considered unrelated reasons, as a so called “incidental” finding. Considering that kidney stones in felines don’t appear painful, why should we stress over them?

A kidney stone that allows normal urine flow out may be one that your veterinarian sees closely, but ultimately leaves unattended. However, if the stone gets very large, or if little pieces break off and lodge in the ureter (the long narrow tube that links each kidney to the urinary bladder), it most likely becomes really painful. Kidney colic — signified by abdominal pain, malaise and even vomiting — may result; the kidney might swell and be harmed. If this ought to take place all at once to each kidney, and the blockage persists, your cat will likely end up being critically ill from the interrupted circulation of urine. If you believe your feline’s abdominal area hurts, or his urinations change in any way, please contact your vet right now. A urinary obstruction is a harmful emergency situation that need to be dealt with!

Symptoms of Kidney Stones in Cats

The signs and symptoms of kidney stones might include:


Most stones usually show up readily on plain radiographs, however little stones may be hidden behind intestinal contents. Another factor that easy x-rays might not give adequate info is because particular stones just do not show up well. An example would be a urate stone, which may happen as a result of liver disease. Once a stone has been diagnosed, your veterinarian will want to do some tests to help with forecasting the stone type. Tests are required also to examine what effect the stone( s) may be having on your feline’s kidney health, and whether other conditions may be present that may increase the risk of stones. Evaluating may consist of:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Blood chemistry with electrolytes — Testing for evidence of kidney disease and risk factors for stone development
  • Urinalysis — The urine quality might anticipate kidney disease and assistance recognize bacterial infection or crystals that may assist anticipate stone type
  • Urine culture with vulnerability — To identify bacterial infection and the best antibiotic option( s)
  • Abdominal radiographs (x-rays) — To examine the size and shape of the kidneys and look for urinary stones
  • Systemic high blood pressure — To identify a crucial complication of kidney disease
  • Abdominal ultrasound — This will help validate the area of any stones and the believed degree of any obstruction
  • Contrast radiography — Dye studies may be needed to confirm clog and aid to reveal the contribution that each kidney makes to urine production

Causes and Types of Kidney Stones in Felines

Many felines impacted by stones are middle aged or older.

Metabolic kidney stones (those formed due to a blood or urinary imbalance) are far more common in cats than infection-based stones. Your veterinarian will determine treatment based upon the sort of stone and what it’s made of.

Treatment of Kidney Stones in Cats

A need to treat kidney stones is bacterial urinary infections that repeat or can not be cleared. Vets frequently have a hard time to identify whether the stone or the infection precedes, but in some cases removing a kidney stone is needed to assist solve the infection.

Again, with some types of urinary stones, your vet might want to treat conservatively, with a mix of antibiotics, diet and a lot of fluids. Liquifying kidney stones totally often takes months, but any early reduction in size is terrific news.

It’s most likely that your kitty with a kidney stone will not require more specific treatment to eliminate it. But it’s great to be prepared, and to understand what’s included if the scenario modifications. Medical efforts to dissolve feline kidney stones are normally safer than surgery, however won’t work for most stones. Because many feline kidney stones will not dissolve, plans for treatment can be challenging for your feline’s veterinary group. Knowledgeable surgery is commonly offered to remove kidney stones, however does risk permanently harming the affected kidney, even if the surgery goes efficiently.

Special strategies to break up a stone (lithotripsy for example) are not typically suggested for felines because the stone fragments tend to lodge in their narrow ureters. Luckily, veterinary specialists are continuing to discover better treatments of cat kidney stones by applying innovative techniques, commonly used in people, to our feline good friends.

For some felines, specialists might recommend treatment with an endoscope (a small device with a light attached). For emergency situation situations, when the ureters are obstructed, they might suggest life- conserving bypass strategies that re-route urine around the obstructed ureters. It’s always fair to ask your doctor if surgery is the only alternative, or if there might be a cutting edge technology to attempt, instead of surgical cutting.

How a Cat Lives with the Issue

If your veterinarian believes oxalate kidney stones, she might recommend an unique diet and some medications to minimize or slow stone development, with a huge focus on increasing cat’s water intake. By motivating your cat to drink more, or to take additional water through canned food, the urine should be more water down. The goal here is to decrease the amount of mineral readily available to add to a stone.

Numerous unique diets are readily available to avoid or manage urinary stones, however finding the best suitable for your cat might take some experimentation. Your veterinarian will also want to balance the dietary needs of any other health problem that cat has, such as kidney disease, diabetes or intestinal disease. If an underlying cause for stones is believed, then resolving that main problem will be a key part of any plan.

Even if the stones do not seem to be triggering complications now, your vet will likely ask you to consent to regular monitoring of blood and urine tests for the foreseeable future. It’s essential to know that any prevention method is working, and to show that the stones are not growing or triggering complications. Likely your vet will advise duplicating radiographs (x-rays) or ultrasound research studies regularly. If the stones have actually been removed, keeping track of for any recurrence will be critical to keeping your cat healthy. You and your veterinarian can map out the tracking schedule that best matches your feline’s condition.

Also read: Kidney Failure in Cats

D. Roberts (Junior Expert)/ author of the article

He is a specialist in the field of veterinary medicine, and pet care. Believes that the person responsible for each pet, which was taken into the house, and therefore should study his behavior, means of determining health status and methods of first aid.

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