Urogenital care and nephrology is the branch of veterinary medicine that addresses kidneys, bladder, prostate, and other urogenital organs. The three conditions encountered most frequently are urinary obstructions in cats, urinary bladder disease, and kidney disease in both cats and dogs.
Many urogenital and kidney diseases require a higher level of diagnostics and disease management, which is a strength at Carlson Animal Hospital. Our high-end equipment (such as our digital ultrasound capacities) and expertise will be a great ally. We’ll help whether the situation is chronic (appears over time and is ongoing) or acute (occurs suddenly). We know managing chronic conditions is not easy. Early stage renal or kidney issues, for example, can be managed. We’ll help you to sort through the options available, provide the best care, and ensure that the time you have with your pet is quality time.
From a preventive perspective, we will do our best to keep your pet’s kidneys and other urogenital systems in the best possible health. Many of these diseases can’t be avoided, but early detection can sometimes slow the progression as well as help to maintain a good quality of life. Regular veterinary examinations that may include blood work and urinalysis can identify problems in early stages. Owner awareness and observation is also important to detection. If you notice changes in your pet’s drinking or urination patterns, such as drinking more, needing to go out more, straining to urinate, or if your indoor cat begins to urinate outside the litter box, please contact us.
Kidney disorders can occur in both cats and dogs. Kidneys are hardworking organs, filtering waste products that are produced by the body. In the case of kidney failure, these waste products are not filtered properly and begin to build up in the blood stream. While we cannot always prevent kidney disease, there are some preventive measures, such as avoiding toxins (including Easter lilies in cats, antifreeze, accidental overdose of prescription drugs, etc.) and bringing your pet in for routine veterinary examinations. When patients present with acute kidney disease, it is important to carefully and quickly assess the likely possible causes. Acute kidney disease may require very specialized care, such as peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis, which is only performed at universities or specialized referral institutions.
Chronic slowly progressing kidney disease is much more common in elderly pets. In fact, very few senior cats do not have some level of renal disease. For cats and dogs, hardworking kidneys are a vulnerable organ that deteriorates with age, especially since cells of the kidney cannot replace or regenerate themselves as they do in the liver, lungs, bone, and skin.
Cats, Urinary Issues, and Obstructions
Urinary tract obstructions occur more commonly in male cats, but dogs and female cats may also be affected. Urinary tract obstructions can be caused by stones, urinary disease, or prostate disease. Cats may also accumulate minerals in the urinary tract that can cause an obstructive plug. Regardless of the cause, prompt action is frequently necessary. The first sign that your cat might have a blockage or urinary issue is that he or she is straining to urinate. You may notice the cat is going to the box more frequently, but urine output is low. The cat may also cry out or vocalize while in the box. Obstructions can be very serious, so please contact us if you notice any of this behavior.