Q. My 15 yr. old male cat has been treated for cystitis 3 times with antibiotics and steroids. Continues with blood in urine. No other symptoms. Cannot

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A. Bladder and kidney stones should be ruled out. This can be done with xrays or ultrasound. A urine culture and sensitivity panel is the best way to diagnose and treat a suspected UTI. The urine culture should identify the responsible bacteria and the sensitivity panel should determine which antibiotic will be most effective. A recheck of the urine should be done after antibiotics to confirm clearance or if a longer course is required. If your cat has been diagnosed with idiopathic cystitis, limit or reduce stress, manage the pain of cystitis, increase his water intake, discuss a dietary modification with your vet if necessary and consider antidepressants in severe cases. Supplements such as Cosequin or Dasuquin may promote bladder health and can be an important part of treatment.

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