Pyuria in Cats
Pyuria is a medical condition that can be associated with any pathologic process (infectious or noninfectious) that causes cellular injury or death, with tissue damage provoking oozing inflammation. Pyuria is characterized by evidence of increased white and red blood cells and protein in the urine. Large numbers of white blood cells in voided urine samples can indicate an active inflammation somewhere along the urogenital tract.
- Local Effects of Inflammation
- Redness of mucosal surfaces (e.g., redness of vaginal or prepuce mucous tissue)
- Tissue swelling
- Pustulent discharge
- Pain (e.g., adverse response to touch, painful urination, frequency of urination)
- Loss of function (e.g., excessive urination, painful urination, frequent urination, urinary incontinence)
- Systemic Effects of Inflammation
- Loss of appetite (anorexia)
- Inflammation of the renal area, branches, or recesses of the pelvis of the kidney, and pelvis, particularly due to local bacterial, fungal, or parasitic, infection
- Kidney stones
- Ureteritis: inflammation of the ureter (e.g., bacterial)
- Stones in the ureter
- Urinary Bladder
- Cystitis: inflammation of the bladder (e.g., bacterial, fungal, or parasitic)
- Urocystolith(s): stones in the bladder or kidney
- Urethral obstruction
- Urethritis: inflammation of the urethra (e.g., bacterial, fungal)
- Urethrolith(s): stones in the urethra
- Foreign body
- Prostatitis/abscess (e.g., bacterial or fungal)
- Inflammation of the glans penis and overlying prepuce (foreskin)
- Foreign body
- Accumulation of purulent material in the uterine cavity (e.g., bacterial)
- Vaginitis: inflammation of the vagina; bacterial, viral, or fungal
- Foreign body
- Risk Factors
- Any disease process, diagnostic procedure, or therapy that alters normal urinary tract defenses and predisposes an animal to infection
- Any disease process, dietary factor, or therapy that predisposes an animal to formation of metabolic stones
Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your cat, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. You will need to give a thorough history of your cat's health, including a background history of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have precipitated this condition. The history you provide may give your veterinarian clues as to which organs are being affected.
Urinalysis will be used to determine the cause of the symptoms, if possible, before using more invasive procedures. Your doctor may also do a microscopic examination of urinary sediment, prostatic fluid, urethral or vaginal discharges, or biopsy specimens, which will be obtained either by catheter, or by needle aspiration. A survey by abdominal x-ray and ultrasound imaging also may be used if your veterinarian has not been able to settle on a conclusive diagnosis.
Treatment varies depending on the underlying cause and the specific organs involved.
Your veterinarian will set up a schedule with you so that your cat's progress can be followed. Further urinalyses tests will show whether the treatment is working. If the expected benefit outweighs the risk of introducing bacteria into the urinary tract, your veterinarian will most likely settle on a catheter for withdrawing the urine samples. If the benefit does not outweigh the risk, and if your cat is already ill from an infection or otherwise, your doctor will probably collect urine specimens using a more sterile method in order to avoid contamination, such as by direct fine needle aspiration from the bladder. Infectious and noninfectious inflammatory disorders of the urinary tract can cause primary renal (kidney) failure, urinary obstruction, blood poisoning, and even death.
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