Urinary tract disease is very common in both dogs and cats. Urinary tract disease can become a life-threatening emergency in male cats, because they can become blocked/obstructed and unable to urinate at all. This almost never occurs in female cats or dogs.
Urinary tract infections are the most common culprit but other problems include the presence of crystals or stones, congenital abnormalities of the urinary system, and behavioral issues.
- Inappropriate urination - cats often urinate in sinks or bathtubs
- Straining or pain during urination
- Frequent urination - often only a drop at a time. (Cats go in and out of the box repeatedly.)
- Blood in the urine (causing a dark or reddish color)
- Excessive licking of the genitals
If your male cat displays any of these symptoms, take him to the Emergency Clinic immediately. They will be able to tell you whether or not he is obstructed and begin treatment.
If your dog or female cat has any of these symptoms, try to collect a urine sample as soon as possible. With dogs you can simply hold a cup or Tupperware under them to collect the urine. To collect a urine sample from a cat, it is easiest to replace their normal litter with something non-absorbable such as aquarium gravel or stop by the clinic for a product that you can use. Be sure to wash the pan first. When the cat urinates in the litter pan, pour the urine (and the kernels) into a cup.
Refrigerate urine samples and make an appointment to be seen at the next available appointment.