Know before you go… Ask when you arrive. The urinary edition.

Call the plumber!!! You’ve arrived here because you suspect your pet has a urinary problem.

Signs of bladder trouble:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Straining to urinate
  • Failing to produce any urine
  • Producing frequent small amounts of urine
  • Urinary accidents
  • Excessive cleaning of the genitalia
  • Vocalizing during urination
  • Drinking and urinating excessively

If your pet displays any of these symptoms, you should absolutely schedule a vet visit. Urinary issues can be extremely uncomfortable. Also, if left untreated, they can progress to kidney problems.

Before the vet visit

  • Your vet is most likely going to want a urine sample. Ask ahead if you should collect the sample at home or wait for the visit.
  • If your vet wants you to collect your dog’s sample at home, you should wear gloves and collect at least one teaspoon in a container. Simply place the container under your dog during urination.
  • If your vet wants you to collect you cat’s urine sample, they should provide you with special litter ahead of time to do so. This litter is designed to repel liquid. You will need to completely clean your litter box, replace all litter with the special litter, and transfer the urine to a leak-proof container.
  • If your vet prefers to collect a sterile sample at the visit… Do not walk your dog for two hours prior to the visit. Take away your cat’s litter box two hours prior to the visit. If your pet is unable to go two hours without a walk or litter box, consider going to the emergency room.

Complete the Q&A

Your vet is going to perform a thorough nose to tail exam, and then specifically focus on the bladder issue. The veterinarian may want to perform labwork if a systemic issue is suspected.

  • How is your pet’s appetite and energy level?
  • How are your pet’s drinking and urination habits?
  • How long has the urinary problem been present?
  • Is there blood in the urine?
  • Does your pet strain to urinate or posture for a long time without producing urine?
  • Has your pet failed to urinate within the last 24 hours?
  • Has your pet had any urinary accidents? If yes, where are they?
  • Has your pet spent extra time cleaning its genitalia?
  • Has your pet been vocalizing or crying during urination?
  • Has your pet ever had this problem before?
  • Does your pet take any medications, supplements, or other over-the-counter products? Know the exact names, doses, and frequency.
  • If your female pet is not spayed, last heat cycle

Ask when you arrive

  • What should I do to treat my pet’s problem?
  • Is there anything I can do to prevent this problem from reoccurring?
  • Are there any dietary changes I should make to support bladder and/or kidney health?

Tests and More

Urinary symptoms can be caused by many things including a urinary tract infection, bladder stone, kidney dysfunction, and even behavioral/emotional problems. Your veterinarian will determine which tests are most appropriate to help determine the cause and treatment.

Male Cats

Please note, male cats are at especially high risk for a condition called urinary obstruction. This is a life-threatening emergency in which the cat cannot pass any urine, enters kidney failure, and will die if left untreated. If your male cat hasn’t urinated in 24 hours or greater, you must contact your veterinarian or an emergency hospital right away. You could save your cat’s life.

I hope you enjoyed these suggestions to help you prep for the vet. If you have any comments or suggestions, please share! 

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