Retrospective Study of the Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease's Cases Between 2002 and 2009 Admitted at Unesp-Araçatuba Veterinary Hospital
F.R. Eugênio; S.S. Sakamoto; C.M. Silva; G.T.N.M. Ferreira; T.F.B. Souza; M.G. Laranjeira; A.L. Andrade
Domestic felines are often affected by an inflammatory process of the urinary tract called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) characterized by hematuria, dysuria, stranguria, pollakiuria with or without urethral obstruction, secondary of urolithiasis, cystitis or unknown causes (Osbourne et al. 1996). Males are twice times affected than females because of the urethral anatomical conformation, smaller in diameter and longer (Osborne et al. 2000). Factors such as obesity, sedentariness, indoor cats, dry diet and superpopulation predispose the disease. Persian cats, within the breeds, appear to be predisposed (Gunn-Moore 2003). Urachal anomalies (urachal diverticulum, urachal patent) contribute in the development of FLUTD. Another disease related to FLUTD is feline idiopathic cystitis with neurogenic character that may also occur by activation of the sympathetic nervous system, leading to bladder distention and hemorrhage bellow the endothelium. The cause also is related to the decrease of the route of glycosaminoglycans excretion, which give protection to bladder's epithelium by the control of the permeability (Buffington et al. 1996a). The diagnosis is based on the presence of the clinical signs of dysuria, hematuria, strangury and pollakiuria, with or without urethral obstruction. Also, abdominal palpation and tip's inspection of the penis are very important for search filled bladder and thickness wall, besides identification of possible foreign bodies such as plugs, blood clots and urolithiasis causing standstill urinary flow, respectively. Complementary exams like blood gas analysis, mainly in the investigation of blood pH and potassium electrolyte values; electrocardiography, studying of possible arrhythmia secondary to electrolyte imbalances; urinalysis and serum biochemistry for verification of the renal function. The X-ray pictures are very useful in the search for urolithiasis and urachal anomalies. The treatment of FLUTD consist of identification the etiological factors, changes lifestyle and antibiotics for bacterial cystitis. By the presence of anatomical abnormalities or obstructive processes complicated, a surgical treatment must to be indicated through the cystectomy and urethrostomy, respectively. This paper aims to conduct a retrospective study of all FLUTD's cases admitted at Veterinary Hospital Unesp-Araçatuba, according to specifics characteristics.
Materials and Methods
Because it is a disease that affects the majority of domestic cats, retrospective study was made of all cases admitted at Surgery's Area of the HV Unesp-Araçatuba, in the period from 2002 to 2008 and its relation with sex (male/female), age (up to 12 months, from 12 to 48 months, over 48 months), breeds, neutering status (sexually intact/castrated) and seasons (spring/summer/autumn/winter). 72 animals were evaluated, consisting of anamnesis (with targeting of specific questions about the management), physical examination (abdominal palpation and inspection penis), plus the following complementary tests: blood gas, urinalysis, radiographs, serum biochemistry and in most, electrocardiography. The data were collected by the survey sample for the analysis of medical records, and selected only those cases diagnosed with FLUTD or Idiopathic Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease.
Among the 72 cats, 100% (72/72) were male; 15.3% (11/72) aged up to 12 months, 52.8% (38/72) from 12 to 48 months, 31.9% (23/72) over 48 months; 70.8% (51/72) were mixed breed, 25% (18/72) were Siamese, 2.8% (2/72) were Persians and 1.4% (1/72) was Angora; 62.3% (38/72) were castrated and 37.7% (23), sexually intact, whole, 34.7% (25/72) of the cases were seen during the spring, 15.3% (11/72) during the summer, 19.4% (14/72) during the autumn and 30.6% (22/72).
FLUTD is present in the routine of the Veterinary Hospital's outpatient Unesp-Araçatuba and thus deserve special attention to its study. All animals attended were males because they are preferentially affected by the disease. The obstructive form was observed mainly due to urethra's anatomical conformation (longer and narrow). Most animals were castrated, a factor that predisposes the sedentary lifestyle, less water intake and less willing to go to the litter box (Willeberg et al. 1975, Willeberg & Priest 1976). Researches had showed a higher incidence on breeds of longhair, mainly Persians cats (Gunn-More 2003), however in this study, this breed had the lowest percentages and mixed breed cats had the highest percentages because the majority incidence of this breed in the region of Araçatuba. Regarding the age of cats, several authors provide different values for the onset of disease, but animals with 12 to 48 months are most related (Walker et al. 1975, Willeberg & Priest 1976, Reche Jr 1996). This could be confirmed in this study, where the animals are presented within this age group. The periods of highest incidence include the winter and spring (Nelson & Couto 2003, Balbinot 2006) due to the low humidity and the late consequences in the drought period that can also be seen in this study.
The analysis of this study indicates that the profile of the affected animals consisted of male cats, aged 12 to 48 months, mixed breed, castrated and incidence higher in drought periods, represented by the spring/winter. This information is important to contribute with the elucidation of the etiology of DTUIF.
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