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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 15569
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, my 9 year old Abyssinian has recently had some teeth

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Hello, my 9 year old Abyssinian has recently had some teeth out which was very stressful for him and since then I have noticed that his urine has a very strong smell of ammonia, so much so that it is overpowering when I clean his litter tray. He like most cats doesn't drink enough water though I do encourage him to by letting him drink from the tap. Could he have a UTI and need antibiotics?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that Pan had some teeth extracted and now seems to have very strong smelling urine.
It is possible that the infection from his mouth spread via his bloodstream to his kidneys when the teeth were extracted. When we extract we generally give injectable antibiotics and send our patients home afterwards on antibiotics to prevent that from occurring, but it is possible. If that were the case though I would expect him to be drinking more water, urinating more, possibly straining in his litterbox from the inflammation in his urinary tract that goes along with an infection.
Sometimes antibiotics can change the way urine smells so if he is still taking them, or just finished that may be the reason for the change in odor.
I do recommend that he have a urinalysis checked with a culture to make sure no infection is present.
Did he have any preoperative blood testing done to make sure that his organ function was normal?
If no blood testing was done that should be done now. If he isn't eating as well now as he was before his cleaning I recommend checking blood work again, even if it was done before his dental, to make sure nothing has changed. Sometimes a stressful event can push stressed organs into failure.
In the meantime it is a great idea to attempt to get more fluids into him. You can add warm water or low salt chicken broth to his meals to get in additional fluids. You might try a kitty water fountain as well. Most cats drink much better from a clean, moving water source. I know that you are allowing him to drink from a dripping tap, but this way he will always have the option to drink more, even if you aren't there to drip the tap for him.
Best of luck with your fellow, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the reply. It's been a couple of months since the teeth extraction so he's not on antibiotics anymore. And yes he did have bloodwork done before the op and everything was fine according to the vet.

It's a very stressful thing taking him to the vet and it takes him a few days to recover from each visit, so really don't want to take him unless absolutely necessary. He's eating well, still very active and his coat and eyes are shiny and healthy looking, so no outward signs of being in pain, just the strong odour from his litter tray. I do get rid of the clumps regularly but the smell still lingers, so could there be other reasons for the smell such as the food he's eating, e.g. a particular brand or flavour?

I might try him on different food too to see if that makes any difference. I tried a water fountain, he wasn't interested at all, he didn't drink from it once! typical...

He also had arthritis in his hips, so not sure if any of the above as well could explain or be a cause?

Thanks

Kate.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Kate, I'm really sorry I wasn't notified that you had replied.
I'm sorry to hear that he wasn't interested in the water fountain, many kitties love them. Of course those that would most benefit from them decide they don't like them, that's always the way those things go.
I am glad to hear that he seems otherwise well. If it's been a couple months since his extractions then they are unlikely to be playing a part in what we are seeing now.
Diet can definitely play a part in urine odor, like when people eat asparagus and their urine odor changes. But if his diet hasn't changed then that is less likely to be playing a part in this. Diets that are high in fish tend to produce smellier urine in cats.
If he is arthritic then he may be holding his urine as it might not be comfortable to maintain his position. In that case the sheer volume when he finally goes in one spot may be enough for you to smell it more.
Are you using anything for his arthritis?
Long term for joint pain I do recommend using a combination of a glucosamine/chondroitin product (examples are Dasuquin or Cosequin) and an omega 3 fatty acid (like 3V Caps or Derm Caps). I recommend an omega 3 fatty acid dose based upon the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the supplement as if we do that the rest of the supplement will be properly balanced. Give him 10mg to 20mg of EPA per pound of body weight per day. For example an 8 pound cat could take 80mg to 160mg of EPA per day. Omega 3's and glucosamine/chondroitins work synergistically and improve cartilage health and joint fluid quality and quantity as well as reducing inflammation. They can take several weeks to see full improvement but some cats do very well with them alone. They are available over the counter.
Another option is a product called Duralactin. This is an anti-inflammatory product derived from milk proteins and it also has omega 3 fatty acids incorporated into it which can be very helpful. See this link for further information: http://www.duralactin.com/products_feline.htm
If he is very stressed by veterinary visits perhaps collecting a urine at home and submitting it just for a screening check would be helpful. We wouldn't be able to culture it but it might help us see signs of infection (white blood cells and a huge amount of bacteria) or pick up glucose in his urine or low protein levels.
To do this scrub his box out well with very hot water and soap, then rinse and dry well. Use nonabsorbale urine like a product called "Nosorb" which you can purchase from your veterinarian or online or you can use styrofoam packing peanuts. Collect the urine immediately after he goes and submit it as soon as possible. If you cannot get it in right away put it in a sealed container and refrigerate it.
You'll need to do this on a day that you can closely observe him as if the urine sits in warm temperatures too long it won't be helpful, we'll see artifactual changes in it that will skew the results, such as crystal formation.
Again my apologies I missed your reply.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 15569
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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