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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20291
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with 15 years experience.
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I have a 14 year old cat who was diagnosed with cystitus having

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I have a 14 year old cat who was diagnosed with cystitus having discharged an alarming amount of blood from her urinary tract. However about two weeks ago she became very ill and on having extensive tests it was discovered that she had very hard kidneys and that 'one other test showed a very high potassium level when they would have expected a very low one. She was at deaths door and the vets 'nudged' me to the decision to have my beloved Burmilla put to sleep.

I have two questions.

1. Is the above scenario very unusual?

2. Is 14 so very young these days. I have been led to believe that pedigrees can be more frail

Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 13 years. I'm very sorry to hear about your loss of your cat. In response to your questions:

1. Is the scenario that you described very unusual? In cases of acute renal failure, they aren't unusual. With acute renal failure, the kidneys are shutting down. This can be due to infection in the kidneys or toxicities to the kidneys. Some of the more common toxins that can damage the kidneys of cats are antifreeze, ibuprofen (other NSAID's too), and Lily plants. These are the ones that I see most commonly in my ER clinic. Usually with acute renal damage the potassium levels are very high.

2. Is 14 so very young these days? Some of the pedigrees can be more susceptible to inherited diseases as breeding lines may have concentrated some genetic traits that weren't so favorable. 14 is a actually a very decent age for a cat now a days. It isn't the oldest by far, but unfortunately I see at my ER clinic ones that are barely into their double digits that get lymphoma, renal failure, diabetes that is difficult to regulate, and heart issues that don't let them live that long.

I know it is tough to have lost her like this. If your vet thought that the decision to let her go was best, XXXXX XXXXX would fully respect that they wanted to make sure she didn't suffer.
Dr. Bruce and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was very impressed with your answer; but my cat did not have an infection and as a house cat was not in contact with any of the toxins you mentioned. I can only think, as you stated that as a pedigree who had a rather shaky four years locked in the top of a pub (how can anyone do that to an animal?) 14 wasnt as bad as some people were leading me to think. I got in touch with the Burmilla Cat Club who said that for Burmillas that the average age for a Burmilla about 15 so I dont need to feel guilty. It is perfectly true that pedigrees are more fragile. Also by mixing pedigrees we are often on foreign ground.

I was very grateful for your advice.

I'm glad that you were able to come into her life and give her the family and love that she deserved! Some owners just don't have the commitment to their pets that they should. I'm glad to have been of some help at your time of sorrow. Please know that you did the best for her. If any other questions come up, feel free to let me know. Take care!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

JUST ONE MORE QUESTION I PROMISE! I did mention at the outset that my Burmilla had blood coming from her urinary tract - this almost never happened at the same time as passing urine. Can the appearance of vast quantities of blood be an indication of kidney disease or this solely attributable to cystitis?

I am glad to help as much as I can. Blood from the vulvular area can be due to it coming from the urinary tract or the reproductive tract (the uterus - if intact), or from the vaginal vault itself if there is a tumor or lesion there. If she wasn't spayed, then I'd have to throw out the possibility of a uterine infection called a pyometra. I just saw one of those today in an 11 year old intact female cat. I don't know what specific tests were done to help determine the source of the blood. Usually x-rays or an abdominal ultrasound are utilized to help gather more information with these type of situations.