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cat urinalysis - high PH and WBC, no crystals or other indicators

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  • cat urinalysis - high PH and WBC, no crystals or other indicators

    Kitty was at the vet today for litterbox problems. Her urinalysis yielded no particularly helpful results - high pH (7.5?) and higher presence of WBC. No crystals, no concerning levels of protein, glucose, RBC or other indicators I am forgetting.

    The vet is leaning towards just an "infection." Kitty received her antibiotic injection (highly unlikely I could get Clavamox into her). Can any other conditions be present that would produce those test results? I am fine with doomsday-type suggestions, just want to make sure I am not ending the diagnosis pursuit early.

    Kitty facts - spayed female, 6 yrs, fit 11.5 lbs, indoor only. Nearly all grain-free canned diet, snacks well under 1/4 cup from the boys' dry food (Before Grain tuna) daily. Drinks ok for a cat. Approx 3-4 years ago, one incident where crystals were found in urine, one incident of noticable, vet-visit constipation. She's never been overly fond of using the box. I've tried every conceivable box, litters ranging from Breeze pellets to nonclumping clay to crystals to Cat Attract. Placement in quiet tucked away spots, in the open, in the top of my closet (vomit icon??). Always cleaned 2x a day, scrubbed every 1-2 weeks, fully new litter 3-4 weeks. Given all of that, and the fact that she generally wants to please, I believe there may be a behavioral aspect but it's probably strongly rooted in a physical cause that's not yet diagnosed.

    What possible conditions are there that may persist long-term? Tests and physical exam never point directly to a cause, diet is good. I'm confused and feel badly for my poor kitty.

  • #2
    Was the urinalysis obtained by cystocentesis and run immediately? The pH or urine can be artificially elevated quite a bit if it is not analyzed immediately. Did they send a sterile sample out for culture and sensitivity?


    • #3
      What was her urine specific gravity? Your cat could have an inflamed bladder with or without an actual infection. Bladder ultrasound can be incredibly helpul for cats such as yours. I have seen cats with bladder stones which did not shed crystals in their urine.


      • #4
        She could have cystitis. Can they do a short ultrasound and get a cysto?


        • #5
          My cat showed similar symptoms. Ultimately, things got worse and I had an ultrasound done. She had an abnormal bladder mass.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the responses! All of the input is appreciated.

            The process was a cystocentesis sample and run immediately. I don't believe we did a culture and sensitivity - just in office, same-day urinalysis with sediment analysis.

            I don't have her paperwork in front of me and I don't recall the urine specific gravity offhand. The vet stated it was in the "normal" range and she had no concerns about kidney function. Is that reading used for more than just kidneys?

            I am thinking that I would like to take her back next week for testing to followup on the antibiotics and to potentially do an abdominal ultrasound. That's an excellent idea. Kitty rarely switches out of happy-go-lucky, high energy play mode so it's hard to keep tabs on her discomfort. I'm thinking I'd like to chase this specific incidence as far as I can while I KNOW there is something up. Thanks again!


            • #7
              If her specific gravity was normal for a cat, say >1.035 then she is unlikely to have an infection


              • #8
                Originally posted by Marshfield View Post
                If her specific gravity was normal for a cat, say >1.035 then she is unlikely to have an infection
                Agreed. Cats rarely have UTI's if they can concentrate their urine. White blood cells in the urine do not always mean infection, they may be present in inflammatory conditions such as uroliths or interstitial cystitis which are not usually caused by bacteria. Conditions where urinary tract infections may be more likely are renal disease (dilute urine) and diabetes (sugar and possible dilute urine). If your cat is able to concentrate the urine normally than it is unlikely there is a UTI. Urine should ALWAYS be cultured to confirm an infection, antibiotics can have adverse side affects. Overuse of antibiotics also may select for drug resistant bacteria, we should all be trying to avoid this.