All Pets Veterinary Clinic
FUS and FLUTD are both acronyms for a common condition that can cause very serious
problems in cats. FUS stands for feline urologic syndrome. FLUTD stands for feline
lower urinary tract disease. While both of these acronyms denote the same condition,
FUS is the old name and FLUTD is the new name.
What is FLUTD? FLUTD is the condition that can occur when a cat has either
cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) or urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) or
both. While lower urinary tract disease occurs equally in males and females, it is more
commonly a serious problem for males because of a long, narrow urethra.
Signs. Some of the signs and symptoms associated with FLUTD include bloody urine,
straining to urinate, voiding small amounts of urine very frequently, urinating in unusual
locations around the house, urinating more often than normal, or inability to urinate.
Causes of FLUTD. Several things can cause lower urinary tract disease. These
include bacterial infection of the bladder or urethra, viral induced urinary tract
infection, struvite crystals, and bladder stones or uroliths.
Diagnosis. A complete history and physical exam are necessary to diagnose FLUTD.
In addition to this, a urinalysis, bloodwork, and possibly radiographs may be done.
These things will all help to determine the specific cause of the lower urinary tract
disease, to determine the extent of the disease, and to help select the best course of
Treatment. Treatment will vary by the severity and specific nature of the problem.
If the cat is blocked and unable to urinate, it is essential to sedate the cat and to
pass a urinary catheter to relieve the obstruction. The bladder will be flushed and the
cat will be given fluids to help to assure that the bladder continues to get flushed out.
If the cat is not completely blocked, a catheter will likely not be passed. However,
fluid therapy will be probably be instituted to help to flush out the bladder. In either
situation, the cat will be put on antibiotics. If a urine sample shows a specific type
of crystals, the cat will be placed on a special diet to help dissolve the crystals. If
the cat has stones, surgical removal may be done.
Prevention. There are several things that can be done to help to decrease the
chance of your cat getting a lower urinary tract disease. First of all, you should
feed a cat food that will help to prevent urinary tract disease. There are several
new foods on the market that claim they are beneficial for feline urinary tract health.
Secondly, you should keep the catís litter pan clean and , if you have more that one
cat, you should have 1.5 litter pans per cat. And thirdly, if you notice that your cat
is not using the litter pan or has any of the other signs mentioned previously, you
should contact your veterinarian immediately.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not
intended to take the place of your regular veterinarian. Please do not hesitate
to contact your regular veterinarian if you have questions regarding your pet.
Karen Blakeley, DVM, MPH
14 December 2002