By Alfred J. Plechner, D.V.M.
Chronic bladder infections seem to be becoming more prevalent every day.
Chronic diseases of all kinds seem to be occurring in animals and people in general, due to altered hormone antibody systems and changing environment.
Chronic bladder infections in cats are caused by a hormonal antibody imbalance which as yet has not been realized.
We are all familiar with the effects of a chronic bladder infection in a cat and realize the clinical effects may vary from frequent urination to an actual blockage of the urinary tract causing the cat an inability to urinate.
If this urinary obstruction occurs, it is critical to seek veterinary help immediately and help stop permanent kidney and bladder damage and eventual death.
An actual urinary obstruction usually occurs in males due to the fact that their urethra becomes very narrow at the tip of the penis where the granular or stony materials can lodge.
Females fortunately have a wider urethra where it exits the urinary tract and are generally able to pass the obstructive materials but still may show the other effects of a chronic bladder infection.
The effects are treated while the cause is thought to still be unknown, but is this really true? No!
There is an actual cause why cats develop chronic bladder infections!
Diets have been incriminated in chronic bladder infections in part due to the fact that the diet may determine the acidity or alkalinity of the urine.
The actual formulation of the diet and the metabolism of the cat will help determine which soluble minerals in the urine may precipitate as well as which kind of soluble material will create what type of stone.
Therefore, it will be necessary for your veterinarian to determine the acidity or alkalinity of your cat’s urine to help treat the effects of the chronic cystitis.
The acidity or alkalinity is referred to as the ph of the urine.
If a stone is retrieved, a stone analysis is important to identify the type of stone and determine what food to feed the cat to produce a favorable ph so that the stony material remains in a soluble form and is passed out in urine without precipitating out in the urine and forming a stone in the kidney or in the bladder.
Diet and the ph they create, may enhance the effects of chronic bladder infections in cats and it is also important to note however, they are not the cause of the problem.
It has been proven that diets high in magnesium and ash do not cause chronic bladder infections in cats.
Therefore finding a diet low in magnesium and ash may not benefit a cat that is prone to chronic bladder infections.
What is the cause of chronic bladder infections in cats?
Chronic bladder infections in cats are caused by a hormone imbalance that causes a deregulated immune system which creates an antibody deficiency in all the mucous membranes of the body including the mucous membranes of the bladder.
This may cause the cat’s bladder to have chronic bacterial infections that are treated with a myriad of different antibiotics caused by this immune deficiency
This mucous membrane antibody deficiency is referred to as an IgA deficiency which stands for immunoglobulin A.
For all of you owners that have cats with chronic bladder infections, you may find that in 70 % of all cats that have this imbalance can be identified by a small redline.
I call this small redline a gingival flare which is found in their mouth.
The gingival flare occurs at the point where the gum reflects upon the enamel of the tooth.
This represents an IgA imbalance that is occurring throughout the mucous membranes of the body including the mucous membranes in the bladder.
More information on gingival flare is available on www.drplechner.com.
In 30% of the cats that have chronic bladder infection may still have an IgA imbalance but it may not identify itself as a gingival flare or if the flare is present is difficult to identify due to the excess pigmentation of the cats gums.
Please also realize if this gingival flare is present without causing chronic bladder infections, due to different family genetic impact areas, the IgA deficiency may be responsible for causing other chronic diseases like allergic skin disease, food allergies, allergies in general, feline acne, feline neuroma, feline rodent ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmunity and cancer and many other chronic diseases that occur in cats.
Other chronic diseases may occur like FELV, FIV and FIP are also due to this same hormone antibody imbalance causing a deregulated T lymphocyte which no longer can protect these cats from breaking with one of these retroviruses.
Because this deregulation and immune deficiency is present in these cats, vaccines against these viruses are of no value since the cat’s immune system cannot produce protective antibodies.
In those cats with a normal hormone antibody system, the T cell functions normally to protect cats from viruses and in these cats, the vaccinations are probably unwarranted.
The IgA antibody becomes deficient due to a cortisol imbalance created by the middle layer adrenal cortex.
A cortisol imbalance can occur genetically but it can also be acquired.
Stress, trauma, toxins, drugs, anesthesia, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, allergic reactions and environmental exposures are some of the other ways for a cat to acquire a cortisol imbalance.
Once this cortisol imbalance occurs, the negative feedback to the pituitary is damaged and the inner layer adrenal cortex responds to the pituitary ACTH with the production of increased amounts of adrenal estrogen.
It is this increased adrenal estrogen that not only binds the receptor sites for thyroid hormone, but causes the deregulation of the immune system including a deficiency in the production of antibodies.
It is this hormone antibody imbalance that causes the deficiency in IgA and allows for the development of chronic bladder infections in cats.
This imbalance is easily identified with a simple blood test and sent to a qualified laboratory that can do a total estrogen, cortisol, T3, T4, and IgA, IgM and IgG analysis.
Once the cause of the chronic bladder infection has been identified, correcting the cause is simple and effective.
For further information on this blood test and the laboratory that is qualified to do this, please go here.
These are just some of my thoughts.