Hematuria means 'blood in urine' and as the name suggests, it is the presence of red blood cells in the urine. Microscopic hematuria is where the urine appears normal but upon microscopic examination, red blood cells are found to be present or gross hematuria in which the blood can be seen in the urine with the naked eye.
What causes hematuria?
There are many possible causes of hematuria in cats, some of which include:
Hematuria may often be accompanied by other symptoms, some of which include:
Pollakiuria (frequent passage of small amounts of urine)
Urinating outside the litter tray
Anorexia (loss of appetite)
How is hematuria diagnosed?
Your veterinarian will perform a physical examination of your cat and obtain a history including accompanying symptoms you may have noticed.
Blood which is present only at the beginning of urination may suggest bleeding from the lower urinary tract, bleeding which is present at the end of urination may point to bleeding from the upper urinary tract and bleeding that is present throughout the urine is likely to originate from the kidneys, ureters or bladder. These can all help your veterinarian narrow down the cause of hematuria.
He may wish to run the following tests to determine the cause of the hematuria:
- Urinalysis. The presence of white blood cells may indicate urinary tract infection. Protein in the urine may indicate kidney disease.
- Complete blood count to check for anemia, white blood cells, red blood cell casts, and cancer cells.
- A biochemical profile to check the kidney function.
- Abdominal ultrasound to evaluate for stones, tumours, and kidney size.
- Intravenous pyelogram (IVP). This is a contrast x-ray examination of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. A contrast material is injected into the patient and collects in the kidneys and urinary tract. This allows the veterinarian to assess the kidneys and urinary tract.
How is hematuria treated?
Treatment depends on the cause of the hematuria and may include: