Struvite crystals from cat under the microscope
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This cat presented with a urinary obstruction. The cat was treated at the Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic who have given me express permission to use their photos on condition I link to their site. We hear a lot about bladder stones in cats and feline lower urinary tract disease. It is the most common disorder affecting the ‘lower urinary tract’ in cats.

The anatomy comprises the urinary bladder, bladder sphincters and urethra. Bladder stones are called ‘uroliths’. The most common types are struvite (magnesium phosphate) and calcium oxalate. Two important factors in the creation of struvite crystals are (a) urine with a high pH (alkaline) of over 6.8 and (b) high concentrations of magnesium in the urine. Female cats in the age range 1-2 years have more chance of developing struvite uroliths. More than 85% of urethral plugs are caused by struvite crystals.

This is what they look like:

Struvite crystals in a cat

Struvite crystals in a cat. Photo: Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic on Flickr.

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