(St. Louis, MO) April 24, 2000 – Because cats can’t tell us how they feel and urinary tract problems can be painful for felines, their owners are often left worrying … Is Fluffy suffering from another urinary tract infection? Is Tabby’s new diet working to clear up his urinary tract disorder? Purina Pet Products is introducing a revolutionary cat box filler additive, the Hemalert brand feline urinary blood detection system, which provides cat owners with a simple, at-home way to monitor cats’ urinary tract health. The Hemalert particles are mixed with the cat’s usual cat box filler and react by changing color if blood is present in the urine, alerting owners to a possible health problem in their cats.
“”Early detection and proper treatment of lower urinary tract disorders can help relieve a cat of considerable pain and his complications may be less severe,”” said Susan McDonough, DVM, coordinator of the Hemalert clinical trials. “”Hemalert is an innovative, diagnostic tool that helps veterinarians work with pet owners to alleviate the guesswork of monitoring cats’ urinary tract health and more quickly determine problems and proper treatments.””
Vet Visits Still A Must
Dr. McDonough cautions that this product is NOT intended for pet owners to diagnose their cats’ health problems.
“”If owners notice their cats displaying behavior changes consistent with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorder (FLUTD)– such as excessive licking, straining to urinate, urinating outside their litter box, visiting the box multiple times with little or no urine output or acting abnormally lethargic,”” says Dr. McDonough. “”Their first step should be a visit to their veterinarian. If the urinary tract becomes blocked, this is a life threatening emergency.””
Traditional Treatment First, Hemalert Second
Once a cat is diagnosed with a FLUTD many veterinarians may prescribe antibiotics, modify the cat’s diet or ask the owner to begin “”watchful waiting”” – monitoring without treatment to see if the infection naturally runs its course.
After the initial diagnosis, veterinarians will usually suggest owners wait approximately one week before using Hemalert to allow the prescribed treatment to begin working. After a week, owners simply mix one packet of Hemalert with half of their cat’s usual cat box filler. During the next 12 hours, they need to check the litter after their cat urinates to note any color change in the Hemalert particles. If owners discover that the pink Hemalert particles have changed to blue, they should contact their veterinarian. This indicates blood is present in the urine.
Benefits Beyond First-Time Treatment Monitoring
“”Besides monitoring the treatment progress of first-time infections, veterinarians find Hemalert extremely useful for following cats with recurring or chronic FLUTD,”” says Dr. McDonough. “”The product allows owners to monitor their cats’ condition on a monthly basis.”” This is important because after cats, four years or older, suffer from their first FLUTD, they have a 68 percent chance of contracting another one. Many cats can develop a chronic problem.
Hemalert is sold only through veterinarians as part of the Purina CNM Urinary Tract Disease Management Program, a comprehensive system designed to accurately diagnose and manage urinary tract problems. Cat owners who are interested in learning more information about Hemalert can call 1-800-879-1266 weekdays 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (CT), or see their veterinarian.
Ralston Purina is the world’s largest manufacturer of dry dog and dry and semi-moist cat foods, and the leading producer of cat box filler in the United States.