Disorder - Persistent urachusOrgan Systems Involved
Vesicourachal diverticulum; Non-patent urachal ligament
The urachus is a structure that exists during the embryonic stage. This structure allows urine and waste products to go from the growing foetus to the placenta for removal. Normally after birth this structure shrinks and is no longer functional; however, sometimes the urachus remains. If the urachal remnant cannot carry urine from the bladder then this is termed either a non-patent urachal ligament, vesicourachal diverticulum or a persistent urachus.
Clinical signs associated with this disorder include: straining to urinate, blood in the urine, inability to urinate, and occasionally dribbling of urine. It is possible that a persistent urachus may be harmless and the cats show no signs of disease, but this may lead to clinical signs in the future. It is currently not known how this disorder is passed on genetically, if at all.
Cats at Risk
Male cats have more risk of developing persistent urachus.
Treatment is only needed if clinical signs are present and not all cats with this disorder show clinical signs. Medical management of urinary tract infections and surgical management of urinary obstructions are common treatment options.