I have a 4 year old neutered male cat who has had several episodes of partial urinary tract blockage. This time it is not resolving as it should. The vet has done cultures & it is a sterile blockage with no infection. The medications to relax the urinary tract, that have worked in the past, are not helping. He has been at the vets office since last Friday. He has been passing small amounts of urine but not what he should . She was giving him IV fluids but he started to leak fluid into the abdomen and she had to stop. She catherized him yesterday morning and had trouble passing the catheter right at the entrance to the bladder. She has indicated that we should consider surgery to restructure the urinary tract and "make him pee like a girl" is how she put it. I have heard pros & cons regarding this surgery. I have heard that it frequently causes the cat to lose control over its' bladder & become incontinent. I would find this hard to live with. Has anyone had any experience with this type of surgery? Palmbob - any ideas?
Was your veterinarian able to pass the urinary catheter? If so, best to keep it in for a few days, diurese him well (give him lots of fluids) and then pull it and see what happens. 95% of the time that will work, but you definitely need to put your cat on a special diet and NEVER waver from it (that means canned food only, low carb, forever- never a bite of dry food again). This strategy works almost all the time. The times when it fails are for very old cats with urinary tract infections, cats with impossible blockages (I have yet to see one of those), cats who cannot be switched over to canned food for whatever excuse or reason, or cat's with something else stuck in their penis (I personally had a cat with a grass awn, known as a fox tail, stuck up there... he did need surgery). As for surgery, there is a common problem with urinary tract infections, but I have yet in 27 years seen a cat develop incontinence... I think that is an extremely unlikely possibility. I have done a number of these surgeries myself, but now that diet has been discovered to be the main cause, I have not had to do one of these in over 10 years (used to be commonplace 25 yard ago). I hope your kitty will do well... this is certainly not a rare problem thanks to the preponderance of feeding cats dry food (which there is absolutely NO reason to do from a cat's point of view... however, from OUR point of view, dry food is SSOOOO much easier, it will probably never go away). I have yet to see but one cat in 27 years get blocked that was on canned food only ('good' canned food... there are some high carb canned foods, too, which generally should be avoided... stay away from the stuff with gravy in it!). Yet I have seen many many hundreds (if not over 1000 by now) blocked on dry foods.. sad.
The vet placed the urinary catheter in Monday and removed it last night. She stated that when she inserted the catheter she had difficulty getting through the upper end of the urethra. Since the catheter has been removed he has been unable to urinate. This cat is a bobtail & I wonder about a physical anomaly. I purchased him when he was 11 months old. He has always been a very picky eater. He absolutely refuses to eat any kind of canned food, and, believe me, I have tried many kinds. He will only eat hard food. No treats, no table food, no canned food. I have researched foods and tried to get all my cats on the highest quality food that I can afford. They are getting the adult cat formula of "Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul". The vets have tried to get him to eat but so far he is only picking at hard food only. He is a very long legged slim cat but at 7.5lbs I worry about his condition to undergo surgery. The other worry is that this vet clinic has only done a few of these operations. They usually refer their clients to a specialist. I am unable to travel and have no one to transport my cat so the surgery will be done by my vets clinic.
Sounds like a tough situation... I certainly rec: a specialist as well.. Having difficulty passing the catheter at the tip of the penis is the 'norm' actually as that is where debris gets stuck. I can think of very few, of the many hundreds of cats I have unblocked that were NOT difficult to get a catheter past the tip of the penis. YOu may need to have the cath reinserted for another 24 hour period and then have the doctor flush the penis very well while taking the catheter out... in the mean time, I assume radiographs and a urinalysis were done? Looking for oxalate stones or the material that has been causing the blockage?
The blockage the vet ran into was not in the penis itself but at the upper end of the urethra near the bladder. Yes the radiographs & urinalysis have been done. I would like to take him to a specialist but I cannot travel & I have no one to transport him anywhere. Even with the surgery I understand there is still the chance of having more blockages. Since his problem seems to be higher up in the urinary tract rather than in the penis, I wonder if this is going to be a problem.
if the blockage is that near the bladder (still) then surgery may not help, as it only removes the narrow part of the urethra (the penis). The urethra near the bladder is much wider, but if something is blocking there (or reblocks there) your kitty may in a bad situation. Again, a specialist is all I can suggest, but if you can't get him to one, I am out of suggestions.
slvrwilo, check with your nearest animal shelter or municipal pound. The folks there may know of pet-related groups in your area through which you may find someone willing to drive you and/or your cat to a specialist. I recently discovered a whole community of pet lovers and rescuers in my local area in various Facebook groups. Through these local groups, I have been offered rides twice now to a specialist vet 100 miles away from my home. They've been such an incredible and generous resource for me. You may very well have local pet groups available in your area, too, of which you are not aware. Call around. You may be very happily surprised.
Since your vet has very limited experience with this surgical procedure, I strongly recommend that you ask your vet about any post-operative complications and successful/unsuccessful outcomes that his/her previous patients may have had with this surgery BEFORE you allow the surgery to proceed with your boy.
He is doing great. He had surgery last Friday. I am supposed to bring him home tomorrow. I could have brought him home last night but no one will be home most of the day Friday so I chose to leave him there until I knew someone would be with him.
Kashi is doing fairly well. He still doesn't want to eat as much as I would like. The vets couldn't get him to eat much either. He will eat one or two nibbles of wet food and then walk away. He won't eat anything "table food" type except ice cream or yogurt and then just a half a teaspoonful or so. I hate to go to assisted feeding but if he doesn't pick it up soon I may have to. Is there anything that the vet can give him to increase his appetite?
Thank you for the info but the links are not open. Could you please post them again. I got the canned Hill's. Diet and he has been eating about a tablespoon twice a day plus his regular hard food. I will switch all 6 cats to the Hill's. CD hard food in addition to him having the canned food.
Sorry, I've been having MAJOR problems with my Internet provider and accessibility for the last week. This is the first time I've been able to access GardenWeb since my last post on this thread. Here are the links again:
I would strongly caution you against feeding dry CD to ANY of your cats. Your recently operated-on boy should NEVER eat kibble again (unless you absolutely cannot convince him to eat enough canned food to maintain proper weight). Canned food is a healthier option for your other cats, as well, but if you feel you must feed kibble, choose one that is as low-carb, high protein as possible (Innova EVO is a good choice). Most kibbles are very high carb and contain all sorts of species-inappropriate ingredients that a cat can not properly utilize. Check the label on that CD. You'll find it packed with grains and other high-carb sources that cats are not physiologically structured to metabolize, rather than the meat proteins that your cats need for proper long-term health. The following link is an EXCELLENT information resource regarding feline nutrition, authored by a highly respected veterinarian:
Laurie, you always give such good and thoughtful advice. I didn't realize how bad dry food could be on a cat until my male cat had a urinary tract infection. Now all 4 of my cats (2 males/2 females) are on primarily wet food. I do still give my male cat a teeny tiny bit of dry (Innova) simply because he does love it so. But I always make sure he's had some wet food during the day.
To be perfectly honest, most of my cats also receive a small (1/8 c.) EVO kibble meal daily for the same reason, as well as a larger canned and/or raw prey model meal. And once my cats enter the chronically ill, geriatric stage of life where they often won't eat enough of anything to maintain weight, I let them eat whatever they want, including EVO dry. At that point, it's no longer a matter of eating what's best for them; it's a matter of eating anything at all.
Kashi is doing great. He is all healed up & back to running through the house & chasing the girls. He may not have the equipment any more but he certainly still has the idea. He continues to be a hard sell for canned food but we are working on it. He got down to 5lbs. 4oz. (he was 8'2" when he went in) by the time he got out of the vets clinic. He gained back 0.2oz. the first week he was home. The vet weighed him when I took him back for the stitch removal. I need to get a baby scale to keep track . Kashi is a shorthaired Japanese Bobtail. He is the first Bobtail I got. Then about a year later I got Ditto, a longhaired Jap. Bobtail, and then about 8 months after that came Trouble, another longhair Bobtail. I also have 2 Burmese,( a Sable & a Champagne). I find it very interesting to observe the interaction of the cats. The JB's stay & play together and the Burms stay together. I also have an 11 year old previously feral shorthair old lady. Sadly she is the pariah and they all like to pick on her. The first photo is Kashi, the second one is Kashi & Ditto, the third photo -from front to back is Kashi, Ditto, Trouble & Missy (Sable Burmese), the fourth photo is our living room. We have no family, no visitors, so the house is pretty much devoted to the cats.. the last photo is Ditto, Trouble, & Missy.
Finally after all this time I got a phone call from the vet telling me that the lab work came back & showed Calcium Oxylate crystals in Kashi's urine. Originally the vet thought he had the more common struvite crystals but apparently not. I have been doing as much research as possible on what brands of food to use but it seems like everyone has different ideas. Right now I would be happy just to get him to eat a normal amount of any kind of canned food. I was strongly considering going with the Blue Ridge raw food but the vet seems to think raw wouldn't be good. Any suggestions?
There does not seem to be any particular diet that is better than any other for the prevention of oxalate stones, other than as much H2O as possible... so canned of course. Acidifying diets are actually recommended against, so you might avoid those. The formation of oxalates in the urine is primarily a genetic problem rather than a dietary one.
I'm also in a battle against crystals (struvite rather than oxalate). My boy was blocked, placed on a catheter which was pulled after a day and they reinserted for four days. He stayed at the emergency room for a full week. This has been a total nightmare. He is on the Purina urinary wet food since he absolutely hated the Royal Canin. He still doesn't like the Purina too much so I'm adulterating it with other food. I'm now trying EVO zero carb wet food as the "mixer." Is that the least harmful non-diet wet food to add to his diet?
For struvite crystals, any high meat, moist diet that is low in carbs should work well.. eg, most of the pattee formulas of FAncy Feast or Friskies are even OK. Some diets are particularly acidic and help to dissolve crystals even better (like C/D or the equivalents in the other veterinary product lines). But these specialty diets are usually for struvite, NOT oxylate, though some have been formulated for both (not sure how that's possible, other than creating a neutral pH)... if you know your cat's crystal make up, you can pick his/her best diet.
Thanks so much, PalmBob. I really appreciate your advice. I keep telling my husband how you said you had never treated a blocked cat who was on wet food only. Glad to hear that eh high protein only food may be okay to supplement the diet food.