What Are Some Tips For Preventing Urinary Blockages In Cats
To prevent the recurrence of urinary blockages in cats, precautions must be taken at home. If your cat has struvite stones, your veterinarian may prescribe a urinary diet to help reduce crystalluria and dissolve the stones. Increased water consumption is very important in reducing the risk of further urinary blockage in cats. We recommend that high-risk male cats be fed at least 50% of their daily caloric intake to be in the form of canned food. This will increase water consumption and ideally create a slightly dilute urine, therefore reducing the risk of urethral obstruction.
How To Treat Urinary Blockage In Cats
If your cat has a urinary obstruction, they should be taken to the pet emergency hospital at once to prevent a life-threatening situation. Typically, the attending vet team will treat your cat’s blockage with the following protocols:
- An intravenous catheter may be used to administer fluids and drugs.
- After that, the pet will be anesthetized, allowing them to insert a urinary catheter to clear the blockage and empty the bladder.
- The catheter will be left in place for a few days to allow the urethra to heal and your four-legged friend to recover. Most cats with urinary obstruction remain hospitalized for several days.
- Pain relievers, urethral relaxants, and antibiotics will most likely be prescribed, as well as a specially formulated therapeutic diet.
What Is Urinary Tract Obstruction
Obstructions in the urinary tract can be formed a mixture of mucus, crystals, proteins, bladder stones, and other types of debris. This will form a urethral blockage, which will not go away without veterinary attention. Urinary tract obstruction must be dealt with immediately, as it can be fatal.
Urinary tract obstruction is usually prevalent in adult male cats, though female cats can also experience blockages in rare cases. These obstructions will start off in the kidneys and pass down to the bladder, eventually making their way into the urethra.
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What Types Of Foods Should I Feed My Cat
If your cat is at risk for urinary blockage, your veterinarian may recommend a urinary diet to help reduce crystalluria and dissolve stones. Increased water consumption is very important in reducing the risk of urinary blockage in cats. Please avoid feeding low-quality kibble-based diets to your cats as these types of foods can increase the risk of urinary blockage.
Urinary blockage in cats is a medical emergency. This condition can easily become fatal if the symptoms are not noticed. The causes of urinary blockage in cats can be due to urinary crystals, stones or inflammatory plugs. With proper treatment, the prognosis can be good and prevention depends on the cause of the urinary blockage. The best prevention is to feed your cat a high-quality diet with at least 50% of the daily amounts in the form of canned food. If you have any further questions about urinary blockage in cats, please contact your veterinarian.
Keep An Eye Out For The Signs Of A Blocked Cat
Now that you know more about the signs and symptoms of urinary obstructions in cats, you can know what to be on the lookout for. This is a serious illness in cats that requires immediate veterinary attention and care, so be sure to go to the emergency vet or schedule an appointment with your regular vet right away if you suspect this problem.
Urinary obstructions can be treated and managed if they are caught soon enough. Work with your trusted vets at Veterinary Healthcare Associates in Winter Haven, FL to ensure your cat can recover from this problem and prevent it occurring again later on down the road, too.
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What Is The Prognosis For Cats With Urinary Blockage
The prognosis for cats with urinary blockage is generally good if the obstruction is treated promptly. However, urinary blockages can recur and some underlying causes may not be able to be completely resolved. Your veterinarian will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is best for your cat.
Overall, the good news is that studies have shown a favourable prognosis for most cats. Using traditional treatment protocols, the survival rate to discharge is reported as high as 95%.
What Other Treatments Are Given
Further treatment depends on the underlying cause of the obstruction, the severity of the obstruction, and what complications have arisen. Any damage to the kidneys may be completely reversible, but cats will often have to receive intravenous fluids for several days if the kidneys have been affected. In addition to intravenous fluids, other drugs commonly used to help manage cats include:
- Local anaesthetics injected into the urethra through the catheter before it is removed to help relieve pain
- Other pain-killing drugs
- Drugs to help relieve spasm of the urethra in most cases these will be helpful because of the inevitable urethral irritation that will have occurred. Usually a combination of two different muscle-relaxing drugs are used .
- Anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the swelling in the urethra corticosteroids are often used for this purpose
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Straining And/or Frequent Urination
One of the earliest signs of urinary blockage in cats is straining to urinate. This occurs because cats are unable to urinate due to the blockage. They may sit in the litterbox for a long time trying to urinate, only for nothing or very little to actually come out.
You may notice your cat urinating frequently if he has this problem, too. This is because he can only get a little bit of urine out at a time, which leads him to go to the litterbox much more often than normal.
Signs Of Urinary Blockage
Cats that are partially or fully blocked often show some or all of the following signs:
- Repeatedly straining to urinate in or around the litter box. This is often mistaken for constipation and straining to defecate.
- Producing only small drops of urine or none at all
- Crying or howling in or around the litter box or in general
- Licking at the genitals or around the base of the tail
- Vomiting and/or refusing to eat
- Resenting being touched, especially around the abdomen
Cats can experience partial or complete urinary blockage and their signs can vary greatly. With a partial blockage, an affected cat may seem uncomfortable or in pain and spend excess time repeatedly going in and out of the litter box. An owner may notice urinary accidents around the house or find small puddles of urine in the litter box or unusual places. As the condition progresses to a full urinary blockage and the cat is unable to pass any urine, the signs become more intense and the cat may experience life-threatening complications. It is common for a blocked cat to vomit, lose its appetite and become extremely lethargic. If left untreated, the urinary blockage can lead to kidney failure and death within 24 to 48 hours. If your cat is showing any of the above signs, see your veterinarian or go to the nearest emergency clinic immediately.
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What Is Treatment For Obstruction
If your cat has a urinary blockage, they need medical attention right away. The veterinarian may put an intravenous catheter to correct dehydration and give your cat medication, such as sedation or general anesthesia. The urinary catheter is placed to eliminate the obstruction and help your cat to relieve their bladder.
The catheter has to stay in position for a few days to allow the urethra to heal and promote a smooth recovery. Many blocked cats must remain in the hospital for several days. When your cat starts urinating normally, the veterinarian will send your cat home with antibiotics and pain medicine. They may also be prescribed a special diet for their urinary health.
The following chart gives examples of the special food given to your cat for prevention of urinary obstruction, as well as healing from having a block:
What Are The Signs Of Urinary Blockage In Cats
The most common cat urinary blockage symptoms include repeated unsuccessful urination attempts, discomfort or crying when straining to urinate, and increasing agitation. You might notice other changes in your cats urinating behavior, such as increased urination frequency or even blood in the urine, depending on the underlying cause.
Furthermore, harmful waste materials that are supposed to leave the body through the urine will begin to build up in the bloodstream, causing symptoms such as vomiting, disorientation, and lethargy.
If you suspect your cat has a urinary blockage, be sure to contact your veterinarianright away because this is a medical emergency.
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Treating A Urinary Blockage
How Serious Is A Urinary Blockage In Cats
Feline urethral obstructions are life threatening!
Within 24 hours, a cat may become lethargic, not wanting to get up, move, or eat. Within 72 hours of a feline urethral obstruction, cats can die.
If urine is prevented from exiting the bladder, pressure within the urinary tract can damage the kidneys. Urine contains metabolic waste products that the body must eliminate urethral obstruction causes these toxins to build up. In addition, the bladder wall may be stretched to the point where muscle function is lost in the worst cases, it ruptures.
A urethral obstruction is an emergency situation and you should go to your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your pet is âblocked.â If not treated quickly, pets with a urinary obstruction can die a painful death from complications.
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How To Prevent Urinary Blockages In Cats
In some cases, your veterinarian may identify a particular risk factor that increases the chances that your cat will become blocked. For example, a cat who has a history of developing urinary crystals or stones made of struvite will often benefit from eating a food that contains low levels of magnesium and phosphorus and promotes a urinary pH that makes it less likely that crystals will form. If your cat has a history of urinary blockages, make sure to ask your veterinarian about any specific prevention strategies that he or she can recommend.
If the cause of your cats urinary blockage cant be identified or you simply want to prevent the condition from developing in the first place, dont worry, you still have good options. The following three strategies will go a long way towards lowering the risk of urinary blockages in cats:
Follow these tips and any advice from your veterinarian and you can rest assured that youve done everything possible to protect your cat from developing a urinary blockage.
Care After A Blockage
After your cat has blocked once, there is a chance they will block again. To prevent this happening, you will need to follow your vets advice and make some changes to your cats lifestyle and diet. These changes may include:
- Feeding a special food
- Encouraging them to drink more
- Medication to treat infection, pain, spasm or crystals.
Its very important to keep an eye on your cats toileting habits if they have suffered a blocked bladder in the past.
Your vet may ask you to collect a urine sample from your cat and bring it to check up appointments. Watch our video below on collecting a urine sample from your cat.
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What Are The Causes Of Crystals In The Urine
Many crystals are expelled from the urine and are not detrimental to your cats health. However, the formation of larger crystals that become stuck in the urinary tract is the primary concern. The following are some of the causes of crystals in the urine:
- Oversaturation of minerals in urine When there is a high amount of minerals and salts, they can form stones
- Dehydration Keep fresh, clean water available to them. It helps your cat to expel more urine.
- Unbalanced urine pH If urine is too acidic or too alkaline
- Urinary tract infection When bacteria enter your cats bladder, it causes it to grow and reproduce, prompting an infection
- Certain medications Cortisone, Tetracycline, and Sulfa drugs may trigger bladder stones when they are used for long periods
- Poor diet Cats who consume a lot of sodium, calcium, and phosphorus are susceptible to having urinary blockage. Cats who have a healthy diet are less prone to blockages.
- Stress Your cat could even be stressed that their litterbox is not cleaned. Cats can be finicky, so it is best to maintain a clean litterbox
- Breed Himalayans, Persians, and Siamese tend to have an increased risk for blockages
Any condition that alters your cats urine pH can cause crystals. Having a history with crystals is the most accurate determiner of whether they will have them again.
What Are The Treatments For Lower Urinary Tract Problems
When you bring your cat to the vet, they will examine your pet for any injuries or physical problems that might be contributing to the urinary problems.
The treatment will differ depending on the diagnosis.
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Your vet will prescribe the right medication for your pet. They can advise you on diet changes that might prevent future UTIs.
Clearing Obstructions in the Urethra
The vet will insert a tube into the urinary opening and flush the area with sterile fluid to clear the obstruction. Follow-up care may be required as well.
In other cases, a special diet can dissolve stones in your cat’s bladder. Your vet may suggest special food to prevent more stones from forming in the future.
Treatments for Other Health Problems
If your cat has diabetes, thyroid disease, or cancer, talk to your vet about treatment options.
Cat urinary tract issues are serious and you should not ignore the symptoms. Call your vet if you think your cat has a UTI or other urinary tract problem.
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How Much Does It Cost To Have A Urethral Obstruction Treated
The final costs for treatment of a case of urethral obstruction in a cat will be influenced by many factors, including:
- how long the cat was blocked and how sick they were on presentation
- whether or not they require surgery to correct the blockage or prevent a future blockage
- whether or not they re-obstruct upon removal of the indwelling urethral catheter
- the diagnostic tests and therapeutic treatments necessary in their care
- the duration of their hospital stay
- the type of hospital in which they receive their care
- your geographic location
Typically speaking though, treatment for a non-surgical case of feline urethral obstruction that doesnt re-obstruct when the catheter is pulled will likely cost you between $7501,500.However, for cats that obstruct multiple times, or those that require surgery as part of their treatment, you should expect the costs to be in excess of $3,000.What type of care is necessary following treatment for a case of feline urethral obstruction?Im glad you asked. Read this article on preventing feline urethral obstruction.If youve ever had a cat that has suffered a urethral obstruction, please take a couple of minutes to fill out the online survey weve created to help reinforce the importance of awareness, preparation, and prevention of this common feline emergency. Thanks very much for your time, and for helping other cat owners.
The information you share will help many other cats.It’s anonymous and will take 2 minutes.Thank you!
What Happens When You Take Your Blocked Cat To The Vet
As soon as you arrive at your veterinarianâs office, your cat will be examined to determine if his bladder is enlarged and whether an obstruction is likely. This is a quick and easy diagnosis by the veterinary team gently feeling the size of your cats bladder by feeling the abdomen.
If an obstruction is confirmed, your cat will likely be rushed to the back where emergency treatment and stabilization will be initiated.
Your veterinarian may recommend any or all of the following diagnostics and procedures:
- Blood work to assess toxin levels and hydration status
- Urine exam to look for an infection and/or crystals
- Urine culture to determine if there is an infection and, if so, what bacteria may be responsible
- X-rays to look for bladder or urethral stones
- IV catheter placement, which allows for fluids and medications to be administered
- Urinary catheter placement, which provides a way to flush the bladder and keep it empty for several days while inflammation subsides
Treatment involves IV fluids, antibiotics, medications to relax the urethra in order to allow material to pass through it
In some cats surgery may be required to remove bladder stones. If cats repeatedly âblockâ a surgery called a âP.U.â or a perineal urethrostomy and be performed. For more information, please read perineal urethrostomy. This surgery makes the urethral opening permanently larger, thus reducing the risk of future obstructions.
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