What Is A Urinary Blockage In Cats
A blockage in the urethra causes urinary obstruction in cats. When the urethra is obstructed, urine can back up into the bladder causing uremic toxins to build up in the bloodstream. If the obstruction persists for an extended period, the kidneys may expand and get damaged, causing the bladder to rupture or rip.
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.
Urinary Tract Obstruction Average Cost
From 404 quotes ranging from $500 – $3,500
Protect yourself and your pet. Compare top pet insurance plans.
How Is A Perineal Urethrostomy Surgery Performed
Your cat will undergo a pre-surgical examination, as well as pre-anesthetic blood testing prior to anesthesia. This pre-surgical evaluation will allow your veterinarian to assess your cats health status and ensure that he is a good candidate for anesthesia.
“If your cat is currently obstructed, he will be stabilized prior to surgery.”
If your cat is currently obstructed, he will be stabilized prior to surgery. This stabilization will involve administering intravenous fluids to correct dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities. Pre-surgical stabilization will make your cat a better candidate for anesthesia and decrease the likelihood of complications.
Also Check: How Can I Cure A Urinary Tract Infection
What Are The Potential Complications Of A Urinary Blockage In Cats
Complications are uncommon but can occur in cats. Among the potential complications are kidney failure cardiac arrhythmias due to hyperkalemia urethral lacerations or tears urinary tract infections secondary to catheterization urine in the abdomen persistent lower urinary tract disease and bladder rupture.
What Happens After The Obstruction Is Relieved
Once the obstruction has been relieved, your vet will want to infuse a sterile saline solution into the bladder via the catheter so that all the blood and debris can be washed out. This is usually repeated several times to remove as much debris as possible to reduce the chance of re-obstruction.
Once this has been done, your vet will decide whether the urinary catheter can be removed, or whether it will need to remain in place for a few days. Where possible the catheter is removed because the presence of a catheter itself causes some inflammation and irritation to the urethra. However, if there has been a severe blockage, your vet may want to leave a catheter in for a few days to ensure urine can be produced while treatment is commenced for the underlying disease and inflammation.
You May Like: Swim Diapers For Adults With Urinary Incontinence
How Much Does It Cost To Treat Blocked Cats
In general, non-surgical treatment for urinary blockage in a cat that does not re-obstruct when the catheter is removed will cost between $750 and $1,500. However, in the case of a cat that obstructs multiple times or requires surgery as part of its therapy, the cost can exceed more than $3,000.
The final costs for treating a blocked cat will depend on several factors, such as how long the animal was blocked, whether they require surgery to correct the obstruction, the duration of the hospitalization, the type of hospital in which they received care, your location, etc.
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 Causes Urinary Blockages In Cats
Urinary blockages are usually caused by plugs of proteinaceous sludge, crystals and/or small stones that become lodged within a cats urethrathe tube leading from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body. Neutered males have very narrow urethras, which explains why these cats have, by far, the highest incidence of urinary blockages. Urinary obstructions can also be caused by involuntary muscular contractions called urethral spasms or, less frequently, by tumors, infections, trauma and other conditions.
How To Prevent Urinary Blockage In Cats
One of the biggest emergencies that pet parents can face is urinary blockage in cats. Treatment often involves a panicked trip to the veterinary clinic and hospitalization for the intensive care and monitoring needed to save the cats life.
If your cat has blocked once, he is at high risk for it happening again. So whether youre looking to prevent a recurrence or to protect your cat from every having to experience this condition in the first place, its important to be informed about ways to prevent urinary blockages in cats.
Don’t Miss: Is Azithromycin Good For Urinary Tract Infection
What Causes Urinary Blockage In Cats
Feline urinary blockages can be caused by several underlying conditions, including:
- A small stone or an accumulation of tiny stones that become lodged within the urethra
- A plug in the urethra, usually an accumulation of crystals, cells, proteins, or debris in the urethra
- Swelling and spasm of the urethra, which typically occurs during inflammation of the urethra or bladder
- Urinary obstruction can also result from feeding magnesium-rich foods
- Less frequently, it can be caused by trauma, infections, or tumors.
Getting A Veterinary Diagnosis
Read Also: Upper Urinary Tract Infection Treatment
Are Male And Female Cats Equally Affected
Generally not. Most cases of urinary blockages tend to be with male cats. Often these are young males, as well, which is hypothesized to occur due to the better function of the kidneys in younger cats.
Female cats have a larger diameter urethra, therefore, they are less prone to blockages. Their urethra also has a shorter distance, and runs a more straightforward path.
When Is Perineal Urethrostomy Surgery Recommended
Perineal urethrostomy surgery is most commonly recommended in the following situations.
- Typically, urethral obstructions are dislodged by the passage of a urinary catheter. This catheter is advanced through the external opening of the urethra towards the bladder any stones or mucus that are present within the urethra are flushed into the bladder, where they can be addressed using medication or surgery. In the case of an obstruction that cannot be alleviated with a catheter, perineal urethrostomy may be required to re-establish urine flow and allow the cat to urinate.
- Recurrent urethral obstructions. In some male cats, urinary obstructions may become a frequent occurrence. Even if these cats can be unblocked, cats who frequently reobstruct may benefit from a perineal urethrostomy to decrease the likelihood of future obstructions.
Recommended Reading: Why Do Males Get Urinary Tract Infections
What Are The Treatment Options For Urinary Blockages In Cats
Treatment will depend on how sick the cat is, and how long the blockage has been going on. In severe cases, cats will need hospitalization and intensive care, sometimes for a few days, or longer. In less severe cases, simply removing or resolving the blockage, while under sedation or anesthesia, may be enough.
Treatment can include medications to stabilize any electrolyte changes, medications to help with nausea, pain relievers, and IV fluids to help flush the urinary system and body of toxins. This is one of the more complicated feline diseases to treat, and requires frequent and close monitoring.
My Cat Cant Pee Feline Urethral Obstruction: Be Prepared
Our mission is to help save dogs’ and cats lives through our educational content. To support our efforts, this page may contain affiliate links. We earn a commission for qualifying purchases at no cost to you.
In the article Feline Urethral Obstruction: Be Aware I covered the what of urethral obstruction. In this article, Ill be detailing the things you should know to be prepared for in the event of a urethral obstruction. Hopefully, youll never need this information, but as with most things in life, it’s best to have it and know it’s here if you do. After all, when it comes to feline urethral obstruction, your cats life is truly at stake.If youve ever had a cat that has suffered a urethral obstruction you can help me help others by taking a minute or two to fill out an online survey about pet owner experiences with this condition. It’s completely anonymous and only takes a minute or two to complete. Thank you in advance.
Read Also: Can Diapers Cause Urinary Tract Infection
How Is A Urinary Blockage In Cats Treated
The goal of treatment for urinary blockage in cats is to resolve the obstruction and to prevent a recurrence. Treatment will also focus on supporting the cat while the obstruction is resolved and addressing any underlying causes.
As a urinary blockage in cats is a medical emergency, your veterinarian will work quickly to relieve the obstruction. This may involve passing a urinary catheter to bypass the obstruction or flushing the urethra with sterile saline. If there is an associated urinary tract infection, antibiotics will be prescribed. After the urinary blockage has been addressed, your cat will likely spend a few days in the hospital for monitoring and intravenous fluids to flush out the uremic toxins. Veterinarians also want to make sure the cat can urinate on its own in the animal hospital prior to discharge.
Once the obstruction is relieved, your veterinarian will work to identify and treat the underlying cause. This may include dietary changes, medications or surgery. Dietary changes can help to prevent urinary crystals and stones from forming. Medications can be used to treat urinary tract infections or to dissolve urinary crystals. Surgery may be necessary to remove stones or to repair a urethral blockage.
What Are The Causes Of Urinary Blockages In Cats
Urinary blockages in cats occur when the urethra, which allows urine to flow from the bladder to the outside of the body, becomes blocked. Typically, this involves a physical obstruction, such as by stones or crystals, but it can also be functional, due to a spasm of the urethra.
Typical crystals include calcium oxalate and struvite crystals. Sometimes, these are found in a mucus plug.
Stones are often comprised of the same minerals in cats. Data remains inconclusive as to the underlying cause of stones, although dietincluding types, moisture content, and ingredientshave all been suggested at possibly playing a role.
Recommended Reading: Can Vitamin D Cause Urinary Tract Infections
Subcutaneous Ureteral Bypass System
This is a tube that completely bypasses the obstructed ureter, effectively creating a false ureter. It is more commonly performed in the UK and is now considered the treatment of choice by highly experienced specialists at the Animal Medical Centre, New York. The subcutaneous ureteral bypass was developed as an alternative to ureteral stents when either a stricture was present or when a stent could not be successfully placed due to excessive stones, a narrow ureteric lumen or patient stability.
A pigtail catheter is inserted into the renal pelvis and connected to a subcutaneous access port. A separate pigtail catheter is also inserted into the bladder and this tube is also connected to the subcutaneous access port . This procedure has been highly successful for the treatment of all causes of feline UO . This surgical procedure is technically simpler with a shorter surgery time . In terms of long-term patient comfort and complications, SUBs were found to be superior to stents in a recent study .
Perioperative mortality rate after surgery was 6.2 percent in a recent study, which compares well to traditional surgery and stenting . Postoperative complications were rare and included urine leakage , kinking of the catheter and blockage of the system with either blood clots , debris, purulent material or mineralisation . Dysuria is rarely seen with SUBs compared to ureteral stents .
Treatment Of Urinary Obstructions In Cats
Cats with a complete urinary blockage require emergency medical care and will often need to be admitted to the hospital for several days. Once theyve been stabilized if necessary, and your veterinarian has conducted initial diagnostic tests, treatment can begin to remove the blockage.
Your cat will be placed under sedation or anesthesia, and a urinary catheter will be placed via the urethra into the bladder to flush out the obstruction. Depending on the severity of their condition, the catheter may need to remain in place for several days. It will help to make sure urine is able to leave the body while allowing time for the inflammation in the bladder and urinary tract to subside, as well as taking pressure off the kidneys and allowing them to heal. Your veterinarian will also use the catheter to monitor your cats urine output and assess the urine for blood clots and other debris.
In addition to the catheter, your veterinarian may recommend IV fluids to help flush out toxins from your cats body and to help rehydrate them. Your cat may also need pain medication, anti-nausea medication, and medication to relax the urinary tract.
If the cause of your cats blockage was bladder stones, your cat may require surgery to remove the stones, known as a cystotomy, or they may need a special diet to help break down the stones.
Read Also: Cystex Urinary Pain Relief Directions
What Can I Do At Home To Prevent Future Occurrences Of Flutd
Depending on the underlying cause for FLUTD, the clinical signs may never, or only occasionally, reoccur. However, recurrence is more common with FIC. To help reduce the chances of recurrence:
- Feed small meals on a frequent basis.
- Consult with your veterinarian about the best diet for your cat. Many commercial diets are acceptable, but some urinary conditions respond better to specialized diets. Canned food may be preferred.
- Provide clean, fresh water at all times.
- Provide an adequate number of litter boxes with the type of litter that the cat prefer
- Keep litter boxes in quiet, safe areas of the house.
- Keep litter boxes clean they should be scooped twice a day and the litter changed weekly .
- Minimize major changes in routine.
What Happens After My Cat Is Treated For Urethral Obstruction
Usually, your cat will need to stay at the veterinary clinic for several days and keep using a catheter to ensure the blockage is fully cleared. This also gives their urethra a chance to heal from the trauma of the blockage and the subsequent treatment.
Your cat will need to urinate at a normal rate before leaving the clinic or animal hospital. When you bring them home, your veterinarian will likely prescribe some antibiotics to avoid post-procedure infection, as well as pain medications for your cats comfort.
Your Cat Might Complain Vocally If Theyre Uncomfortable
Your cat may also tell you if hes experiencing pain when trying to urinate, which is a common indicator of a cat urinary blockage. If you notice your cat making excessive noise when trying to go to the bathroom meowing, screeching, or crying then something is probably wrong. Cats are usually quiet and discreet when they use the bathroom, so if you notice a lot of noise, your cat is trying to communicate with you about their discomfort.