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Discussion Starter #1
I am writing this partially for support, partially to find others in similar circumstances and partially to warn others. Saturday my 4-year-old neutered male, Crowley was doing just fine. I actually watched him eat, play and go to the litterbox. Sunday morning/afternoon I woke up to a cat who was meowing a lot (the I’m going to vomit or I am constipated meow) He didn’t vomit so I gave him some tuna in oil (I don’t know if the oil really helps or if the tuna just improves moral) Well, nothing improved. He is still walking, meowing and demanding we rub his belly. So first thing today I get a vet appointment for 11. I asked if I could drop him off now because he was in pain and I thought he would be better there in case there is something really serious. Now he is still walking, but doesn’t want to be picked up. We went to the vet and I left him with the Tech. We are now about 18 hours from times symptoms started. About 15 minutes later, I receive a call from the vet that he is really sick and needs immediate surgery, which there is a good possibility he won’t survive. Also cost is looking around $500, do I want to go ahead and how do I want to pay. Of course I am going ahead, and I give them some credit card numbers. I am poor but I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t try. I can live on Ramen noodles, rice, and plain spaghetti for a few months, right. Well he did have some heart arrhythmia issues during the surgery, but he survived. My vet is still not really positive, though His creatine (I think that’s how it is spelled) level was 13, normal is 2. This was upon entry…is expected to drop in the coming two days. His concern is that my cat is not trying to empty his bladder yet. He is starting to prepare me for euthanasia. He states odds are 50/50. The next day or two will tell, either he will start emptying his bladder on his own or he won’t. I saw Crowley and while he was talking he wasn’t moving.

Now from what I am reading, if cats usually make it this far, the usually fully recover and it isn’t uncommon for a cat to take a few days before he starts contacting his bladder on his own because of the pain. Also with the muscle and nerve damage that might have been done, isn’t it possible it might take weeks to fully heel. 36 hours just seems to soon to decide to put a cat down. Anyone out there have a cat in the same situation, who did not start bladder contractions until after 36 hours? Also is there anyone out there who has taken a cat home with a catheter and helped expel their bladder. I really would like to give more of a recovery time.

Any thoughts, advice or good wishes welcome. And if you have a male cat who has urinary problems…18 hours may be too long. We had an emergency clinic open on Sundays about 75miles from here. If I had realized how bad it was and gone then…well I'd still have the bill but I wouldn’t be hysterical right now wondering if my cat will be alive in 2 weeks. I will keep everyone updated in the coming days.
 

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Hello Amock and welcome. I wish you would have come to join us under different circumstances. I will keep Crowley in my thoughts. I strongly hope for his full recovery. I don't have any experience with your kitty's condition but I am sure you will get more info very soon.
May you and Crowley stay safe and sound :)

ps I know that the ramen noodles soup will taste so good when your kitty will be by your side. It is so wonderful of you to put your kitty first :)
 

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urinary blockage

Hi, glad your kitty has made it this far. This is a very serious problem, as you've discovered.

Their recovery depends on a few things. First, by the time he started displaying obvious symptoms, the problem could have been going on for hours. Did you notice on Saturday when he went in the box, did he actually produce urine? Sometimes they'll go and squat, but nothing comes out. If the problem had already been going on for 24 or 36 hours, that would make recovery more difficult because damage to the bladder may be significant.

I only had one patient that had bad complications. The owners brought him in because he was lethargic and bloated, but had not noticed him straining or crying in the box or anything urinary related. He had a huge distended bladder that I catheterized immediately, but there was something funny going on, I thought maybe stones, and I had to do a cystotomy. When I opened him up, his bladder was a wreck--stretched out, flaccid (even though it was empty), completely hemorrhagic, dark purple and bruised looking, as if a train had run over it a few times. I flushed out the obstruction and sewed it up, hoping for a good recovery, but warning the owners that the bladder was so trashed I did not know if it would be able to contract. Unfortunately he never tried to urinate at all; the nerves were so damaged that he never got the signal "You gotta go!" Of course, you can't live like that, and after 3 days (the time it took to fill the bladder back up to the danger level) we had to put him to sleep.

So the good news is, hopefully your boy will still go within a day or two. But it is possible that he won't, and that would be seriously bad.

One thing that might help is if you can get the homeopathic remedy "Cantharis" at the health food store. Give him a dose (a few pellets) every 8 hours. This might help him regain bladder muscle tone quicker.

Good luck, let us know how he does!

Sincerely,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #4
update

Well the morning call from the vet was sounding good. He said that his bladder was smaller, he was urinating on his own, and his creatinine level was down to 5. He was also moving and while in his elizabethian collar removed his iv and catheter. They left out the catheter but put back in the iv because they are trying to lower his creatinine levels. Sounds positive

However this afternoons update is not so good. After the IV was reiserted, the bladder became enlarged and he is not urinating on his own right now. We are hoping that once the iv is removed and less fluids are being introduced things might improve. He is also going to start Crowley on medication that could help his bladder contract. The vet doesn't seem real hopeful though...back to 50/50. I am also told if he doesn't improve within 72 hours of the surgery (we are at almost 32hrs) he won't. On a positive note he is not blocking again. I assume from Dr Jeans previous story that 3 days does seem to be the magic number, however that patient haden't made an attempt during those three days. So any thoughts on a cat that was trying but not right now. Any possibility of a cat with intermittent troubles at the 72 hour mark might show more improvement if given another couple days. I am expecting the recommendation of euthanasia tomorrow night and trying to decide what to do. My choices look like they will be to have him euthanized, keep him in there more time while allow them to empty his bladder while hoping for improvement, or take him home and learn how the technique for emptying his bladder (some sort of squeezing) four times a day and hope for improvement. Well I will be visiting him again tonight and maybe that will help me. Or maybe I should just think about only today, today. Well thanks for letting me vent at the very least. And again anyone out there see any possibility of a cat with intermittent troubles at the 72 hour mark might show more improvement if given another couple days.
 

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blocked kitty

Well, they say time heals all wounds...!

My patient was a 13-year old cat; owners didn't want to put him through any more. Your cat is only 4, and therefore has a greater potential for healing.

I believe that even severe damage to the bladder wall can heal, but it could take a long time--weeks to months. There are muscles, nerves, and other tissues involved that are slow healers. Even then, you could run into trouble with scar tissue that could inhibit his ability to urinate voluntarily down the road.

If they can keep the bladder empty for a couple of days (so it doesn't have to endure any more overstretching) while they're running fluids and getting the blood values down, and if you can express him at home, it seems reasonable to think he might still be able to recover. But I don't know of any cases that went past the 72 hour stage, so I can't say for sure. Maybe they have, and are speaking from experience.

You're facing a tough decision; but if the cat is comfortable, I can't see any reason *not* to give him a little more time and see if he can improve on his own. I have a lot of faith in the body's ability to heal itself.

Best wishes,
Dr. Jean
 

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Any news on your kitty? Hope it is going to turn out well!
 

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update

Here is an update on Crowley. I will hopefully be taking him home tonight. He is on Bethanechol which seems to be helping some though he is not fully emptying his bladder on his own. He tries though. We don't know if it will improve or not but the current improvement is very hopeful. He is almost back to his normal personality. On a bad note, he quit eating yesterday. The vet is running test on the kidneys again as we aren't sure if he is not eating because he is depressed or if there is something else wrong. We thought we were out of the woods on kidney problems but last night my vet told me to look up renal failure so I know what I could be dealing with. Tonight when I go to pick him up, I will be told those results. For sure, I will have to learn how to express his bladder, this may be temporary or it may be perminent, I should know more within the coming days. Depending on the kidney results I may also be learning...sorry I don't know the technical term) but basically injecting water pockets under the skin, in case he needs extra fluids.

So basically I still don't know where we are going from here, but I am going to base it on his personality and give him a decent amount of time to recover. If he can live and be happy with whatever treatments, great. Hopefully that is how it will go. Right now I am accepting worst case scenario and just hoping for improvement.

Slightly off topic, those of you with animals that require more difficult care, what do you do when you go on vacation? I hear nightmares about what happens to pets on planes. Actually the last time, I flew a girl sitting behind me brought her Lab...well anyway the airline forgot over half the luggage in the origin city, including her dog. And that is just the begining of what I hear. Normally I have friends watch my pets, but now this seems more work then I want to ask of them. I guess there is the option of taking him to a vets for boarding but that would be stressful. Has anyone tried to hire vet techs to visit a house daily for this sort of thing? That is really the best option I can think of, but then where to find vet techs who need money. Well I would like to hear what you all do.

Thanks, and thanks for the suggestions and good thoughts.
 

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update

hi,

I thought you all might like to hear good news. Well he stayed at the vets for another 2 days with no change and still refusing to eat. I was given the choice to euthanize, have a feeding tube put in, or take him home and wait and see. I chose to take him home. I had to administer SubQ fluids 3 times a day, express his bladder twice a day (quite a bit of blood...kind of scary) and give him a whole lot of medications. Well, anyway he started eating almost immediatly after he came home. He still spent most of the time in the litter box trying to go and being quite annoyed he couldn't. He didn't really seem to mind all the needles and was all around very easy to work with. I kept in contact with the vet twice a day for the first week. On day 5, I couldn't express his bladder. So, I took him to the vet to confirm what I thought. His bladder was empty. He was keeping it empty by himself. He still was in the litter box all the time so we started weening him of the bethanechol.

by the third week he was home, he had totally normal litter habits again. We continued to ween him off all medications and special foods. while doing that, he had frequent kidney tests to confirm his kidneys were ok without the medications and foods.

We just got are final kidney test results back with almost perfectly normal results. No special care required

I wish all of you with seriously ill animals the same recovery. And don't give up hope.
 

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I am so happy this had a happy ending.

One of my boys had a blockage; thankfully there were no complications and he has required no special care since then, outside of Cat food for urinary tract health.

Just so you know, I think my boy had the blockage around age 2 or so - he is now about 10 y/o and just fine.
 

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What a happy ending....its a good thing you didn't give up hope on your kitty. This makes me think of all the people that euthanize pets and how some of them could of actually made it. Anyways happy to hear good news. :lol:
 
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