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Hey all! You may not remember me, but basically my computer broke badly and by the time I got it fixed I was juggling two part time jobs and had no free time. Sorry for any messages I missed. :(

Good news is, Ariel is going great! Bad news is, one of my friend's cats isn't.

Yesterday she noticed that her cat was going to the litterbox every 2 hours and straining. She messaged the stomach a bit and the cat was able to go a little bit then. This morning there was blood in the cat's urine, and she is still straining to pee. She plans to take the cat into the vet first thing tomorrow.

Her questions are basically if it looks like surgery is the only option to treat it at this point, or if there is something she can do to start dissolving the blockage. She has switched to wet for this cat when she noticed the problem (but the cat doesn't seem to like it), and wants to know if there is anything else she can do.

Also, do you know of any aids for vet payment that she might be able to use? She has had three major pet medical issues in a row so she is worried about payment. I suggested vets that I knew were fairly nice, so that she could call ahead and look into negotiating payment plans.

Thank you all for your help!
 

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Well, the good news is that urinary blockages in female cats are rare. As long as the cat is able to pass even a small amount of urine, it's unlikely that her condition is life-threatening. However, if the cat stops being able to pass any urine at all, your friend should get her to an ER vet immediately - NOT wait until tomorrow.

Bloody urine and frequent straining in the litterbox are most often associated with interstitial cystitis (inflammation of the urinary tract with NO infection present). Interstitial cystitis sometimes occurs in response to stress. If your friend can identify anything that may be stressing her cat - changes in her routine, environment, or family dynamics, etc. - your friend should do everything possible to alleviate all stressors and work to comfort and calm the cat. That may be enough to resolve her urinary tract inflammation and eliminate her discomfort.

There is also a possibility that she may have an actual UTI and/or urinary crystals. As long as she's able to pass some urine, it would be a good idea for your friend to try to get as much fluid into her as possible. The more fluid she takes in, the more urine she puts out, which helps flush bacteria and/or crystals out of her urinary tract. Mixing warm water into canned food to create "canned food soup" is a good way of getting a cat to take in more water. Most cats enjoy canned food soup.

Laurie
 

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Check out the Sticky Forum about how to pay for vet bills. I know people who have used Care Credit.

Also, I've read that Cosequin for cats is a good supplement for cats prone to urinary tract issues. (someone correct me if that's not true.) I sprinkle a capsule on Josie's food about every other day and she likes the taste. Something about how the supplement helps the lining of the bladder the same way it helps joints.
 
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