25 May Patient of the Week – Clarence
This handsome boy is Clarence. We have been acquainted with his quirky personality two times recently for urethral obstructions. He is a very active boy, full of personality, and his antics kept us busy and amused while he was here.
Clarence came to us for supportive care and hospitalization after his regular veterinarian “unblocked” him. This refers to a procedure done under deep sedation or general anesthesia. A urinary catheter is placed into the urethra while flushing any debris/sediment/stones into the bladder.
Then the bladder is flushed, and the urinary catheter is left in place while swelling subsides. When the urinary catheter is removed (in 2+ days), the cat must urinate on its own before going home. And poor Clarence had to go through this twice in a fairly short period of time. He is currently doing well at home, and we are hopeful it stays that way!
Feline urethral obstruction is one of the most common emergencies seen in male cats. Although a life-threatening emergency, it is treatable if treated promptly and appropriately.
Recurrence of urethral obstructions in male cats is also quite high, unfortunately, as experienced by Clarence.
Anyone with a male cat should be aware of the signs to watch for: straining in the litter box, vocalizing, and passing small amounts of, or no urine.
If these are seen, the cat should be taken to a veterinary clinic immediately! If left untreated, life-threatening electrolyte imbalances can occur.
Prevention of urinary issues can include increasing your cat’s water intake by offering them many water sources (different types of bowls, many bowls, and lots of cats enjoy having a fountain to drink from) and feeding them a wet food diet.
Male cats with a history of urinary issues often need to be fed a veterinary urinary-specific diet for life to prevent reoccurrence.