Butchy, a few too many trips to the litter tray!

Butchy is a 4 and a half year old male cat who was presented to our clinic mid April after his owner noticed he was looking very lethargic and had been vomiting. Butchy also had a very painful abdomen. It had been noted by his owner that Butchy had been urinating the previous day and had stopped on that day. Dr Suzanne gave Butchy a full physical exam and diagnosed a urinary blockage.

A urinary blockage is a serious condition which requires prompt and efficient veterinary treatment to prevent likely death from the bladder rupturing, or "heart attack" from the rapid change of electrolytes in the body. Urinary blockage occurs in response to any blockage of the urethra. It can be caused by a urinary infection, urinary crystals/ stones, a tumour, or due to muscles tensing abnormally in the urethra. These all require slightly different treatments and long term management.

Butchy was admitted to hospital for radiographs, blood tests to assess the cause of the blockage and immediate catheterisation to reduce the imminent danger. Urinary catheterisation involves placing a catheter inside the urethra to allow free flow of urine. During Butchy's hospitalisation, he was housed in a warm, comfortable cage, given pain relief and antibiotics, and his urinary output was monitored.

Butchy was diagnosed with struvite crystals in his bladder which caused the blockage. Thankfully he did not have any stones or evidence of tumour. After a four day hospital stay Butchy was discharged from hospital and sent home with antibiotics and a special veterinary diet. The veterinary food, Hills feline C/D, is specially formulated to minimise urinary crystal formation. Butchy will need to eat this medicated food for the rest of his life to reduce the risk of future blockage.

Three days after discharge, Butchy returned to us for a repeat blood test and check up. On this visit Butchy was in much better spirits and both Dr Suzanne and his owner were extremely pleased with his recovery from such a dire illness.

We were all thrilled with Butchy's response to treatment. If he keeps eating his medicated food we should not expect him to have any further problems.