Rubin the Wonder Cat

Rubin is a 12 and a half year old male domestic long haired cat who was brought into the clinic as his owner was concerned with his behaviour. Rubin's owner was told Dr Andrea that Rubin looked uncomfortable the previous night and that morning he was reluctant to get out of his bed and he seemed to be dribbling urine and had also vomited once. Dr Andrea examined Rubin and when she palpated his abdomen found his bladder was firm and large. His heart rate was also higher than normal and Rubin demonstrated that his bladder was sore by reacting when Dr Andrea palpated it.

Dr Andrea suspected that Rubin's bladder was obstructed. Obstructed bladders commonly occur in male cats because their urethra (the tube from the bladder to outside the body) is quite long and small in diameter when compared to female cats. Debris and crystals can quite easily lodge in the urethra, thus blocking any urine from passing from the bladder to outside the body. Obstructed bladders are life threatening and therefore emergency situations as they can cause severe metabolic abnormalities and medical treatment should be sought immediately.

Dr Andrea advised that Rubin would need to be admitted into hospital and a urinary catheter be placed while he was under general anaesthetic. Rubin was placed on intravenous fluids to support his blood pressure and try to correct any metabolic abnormalities. He was then given a general anaesthetic once he was stabilised to unblock his urethra. Nurse Sommer closely monitored Rubin's anaesthetic by measuring his blood pressure and vital signs. Once the urinary catheter was in place Rubin's bladder was able to be emptied. Nurse Sommer analysed the urine collected, in order for Dr Andrea to diagnose the cause of the condition. The urinalysis showed a high number of struvite crystals present in Rubin's urine along with some white blood cells due to inflammation.

Rubin was kept in hospital for 6 days on intravenous fluids with the urinary catheter in place to ensure he was able to urinate. On the third day of his hospitalisation cheeky Rubin removed his urinary catheter despite having an Elizabethan collar around his neck. Dr Raj had to replace the urinary catheter under anaesthetic and while Rubin was asleep, Dr Raj also performed an ultrasound on Rubin's bladder. The ultrasound was performed to check if there were any stones present in Rubin's bladder as this can cause ongoing problems for him. Luckily for Rubin the ultrasound confirmed that there were no stones present, but his bladder was very inflamed. Rubin was placed on antibiotics to control any infection, given an anti inflammatory injection for the swelling, and started on a preventative diet to avoid the problem occurring again.

Since his time in hospital 3 months ago, Rubin has made a full recovery with no further urinary problems thanks to his new prescription diet. His owner was kind enough to send us a lovely photo of him happy and healthy at home, showing off his bald spot from where Dr Raj performed the ultrasound.

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