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Need some reassurance re: Urinary Obstruction

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My cat, Junior, is at the vet with a Urinary Obstruction. I took him in this morning. He'd not been himself for two days and spent most of yesterday, last night and this morning just laying in the litter box, which he had never done before. My husband thought he was just constipated, which I sort of agreed with the first day or so, since Junior was favoring his hind end. I had already decided yesterday that if he was still "out of it" when I came home from work, I was taking him to the vet this morning.

Last night, as sick as he was, he came to bed with me (which he does every night) and he was so lethargic and "not himself" that I spent most of the night scratching him and crying. I was so afraid I would wake up this morning and find him dead. When I got him to the vet this morning, the vet told me if I hadn't brought him in, he'd have died. I called later in the day to find out how he was doing and they'd flushed the obstruction out and said he seemed to be doing fine, but that they'd probably need to do it again in the morning. I just am so upset tonight, especially now in the wee hours of the morning and knowing that he's there alone. This cat is my soulmate! I'm so afraid to call in the morning because I'm afraid they'll tell me he died during the night

I guess I'm feeling guilty that I didn't get him to the vet sooner, and honestly, after doing some research on the web about urinary obstructions, while it's very common for people to mistake it for constipation, everything I've read said that if it continues for 24-72 hours, death can come quickly, and I'm so worried that I waited too long. Has anyone had a cat with this who could give me some comfort? Am I overly worried?

I'm sorry this post is so long. I'm just so distraught that I can't stop crying and I figured with all the people here who are owned by cats, you'll understand. I have had cats all my life, but this one is one in a billion and I would be completely lost if anything happened to him
post #2 of 20

Your kitty is in the right place to get help. It was good that you took him in when you did. He is probably feeling so much better now having been taken care of. Most vets have night people that come in and care for the sick ones, so chances are he is just sleeping it off right now. Call in the morning and get an update on him to rest your worried soul. Usually when cats act differently, they are telling us something is wrong. Hopefully, we will listen in time to help them.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your response. In exploring through the messages here on the various forums, I've been able to calm myself down a bit, so I should head to bed soon. I think just going to bed without him there was tough. This is the first time one of our cats has had a life-threatening incident and since it's my baby, it's thrown me for a loop! I had thought that the vet might have night staff who came in - it would make sense - but I was worried nonetheless. Thank you for the kind words You've definitely helped put my mind at ease!
post #4 of 20
Skat - Mary Anne is one of our most experienced, most knowledgeable moderators/members. I have no experience with urinary obstructions, and it seems like everything is going to be fine. Don't focus on feeling guilty about not having taken him sooner - just be thankful you got him in on time!!!!!

You obviously love ALL your kids soo much! Believe me - hubby and I are so neurotic, at the slightest change in behavior we're on the phone with the Vet - if we didn't already grab the kids, toss 'em in the crate and roll. We are raising a neurotic family of cats, God Love 'Em. It's just I've told hubby over and over about sad stories I've read here where people didn't catch it in time. Cats are so damn stoic and proud, it's SO hard to tell when something's wrong. Hubby DEMANDS that we take them in every six months for X-rays. I've talked him down to once a year! (And this is a man that used to hate cats).

The most important thing is that you DID get him in on time, and it sounds like he's going to be fine.

One thing to consider - when you bring him home from the Vet, consider rubbing ALL the kitties with a little bit of vanilla. Sometimes people have experienced problems bringing a baby home from the Vet, even to cats that were best friends. They are so smell driven... The vanilla makes them all smell the same, and then they have to give themselves baths - which puts all the right smells back in the right places.

PLEASE keep us posted - we'll keep you and Junior in our prayers!!!

post #5 of 20
...and please don't worry about your posts being "too long." It's hard to beat me when it comes to being a "blab."
post #6 of 20
Sherrie, any news on Junior yet this morning?
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Sorry I didn't get on earlier...I was having some trouble connecting to the site. But here's an update:

The vet's office opened at 8am, so I called right at 8, got the voicemail and called back at 8:05. The woman who answered said that he had become blocked again overnight (which they expected) and that the vet would "flush him out" again when he came in at 9:15. I then asked if they allowed visits (which they do!) so I stopped by on my way to work. I feel much more relieved having seen him with my own two eyes. He still is about the same as when I brought him in, as far as being lethargic and he cried a little bit, but just knowing that he's in the right place and that he likely feels a lot more comfortable, if not less "icky," is a relief. He had a perky little grey cat in the pen diagonally above him whose nameplate was marked "female/spay" who said hi when I stood up - so at least he's not alone and has someone to talk to

I called at noon and they said he had been flushed out again and that he seemed to be doing fine, and when I called at 5 (lol, they're going to get sick of me!), they said he seemed to be feeling better. They did say he'd probably have to be flushed a few more times over the next few days. I'm going to stop by again on my way to work in the morning. It's hard to see him in a pen and not feeling well, but at least I can let him know we haven't abandoned him and can give him a few good scratches. I haven't actually spoken to the vet himself since he examined Junior, but I figure there probably isn't much he can tell me right now other than what he already has. My husband and I are going to stop in there on Saturday and see if we can talk to him for a few minutes, just to see if he can give us an idea of when Junior will be able to come home and what we can expect when he does. The only thing I hate about calling the office is when I asked this afternoon "he's going to be ok, right?" the woman told me, "Well, yes, he should be. Most of the time, they're just fine." I hate the "most of the time" and the "should" But I suppose they have to say that...

This is the longest one of our babies has been away from home and separated from his family. In the past, both Junior and Smoki (our 9-year-old female) have had minor surgeries, but they were one-day things (and, of course, all three of them have been spayed/neutered which were also one-day trips).

Laurie, thank you for the tip about the vanilla. I'm definitely going to do that! The two females seem so lost without him, especially the 9-year-old, since we got Junior only two months after we got her and they've grown up together.

I actually did go to bed after I left here last night and spent the next couple of hours bawling, finally falling asleep around 5 or so. First-night jitters, I think. I'm a lot more relieved tonight I'm glad I found this site and fellow kitty-lovers! Thanks to all of you for your kind thoughts and keeping Junior in your thoughts
post #8 of 20

Throw an old tee shirt on and do a strenuous workout in it. Get it all sweaty wringing wet, throw it in a ziplock bag and take it over to the vet and ask if you can go put it in kitty's cage. It will help to comfort him having your scent around, and you can rest better knowing that "you" are closer to him. Good luck, poor kitty sounds like he is really plugged up in his system.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by hissy
Throw an old tee shirt on and do a strenuous workout in it. Get it all sweaty wringing wet, throw it in a ziplock bag and take it over to the vet and ask if you can go put it in kitty's cage. It will help to comfort him having your scent around, and you can rest better knowing that "you" are closer to him. Good luck, poor kitty sounds like he is really plugged up in his system.
Well, when I brought him in, I had tossed a towel in his carrier that smells like me, and when I left the vet, I asked them to keep it there for him, so he has the scent of home there I like your tip much better, Hissy, but I've been battling a head and chest cold and haven't been able to go to the gym in over a week But if he's still there when I do get back to the gym, I'm definitely going to do that!
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Called the vet's office this morning and they were in the process of catheterizing him again to flush him out. I wasn't able to stop by and see him on my way to work since they were doing that, so I'm going to try to go see him on my lunchbreak. Thank goodness I have a boss who loves cats since my town is a half hour from the office! She said to take a long lunch and go see him. I'm also going to make an appt. for me and my husband to meet with the vet tomorrow so we can get some more insight into Junior's condition. I'm so lost without him and I know if he doesn't come through this, I'll spend the rest of my life blaming myself for not getting him to the vet sooner
post #11 of 20

I hope Junior will be okay. But if something happenes, as sometimes it does in life, please don't be so hard on yourself. You would be surprised how many emails I get from people whose cat is acting "off" and they can't seem to reconcile within themselves to take the kitty to the vet. Instead they say stuff like the cat is "punishing" them for something, or just being "mean." You did the right thing by taking Junior in to the vet when you could. Now, it is in God's hands as to what happens next. Junior is in the best possible place to get the help he needs. You did all you could possibly do, so do not beat yourself up over it. I am hoping Junior comes home today and when he does he is just going to want to find a dark, quiet place to sleep all the stress off.
post #12 of 20
Sherrie - you and Junior have remained in my prayers. How wonderful to hear about your boss! And I know how much your heart must ache. But he is where he needs to be - of course, you know that. So for now, you and Junior remain in my prayers.


post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Things got a little bit worse, but at the same time a little bit better. The vet's been unable to get the catheter in all the way and told me that he would recommend surgery but that he doesn't do that kind of surgery at his facility. He just doesn't have the expertise and the experience with the severity of Junior's condition to do so. From what I know now, Junior was within hours of death when I brought him in on Wednesday morning. He referred us to a nearby vet hospital that does have expertise in severe urinary obstructions and we went there today to bring his records over and set up an appointment. We have an appointment with a doctor there on Monday morning (who'd like to discuss a different option than surgery) and we'll pick Junior up from our regular vet and take him there then.

Junior's not in any immediate danger as the catheter is in enough for the vet to be able to manipulate his bladder to empty it (so he doesn't go toxic, which he was when I brought him in), but not enough for him to urinate on his own. Hubby and I visited him this morning, and he'd had breakfast and looked 100% better than he did when I last saw him on Thursday morning. He seemed a lot more "himself" and nuzzled me and purred (he was cranky and almost non-responsive from Wednesday through Friday), so I feel a LOT better now. We're going to visit him tomorrow too, and then Monday we'll pick him up and take him to the other hospital.

Thanks for keeping us in your prayers. I've gotten probably an average of 2 hours of sleep each night since Wednesday! But I've also stopped beating myself up. Urinary blockages are often mistaken for constipation. I'm just thanking my lucky stars that we got him in to the vet, even if it was just in the nick of time! I only wish it was all over and he was back home where he belongs!
post #14 of 20
Prayers are flying for junior's safe return to you soon- 100% himself!
post #15 of 20
I had a Siamese with a UTI back in the summer. Now before anything, they can hit very fast, and very hard. So don't fault anything you did! My cat was fine on Sunday, he was peeing normally, and I know because I have two cats - one is very finicky about peeing in a used litter box, so we clean it twice a day. My Siamese always used it the second we had it cleaned out, so out of habit we always wait for him to use it and then reclean it. On Sunday night he went and it was his usual 1/2 cup amount chunk of litter, he was running around as normal and playing happily with the kitten.

On Monday morning, the Siamese jumped into my hubby's lap and he growled at him. Very odd behavior, so we called the vet who said just watch him. He was very particular about having his back touched, so the vet said it sounded like constipation. I watched him throughout the day and he was still peeing fine, but nothing else so we called the vet again who said it sounded like he was constipated and told us to give him a tsp of pure vaseline. We did that and nothing changed. On Tuesday, our Siamese was half dead. He wouldn't move, eat, drink, anything and was throwing up constantly, especially the water I tried to get down him with an eyedropper. So I drove him to the vet at their opening hours and they took him straight in. He was severely dehydrated, they took a small urine sample and it showed no crystals. However, his kidneys were 4 times their normal size, his bladder was filled and his blood toxicity levels were off the chart. They put a catheter in, got him on IV's for liquids and gave him antibiotics. He slowly improved. Two weeks later, we were back because he wasn't peeing again. This time the vet pulled out a mucus plug that was 3 inches long and a 1/2 inch wide. But he had no idea what caused such a huge mucus plug and it didn't show anything other than pus for composition - still no crystals.

They knew he had a bladder and kidney infection, but couldn't figure out what caused it, but they had me put him on a special diet anyway. A month later, we went through the exact same thing, only this time our vet was out of town for the Labor Day holiday. We took him to the very expensive animal hospital who felt his bladder and said it was quite clear to them that his bladder was malformed, possibly cancerous with a tumor. We opted to have him put to sleep since the only option was a bladder reconstruction that was going to cost $5,000 to $8,000 and the vet couldn't find a willing foster family who was willing to adopt him and pay for his surgery. It broke my heart having to put him down - he was only 3 years old.
post #16 of 20
Originally posted by Skat
after doing some research on the web about urinary obstructions, while it's very common for people to mistake it for constipation, everything I've read said that if it continues for 24-72 hours, death can come quickly,
Many years ago, I also lost a very young cat due to a urinary tract obstruction. All the reading I had done prior to my cat becomming ill gave very little information about urinary tract problems in cats. As a result, when my cat first became ill I thought she was just constipated. When I realized the cat was seriously sick, I rushed her to the vet but it was too late, she died immediately following emergency surgery to relieve a completely blocked bladder.

My cat might have had a better chance of surviving if I had been more knowledgeable. I just wanted to encourage you to keep reading and doing research on urinary obstructions, and to learn everything you can about this problem. I might be wrong, but I have heard that even after a cat has been treated and helped, the problem may reoccur again at a later time. So it would be in your cat's best interest for you to become well-informed about this condition.

I hope everything goes well for you and your kitty.

Good luck!
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well, I haven't been online since the last time I posted. We've had a few scary weeks. When we took Junior to the other veterinarian, he felt his bladder and decided he needed immediate surgery, didn't even want to discuss the non-surgery options he'd mentioned. When he performed the surgery, he discovered that there was an internal laceration and that the reason the other vet wasn't getting the catheter all the way in after the first time was because he was sticking the catheter into the tissue and not the bladder. I can't tell you how upset I am about this and have not DARED to ask this second vet if the other one caused the laceration and if so, would the surgery have even been necessary if not for the laceration...

Junior was operated on on Monday, 11/18. I was able to begin visiting him Tuesday 11/19, which worked out well for the vet hospital because he really dislikes strangers and since at this point, it was going on an entire week that he'd been away from home, he was fed up with the whole thing. I was able to assist the vet with his "treatment" which was expressing Junior's bladder. All I did was pet him and talk to him, but everyone there was amazed at how calm he was because "mommy" was there When I called in the morning to check his status, they asked me to stop by again that afternoon to help with his evening treatment.

When I stopped by on the 21st, the vet said he'd urinated on his own and I could take him home! We decided to isolate him in the bathroom since he was coming home with a lampshade and some special food and it would give us an opportunity to monitor his urination. He definitely WAS peeing on his own! He was annoyed by the lampshade and got a bit stir crazy the last two days he was in there (I brought him back on Wed. 11/27 to have the sutures removed. I can say that he's pretty much back to his old normal self! He's probably annoyed by me now with all the smooching and cuddling and hugging and crying I've been doing. We came so close to losing him that it scares the hell out of me, but it is sooooooo nice to have him back in my bed at night where he belongs!

Thanks for all the encouraging thoughts. I am so glad I found this forum, even though it was due to a crisis, and will definitely stick around!
post #18 of 20
GREAT!!!!! WONDERFUL SPECTACULAR News!!!!!!!!!!! I was holding my breath waiting to hear! I guess I can breathe now?

post #19 of 20
I just read about Junior. I am so glad that he is okay! Reading all the posts had me holding my breath, praying that he was going to be okay and I was so relieved to hear the good news! :blubturq:
post #20 of 20
I just came across your posting and am very glad of the outcome!

Everyone on the count of 3...1...2..3...

**** sigh of relief ****

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