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Blood in Urine - Part III

post #1 of 93
Thread Starter 
Argh! I'm so frustrated! This seems to be the problem that never goes away. Buster has been struggling with some unknown urinary infection for over a month. Each time we think it is solved, the blood comes back. I don't know what to do anymore. I've spent over $2000 and I'm going into debt because of the vet bills.

Anyway, Buster was in the ICU for two days two weeks ago for a partial blockage. There were no crystals or infection in the culture, so the vet suspected it was a mucous plug or blood clot. He sent me home with a two week supply of Baytril and Phenoxyzamine. The blood cleared up pretty fast.

Unfortunately, the blood in urine returned this morning. It wasn't heavy blood but it was definitely noticeable. I took him to the vet again and she said there wasn't a blockage because he urinated normally. However, she gave him two rounds of sub-q fluids along with a shot of Prednisone. She feels that the main focus should be on the inflammation because there isn't any evidence of an infection. She feels pretty confident that the Prednisone (along with six more days of Baytril) will solve the problem. We have a follow-up appointment on Saturday with an additional sub-q.

I am really stumped and don't think I can afford anything else at this point. I wanted to consult with the vet who does ultrasounds but I can't afford $300+ more dollars.

Anyone have any ideas about this? I am in tears because I can't afford my bills.
post #2 of 93
When I had a cat with this issue, a radiograph showed partially blocked ureters. She had calcium oxalate crystals when we got a ua then, but later samples were free of crystals--but she still had the partial blockage.

Have you done a radiograph? I'd think that would be included in your $3k, but since you don't mention it...

I did sub-q fluids at home, and we treated regularly with zenequin (for 2-4 weeks at a time) and occasionally metacam for inflammation.
post #3 of 93
Be careful with the pred. Two of Cocos bladder infections were caused by a depo Shot. Like your cat she had blood for a long time. Can your Vet take payments.
I didnt get charged for Cocos last ultrasound because I have a high vet bill.
A ultrasound will yell you alot though. I hope he feels better.
post #4 of 93
Thread Starter 
I want to meet with a radiologist but I can't afford it at this point. I am seriously in debt with the bill that have amassed during this month. I think an ultrasound will cost $350.00 but I may have to do this if the blood doesn't clear up.

The vet wanted me to have sub-q fluids everyday but I can't afford that either. Plus, I couldn't do it at home alone. It takes two vet techs to do it at the clinic. The vet suggested Metacam but I said no after reading some bad stuff about it on various cat boards. I'm crossing my fingers that the Prednisone works!
post #5 of 93
I do not use Metacam either after all the bad things I heard about it.
What about Buperprex?
Coco was given that before.
I know its spelled wrong.
We are broke right now but I may get some money from ahouse we sold soon.
If I get the money soon I can loan you some.
post #6 of 93
A radiograph should only cost $30-$60--much less than an ultrasound--and may answer all your questions. Your regular vet can do a radiograph. If there are questions, your local vet teaching hospital should have a board-certified radiologist on staff that can review the films for free/for a small fee.

Fluids can be purchased inexpensively online or at your local vet supply place. I think I was paying $7 for a liter of normolsol-r and perhaps $3 for the infusion set. Perhaps a friend could help you with fluids a couple times a week?

I did not have any problems with cautious use of metacam. Prednisone carries significant risks as well.

I feel your financial pain--I think I'm funding my vet's kid's college education--but a radiograph and more sub-q fluids is where I'd go next. Regardless, it sounds like you need more diagnostics to figure out what's going on with your kitty cat. (I would also treat with antibiotics for a *length* of time--I've honestly never had a vet advise less than 2 weeks for urinary issues--but I've also never had a vet use baytril for urinary stuff, so idk.)

What is your kitty eating?
post #7 of 93
Baytril works for urine infections.
Coco took it last time after being on 4 bottles of other meds.
My vet always uses antibiotics for 2 weeks.
Coco needs them 2 months everytime she gets the bladder problem.
post #8 of 93
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for your input. If the blood doesn't clear up, then I'll definitely have to consider an ultrasound or x-ray. The x-ray at my vet is pretty expensive - about $125 for the picture and $48 for the interpretation. The ultrasound is probably twice as expensive.

The vet ordered me not to feed dry food to Buster anymore and he is heartbroken. It makes me so sad to watch him sleep in front on his nonexistant dry food bowl. He has been sitting/sleeping in that area for hours since arriving home from the vet
post #9 of 93
My Dante had an ultrasound of his bladder when he was having litter box issues - the original urine sample had some 'indeterminate debris' in it, so this was another check. It really wasn't that expensive at my vet -like $50 including the reading, if I remember right. I remember thinking at the time (2 years ago) that it was going to be hundreds, but it wasn't. Now, my vet has that equipment in their lab, so maybe that may help the cost as well.

good luck to you!
post #10 of 93
The other thing you may want to consider adding to his food is kitty cosequin. It can be very helpful in cats that have bladder irritation. Here is some info: http://www.nutramaxlabs.com/products...in_cat_FAQ.asp

You vet is price gouging on the radiograph $125 per film is RIDICULOUS. I just had abdominal rads done on my 70 # dog, plus a fecal, antibiotics, a day stay at the clinic and W/D to go home with and my bill was right around $200 for everything.
post #11 of 93
Coco Ultrasound las Nov was 75 but I know it has gone up. The Vet didnt charge me for her last Ultrasound which was in May or June. She still gets both kinds of food and so does Midnight who hasnt had the problem in 2.5 years now. The Xrays for my other cat that died was 150. They never charge to read it.
Of course my Vet is one of the best in the area.
I can see a Xray being that much in the Bay Area.
My old vet over there chrges more then that even.
post #12 of 93
Thread Starter 
If the problem persists, then I'm going to call UC Davis. I'm wondering if they have a low-cost program since it is a teaching veterinary school. It's about an hour drive but I think it's worth it.

Let's see if the dry food elimination diet works.
post #13 of 93
My Vets came from Uc Davis. They are very good at Uc Davis.
post #14 of 93
Thread Starter 
A lot of the vets that I've seen over the years also attended UC Davis. I checked their website and their prices are comparable to private practice vets, so I won't be saving any money.

Anyway, Buster seems to be doing great! That prednisone shot seemed to do the trick. The blood is gone from the urine! Hopefully, it's a long-lasting effect because I don't want him to become dependent on that treatment in light of the side effects.
post #15 of 93
Excellent news!

Prednisone works lickety-split to shut down the inflammitory process. Other ways you can limit inflammation include supplementing omega 3s and, for bladder stuff, using cosequin. It might not be a bad idea to start using something like this and then also adding cosequin. By starting these things now, while everything is under control, you really lessen the chance that the inflammation will get totally out of hand in the future--and cosequin and omega 3s don't have any negative side effects
post #16 of 93
I am glad the pred works for you.
It makes Coco get bladder problems.
I should not have posted about Midnight saying he is ok.
The problem is back and we are going to the vet at 10:40 with my sister.
post #17 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
Excellent news!

Prednisone works lickety-split to shut down the inflammitory process. Other ways you can limit inflammation include supplementing omega 3s and, for bladder stuff, using cosequin. It might not be a bad idea to start using something like this and then also adding cosequin. By starting these things now, while everything is under control, you really lessen the chance that the inflammation will get totally out of hand in the future--and cosequin and omega 3s don't have any negative side effects
Thanks for the advice! Where can I purchase Cosequin and Omega 3s? Are these pills or supplements added to food? I hope the Prednisone has a long-lasting effect. I would hate for it to be a temporary quick-fix.
post #18 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I am glad the pred works for you.
It makes Coco get bladder problems.
I should not have posted about Midnight saying he is ok.
The problem is back and we are going to the vet at 10:40 with my sister.
Sorry to hear about Midnight How did the vet visit go? I hope he's doing well now!
post #19 of 93
They did a ultrasound and he has crystals in his bladder.
He also got a antibiotic shot and was put on S/D for 2 months.
It was almost 79 for the Ultrasound.
I hope your cat feel better soon.
post #20 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast-Off-Girl View Post
Thanks for the advice! Where can I purchase Cosequin and Omega 3s? Are these pills or supplements added to food? I hope the Prednisone has a long-lasting effect. I would hate for it to be a temporary quick-fix.
They're both things you can add to the feed. You can purchase the 3V caps from that link in my earlier post (here) or probably from your vet (although I can't imagine the mark-up your vet would charge!) and use one a day for omega 3s. They're pretty large gel caps--I just poke a hole in the end and squeeze out the oil onto my cat's food. You could also hit the grocery store and purchase fish oil caps and use them the same way. You *don't* want an omega 3/omega 6 blend (sometimes also sold at the grocery store)--omega 6s can contribute to inflammation--so stick to the plain old fish oil caps if you don't buy the stuff that's specifically for kitties.

Cosequin for kitties can be purchased here, or from your vet (markup!) It's a powder that comes packaged in a little capsule and you open the capsule and sprinkle on the food. I think it's one to two a day. I would use two. Once your kitty is stable, you could probably go down to one a day, but I would increase back up to two whenever he's stressed or sick.

I don't think that prednisone is known for it's long-lasting effects. It's great to really knock out inflammation asap, but then you need to go in and make changes to lessen the cause of the inflammation. Using omegas 3s and cosequin will help, as will no more dry food. Hopefully that will be enough to keep your kitty's urinary tract happy.
post #21 of 93
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the information, Simkie. When I came home from work tonight, there was blood in Buster's urine again. I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm so frustrated and I'm going broke.
post #22 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast-Off-Girl View Post
Thanks for the information, Simkie. When I came home from work tonight, there was blood in Buster's urine again. I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm so frustrated and I'm going broke.
Bummer

Depending on what, exactly, is going on, you may never be able to get rid of the blood. If it's something like calcium oxalate crystal, they do not dissolve with a food change (unlike struvite crystals) and you may or may not be able to remove them, depending on where they are.

Not knowing the cause of the bleeding is frustrating. Has your kitty had any sort of crystal or stone on a UA?

Something you can ask your vet is what they THINK it is, and treat based on that. Yeah, that ultrasound would be nice, but we're not made of money here. Vets have been trained and see a whole bunch of urinary issues with kitties...treating based on an educated guess is honestly not a bad option.
post #23 of 93
Thread Starter 
Nope, he doesn't have crystals. The vet diagnosed him with cystitis, which is a bladder infection of unknown origin. The good news is that I'm meeting with the holistic vet this afternoon. He really helped me with Buster's constipation problem. The bad news is that it's going to be super expensive.

I'll keep you updated!
post #24 of 93
Thread Starter 
I just got back from the holistic vet and he feels 95% certain that Buster's problems are food related. He didn't feel any abnormalities in the bladder, fortunately. However, he wants me to stop with all the commercial cat food because of the high ash and magnesium content. I can only feed premium brands now. He also suggested I give one half of Claritin each day until the bleeeding subsides.

I hope this works!
post #25 of 93
Cystitis is actually not an infection--it is inflammation and irritation--and Cosequin is often very, very helpful with cystitis kitties

Interesting about the holistic vet! What had you been feeding, and what did he tell you to feed now? I've been feeding Innova for nearly 10 years now, and ultra-premium brands for about 5 years before that, so it's been a long time since I've really known anything about anything but the ultra-premium stuff.
post #26 of 93
Thread Starter 
Yeah, that's why he didn't understand why the other vets were treating the bleeding with antibiotics. He said those antibiotics do have anti-inflammatory properties but they are more quick fixes. They don't always solve the problem in the long-run.

I have been feeding my cats Fancy Feast and Friskies. I know that stuff is junky but I have to mix senna and Kristalose in Buster's food because of his constipation problems. Those commercial products are very rich and can cover up the taste of the medications.

The holistic vet didn't endorse one particular product because he's totally against doing that. However, he mentioned Wellness, Inova, Tiki Cat, etc..basically the cans that cost well over $1.00. He ultimately wants me to feed Buster raw meats or cooked beef but I can't do that with my schedule.
post #27 of 93
Depending on the markup in your area, www.petfooddirect.com might be the less expensive option. Definitely call around--some places WILL be cheaper. Look at buying the bigger cans instead of the itty bitty ones. The food will keep in the fridge just fine. (For example, right now I'm paying less than $2 for a 13.5 oz can of Cal Nat, which is just SO much better than $1+ for 3 oz. You do pay for convenience!)

I do hear you on the price. I've got seven kitties all eating ultra premium wet food. I do think it saves me on my vet bills, and they are all generally very, very healthy, but I seem to be a magnet for animals with totally off the wall, strange medical problems, so I still seem to write my paycheck over to my vets sometimes

Good luck!
post #28 of 93
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link, Simkie. I'll definitely check it out. We are very lucky in the Bay Area because we have this dirt cheap warehouse store called the Pet Club. It's like a Costco for pet supplies. Not only do they carry commercial foods but they have a large selection of most of the premium brands such as Wellness. I never went back to the overpriced Petco after discovering the Pet Club!!

I can't believe you have seven cats; that's definitely a handful! I feel overwhelmed with two cats and can barely afford them.
post #29 of 93
I wish we had something like the Pet Club here! I do get a pretty good price at my local feed store--it's not a pet "boutique" type place...it's just a regular feed store that happens to carry all the good brands--but it's still expensive.

Something else to consider: my cystitis kitty also has asthma and some odd skin issues, which we finally figured out are due to ALLERGIES. She does not really present like an allergy cat AT ALL, but she really should benefit from novel protein foods. We just figured this out and I just switched her over, so we'll see, but my vet is very positive that we'll be able to help Celia.

Since you are making the change right now anyway, it may not be a bad idea to look for novel protein stuff and start there. Doing so would eliminate one more potential source of your kitties problems. Right now I'm using the salmon and sweet potato California Natural food. Things my vet wanted me to avoid were chicken, turkey, beef, tuna, rice...basically, your common ingredients.
post #30 of 93
Thread Starter 
Buster doesn't really have any other medical issues other than the constipation. He has never been diagnosed with asthma or allergies.

I definitely agree with you about the protein though! The vet and I talked about it and I'm going to get started on that.
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