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Urine retention due to broken tail

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hi I am new, and I need a bit of advice about my cat Max

*I'm, sorry if this subject has been touched on before. I did a search and found nothing*

Max is a 16 month old brown brumese. Last week the 9th April I found him under my bed and in shock...he had broken his tail near the head.. (How? I dont know)
I took him to the emergency vet hospital and he is still in there as they wont relase him as he has no bladder control and is retaining his urine... and they have to express him 2 -3 times a day.. he is on antibiotics and as of today he was on another tablet that contracted his bladder but all it did was give him diarreaoh (spelling?)

They have amputated his tail as that had no nerve/mobility function.

They have showed me how to express his bladder and I have been allowed to take him home for a few hours the last few days , and he has also been showing a lot of interest in his litter tray lately, scratching furiously...but he doesnt do anything.

The vet told me today that is he doesnt improve in two days he should be put down .. . now I dont want to loose him from my life, so I have been searching for any help I can on this subject. I have found a few helpful web pages and they say the nerves/control may not recover for at least a month.
I want to bring him home and express him myself.. and get him checked weekly by the vet to make sure if he is okay..

At the moment he is fully alert.. bright and acting like a typical burmese.. and it breaks my heart to think he will have to be put down

Please can help me about this !!
post #2 of 27
OMG...Spike...I'm soooo sorry to hear about your kitty. I'm not in any position to give you words of advice....but I would certainly recommend you post this question on the Best Friends site as they have a vet who answers questions and may give you some other options besides putting your cat to sleep.


It's good that you are doing research on the internet. My prayers are with you.

post #3 of 27
I don't have any advice for you either, and I don't blame you for wanting to wait awhile to see if he improves before putting him down. I would probably feel the same way if that ever happened to my cat.

There are others here who are very knowledgeable, hopefully, someone can give you some good information about this.
post #4 of 27
I have sent an email to the vet who helps out here from time to time. If she is available I know she will post to you.

Urine retention is quite serious, I hope you can come to the right conclusions for your cat.
post #5 of 27
Something similar (tail amputation) happened to a cat at our Humane Society and unfortunately his nerves did not heal. Another experience at our Humane Society with nerve damage had a cat recovering fully after a year.

Nerves can heal but can take some time - months or up to a year. Our puppy Spike had nerve damage to his face shortly after we adopted him in February and he is finally showing signs of recovery. Our vet declared his nerve damage permanent after 30 days but also acknowledged that once in a while they come round and it takes longer.

I will only suggest that you don't give up after a month, unless you have a second and/or third opinion.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your support and advice ..

Max has been home with me all day and is home tonight, I tried to express him myself tonight, Max thought I was playing with him and he is laying upside down and every which way in the bath purring and enjoying himself..but was unable to do it.

I took him up to the vet and he showed me how to do it properly and I was able to do it there.. then as Max was empty he came home with me .. I will have another go tomorrow morning.

TRN1 ... I have visited that "best friends' site and found it very helpful as there was a thread on a urine retention problem. so thank you very much for that link

here is another link I found helpful, if you read down, Max is in 'group three'

post #7 of 27
I would definitely try to give him some more time. Obviously he has nerve damage & nerves are very slow to heal. A month is much more reasonable. Ask them to show you how to express his bladder. I knwo cats that were hit by cars & had no hind limb movement who eventually recovered (one even to normal movement).Deb E
post #8 of 27
I don't have any advice for you either but I just want to say Thank You for not giving up on Max so soon. It sounds like he's got a good attitude despite his current situation. Can you get a second opinion? What about natural/herbal supplements that might help the nerve damage heal? Do you have a naturopathic vet around you?
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hi an update on Max and his progress

He has been home since last Tuesday (20th).. I had been shown how to express him... he is relatively easy to handle and doesnt carry on too much. it must hurt a bit.. but he lets me do it.
he has been scratching like crazy in his litter tray and outside in the dirt. digging big holes.. and is squating backwards, but not doing anything... but that is progress as he wasnt even doing that last week

I took him back to the vet Friday night for a check up and to see if I was doing it properly and getting him empty enough... The vet was very pleased with his condition and said I was doing great and Max was in good health and that not many people would do what I was doing or capable of doing it..
I was extremely pleased if not embarassed as Max is part of my family I love him and would do anything for him no matter what.

Ps he is here watching me type this

I will try and get a few pics up of him and you can see my boy..
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
photos of Max .. go to the album and click on it

post #11 of 27
Originally Posted by Spike
photos of Max .. go to the album and click on it

Max is gorgeous! I hope he continues to improve, and I'm really glad, for his sake, that you're not too squeamish!
post #12 of 27
He beautiful!!!! I'm glad it's been going well for you and Max, and I hope he will have a full recovery.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thought I would give you an update on Max..

He is going well, his fur is growing back where it was shaved for the tail removal.. he is eating well. and having lots of fun and enjoying life as he should.

BUT the unfortunately he still hasn't recovered his bladder and bowel nerve functions as yet, and I am still expressing him

He is digging holes everywhere and trying like mad to go. and when he cleans himself and licks around his genital area ... he actually squirts some urine out. . and sometimes he does squeeze out a poopie, and not necessarily in his litter tray

Does anyone know if this is a sign he is recovering or not???

post #14 of 27
I don't know if he is recovering or not but that is fabulous news. You should be proud as to what you are doing. My cat The Sammycat has nerve damage and it will never repair. He was born that way. He is missing a quarter inch of his spine where the tail should have started. There are occassions when he will leave a "land Mine" somewhere when he thinks he is through in the litter box. On occassion when he is asleep he will urinate a little before he realizes that he has done so and gets up to go the litterbox. It is funny sometimes to see him rabbit hop to the box as he has to go so bad

I deal with this on a daily basis so I know what you are talking about with your Max, who by the way is a handsome boy. I myself can not get rid of The Sammycat because he has a defect, so I constantly clean and wash bedclothes etc. It is a constant job but well worth the love I get from The Sammycat. Congrats on the progress you have made with Max and I hope that he continues to improve.
post #15 of 27
It is important not to allow the bladder to over-stretch. The fine muscles of the bladder can become so stretched out that even if the nerves recover, the bladder may still remain unable to empty fully. This means the cat’s bladder must be gently squeezed 3 or 4 times daily to keep it from over-distending. Medications can also be used to assist the bladder’s own ability to contract (Urecholine) or to relax the urinary sphincter (Diazepam or Phenoxybenzamine). Since urine retention tends to promote infection, patients will periodically require some sort of monitoring urine tests. If constipation is a problem, periodic enemas or regular administration of stool softening medications can be given.

Recovery Time

Nerves heal notoriously slowly. It has been said that a good six months must pass before one can say the maximum recovery has occurred and no more positive progress can be expected. Most cats who are going to recovery function do so in a one week period and most cats who do not recover urinary control after a month probably will remain incontinent. Tail function and sensation tends to take longer.

Lanz, O.I., Lumbosacral and pelvic injuries. Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal 32 (2002) p 949-962.
post #16 of 27
i found the best cat in the world the other night .. she is a stray. long hair that was a mess and a broken tail. i took her to the groomer where they gave her a 'lion cut' really cool.. after the cut i realized she's a six-toes cat!!! totally magical!!

anyway.. just got back from the vet ($215) where she had xrays and i learned how to squeeze her bladder .. her tail looks broken exactly like this example :


i just wanted to introduce myself to everyone. this looks to be as close to a support group for broken-tails cat owners that i'll find!!

(sorry, i've never used these little faces things before so i went overboard the first time here)

post #17 of 27
here are pics of jiji :

post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
thanks guys for your continued support, I'm so excited...

Max did a 'poop' in his litter tray

....he squatted there for a while, then suddenly there it was ... he didnt know it was there for a sec... then he did a double take and got quickly back in the litter tray and covered it over..

'manimalman'. I hope you do well with 'Jiji'.. I love the fur-do
post #19 of 27
hi spike and manimalman
have been reading your posts with interest as 'lenny' my 4yr old tabby suffered a tail pull injury 4 weeks ago and has been residing in hospital since. His main problem is not peeing as he doesnt seem to want to go and has his bladder expressed by the vet twice a day. They are being really good to him as he is difficult to express and my attempts failed, they are giving him all the time he needs and are going to try acupuncture this week too
he is so bright in himself and everything else seems fine..except his tail hangs.I am working on 6 weeks being a good recovery period but realise months may be involved. Reading your guys progress really inspires me, so please keep posting any significant changes its so good to hear other people's stories.

best wishes to you both x :-)
post #20 of 27

The rescue where I volunteer has had great success with accupuncture on their siamese whose tale was bitten off by a coyote and then had to be amputated completely. There is hope!
post #21 of 27
hi DiMa
that does give me hope, do you know any more details ie. how many sessions of acupuncture were involved, time span etc.. If only Lenny could pee for himself i would be ecstatic and i have read that accupunture can help with urine retention. One vet was even suggesting looking into implanting electrodes to stimulate his bladder remotely but it is a procedure that has its drawbacks ie. anchoring the electrodes and he doesnt know of any one else who has tried it!

I dont really know what are encouraging signs with this condition, he was passing faeces in his litter tray tonight and covering them up..i just need him to respond to the urge to pee..if he is even getting that message.

Any encouragement / thoughts would be gratefully received

Karmakat x
post #22 of 27
I don't know how long it too, really And the kitty's mommy has moved away recently so I can't ask, sorry. But I know it did work. Sorry I can't give you more info than that, though. Have you googled this?
post #23 of 27
Lenny had his 1st acupuncture session today...lasted about 10-15 mins and apparently he was very good..they hope to give him a session every week..but little has changed in the past few weeks so i am losing my optimism..he is lively and eating well but still wont pee for himself..i think this will be his last hope..
anyone else have experience of this treatment?
please post any examples and positive stories!!

post #24 of 27
Karmakat, as you might have seen from Spike and Chris' posts, it is possible to learn how to express Lenny's bladder yourself, at home. As you said he is bright, lively and eating well so, in my eyes, there is no need to give up hope with him.
post #25 of 27
Originally Posted by karmakat
Lenny had his 1st acupuncture session today...lasted about 10-15 mins and apparently he was very good..they hope to give him a session every week..but little has changed in the past few weeks so i am losing my optimism..he is lively and eating well but still wont pee for himself..i think this will be his last hope..
anyone else have experience of this treatment?
please post any examples and positive stories!!


Sorry about the lack of recovery. I'm sure it must be difficult not knowing if your baby will be okay. If I were you I would stick it out as long as possible. That way you can honestly say to yourself that you did all that you could possible do. 6 months seems to be the amount of time that all the professionals say.
Tarzan recovered well. He is already outside raising havack with the birds and squirels. It took him about 3 months to fully recover. He still has scars from his injury but "hey, they look cool"
However for some reason he will wet on anything, I'm not sure if it is becasue he is angry at me for making him stay indoors for 3 months or if he wants me to see his progress. Any way he gets to go outside to perform his progress now.
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
First i am very sorry i havent replied up until now. as this is the first time i have logged into this site since i posted about Max.

Secondly Max is going wonderfully well, after all this time.. he had gone back for a check each year.. the vet is amazed and very excited that i still express him and how nothing is wrong with him and he is in perfect health.. glossy coat.. bright eyes.. good appetite.. etc

He still hasnt regained function of either bladder or bowel, but he does now try to go to the toilet. and semi express himself, by licking; as a mother cat would do to her kittens.

I still express him most every day.. but i find he has done it himself.. and i help him along when he looks a bit 'full'

dont despair.. they do get used to the expressing .. sometimes Max purrs as i am doing it.

Btw i express him directly into the toilet.. helps alot, (like a bagpipe) put him backwards under my right arm. push down on his lower back with my left hand.. and with my right hand i squeeze his bladder... the bowels usually move with that as well...

and I have gained another cat too.. she belonged to my next door neighbour who moved and couldnt have animals.. they play and chase each other.. and have the occassional spat.. but it is all good

cheers.. goodluck with your feline family
post #27 of 27
You deserve a tremendous amount of credit for all that you have done and continue to do for Max. He is so lucky to have you in his life!
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