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Hans has bladder stones, can you share your experiances?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've never delt with this before, and I'd like to be prepared for whatever is going to come next.

See, I woke up this afternoon, and found the bottom of my bathtub covered in blood and pee. I freaked out. I managed to get to the vets with Hans within 20 minutes. (Mind you, I just had my tonsils out last week. I'm not allowed to lift or drive for another week. I put in a frantic call to my grandparents for help! Thank you, Papa!)

History: I had him in on the 9th because I caught him peeing on the rug. Diagnosis: inflamation that would clear up on it's own, but was given antibiotics just in case it was a bladder infection. (His bladder was empty when we got there, so they couldn't get a sample.) He was also peeing all over the house again on the 18th and 19th, but I figured the vet would say the same thing again, and I got him started on canned food to try and alleviate the problem, and set up an appointment for him after X-mas just to be safe. Besides, it's not like I could have taken him, and the family was stressed because of the holidays and refused to.

Today (23rd): Well, the vet feels him up, and can't find anything wrong, but this time his bladder is full and they can get a sample. They take him in the back to "express" his bladder, and come back in with this look on their faces. They managed not only to get pee, but also about ten really tiny bladder stones. I mean, it looked like someone had sprinkled poppyseed on the tissue. So they took an X-ray, and he has a small pile of stones, all of which appear to be the same tiny size. (It's hard to tell the size on an X-ray.) They're sending the stones to be analyzed at a local lab, but they're not sure when the results will be back because of the holiday. They also put him on a stronger antibiotic, so he doesn't pick up a secondary infection. I need to watch to make sure he doesn't get blocked (by a larger stone, or if a few try to pass together) and if he does, take him back to the vet to get unblocked.

At this point, until I get results back, I'm left wondering. Here's how I see it:

The Good Outcome:
They're struvite, and all that is required is a change of diet.

The Really Bad Outcome:
They're oxalate. I can't afford surgery. I mean, really - not an option. It's going to take me a year to catch up on the credit cards, and all I've put on them so far are vet bills. Right now the vet says they're small enough for him to pass without too much pain. But if they grow in size...

The vet really didn't want to say much about treatment until we get the results back, and I don't blame her. So I'm hoping you could share some stories and experiances that you have with stones, and maybe offer some ideas the vet and I wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

Sigh... what a wondeful X-mas.... my mom just hadshoulder surgery... my grandma has toe spur and ingrown nail and can't walk... I just had my tonsils out (and at 20, it's a big freaking painful ordeal. A week later and I'm still crying in pain)... my fish are dying from something I can't get rid off... And now the cat has bladder stones. Merry X-mas? Bah-humbug. Oh...
post #2 of 8
How old is Hans? Younger cats are more likely to have struvite stones. Did the vet see crystals? More likely to be struvite. But if you have already switched him to canned, the crystals might be gone and just the stones left. Good luck, we will hope for struvite for you. Becky
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
No crystals, and Hans is around 14. I rescued him back in October, so I don't know his history.
post #4 of 8
I am sorry. I will hope the results come back struvite.
My just turned 15 y.o. Tyler was diagnosed with bladder stones, and did have them surgically removed, he had an very unusual problem during the recovery period and ended up blocked due to a free floating hematoma (don't worry, if your cat does have surgery someday for this, none of my vets had ever seen that happen).

Signs he had blocked...frequent in and out of the box, producing pinprick size pee drops to producing nothing on the day I took him in,digging violently with his back legs in the box and then squat-straining, reduction in appetite, sleeping in his litter box...it was a progression but fairly quick at the end to blockage.

Tyler's stones were oxalate, we are on a dietary approach and hopefull they will not come back.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have to admit, the best thing that came out of it was that he peed in the bathtub. If he hadn't, I wouldn't have caught it. If he had peed in the living room, my mom would have thrown a fit and would have tried to have him put down.

I really think it was a very small X-mas miracle, and the best gift Hans could have given us. Finding out the reasons for his peeing problems, getting him in the vets office was still open before the holiday, and not soiling our house.

I really do plan to do everything I can, within my budget, to help him. If it comes down to surgery, I could really use advice on how to fund it. I have nothing to pawn, credit cards are maxed on vet bills already, took loans from the family already, and expended the cat's saving account, too. I doubt my vet would allow a payment plan of something that large. He's been in business for years, and has been screwed over too many times to count. (He's not that good with judging people, but great with cats. I don't blame him for not sticking his neck out anymore.) It's been one cat emergency after another, ever since I got them (I have three). In 6 months I've racked up about 1700 dollars in vet bills, and that's about a third of my income for the year. But I wouldn't trade them for the world.

Hans was obviously saying that he's willing to work with us by peeing in an appropriate area. Not to mention it's probably my fault he has the stones, becuase, like a fool, I switched to a cat food that hadn't been thuroughly tested. He's back on a vet approved food, and I'm beating myself over the head for being stupid. I just..... I'm having a minor anxiety attack. I feel horrible.
post #6 of 8
Please don't beat yourself up, we all do the best we can, none of us knows everything, and stones/crystals take time to develop.

I know what you mean about vet bills...Tyler's surgery came out of savings, his blockage and hospitalization, they let us set up a payment plan for (I've been going to this vet for 9 years, and they know us very well).

I'd check out Imom as was suggested, and if you haven't asked, see if you can at least pay some of it on payments and maybe x amount up front, or barter working there or some other skill you have (i.e. computer skills).

wishing you all the best, and no anxiety attacks, Hans needs you calm!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by allissa
What about IMOM?
I am not exactly sure how it works, but there was a lady here who got her cat Big Daddy surgery paid from it, as I understand it.
I just checked the page, and it said that as of Dec. 1, they're not taking applications anymore. I wish I could turn to a charity for help, but I work at an animal shelter, and I know how thin funds are stretched for animals leagues all over the country.... And yes, I have thought of asking the shelter for help, but it's my last choice. I don't trust the vets. They'd sooner euthinize him and tell me there was a problem in surgery than waste anethesia on him. Plus, I don't think the vets there know how to do anything other than spays/neuters. (I brought home a foster kitten that had an advanced case of distemper - that they had fixed two days before. I had to put her to sleep at my vets. I have issues with that place, but the cats need me there.)

The vet tech did tell me about CareCredit, but with my lack of credit I doubt I'll be approved. It just seems like the options aren't there.
post #8 of 8
Go ahead and apply for Care Credit, you might get it. And don't beat yourself up about what you fed him. If it is struvite stones it might be related, but if it is oxalate it is more a problem with their metabolism and age, and sometimes overweight seems to be related, but not anything you did. The food to prevent them is really not what you would normally feed a cat. Becky
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