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Bladder surgery recovery

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
I am new here. This is my first post. I have been reading many threads all morning and this place seems like such a wonderful group of pet owners and pet lovers.

I will try to make this brief but I was wondering if someone here could give me a little info.

I have a 7 year old female cat who had been dealing with bladder stones for months. We tried everything to get them to dissolve or to see if she would pass them but it just got worse and worse. So finally she had to have surgery (a cystotomy) to remove the stones. She just had the surgery this past Wednesday, January 12th.

My question is - does anyone know how long it takes to recover from this surgery and when her bladder will feel better so she will stop having to run to the litter box all the time only to make a little drop of urine? Any information from anyone who has been through this recovery process will be greatly appreciated. I love my kitty, Misty and I just want her to feel well again.

Thank you.

post #2 of 46
Did your vet send homw any anti-inflammatories home to control her pain? We often send home metacam to ease post op inflammation which greatly reduces the urge to pee.
post #3 of 46
Thread Starter 
No, he has her on Cephalexin only. I asked about pain medication and the vet told me that cats do well without it and that the urge to urinate will get better as her bladder heals. But he could not tell me how long that will take. One person said 3 to 5 days and another said 1 to 2 weeks. I just feel so bad that she has spent months with those stones in there and spending most of her time in the litter box and now she had surgery and still lives in that litter box. I would feel better if I would know how much longer she will feel this way.
post #4 of 46
I have no advice just wanted to see welcome to TCS and I hope your Misty will feel better soon
post #5 of 46
I think your vet needs to learn a little more about pain control! Cats feel pain the same way we do, they just don't complain as loud. I would call your vet and ask him for Metacam, or something like it. Be insistent! We dose out liquid metacam in small syringes. The cost should be no more than $30 for a 10ml bottle.
post #6 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I think I'm going to really enjoy this forum. My cats are my babies and most people I know just think I'm nuts for the way I worry over them. So it's nice to know I'm not alone.
post #7 of 46
post #8 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I will give him a call. I had a feeling that this was due to pain because she was fine the first day when she came home, but I think that was due to the fact that she had a shot of Torbugesic post op which I think was for pain. Once that wore off by day 2, she started with the frequent trips to the litter box again. Thank you so much for your advice. I will give the vet a call.
post #9 of 46
Originally Posted by Dr. Doolittle
I think your vet needs to learn a little more about pain control! Cats feel pain the same way we do, they just don't complain as loud. I would call your vet and ask him for Metacam, or something like it. Be insistent! We dose out liquid metacam in small syringes. The cost should be no more than $30 for a 10ml bottle.
I couldn't agree more.

If your current vet won't listen, find a better vet. There is no excuse for undue suffering, especially with something so simple as this.

post #10 of 46
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know how long this recovery takes?
post #11 of 46
It will greatly depend on the cat, and the extent of the surgery.

Pain will not help her heal any faster. But I would say that she should be acting pretty normal after 3-5 days, and would be close to if not completely healed within 2 weeks.

post #12 of 46
Welcome to TCS. I sure hope your kitty has a quick recovery!
post #13 of 46
Besides getting some pain medicine for her, you should make sure she is getting lots of fluids so that her urine is diluted and won't be as irritating to her bladder. And so that more stones don't form. She should be on canned food and you can even mix water in with it. Make sure her water bowl is refreshed at least daily. Poor kitty, she should feel better soon. What type of stones did she have? Becky
post #14 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thanks Becky and thank you all for your kindness and advice. Misty's stones were sent out to be analyzed but we believe they are calcium oxalate.

Her ordeal was a bit odd I think. She had recurring Urinary Tract Infections starting in July. They would clear up with antibiotics and then a couple of weeks later come back again. Finally in October, a urinalysis showed that she had blood in her urine, a high white blood count and Struvite crystals and her ph was at 8.1 so Misty was put on Hills S/D dry food in addition to that I was given pills to add to her canned food to acidify her urine. After 4 weeks, there was no improvement and we did another urinalysis. This time there were Calcium Oxalate Crystals and her ph was down 5.0. Then she was put on Hills X/D for Calcium Oxalate with the idea that perhaps Misty's urine was too acifidied now, creating the oxalate crystals. Another month passed and we did another urinalysis and Misty's urine continued to have a lot of blood and a high white blood cell count. We tried many antibiotics to try to get the white blood count down and the to clear up whatever infection was present. But nothing helped. Finally, the vet suggested an x-ray of the bladder and some blood work. The blood work came back absolutely normal but the x-ray showed 2 stones in Misty's bladder. She was scheduled for surgery and surgery was attempted on January 5th but she had a reaction to the pre-anesthesia medication and the vet woke her up without doing the surgery. She was then scheduled for one week later on January 12th and a different anesthesia was used. I have to tell you, I was a wreck that day. But the surgery was done and she's been home now since Thursday, the 13th. I love her so much and just want her to feel better and I was hoping by now the frequent urination would have cleared up. She does sleep for a few hours at a time and as long as she is sleeping, she is OK. But once she gets up, she is always in that litter box.

As for her food, she has the dry Hills X/D but she prefers canned food and won't eat the X/D canned. Her food of choice is Fancy Feast Chicken or Turkey. So that's what I've been feeding her and the vet said it should be OK while we are waiting for the results of the stones. I do add a little water to the canned food and she does drink water from her bowl. I wish she would drink more though. What I'm doing is feeding her very small portions with water but feeding her 4 times a day instead of 2 so that I can get water into her more often.

I'll just feel better when this is behind us. I seem to have an underlying fear that she will be urinating all the time forever and she will not be cured. I guess because it has gone on for so long. I just don't feel 100% sure that this is the end of the problem.

Thanks for listening.

post #15 of 46
With Misty's history of both struvite and oxalate stones it is very important for her to be on the prescription diet. According to Small Animal Clinical Nutrition your vet is correct in putting her on a diet to treat the oxalate stones because it is easier to treat the struvite crystals than the oxalate. I would mix just a tablespoon of the x/d well into her favorite food and then increase the x/d a tablespoon at a time every few days until she is switched over. I really am not a fan of Hill's prescription diets and if Misty was my kitty I would be researching it and why it is used and seeing if there was a premium food that was its equivalent, but until I was very sure I would not take chances on changing. And if I did decide to change her to another food, I would have frequent urinanalyses done to make sure no crystals were forming. Good Luck. Becky
post #16 of 46
Hi there,

My Tyler had this surgery done several months ago (and was sent home on torbegesic in val syrup and I was told to keep him medicated and comfortable!)...he really was doing better re his volume within the first week though he continued to have some urgency, even that was beginning to ease up, but then due to a complication that is very rare(a free floating blood clot), his volume decreased and he ended up hospitalized with a blockage.

One point my vet made, was that his stones had abraded the lining of his it would take time for it to heal, and pain med was most definitely indicated!

He is now much, much, much better...still has an increased number of voids in a day, but with normal volume and no discomfort that I can detect (and no more blood).
post #17 of 46
Fwiw as I read the last couple of notes that I hadn't seen, Tyler's stones were calcium oxalate...he has been incredibly picky re foods, (we had thought he was early diabetic), and I was told to just give him wet food only, lower phos/protein if I could (he has some shifting kidney values) that is what we do. Anything remotely decent that I can get him to eat (He lost a lot of weight and is finally gaining again)is what I give him.
post #18 of 46
Thread Starter 
Oh thank you for saying that he is gaining weight. My Misty lost weight too and I am hoping she will gain it back. She's a tiny cat and at her healthiest was only 10 lbs but she is down to 7.8 lbs now and even though it's just a couple of pounds, the weight loss is noticeable. It's encouraging to hear from someone who has been through this already and has a positive outcome.
post #19 of 46
Gee...paralell universe here...Tyler at his heaviest ever, was 10#, he got done to 7# 6 oz. I feed him 4 times a day and he is picking up wt...he was up to 8# not long after his hospitalization, and feels to me like mid-8's (I am going by how much I can feel covering his ribs, he has more heft...I need to get an official re-weigh at the vets done.) I just would like to see him hit 9 # anything
post #20 of 46
If you like to cook for your cat, and you have some spare money to spend, and your vet is willing to work with them, this site will help you cook up a diet for Misty that will suit her needs.
post #21 of 46
Hans was diagnosed with calcium oxalate stones two days before X-mas. He had a non-invasive surgery done this past Wednesday. (The stones were the size of poppy seeds, and were able to be passed with a little help from the vet.)

You need to ask the vet for metacam. Hans was prescribed it not for pain, but for inflammation. It keeps the area from swelling, and will make urinating a lot easier for her. I'm really suprised your vet didn't prescibe some sort of anti-inflammitory.

The diet thing, from what I've been reading, is just plain tricky. The goal is to keep the stones from reforming - which means specially designed foods that are high in fiber, water content, and that are designed to keep the urine at a "medium" pH. However, these foods aren't the greatest out there, and for the health of the cat it should go back on "normal" food in a few months. But the normal foods are the ones that caused the problem in the first place. It really is something where you need to sit your vet down and make him answer your questions. (Mine tends to dance around any question that deals with food. I'm planning on tackiling him tomorrow and making him give me a clear answer.)
post #22 of 46
Thread Starter 
I am going to call the vet in a few hours when they open the office. It's going on 5 days now and aside fromt he fact that the stones have been removed, her symptoms are no better than before. And I need to sleep. She is awake for hours going to the litter box and my other cat is getting agitated and he goes after her and I can't sleep because I have to be sure she doesn't get hurt. My house is very small and hard to keep them separate. But if her discomfort and pain were to go away, she may just sleep and the house could calm down. I can't see how this stress can help her heal. And I'm getting real tired of only sleeping 2 hours a night. Thank you all for your advice. I am counting the hours to make that phone call.
post #23 of 46
Thread Starter 
Well, I called the vet's office and he isn't in yet. I left a message for him regarding Misty's many trips to the litter box and she also still has blood in her urine and this is day #5. I'm waiting for him to call me back.

But in the meantime I wanted to share a couple of photos of my Misty. Yes, I suppose I'm a proud mommy. I will let you all know what my vet says.

The first picture is Misty a couple of weeks prior to surgery. The second picture is my pampered baby resting comfortably the day after surgery.

post #24 of 46
Pretty kitty. The Metacam is a good idea. Be sure that if it is prescribed to use exactly the dose ordered. It is in drops so I put the drop onto baby food to give him and it worked fine. But it would be easy to give another drop by accident if you dropped it into their mouth. It works well for pain and inflammation. The problem might be continuing because she really needs to get onto the prescription diet. Becky
post #25 of 46
Thread Starter 
My vet asked me to bring in a urine sample to check to see if there's still an infection or if it's just inflammation. So I brought it in and now I have to wait to hear from him. I just don't understand what the production is all about. She had surgery because the stones were tearing up her bladder. What would be the big deal to give an anti-inflammatory no matter what. And then if there's still an infection, just give her something for that as well. I just don't understand the resistence. As for the diet, I'm going to start adding the X/D canned to the canned food she eats now and try to get her switched over soon. However, the diet may change again once the results from the lab come back as to what type of stones she actually had in there....Karen
post #26 of 46
Originally Posted by KittyKaren
My vet asked me to bring in a urine sample to check to see if there's still an infection or if it's just inflammation.
I'm surprised they didn't ask you to bring her in for a's the most accurate method for getting an uncontaminated urine sample...a simple voided isn't accurate....he already knows you said there is blood in the urine, how can he trust any presence of wbc's on a simple voided?

All Tyler's u/a tests are done using cystocentesis as the vets and my preference.
post #27 of 46
I was wondering that too, but then I thought that maybe with the recent surgery that it might be difficult? But still, a home collected specimen isn't much good. If a cystycentesis isn't possible, the vet should keep kitty with an empty litter pan or the special litter that doesn't absorb, and get the specimen as fresh as possible. Becky
post #28 of 46
Thread Starter 
The urine sample I brought him was from an empty litter pan. He said he didn't want me to bring her in just yet because he didn't want to stress her further. So I told him that if he would give her an anti-inflammatory and she could get rid of the inflammation and the pain, then perhaps she would not be stressed by now. I don't understand what the urine and whether there's bacteria in it or not has to do with the anti-inflammatory. I mean, we already KNOW there's inflammation. There has been since August with the stones being in there and one infection after another. And then the surgery. It's pretty obvious to me that even if there is an infection, that there's also inflammation. What's wrong with treating both? We're going to have a chat when he calls me with the urine results and he's going to be made aware just how annoyed I am becoming with this.

I do have to say that Misty has not made a trip to the litter box for almost 3 hours now and was throwing a toy around the house a little bit ago. So maybe that's a good sign. Maybe she is finally improving. But I still want something for her discomfort because she can be doing so much better.

I'll let you know how it goes.

post #29 of 46
My Eddie had stones removed before Christmas and it took him a good week and a half to be "normal" again. He was sent home with anti-inflamitory/pain meds and I personally think that it made all the difference in the world and helped him heal faster. I would demand that your vet listen to you and give your poor kitty something for relief.
post #30 of 46
Thread Starter 
Well, the urine shows there's still an infection which doesn't surprise me since she had one prior to surgery and was on so many antibiotics over the past 6 months that they stopped working. Prior to and after surgery, Misty was on Clindamycin which seems to have done nothing for the infection. The gave her Zeniquin now. I have never heard of that one. She used to do very well on Baytril until she was on it too much and it stopped working. She's allergic to Clavamox and Amoxy. He said Zeniquin is good like Baytril. I hope so. I asked him for metacam and he gave it to me. So hopefully Misty should start feeling better soon. I hope so. Thank you ALL so much for your advice and support. I had never heard of metacam until you all mentioned it so I'm very grateful.
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