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My mom's cat has struvite crystals :( what to do?

post #1 of 4
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My mom just called me today to let me know that her cat (Luckie) just came back from the vet (he was in hospital for 2 days) and he had struvite crystals. He doesn't seem to be getting better and is still having peeing problems. i don't know how long it takes for him to start peeing normal again, i guess right now it would be painful for him to do so.

According to my mom, the vet said that Luckie still has 2 large stones in his urinary tract. i guess what they did was to place a urinary catheter in his urethra to flush out the crystals, but the stones were too big to go through the tube. However the vet did not offer any surgical procedures or any advice to have the stones removed and just sent Luckie home with my mom. i'm not sure if Luckie was given any medicine either, my mom did not mention that.

Now mom is getting worried and i'm kinda annoyed at the vet. i told her to bring Luckie to her regular vet (don't ask me why she didn't go to him in the first place) for a 2nd opinion. And i think something should be done to remove the stones in his urinary tract. It must be really painful for him to pee right now. *sigh* She felt really bad putting him through all the tests and treatment for the past few days (which didn't entirely solve the problem), and now he has to go for another surgery. Besides, she's leaving the country on 2/9 for a business trip and i don't think she can leave the house knowing that he's not feeling well.

i'm kinda frustrated at this point because i can't do much to help, being i'm in US and they're in Malaysia. Plus we have this whole 13 hour time difference that even trying to communicate with my mom can be difficult sometimes. i still think that it's best that she brings him to the vet to have the stones surgically removed, as i believe the problem, if prolonged, may be life-threatening to the cat, am i right?

Also, i'm not sure if they have prescription Science Diet S/D or C/D in Malaysia. What other types of food is recommended to help his recovery? i'm sorry for being so long-winded...any advice/help would be appreciated. TIA!
post #2 of 4
Sorry to hear about that. I know it must be frustrating being half a world away.

Anyways, I can offer what I know about dealing with cats with struvite crystals.
After flushing out the stones in the urethra and thereby unblocking the cat, an urinary catheter is usually kept in place temporary. Because all this does cause trauma it is not uncommon for the cat to have some difficulty in the first few days out of the hospital. It usually takes at least a week for them to totally clear up.

I would assume and hope that antibiotics were prescribed. They should always be given if an urinary catheter is going be inserted because of the risk for infection.

Urinary relaxers are also usually given to help ease the bladder and aid in urination.

As for them not removing a few larger stones, I am not too concerned about this. I know it sounds horrible, but this is actually pretty common. If he is fed a diet proven to dissolve struvites, this will take care of those remaining stones and he will pass them in time. Surgery isn't necessary for struvites, like it is for calcium oxalate crystals, which have no choice, but need to be surgerically removed.

Now I'm not saying the can't remove the stones by surgery, they can, but it isn't very practical considering the cost.

I'm not sure about Malaysia specificly, but I do know Hills, Eukanuba, Royal Canin, and Purina are all worldwide, so there probably won't be a problem finding the proper food. And just to clarify in your post. Hills S/d would be for dissolving struvite crystals, while C/d is more of a maintence/preventive food.
post #3 of 4
Hi. My male cat had the same diagnosis about 3 weeks ago. He went into the hospital had x-rays and a catheter and an IV. They kept him for 2 days then released him to me with a bunch of drugs and new food. When he came home was when my real worry began. For the first week he had trouble peeing (but when I think about it, after having a catheter removed things are probably a little tender). He also did not want to eat his new food. I was sent home with S/D dry and wet to dissolve the crystals. He wouldn't touch either one. After that failed I tried him on IVD Dissolution diet, which is only in the cans here but you can get the dry food in Canada. He was a little happier with this food but he would only drink the gravy out of the can and would not eat the meat chunks. And his urine out put was low with some straining. After trying the Dissolution (which i am told does the same thing as the S/D) I gave him the IVD Control food (this is the mainentance program that they are to be fed after the month of dissolution). Finally success, he loves to eat the control food (and he still gets his dissolution gravy) , he is drinking more water and seems to have very little to no straining when he pees. Also a great thing I got was an automated water fountain. Very important to encourage drinking in a cat with Struvite Crystals.

Moral of the story is to hang in there, get a water fountain, see if she has antiboitics to give so he does not get an infection from the removal of the catheter, and get him to eat some type of food that is going to lower his PH so his body won't produce more crystals.

My boy is going back for his check up this Friday. I am hoping he gets a clean urinalysis and we can put this Trama behind us.
post #4 of 4
one more thing and I don't know how to put this delicatly but.... have your mother monitor her boy's licking of his "hoo hoo". I was told that licking it excessivly is one of the first signs of discomfort. The first week my boy was home from the hospital he licked alot. However as the weeks have gone by he has reduced his licking greatly. Just something you might want to monitor.
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