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Need some advice on a male cat with FLUTD

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

My name is Ellie and I have 8 cats. I took in some strays last Aug..(1 male and 3 females) Hunter (the male) has had 3 urinary blockages in 6 weeks..This last time he was in the hospital twice in one week..He was just released yesterday. He is on Science Diet c/d and has been since May 22 when he had his first blockage. My other cat Tiger also has FLUTD but has not blocked.

My vet is the only one in the area that performs Perineal Urethrostomies..
The surgery is expensive, and the complications that can follow are..Stricture to the surgical site and repeated urinary tract infections..It is a very invasive surgery and I don't really want to put him thru that..I was wondering if anyone on here has gone thru something like this..My only other option is to put him to sleep...I don't want to..But I cannot see putting him thru that surgery only to have possible problems later. I just want to know that I am doing the right thing..if I decide to Euthanize him..He has suffered greatly the past month and a half..

Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated..
post #2 of 23
I have no direct experience with perineal urethrostomies, but I have many grooming client cats who have had the procedure. I always speak with the owner about "how it went" etc. and have never run into anyone who had any extensive or lasting complications.

I am sure tons of folks on this site have had the procedure as well, and will be along any moment to help you.

FWIW I do not think euthanizing is doing the right thing in this context- you took on the cat, so you took on his care as well. It is a fixable problem IMO.

Good luck...
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your response...
I have to agree with you on your last scentence.
Yes I did take the kittens, and this is a life threatening diesase that he has..and yes there is surgery to correct it..BUT having the money to have it done is another...My vet will not accept partial payments and they told me that other clients that had the same problem as me had to have their animal put to sleep...I don't want to...any other suggestions? How about his suffering after the surgery?....Gosh am I confused...
post #4 of 23
An empty credit card, a loan from a family member, a yard sale, a second job- all are preferable IMO to euthanasia for a treatable disease/condition.

Perhaps you could get a second opinion?
You state pretty clearly that surgery or euthanasia are the only alternatives that you have been offered, and you are unhappy with either of those options, so a second medical opinion might be more valuable to you than the writings of strangers on a message board.

There are only three options-
Dietary management options- one food failing does not rule out other prescription diets- maybe investigate that option either with your current vet or a second opinion vet. Is methigel an option for this cat?
Surgical options which you are ruling out.
Euthanasia, which again is not a viable option, not this early.

But I am only one cranky old stranger on one messge board- wait for others to weigh in.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello again

Unfotunately we do not use credit cards, and I just took out a loan when my husband was out of work.
I was not given another option other than those two.

He is on Science Diet wet and dry..which is the only food they prescibe..I have read however that distilled water helps..dont know.
He has been on antibiotic therapy..and repeated catheterizations.

I have been giving him extra water via of a monoject..which might help him.

Thanks for all your suggestions..
post #6 of 23
Until someone else comes by here are some other threads about FLUTD surgery I found which might help you.

Then, more threads about FLUTD in general.
post #7 of 23
Just bumping to keep you on the front page...
post #8 of 23
I have dealt with a cat with FLUTD, but it was more of an overactive bladder caused by stress, rather than blockage. If you feed wet food, you can add cranberry suplements to his food (approximately 250mg a DAY), which greatly helped mine. The cranberry supplements promote urinary health and make the urine more acidic, therefore able to help break down crystals.

Personally, I would try and get a second opinion. My original vet wanted to do a bladder biopsy but the second vet said we should wait it out as he's not blocked. The second vet not only saved me money, but she saved my boy from being operated on!!

Here is a great article outlining urinary health in cats:

Good luck!!!
post #9 of 23
OH gosh do I understand.
Tangerine is undergoing his 2nd surgery today. He is only 2 years old. I have spoke and spoke with the vet and they don't want to put him down.
They just tried a catheter and tanny blocked up twice in one week, so they did the surgery... then tanny got really bad infections, back at the vet, then he came home and we were giving him 2 shots a day, plus sub q. on 4th of july back to the vet with fatty liver disease (due to all infection, he stopped eating), he's there now, and getting his urethra opened up more today. with all the infection, they just need to totally clean him out. my vet has take this as a personal problem, and has stopped charging us at the 2,000 mark, he really thinks he can get better.
So, not only is he on a feeding tube for fatty liver, but surgery, probably as a type this. I wish I would have followed my gut a month ago... I miss him so badly, but he looks GREAT!!! He really does and everyone at the vet is pulling for him.
It's very hard, because I am told this surgery is usually a success...
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much!

Tangerine also has this disease?...Poor baby! So he has had the Urethrostomy? and he is still having problems?
I have heard good and bad about this surgery...Hunter just turned a year..He was a stray that I took in along with 3 others.

Wow..I am sorry to hear that your kitty is suffering..Some vet's don't know when to stop when it comes to saving an animal..Not only is it stressful to them but to us too...
Hunter has also blocked twice in one week...That is ALOT of pain for them as it is...let alone putting them thru a painful surgery and increased risks of having infections afterwards. I am really confused at this point...
post #11 of 23
My cat also has the form of FLUTD where he has some periodic symptoms as a result of stress. The last time I took him to the vet for it, half a year ago, he'd had some blood in his urine and was straining a bit... however, by the next day the vet said though there were red blood cells still detectable the symptoms were already easing. This vet is really good and over-careful if anything, but they didn't prescribe him any medication... just advice to watch him to make sure he continued to improve.

Now he's having another flare up, some blood in the urine. He is able to urinate, but goes several times a day in small amounts. I'm going to watch him and if the symptoms increase instead of fading, I'll take him to the vet in a day or two. But I was wondering if there's anything I can do to help him get past it. I did put extra water bowls in every room, and he's drinking more water.

For those of you with cats with this kind of FLUTD, do you take them to the vet every time there's blood?

Also, I'm trying to figure out what triggered it this time. He went off his wet food for about a week, so was having primarily dry... but now he's back eating wet. Unfortunately this cat will only eat fish flavors; it's the only way to get him to eat wet food. But I put him on Nutro Indoor wet half a year ago, and it's low magnesium and supposed to be good for the urinary tract.

Only two changes in the last month: One is that I switched him off Meow Mix Indoor dry and Science Diet Dental dry (on both of which he seemed to do well) to the Nutro Indoor dry... could the latter be responsible? It seems odd to me, since it's also low magnesium and even has cranberry in it. I will switch him back if need be.

The other thing is that I switched litters unsuccessfully about two weeks ago, and he started holding everything in for a day or two at a time. I managed to resolve that by mixing the old kind of litter back in, but maybe that caused this flare-up?

I read that one Cornell Veterinary Medicine study showed that changes in season/weather could cause FLUTD flare-ups in a cat. We did just switch to fall weather...
post #12 of 23
What other treatments have been tried so far besides c/d? When Polly had crystals, the c/d dissolved them completely and they haven't been back, although she has had some episodes of blood in her urine.

Talk to your vet about medicines (amytriptylene or even steroids can be prescribed). Also, get as much water into his system as you can. I always add water to Polly's food. That's what worked the best for getting the blood out of her urine. Diluting the urine helps cats with sensitive bladders.
post #13 of 23
Thanks. I will ask about those.

He hasn't been on C/D yet, but I'll discuss whether I should try it if/when I take him in. I had tried a commercially available urinary-tract-health food, but it had a negative effect on his digestive system... he threw up a lot, among other things. He seems to have a sensitive stomach, and the Nutro has been great for that.

Water in the food is a good idea, too.
post #14 of 23
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
Thanks. I will ask about those.

He hasn't been on C/D yet, but I'll discuss whether I should try it if/when I take him in. I had tried a commercially available urinary-tract-health food, but it had a negative effect on his digestive system... he threw up a lot, among other things. He seems to have a sensitive stomach, and the Nutro has been great for that.

Water in the food is a good idea, too.
Not all cats with FLUTD will need to go on c/d. In fact, many don't. It depends on what the pH of the urine is. If it's too basic (too high) then c/d will acidify it and make it the proper pH. If it's already the proper pH, then your kitty won't need the c/d. At least that's my understanding.
post #15 of 23
Hoggie had Flutd and I found anytime I changed his food( dry) he would get a blockage, even it if it was still a urinary health food, so that could be the culprit. Also, if you don;t already have one, get a water foutain. It does encourage them to drink more and that helps alot.
post #16 of 23
My cat had FLUTD or cystitis for a month until I switched him to Waltham's SO food and he has been fine ever since. I have a young cat, he is less that 2 years old.
It really worked well on him. He had his problems because of stress. He is a very nervous cat and hides all the time.
He just was peeing everywhere and had blood in his urine. The Dr. told me I could keep him in a cage. I bought the cage but thankfully never had to put him in there because as I switched food he just became normal and started using his litter box again.
He eats dry Waltham's SO and wet just what I can find that he likes (not a special food). My cat also has a sensitive stomach but that food is fine for him. He is a persian and he is not very strong healthwise. My other cat is also a persian and had no problems, though. He also eats Waltham's SO even though he never had FLUTD because it's just not possible to feed one kind to one cat and another kind to another cat, but they are both doing fine on it.
post #17 of 23
Originally Posted by krispie View Post
Hoggie had Flutd and I found anytime I changed his food( dry) he would get a blockage, even it if it was still a urinary health food, so that could be the culprit. Also, if you don;t already have one, get a water foutain. It does encourage them to drink more and that helps alot.
Oh, yes, I meant to mention these things, too. They've done studies and found that diet changes can cause a flare-up, so try to find one that works and stick with it like glue. And, yes, I second the water fountain. We have one, but with the amount of water I've been adding to Polly's food, she doesn't drink out of it much, at least not that I see. Prego loves it though. He'll just drink and drink and drink for 2 or 3 minutes straight!
post #18 of 23
If the surgery you are talking about is removing the penis and making another opening, I had that done for a cat many years ago when he was two years old. He lived to be 15 with never another problem. Now I have a guy with the crystals and I give him CarponTM .You can search it on line. IT is a natural urinary acidifier, and Fang's clumps of urine are bigger. I definitely think it is helping. IT is very frustrating to have to deal with this problem though. His condition has not been as bad as my earlier cat, but I was younger then and probably was not as aware. I am on top of this, well after I discovered he was peeing around the house.
post #19 of 23
Just make sure you talk to your vet before giving any urine acidifying supplements if your cat is already on a urine-acidifying diet. Acidifying the urine too much can cause stones.
post #20 of 23
Thank you for all the good advice. I watched him closely and put extra bowls of cold water all over the house, and that seemed to do the trick. He's drinking a lot more. Maybe he was just too lazy to go into the kitchen for water. And, yes, changing the dry food may have temporarily thrown him off. I'm starting to think that the problem is that he likes this dry food so much he's eating less wet; I may start withholding the dry until after he's eaten his wet food meals.

Happily, the symptoms cleared up and he's back to normal. But I'm going to take him to the vet the next time this happens to look into it more.

This time he didn't start going outside litter box. That's an improvement.

Is the Waltham's SO available commercially in places like Petco?
post #21 of 23
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
Is the Waltham's SO available commercially in places like Petco?
Unfortunately, Waltham's/Royal Canin Urinary SO is an RX food so you have to pick it up from your vet.
post #22 of 23
My cat has FLUDT and had a blockage earlier in the year and it was awful. The Vet.s were not helpful but I went to I think it was and joined the forum and learned so much! He is on a "canned" only diet with Cosequin Q10 mixed with his food and he has been fine since. Raw food is probably the best way to go but canned is working for me right now. Also try to get canned food without grains like Wellness if possible. Avoid fish flavored foods! My boys prefer turkey or chicken anyways. Get a water fountain or give them new water each day and preferably distilled or spring water. My boy has been fine since I made these changes. Good luck and hang in there!!! Don't give up!

P.S. My Fludt kitty was totally OBSESSED with eating DRY food. But you have to get him off it ASAP and eventually he will get over it! If you have to give him a treat until you can wean him off but the less the better and if at all NONE! Maybe once in awhile a treat but be cautious!!! His teeth should be fine without dry but you may want to add something to his water or brush his teeth or something anyways. Actually a raw food diet is best for their teeth because they have to really chew it good. I have also heard but haven't tried this myself yet is COQ10 is good sprinkled on their food for their teeth/gums.

Becareful with "urniary" specific foods because they can make his urine too acidic or vica versa. I never played around with those foods!

Also for stress there are some Rescue Remedy Drops, treats, plug-ins, etc. that you can get to help calm them too. Some good old attention and playtime will help too. Take them to a room with just you and them if there are other pets so you won't be distracted.
post #23 of 23
Chester was diagnosed with FLUTD and struvite crystals on 9/26. I was in the process of incorporating moist food into their diet and switching to c/d because of another kitty. The vet prescribebed Amoxcillian which I gave until it ran out. Chester was much improved. His obvious symptom was excessive grooming of his genitals and someone (I have five cats) had urinated outside the litterbox. I thought everything was going well until that Sunday morning.

Chester was trying to pee on any and everything in site. I didn't notice urine, but thought maybe the FLUTD was causing him to go so often even though no urine. I immediately isolated him to observe him and realized he seemed to be blocked as nothing came out. Off to the emergency vet. He was blocked, hospitalized with a catheter over night and transfered to our regular vet first thing Monday morning. He has been in the hospital ever since. We are on week two. Each time the catheter was removed he blocked. My vet determined that he was having urethral spasms and we started medications to help the spasms.

After spending this weekend hospitalized at the emergency vet, Monday they performed a urethrogram. He has had xrays, urine cultures, the works. The urethrogram showed no signs of tumors, or stones. On Tuesday his catheter was removed for the third time. All was going well. On Wednesday things were looking so good, they told us we would be bringing him home. Then we got a very disappointing call that afternoon that he was not passing urine and the doc could not express any. We went into visit him like every day, and talked to the doc. The surgery was the only choice.

When we talked to the vet performing the surgery today, all had gone well, except she noticed thickening of his bladder. She asked permission to do a culture and histopathology of tissue samples obtained during his surgeery. As if that wasn't bad enough, his last urine culture showed infection with resistant ecoli. We are scared that treatment of the infection may not be successful and my initial research with thickeneing of the bladder is scary. It could be due to infection, FLUTD or cancer or tumors. The problem is until we get the test results next week, I have no idea what the next course of action will be.

Luckily, we have pet insurance and our vet is willing to work out an installment plan. We have maxed out all of our credit cards and transferred all our money from savings. It terrifying to think what would happen if we didn't have insurance to help. It is encouraging to know others have had success with the surgery. Hopefully Chester will recover well.
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