Vet 101 will return next week. This week we have a guest post by an old online friend and cat lover Kathryn Esplin. If you’ve ever worried about feline urinary issues or FLUTD read on. When Kathryn’s her cat Cheddar fell ill recently I was worried. Not peeing can be deadly. I’d rushed Merlin to the vet a few times over the years thinking it was serious when it wasn’t. Pet parents often agonize when to take a cat to the vet and what cost they’re willing to pay for peace of mind.
This post sheds light on what to look for before, during and after a bout of urinary blockage with crystals.
I Couldn’t Pee On This: Diary of Cheddar, The Cat’s Bad Week.
By Kathryn Esplin
Could it really be only three weeks ago that we (banish the thought) were afraid we would lose our beloved 10-year-old Cheddar? Happily, this turned out for the best, but — we didn’t expect a bill of $1,800! for two days in a vet hospital. The photo (above) of Cheddar was taken during recovery.
Had we known then what we know now — yeah, ooh boy – we would have fed our boys differently. I thought that commercial canned food like 9Lives and Friskies, and Purina dry food at night was an excellent diet. Silly moi. Commercial pet food has a high Ph, (like McDonald’s food for we hoomans), which leads to urinary/bladder/crystal issues in male housecats, and possibly to other diseases in cats like diabetes and heart disease.
November 26th. Cheddar wasn’t himself. He wasn’t purring. He looked in pain and he cried out. He didn’t seem to be peeing. I Googled. That’s what scared me. I was up all night with him. Knew we had to get to the vet. I couldn’t tell what was wrong, but he was crying and licking himself. I suspected crystals. The symptoms can come on suddenly, so that’s another worry. It’s not like you have weeks – or even days – notice. The cat has them for a considerable time before, but he’s not in discomfort until the situation is life threatening.
November 27th. I took Ched to PetSmart, which contracts with Banfield. Banfield called VESCONE, Veterinary Emergency Specialty Clinic of New England, http://www.vescone.com/ and said we are on our way. My husband and I brought Cheddar over. (I highly recommend VESCONE, by the way. A+ BBB rating.) The staff is very nice; the place is exceptionally well appointed, and so very pet friendly. Pets? These are our friends and we are their moms and dads.
November 27th. The vet could feel that Cheddar had a large number of struvite crystals, blocking his bladder and that it was an emergency. We knew it was life threatening; the poor boy was not himself. The hospital said his kidney values were elevated. The hospital catheterized him, put him on an antispasmodic, and gave him a painkiller. Death can occur within 36 to 72 hours.Cheddar in the hospital