It is thought that cats sometimes get urinary crystals from poor diets, which cause their urine to have an improper pH balance and have high alkaline levels. After the urethral blockage is removed, a cat should be placed on special prescription diet to help maintain the pH balance of his urine and prevent future urethral blockages.
|Photo via wolfsavard|
It is important for a blocked cat to see a doctor as soon as possible because urethral blockages are a medical emergency that if not treated quickly enough, will be fatal. If your cat is spending a lot of time in his litter box, crying out in pain when urinating, has had blood in his urine, is licking his genital area, or is showing signs of distress, then he needs to be seen by a veterinarian quickly.
After the urethral obstruction is removed, your cat will be placed on a special prescription diet that will regulate his urine pH to prevent any future crystal and stone formations in the bladder. The road to recovery following an event like this is not always fast and easy. Within weeks or even days, another blockage could occur.
When cats have problems with becoming blocked multiple times, perineal urethrostomy is usually recommended. This is a surgical procedure which basically removes the male penis and shortens the urethra. A new opening, like a female cat's, is created in it's place which should prevent further blockage. We used to call this the "sex change" surgery at work.
According to AAHA, "Perineal urethrostomy will permanently cure urethral obstruction in 90% of male cats." The surgery will not prevent the formation of crystals in the future. It just gives the crystals a wider opening to pass through. After surgery, these cats may experience more bladder infections.
|Photo via DDFic|
Remember -- if you're cat is showing signs of urinary distress, please have him seen by a veterinarian quickly! Most animal hospitals realize the urgency of this and can have you seen on the same day.
Special thanks to Charmaine from the Kitty Kanteen Feral Cat & Kitten Rescue for suggesting this topic to write about. One of her rescue cats, Elliot, just had a perineal urethrostomy performed and is recovering well.
If you're interested in learning more about a health-related pet topic, let me know!