Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Horrors of Having a Blocked Cat

If you follow any of our channels on social media, you may have heard that my beloved Roadside, aka my "Prince" is sick right now. The situation is extremely difficult, and I will probably write more on this topic at a later time. But for now, I just want to write and share what him and I are going through because it helps to write it out.


I have been a nervous wreck, stricken with dread, anxiety, and sadness. In early to mid-September, Roadside began to show signs of urinary issues. Spending a lot of time in the litter box, peeing outside the litter box, etc. I took him to the vet and he of course had struvite crystals in his urine. In order to prevent a urethral obstruction, he was prescribed medication and a prescription diet to help dissolve the crystals. It's a fairly common illness for male cats, although terrible.

After a week of medication, he was doing great. I figured the food was working well and things would resolve after all. Well, last Thursday, October 4th, he suddenly began to show these symptoms again. This time it was very sudden and he seemed more distraught than before. The next day, I took my kids to school, called the vet and rushed him over there.

Much to my extreme dismay, he was "blocked". A veterinary term for having a urethral obstruction. It is a medical emergency that is fatal very quickly if not treated. And while it's "easy" to fix, it's extremely expensive, and not always perfect. I say easy, but things are not always black and white.

When I worked as a veterinary technician, having a blocked cat come in was like the epitome of emergencies. Sometimes people could afford treatment, and sometimes they couldn't. Some cases were easier than others. I always told myself that if it were to ever happen to me, I'd be forced to select euthanasia anyways because there's no way I can afford the treatment.

And now here I am with a blocked cat. I sat in the exam room with him and I was completely beside myself. I can choose to have a urinary catheter placed and a chance to save his life. A "chance". I say chance because he could get another obstruction in a few days. The estimate is $1100, for initial treatment. I'm offered a payment plan as well, if I like. I definitely don't have $1100, but my heart cannot say no. I don't think I've loved any other animals as much as I love this cat.

So after much deliberation, I opt for treatment and a catheter is placed and he's hospitalized. The next day, Saturday, I learn that the catheter also got blocked overnight and they had to flush it to clear it up. He's also in acute kidney failure, which happens when the urine backs up into the kidneys. That can go away though with time. He also has a lot of sediment in his bladder. It's described as being incredibly sludgy, sandy, and gritty.

He continues to stay hospitalized over the weekend. Sunday night, his catheter as pulled as they are only left in for 2-3 days. Monday, I'm told he's doing well and I can pick him up after 3pm. Shortly before 3pm, I get a call. He's blocked again and the doctor is having a hard time getting a catheter in due to all the crud in his urethra. I drive up to the hospital prepared for the worst. However, another doctor at the clinic was able to pass the catheter.


Since they already have the catheter in place, I decide to go for round 2 and let him stay in the hospital for longer. And here I am today, a complete emotional mess over the whole thing. I did get to see him yesterday for a few minutes, and plan to visit him again today. Yesterday, he had just woken up from anesthesia so he was completely out of it.

And that's where we are now. I know I've been in a blogging funk lately, but I just wanted to share what's going on with everyone. Like I said, it helps to write it down and talk to someone. Something I definitely need right now, so thanks for listening.

Also, a huge thanks to my good friend and veterinarian, Lisa. She's amazing and has gone above and beyond for us.

21 comments:

  1. We are so sorry to read all that you have going on with Roadside. We send you and him lots of POTP for the situation to get better ASAP!!! We are thinking of you.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

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  2. Ann;
    I am very sorry to read you've had such a terrible time with roadside. long ago my mom went through a similar situation with boomer and opted for the perineal urethostomy procedure.

    it is extremely hard to see them suffer like this and I pray he recovers; I pray you have the strength to see this through, I ask st francis to give roadside his blessings to see him through this

    again I'm sorry and I hope by today you've gotten some great news ♥♥♥

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    1. Thanks, friends. Glad Boomer got the PU. It hasn't been offered yet... but even so, I don't think I can afford that. Especially not if it's referred to a specialty hospital. I am getting some special deals already since I used to work with and am friends with the vet and office manager.

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  3. We're so sorry to hear you and Roadside have to go through this. We send him tons of healing purrs and hope he feels better soon. Purrs and hugs

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  4. Poor Roadside! I'm so sorry he is going through this. Urinary blockages are devastating to have to deal with - for the cat, and his people too. I'm sending lots of healing purrs his way. <3

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  5. we send lots of potp and pawsitive thoughts over to you....

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  6. We're sending a ton of purrs for Roadside and for you that he starts to improve soon.

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  7. So sorry. I never wanted another male cat as mine have always ended up with surgery and a huge bill for being blocked, but of course, I got Bert, and yes, just a couple years after I got him, I was at the ER vet with a blockage, and emergency surgery. It is awful, and so expensive as well. I hope little roadside can get through it.

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    1. I love male cats, but I may feel the same way after this.

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  8. Purrayers and POTP for Roadside.

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  9. So sorry to hear of Roadside's troubles. Praying for him to get well.

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  10. Poor Roadside. We hope and pray he will be okay. Purrs and all good thoughts to you all!

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  11. Sorry you guys have to go through this.

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  12. I'm so sorry, Ann. Sending prayers the blockage can be corrected and you'll have your kitty boy back at home soon.

    Bren

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  13. I am so sorry. Chizzy was our cat who had urinary blockages. Although treatment wasn't nearly as expensive, it added up over time. After the 4th time we brought him in, it was decided he should have surgery to enlarge the urethea. That didn't go well. After he came home, he began running to the box again. There was no online help then so TW tearfully decided, he must be in kidney failure and he was helped over the bridge at six years old. Now she would have prolly figured it was just a UTI and had him treated.

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    1. It's so tough... many cats who get blocked once are likely to get blocked again, even in just a few days. So making the decision to try and save them can be hard. Especially knowing you may be spending that much with poor results. Roadside got blocked after they pulled his 1st catheter and I am fairly certain he re-blocked (perhaps partially) the day after he came home too. I thought the 3rd time was the end, but he passed two clots at home when I was sitting next to him. I am very lucky that my vet is also my friend.

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  14. I have been there too many times I am so sorry you are facing this.

    If you would like to look into supportive therapies that have helped my boys, I can offer you some things to look into. If nothing else, anti-spasmotics are very important to help them recover.

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    1. Sure, Connie. He currently takes prazosin and valium but you can tell he isn't 100% of course.

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