Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Update on Diego

I picked Diego up from the vet this afternoon and he looks none the worse for wear. Not bad considering that less than 24 hours ago he had a catheter snaked up his urethra...ouch. It turns out his urethra was blocked by crystal-like formations commonly called struvite stones, the most common of feline urinary tract "stones." From what I gather the stones actually develop in the bladder and then can get stuck in the urethra on the way out. A complete obstruction, which Diego had, is considered a medical emergency for cats. Death can occur within 48 hours as a result of disrupted kidney function, bladder rupture, or other complications.

Thankfully we caught wind of Diego's situation early on and it was dealt with swiftly. He's now home, obstruction free, and peeing to his heart's delight. You're probably wondering at this point why the heck this happened. I don't know that we'll ever know for sure but here are some common reasons kidney and bladder stones develop in cats: imbalanced diet, low water intake, urinary tracts infections, and breed disposition just to name a few. Male cats are also more prone to obstructions than female cats because their urethra are longer and narrower. Diego had struvite stones, which can often be treated simply by a change in diet. Our vet has recommended that we put Diego on an all wet-food diet as this will increase his water in-take over all. More water means increased dilution of urine (stones develop when high concentrations of minerals are present) and more frequent urination (keeps those minerals flowing out!). If the problem persists he'll have to go on a prescription diet. For more information on urethral obstruction check out the American College of Veterinary Surgeon's very informative website.

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