• Mountain View Vet Surgery

This Cat Used One of His Nine Lives...

This is the face of a very happy cat who survived a life-threatening situation thanks to a vigilant, well-informed owner and rapid action by his vet.

Jake is an 18-year-old puss who is a family member of one of our vet nurses here at Mountain View Vets. He has always been a very low maintenance cat with no significant medical history. However, on Friday night, he used one of his nine-lives.

It was just a normal Friday afternoon in Buderim when our vet nurse noticed that Jake appeared to be trying to go the toilet, but no urine was coming out. He changed spots multiple times, with no success. He just couldn’t pee…

Having a very good knowledge in veterinary medicine, she rushed Jake to the vet knowing that something very serious was wrong. On arrival, the cat was given a thorough physical examination, during which the vet noticed that he had a firm, painful bladder. This confirmed both the owner’s and the vet’s suspicions; this cat had a blocked urethra ( the tube which connects the bladder and the end of the penis, allowing for the passage of urine) !

He was rushed into the surgery room and given an anaesthetic. This allowed the vet to pass a catheter into the urethra and remove the blockage before any irreversible damage could be done. All the urine that had been building up behind the blockage was released.

If there is a blockage in the urethra and urine cannot be passed, the pressure inside the bladder increases and back-flows up to the kidneys and stops them from working effectively. This can result in potentially life-threatening chemical imbalances, kidney failure and bladder ruptures!!! This occurs most commonly in male cats (as their urethra is longer, and narrower than females) and can be caused by mucous plugs, small bladder stones, narrowing of the urethra or tumours / cancer.

Anatomy of the urinary system of male cats. If there is a blockage in the urethra, not enough urine can be released from the bladder, causing high bladder pressures and backflow of urine into the ureters and kidneys. This can cause chemical imbalances, kidney damage and potentially bladder ruptures!

Jake survived thanks to the close monitoring and swift action by his owner and the expertise of his vet. Difficulties in urination could be a sign of very serious and potentially life-threatening diseases which need immediate medical attention, so close monitoring by owners is invaluable…

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