Home / story of my life / Shadow’s PU, part 3

Shadow’s PU, part 3

This is the third, and hopefully final update to my cat Shadow’s perineal urethrostomy (feline P.U. surgery).  You can find the first part here, and the update here.

First off, thank you, everybody, for your comments and support.  Since this is primarily a food/weight loss blog, I am always surprised when my lifestyle posts receive commentary.  I was really surprised at the amount of comments and stories I received of other people who are dealing with the P.U. surgery.  I am so glad that others were able to use this account as a resource for what they were going through!!  Please, if you have any experience with a P.U., post your account in the comments.  I hope these stories can provide support and help for others for years to come.

Lil buddy cuddling for a bit without the doughnut or cone

Lil buddy cuddling for a bit without the doughnut or cone

Now, for the updates:

4.22.15
Yesterday was one week from when Shadow had his last catheter inserted, and I noticed that his urine was still bloody. By this point it should have cleared up. That, along with frequent urination, led me to suspect he is suffering from a UTI. I’m honestly shocked it’s taken him this long to develop one. I think he’s had 7-8 caths at this point?

Anyways, I called the vet last night to ask if I should get him an antibiotic or what. Dr. S is out for the week, and he’d written on the chart that he wanted to culture the catheter when he pulls it. An antibiotic would render that null and void. Dr. E said that she would need to run a urinalysis to see if he needs an antibiotic or an anti-inflammatory (UTI or cystitis). I dropped Shadow off last night so they could look at him today.

Dr. H took him today (I really like him!) and called me a little while ago to tell me that Shadow does have a UTI. He called Dr. S, but he is out in rural Nebraska or something like that, and hasn’t returned the call yet. Although he didn’t want to “make a decision on Dr. S’s patient,” he ultimately decided that he couldn’t just leave Shadow with a UTI. He gave him an antibiotic injection that should clear it up. He also observed that Shadow had popped a stitch (one of four), but he thought that would be fine since he still had three others and didn’t want to sedate him for that. I was clear to come pick him up, which I planned on doing right after dinner.

Fun change of plans, though! Dr. H called again a few minutes ago to say that when he gave Shadow one final look over, he saw where he’d popped a second stitch on the catheter. Now one whole side was undone… not good. Since Shadow had just had dinner, and also that antibiotic injection, he didn’t want to sedate him and stitch it back in place tonight. Lil buddy is going to stay the night again, get the cath sewn back into place in the morning (hope he doesn’t pop it overnight…), and come home when I get off work tomorrow.

I’m off to go visit him and deliver his nightly dose of amitriptyline!

Shaved kitty bum (and Slippery Sam catheter)

Shaved kitty bum (and Slippery Sam catheter)

4.23.15
They shaved Shadow’s bum for me! And for some reason, instead of stitching down the old cath, they put in a new one… not sure why. The doc had gone by the time I got there to pick Shadow up. Maybe he got his old cath out last night? Maybe Dr. H just felt like a Slippery Sam (this model) would be better, since it’s much more flexible and comfortable than the Tomcat model he had in before? Who knows. I’m not confident this one will hold, since it looks like it’s stitched in pretty firmly. But Shadow is WILD. He’s acting like he feels GREAT, so maybe the injectable antibiotic has really perked him up and he won’t be straining enough to pop this one. We’ll see.

Shadow going cray, immediately after coming home on 4.23

Shadow going cray, immediately after coming home on 4.23

The girls at the front desk had to tell Shadow goodbye… and ominously followed up with “See you tomorrow!” *facepalm*

Shadow is fighting having his bum wiped even more than before. I think it’s because the baby wipes are cold. He squalls when they touch his newly-shaved skin. I guess this is why they have wipe warmers.

And I might need one for my cat.

4.29.15
I drop Shadow off to be checked on because his urine is still bloody and he is squatting frequently.  They clean his bum up pretty good again, since it’s so difficult to do at home (I am giving him a bath every 2 days at this point, and wiping him with baby wipes in between). Somehow, while he is there, he pops his doughnut.  The bladder is lacerated in several places.  Kristine, the awesome vet tech who loves Shadow, clips his nails for me and I go get him a new doughnut.

When he comes home, this is how he emerges from the crate.  No clue how he did it.

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It’s supposed to be around your neck, silly!

5.5.15
The second doughnut bites the dust.

Fed up, I rip open an old pillow, throw out the bladder, and stuff the sausage full of cotton batting.  I grimly inform Shadow that his doughnut is going to be a lot heavier than it used to be, but dammit, he brought this upon himself.

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5.11.15
I drop Shadow off Monday evening at the surgeon’s.  His bum is absolutely disgusting, despite all of my efforts.  Although he has not continuously kept a catheter in for 30 days, he has had one in daily since since 4.6.15.  I want Dr. S to evaluate him on Tuesday and determine whether it’s time to remove this final catheter (Dr. H’s, kept in for 19 days, 5 days longer than the one Dr. S had in him at first… but honestly, I can’t declare Dr. H the winner of the catheter contest, since Dr. S pulled his original one early.  I deem the two of them tied for longest-remaining catheter!)

Dr. S does indeed remove Shadow’s catheter on the 12th of May!  I requested that they keep Shadow for several days to monitor him, since he never had problems immediately.  I get daily updates and I go visit every afternoon.  Shadow is peeing, often and easily!!!  I am surprised also that the cone and doughnut are completely gone.  He is free-ranging it in the cage, with no safety devices prohibiting him from licking his crotch.  Things look very promising.

Knowing that CB and I are going to be out of town that weekend, I arrange to board Shadow there over the weekend.  My mom will come feed my other cats and pill Storm, but I just am not comfortable leaving Shadow by himself yet.

5.18.15
Shadow comes home!!  After work, I pick him up.  He is screaming vigorously.  When we get home, he demands food.  I feed him and go upstairs to work on mine and CB’s dinner.  When I come back downstairs, he is sprawled across his daddy’s lap, just like he used to do before he got sick.  I ask CB if he put him there, and he tells me no, Shadow came and climbed up on his lap of his own accord.

It is a very happy moment.

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I find out sometime later that week that the catheter culture came back positive for a UTI.  The most effective antibiotic to treat this type of infection is amoxicillin.  I ask for a liquid rather than a pill, since Shadow takes his Prazosin much easier than his Amitriptyline, and Dr. S provides me with what appears to be the same lurid pink liquid I took when I was sick as a child.

Shadow stays on the antibiotic until it runs out.  I think I gave him his last dose sometime in the week of June 1st.

About that time, because he has been doing so well, I call Dr. S and ask about weaning him off the Prazosin.  Dr. S advises that we do so very gradually, because he is still not convinced that part of Shadow’s problem isn’t neurological.  He advises that we drop the dosage from 10 units twice daily to 5 units twice daily for a week, then to 2.5 units twice daily for a week, then to 2.5 units once daily for a week, and then nothing.  We will have to observe him very carefully while doing this and make sure there is still no problem.

6.14.15
This morning I dropped Shadow down to 2.5 units twice daily of the Prazosin, after he successfully completed a week at 5 units with no issue.  Yesterday I heard him peeing loudly and strongly.  It is a wonderful sound.

He has started playing again, quite vigorously.  He loves chasing the laser.  This morning he was wrestling with his sister.  He doesn’t want to play with the feather on a stick as much as he did before, which kind of baffles me since it was his favorite toy, but who knows?  I’m glad he’s being active.

I would be lying if I said I’m not scared shitless that something else is going to happen.  All in all, this took six months of our lives to get a grip on.  Shadow came very close to dying on Easter.  Every time he goes to the litter box or I see him licking his crotch, I hold my breath a little.  I find myself loving on him frequently, and offering him treats when he seems listless just to make sure he is.  I’m somewhat paranoid.  Every morning before I go to work, I have to pet him and kiss him and tell him that I love him.

Throughout all of this, I have dealt with the most compassionate and professional veterinary staff.  I love Dr. H to pieces.  She will continue to be our primary care vet, but I will definitely take my kitties to the surgeon’s if something happens after normal vet hours (they close at 5:30, before I get home from work – the surgeon’s office is open until 9pm, with a vet present until midnight).  Dr. S has been wonderfully kind, patient, and determined to see Shadow through this thing.  I have nothing but love and respect for the multiple vets, techs, and staff I dealt with there.  At all times, I felt like everyone involved in Shadow’s care was 100% invested in his recovery.

This was so important.  Some of you have commented about your experiences and been skeptical about your vets and the care they have given your children.  If you’re one of those people, I cannot recommend enough – find another vet.  You have to have someone you can have a working relationship with.  I often felt like I was being the psychotic/neurotic pet mom, constantly calling and bringing Shadow in to be examined.  But your cat’s health should be of the utmost importance to both you and his doctor.  I am so incredibly grateful for the care and compassion that the staffs of my vet’s office, the surgeon’s office, and emergency clini gave Shadow.  They are the reason he is still here (and seriously, preceptor Amanda, if you ever read this, I am going to need you to come practice here in Clarksville permanently – you saved him when he was knocking at death’s door and you will never know how much I love you for that).

Again, thank you everyone for all of your well-wishes.  Shadow is doing fine!

PS:  I have had several inquiries about the cost of this entire process.  I’m not going to pull out all of my receipts, but here’s a rough estimate:

Vet – emergency fees, attempted catheter insertion (which failed); actual catheter insertion: around $1,000 altogether
Surgeon – surgery: around $800; widening procedure and new catheter: $100; boarding, cath culture, urinalysis, antibiotics: around $200ish (all followups and additional procedures were covered by original surgery costs)
Emergency clinic – emergency fees, hospitalization, bloodwork: around $500
Total cost: $2600ish, but probably closer to $2750 when you count the refills of Prazosin, Buprenorpherine, and Amitriptyline
Actual cost:  Shadow’s life = fucking priceless

73 comments

  1. I found your blog while trying to find stories of feline PU surgeries. Yours is the first I have found and it was beyond terrifying but I am glad that your kitty is doing well now and I’m glad I got such a detailed account of everything that could go wrong but still turn out alright. I have a tomcat that continues to have issues urinating. My boyfriend and I are about $1500 into his recovery (in the last 3 weeks) and the PU with neuter is our next step. I’m scared. I just want him to get better. I can’t even think about what happens if he doesn’t because I don’t think I would survive that. I’ve never lost an animal before and he has been my baby for nearly 5 years. Hopefully I will have a happy update soon, too. Thank you for sharing your story and for how much you went through for your cat. Some people don’t understand so it’s nice not to feel alone in the fear and love we have for ours.

    • Sorry it took so long for me to respond to you! How is your baby doing? Feel free to vent or rant here. I understand 100%. These animals are our children and some people just don’t get it. I do! I hope everything is going well and would love an update on your son!

  2. We’re going through a very similar experience! My cat Dixon is currently at the vet getting his 3rd reopening done on his PU! I have been worried sick I might have to euthanize him and was doing some desperate searching online and found your blog and I am so relieved I am not the only one! Thank you so much for documenting your experience.

    Dixon’s issues stemmed from 2 weeks old. He and his litter mates were dumped in a hot car and I got them to bottle feed after they survived heat stroke. One night, when they were 4 weeks old and had needle chompers, his sister CHEWED half his penis off while I was a sleep!!! Chewed tiny holes all through the sheath of what was left of his butchered penis and he was pushing hard, urine bubbles oozing from the tiny punctures. He blocked up soon afterwards and we rushed him to the old vet and they did something they called a “kitty circumcision” which helped for a few weeks, but he needed another procedure again around 8 weeks old (removing a part of what remained of his holey penis). He has had so many UTIs now I can’t even count them all. He blocked soon after this procedure too.

    During his next blockage around 9 weeks old, they determined he needed a PU but their only vet who could do it was apparently gone for the next few months – I think called into service. I can’t recall. So they called vets all over Tennessee and some out of states and all REFUSED to do it, because he was too tiny and young and everyone told me he was better off euthanized. However, we wanted a second opinion from a tiny little vet’s office in the country that does pets but they’re livestock vets mostly. I took Dixon there, they were actually closer to my house but I thought they didn’t treat this kind of stuff.

    It was horrifying because his penis swelled up so massive, it was about the size of a quarter, hanging off his little body!

    They determined that Dixon actually wasn’t blocked this time but had a terrible UTI. So they gave us Clavamox and it worked like a charm. He still urinated, but also oozed urine out of a hole left by his sisters that the first guys must have missed.

    Dixon did well for a while and around 4 months old, needed the actual full blown PU. The livestock vets did it, and he seemed to heal well but blocked again around 6 months, needing an emergency neuter while at it so they can widen that hole and move it up. He is 11 months, a couple weeks from his birthday and in for his 3rd reopening and they kept him over the weekend. Must be what you described as a “stricture” I think. He’s had many UTIs throughout this and I’ve had people, friends and such, tell me to “put him down and be done with it, it’s just a damn cat!” But Dixon is a cat but our pets are not mere objects to toss away when things get heated. His life is priceless. He’s such a sweet bean, he will chase people around the house purring to get them to love on him – even total strangers.

    Thank you so much! I have a lot more hope for Dixon’s recovery now! I thought I was alone in this!

    • OMG!!! Poor Dixon — what a traumatic time that baby has had!!!

      If you are in Tennessee and still need top-notch veterinary care, I can refer you to Shadow’s vets. I’m in middle TN, near Nashville. I promise you, they are fantastic. Actually, Shadow’s surgeon, Dr. Sykes, works on cats AND horses! He says they’re actually quite a bit alike, so it doesn’t surprise me that a livestock vet performed your PU.

      We can never just “put them down and be done with it.” People who say cruel things like that just don’t get it. These babies are our children, and when we take them into our lives, we owe it to them to protect them and care for them with all that we can.

      Please, please keep me updated on Dixon’s progress. He sounds precious and I hope for the best for you. Don’t give up hope!! Stay strong, and stay patient. Good luck!

      • He’s doing good after his last reopening and he’s celebrating his first birthday! I still dread weekends though and I still watch him pee.

        I never knew about your vet, I wish I had. My old vets must have called all the “big city pet vets”, because I know they didn’t touch livestock vets. I’m in East Tn, near Rockwood.

        He gets “burnies” on his new hole sometimes because the pee runs off a little, so I have to put antibacterial creme on there when he does but it heals up really fast. He is doing great :) Still destructive, still tearing up my house and flying off the shelves and ripping up our knees lol.

        I have pictures of Dixon here on my kitty blog: http://calico-dan.tumblr.com/ It’s mostly my cat Danni’s adventures but Dixon’s in there and I have some updates on his life. He’s the lean, leggy orange fella. Dave is the creme persian mix with the big head and Dan’s the calico.

        • I loved looking at all the pictures of your kitties, though I was sad to see that Dixon had another UTI not too long ago! Poor baby. I hate that it gives him the burnies to pee through his new opening. Is he on a special food? Maybe a urinary diet food could change the acidity of his urine some so it won’t burn him as badly?

          • Yep, he’s on Urinary S.O. He still gets UTIs here and there and I figured it’s because he squats so low into his own litter so I built him a “litterless litterbox” to pee in and he uses that now. So I wash and disinfect that everyday. So far so good :)

            It’s made from a litter box and I got a thick white rubber bathmat, cut it to size and attached it to the floor of the litterbox (using the suckers at the bottom). Now I dump his waste, spray it down with bleach and water and lay it back down :)

          • How inventive!! Thank you for posting that solution in case it works for someone else :) I’m glad things are going well for you and your babies.

  3. Hi Britt I’m going through a similar experience with my 18 lb 5 oz 6 year old male cat Joker. This the third cat in the past month to get blocked up $2,000 and counting! We brought Joker home early because we just can’t afford the $200 plus daily cost of hospitalization. My sister in-law picked him up from the vets office and brought home this evening. My husband usually asks all the questions and receives all the instructions from the vets office but wasn’t able to be there. We have never had a cat with a catheter and you seem to have some experience with these things. We need to flush his catheter with sodium chloride solution every 4-8 hours. My husband’s big hands make it difficult for him to connect the syringe to the tiny rubber end of the catheter. Do you have any suggestions that might make this less stressful for Joker and myself as well. This is my baby boy and I can’t stand to see him like this and it is stressing me out.

    • I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply to this – I know any advice I can give won’t be useful anymore. My vet always sent me home with syringes to flush the catheter if necessary. “If necessary” meant if the catheter stopped dripping (which indicated it was blocked by a particularly large crystal). Mine would just kind of cap onto the end of the catheter (this was always the “Tomcat” style catheter). I would have suggested, if I had managed to respond more timely, that your husband hold Joker while you connect the syringe, if your hands are smaller than your husband’s. Did the vet give a reason for the flushing, other than to help prevent obstruction in the catheter tubing? I’m wondering if it was for a different reason. And also please remember I’m not a vet and I can’t give medical advice, just share my experience!

      If you have had 3 cats block within the past month, I would take a serious look at potential issues that could be causing the blockages. Do you have the recommended number of litter boxes? (1 per cat + an extra?) Do you keep them very clean? Do your cats eat dry or wet food? Is there always clean, fresh water available? Are there multiple sources of water available? The reason I ask about multiple boxes/multiple water sources is because even though all your cats may seem to get along perfectly, there may be underlying stress you cannot note that keeps them away from the boxes/water, dehydrating them and causing them to withhold urine, which can lead to urinary tract stress. It may also be beneficial to discuss with your vet putting all 3 cats on an anti-anxiety medication to help ease stress in the household – my vets have my cats on amitriptyline, which works as an anti-inflammatory with the side effect of causing cotton mouth, prompting extra water intake (good for UTI-prevention). Another one of the vets at the practice has all 5 of his cats on prozac.

      Also, even though your sister in law picked up your cat, don’t ever be afraid to call your vet’s office and ask questions. Mine know me by name by now, and seem encouraged that I openly communicate with them. Vets like it when pet owners communicate with them about issues with their pets because it shows they are responsible pet owners.

      I really hope things worked out with you and Joker and your other babies. Can you update me on the situation?

  4. I cried… And laughed… And cried over your PU struggle. My Leo ended up my office cat when I managed a shelter and we went through PU surgery (him) and hip replacement(me) last year. Mine was so much easier! Similar to your story – ugh worst time ever.
    He pees fine now except it’s anywhere but the box. Puppy pads worked some but not completely. Now he does it in front of me. He’s much more scared and wary since all that. I can’t even get my hands on him some days. He’s terrified of the carrier or pills. Definitely need something to calm him that I can mix with food.
    Thank you for your story. I’m so glad I found it. Made me feel so much less alone.

    • I hope that things get better with poor Leo. I wonder if it’s still causing him physical pain to urinate, and that’s why he’s eliminating outside of the box? Like Dixon’s Mom said elsewhere in the comments, maybe the acidity of the urine is burning the new opening? It never hurts to discuss anti-anxiety meds with your vet. There’s a bunch they can put them on. My boys are on amitriptyline, which seems to be especially good for urinary issues as it also causes cotton mouth and promotes drinking and has anti-inflammatory effects. One of my vets has all of his on prozac. I don’t think you can mix them with food, though my boys tolerate a pill popper very well.

      If sharing my story did anything, it taught me that I am definitely not alone. Peruse back through all the comments. There are a BUNCH of us who went through this. I am sorry that you had the double whammy of sharing surgery time with Leo, that must have been really hard!

      Good luck as you both recuperate!

  5. Do you or anyone who has commented have any experience with a post-PU cat (2 years ago) having periodic bouts of holding in urine (not blocking) and then basically exploding with a quart of it – sometimes in a litter box, sometimes while doing something “strenuous” like a jump? Velcro has this issue, more frequent over time, and we’re trying to figure ways to encourage him not to hold it in or what to do to keep him from experiencing whatever discomfort it is he is having that makes him hold it in. He’s only had one UTI since the surgery and unless he is in obvious trouble, we don’t run him to the vet all the time because of the added stress and insults of repeated cathing on him.

    I still feel guilty about putting him through PU; still not sure if I didn’t do it for me, not him. So I’m wanting him to be as happy, playful, and comfortable as possible to be sure it was worth it FOR HIM. Any hints to help are HUGELY appreciated.

    • I’m sorry, Rebecca, but I haven’t experienced this (and I hope I don’t!). Shadow is less than a year out from his surgery and seems to be urinating at a normal frequency.

      This may be something you need to discuss with your vet that can be fixed pharmaceutically. Shadow is on amitriptyline for anxiety – that may help with Velcro’s withholding. Shadow has also taken prazosin, which relaxes the urethra and encourages him to let it flow – maybe that would help? I’m not sure since I’m not a vet. I don’t think I’d bring him in for a cathing since he is urinating, but maybe just a checkup and ask about your options. My vet told me that it’s normal for a cat to hold their bladder for sometimes up to 24 hours, but I would think that “exploding” with it during strenuous activity is abnormal.

      Please update us with what you discover!

  6. Wow, I read your entire story. Absolutely nervewracking..I was getting so scared it was going to have a bad ending, but i was so relieved that Shadow has recovered! He’s a fighter! Bless his heart. Damn what a traumatic thing to go through. My peterbald cat Oliver (3yr old) had a blockage and he just got back from the hospital last week. I’m so afraid that he will get blocked again. He was cath’d twice since he pulled out the first one. The two procedures plus meds cost $2300!! Yesterday he peed out a little blood clot, and since then he’s been peeing in larger amounts, and with lesser blood content. I’m hoping and praying that he will recover and never go through this again. Just having him stay 3 days at the hospital felt like forever. He’s always by my side and even sleeps under the blankets with me..He’s my baby, my everything, if anything were to happen to him I don’t know what i’d do..
    sorry for this long post, i got carried away …. Thank you so much for sharing Shadow’s story. It’s given me hope <3

    • Please update us on how Oliver is doing!

      Girl, I feel you on the expenses (as you know from reading this!). But that’s what we sign up for as cat moms, huh? I was so fortunate that Animal House just began replacing the catheters as a matter of course, since Shadow could not keep them in. I paid full price for the first replacement, but after that they saw how much care I was taking to keep them in and they just wanted him to get the help he needed. It would have really been an unmanageable expense if they hadn’t been so damn good about everything.

      Is Oliver still on meds? The urine in the blood makes me think that he still has an infection or, at the very least, a lot of inflammation/cystitis. My vets always prescribe a combo of buprenorpherine (for pain management) and amitriptyline (anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory especially useful in the urinary tract that also gives cottonmouth and therefore promotes water consumption). The amitriptyline is more of a long-term thing, but can still be helpful short-term (we put my grandmother’s female cat Ella on it periodically if she has cystitis just for the anti-inflammatory properties).

      I hope Oliver fully recovers. I can’t stand the idea of losing my babies either. I am grateful every day when Shadow cuddles up to me that he is alive and well and apparently fully recovered, and I still hold my breath every time I see him or Storm disappear into the litter box (with Storm I know it’s just a matter of WHEN he blocks again, since he has FLUTD and has not had a PU… but I hate anticipating that moment!!). Best wishes to both of you, and like I said, please keep us updated on how he does!

  7. I appreciate all of the information. My little man had a pu done this morning after him reblocking withing a few hours of the cath being removed. This past week was the first time he couldn’t pass the crystals himself. He was cathed Monday, cleared and sent home Tuesday. He didn’t pee all Tuesday night so I took him back Wednesday and he was blocked again. They did another catheter and cleared it again but last night he pulled the cath and blocked again. The vet called me when she got in, explained the situation and told me there was no other option. By noon he was being operated on. The tech called me and told me he did great and I should be able to pick him up tomorrow (or should I say shim?). As far as the costs go, the Monday -Tuesday procedure was $313.60 and I was quoted no more than $450 for the surgery.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing all of this! My foster cat has a urethral stricture and bladder diverticulosis, which was just diagnosed today with an ultrasound and dye xrays, and the specialist says he needs a PU. This really helped me understand what could happen, and I’m much more prepared mentally which I hope will help my foster cat get through this as best he can. Thank you!

  9. Hi, thank you for your story about Shadow. My little Finley had a crystal blockage last month. We took him in for emergency surgery to unblock. As he was recovering, he peed often but little amounts. Took him back in less than a week after, and vet had to manually express his bladder and prescribed more drugs saying he was inflammed. A week later, he peed on the sofa and had blood in it. Took him back in, they did a urinalysis. Came back negative for infection so more anti-inflammitories we prescribed. Continued to go to the box every 15 minutes and void a small amount. Occassionally, he would do this on the sofa or our bed. Called vet and recommended Glucosomine for his bladder. A few more days and he is peeing all over the house tiny amounts. We felt he was telling us he was not ok. Took him back to vet and they do an ultrasound to see if he has bladder stones. It comes back negative for stones so they insert a catheter and have difficulty. They said it appeared that his urethra had constricted or has scarring and suggested the PU surgery. The surgery is booked for next week, and in the meantime, he dribbles constantly and we have to clean up urine from everywhere he goes or sits.
    I was searching the internet hoping to read a success story on the surgery when I came across yours. I am so afraid of going through with it but we can leave him as he is. We are up to $2700 in vet bills and still have the cost of the PU to pay.
    I pray my Fin has a successfully surgery and I can write back to you tell you all about it.

  10. Hi read your experience in desperation to find out what was going on with my Blade 3wks ago he presented unable to pee I rushed him to vets and told them i thought he was blocked never had any problems with him before. His bladder was that full it nearly burst they syringe 250ml of urine out They tried 3 times over 3 days to put a cath in but would’t work so they told me to bring kids down to give him some love and say bye. i found your post the night before so i asked them what is the pu op that could be done so they explained it and agreed to give it a go but if they blockage was to much they would have to put him to sleep Needless to say i was heart broken. Thankfully op went well and they sent him how with cath in but he hadn’t eaten or drunk for 3 days and was shutting down on them but he only perked up when i was there I spent 4 days syringe feeding and watering him and helping him go loo Finally he starts getting interested in things again on day 5 vets pull cath and leave stitches in for 2wks on weds27/01/2016 stitches get removed everything going really well until sun 1/02/2016 his pu hole has completely healed over rush him to out of hrs vet tell them his hole has sealed they pop cath in and express him take out cath then send him home with advice straight to vet in morning yesterday he was in all day and expressed twice sent hom straight to box for a wee during night he starts blocking again so rushed him back to vet todayleft him with having a cath put in and clean out to look for more crystals but im convinced that with his diet its not crystals its just his hole over healing how can i convince them to rewiden his pu as they wont listen want to do loads of ifs and butts and figure it over time but the hole is that tiny its like a very tiny needle hole he is so placid and patient but he has spent 4wks in a cage to recover and want as little messing him about as possible

    • Jennifer, with Shadow it was imperative that the cath was left in for an exceedingly long time so the hole could heal around it and learn it was to stay open. We wound up leaving it in for a month. Most vets are loathe to leave it in for more than a few days. I would seek a second opinion.

  11. Thanks they took it out after 5 days and i asked them if it was to soon they put one in yesterday and he pulled it out in the vets as i got there to collect him i’m just hoping the origninal vet will be back from paternity leave next week as there going to try catheter in tomorrow to try and see him through the weekend as he is going know but very small amounts and he doesn’t seem to like the stand in vet

    • Do you have any updates for us on Blade?

      • Sorry not been in touch Blade had a few mayor problems he managed to heal his new hole over so was completely blocked again and spent another 5 days in the vets everyday having cathers to drain him all urine was healthy thankfully managed 1wk away from vets and he started blocking again on sat 13/2/2016 so 4 days of trips back to vets to do same again they are trying to stretch his hole as its to small they are trying him on tablets called cystaid plus 2 everyday to help lining of his bladder he isn’t taking enough fluids so adding extra to his dietary food and syringe feeding him extra water through they day. Hows Shadow doing

  12. Is your cat on a special diet now?

    • Shadow eats canned food only, a prescription urinary diet. He has been on Hills Prescription c/d, but he recently had to go back to the vet for a cystitis flare-up. He had a large amount of sludge in his bladder, so his vet wanted him moved to a dissolution diet for 6 weeks. He won’t eat the canned s/d, so he’s eating Royal Canin Urinary SO right now. I also add extra water to his canned food.

  13. Three years ago our cat Leon was straining so we took him in and found out he has crystals in his urine. We drained his bladder and switched to prescription food and have had no problems until this weekend. We noticed him straining again and on Saturday he threw up each of his meals, so we rushed him to the ER. They cath’d him, gave him an antibiotic shot, and kept him 36 hours – everything was going fine until he re-blocked for no (apparent) reason. I just transferred him to our regular vet and they are going to perform the surgery this week when they have an opening, keeping him until then. Thank you so much for sharing your story. While it was mildly terrifying, I was looking for a personal recount of what happened and this was incredibly helpful. Here’s hoping our PU goes smoothly and that Shadow keeps healthy!

    • This comment somehow got eaten by my spam filter. I am so sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you! How is Leon doing post-op?

      • Thank you for your response – Leon is doing so much better! He is going regularly and without straining and the scab has completely fallen off now. The vet said it’s possible that the scar tissue can sometimes get inflamed and cause problems again (?) so we are still being very mindful and are a bit anxious about it, but he seems to be healing just fine. :) I cannot thank you enough for your posts about Shadow – they were incredibly informative and there was a sort of comfort in knowing others had been through this before.

  14. Big problems with Blade this week ended up having surgery again on Monday 22/2/2016 turns out he had loads of scaring in his original pu surgery so they have had to remove all that to try again he has been kept in the vets since to keep very close eye on him he is getting injections every couple of days to try and prevent new scarring developing on the outside of his uretha as that was blocking him up with inflammation over straining he is also on wet food only the s/o diet with extra water and needs cystaid tablets every day for life he mat also have to have antibiotics to prevent uti’s once a week or monthly

    • How is Blade doing now? Antibiotics weekly/monthly to prevent UTIs sounds excessive. Surely the cystaid should help with the inflammatory cystitis, and cats don’t get actual UTIs THAT frequently. Please keep me updated on how your boy is doing!

      • we’ve had a good 20 days of easy peeing they have took his stitches out this morning and give him another anti inflammatory injection to last him another 10 days also put him down to one cystaid tablet a day and he can have a bit of freedom from the cone of shame under supervision and come out of his cage for comfy snuggles.So we are feeling very hopeful that things are on the mend for him and where going to play it by ear on the antibiotics and see how things go

  15. Thank you for sharing your story with shadow. I was thinking I was the only one experiencing this kind of situation. My katkat has been in and out of the hospital since Jan 21. 3 weeks on baytril, 2 weeks co amoxiclav and still has pus in his urine and 5 times blocked! His creatinine is also high. Last night he had PU done. The vet said the chances for his survival is 50/50. We are praying he recovers.

    • Please update me on how Katkat is doing! Did the PU go successfully? I think the survival rate for that surgery is MUCH higher than 50/50… Shadow’s side effects were completely crazy and over the top. I am hoping for the best for you and your son!

      • Hi! The PU surgery went well. He stayed at the hospital for 1 week. we brought him home March 5. On March 8 we brought him for his creatinine and CBC. March 9, he was admitted because he was not eating and was dehydrated. Creatinine jumped from 3.1 to 5.6. wbc from 46000 to 56000. His urine culture result which came out March 3 identified the bacteria as coagulate negative staphylococcus. The vet gave him chloramphenicol. Katkat has dropped weight. Vet said he has renal insufficiency I think that’s the same as kidney failure. I just saw him an hour ago. I gave him hill k/d and urinary s/o. He is eating today. Vet said we need to repeat crea after 3 days. Thank you so much. I’m praying so hard he recovers. That’s all we want for our baby.

      • Hi! Been a long time since I’ve been here. Sadly not long after the PU surgery, we had to put Kat Kat to sleep due to a ruptured bladder. His brother cottony blocked last aug 12. After so many antibiotics and urine test he was diagnosed with idiopathic cystitist. After 45 days of Subq fluids, more than a bottle of nephrotec, cystophan my cottony is now back to his usual self. I would like to share with everybody that he is on glucosamine chondroitin for life. Read that it repairs the bladder mucosa . When we stop the glucosamine for 2 days his bladder got inflamed and there was blood in his urine again. Partial blockage was noted the 2 day fortunately he was able to pass after 2 hours of trying. I’m really hoping that glucosamine is the solution for cottonys cystitist. Read it doesn’t work on all cats but it’s worth to give it a try. I give him 1/4 of the caplet since it’s 500mg. I mix it with his wet food. He eats urinary s/o and fancy feast roasted turkey is where I sprinkle glucosamine. No fish for him ever.

        • I am so sorry to hear about Kit Kat, but glad Cottony is doing well! Thank you for the tip about the glucosamine – I will be looking into it!

  16. Hi. My cat Taco underwent a PPU recently (a step past PU where he now has a hole in his lower stomach to pee from). Recovery has been rough and he peed on his brothers (dog) bed and then his own this weekend. He has peed outside the box once which may be because he hates yesterday’s news litter but we can’t use clay now. He still doesn’t pee all at once, just in small spurts. We love him so much and are becoming exhausted after how much has happened and having to constantly clean. Sometimes I wonder if we did the right thing, if he’s happy. He has to have two doses of pain meds still. I guess I’m wondering how your little guy is doing now and if it gets better. Everything I read about PPU (which is few and hard to find) worries me about his future health. Thanks for any input.

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story.

      Wow, I have never heard of a PPU. I guess that’s “the next step” Shadow’s surgeon sometimes mentioned in our dark times of despair. While our whole ordeal went on, we sometimes second guessed ourselves, too. I just reassured myself that chance of recovery and living a normal life was very good. I wouldn’t have put Shadow through all that if it wasn’t. And, sure enough – normal life! We did have a setback in January when he had another UTI and had to be cath’d again due withholding urine. We’re not sure if he was blocked with a very large crystal (his urine was really sludgy) or if he was withholding from the pain. However, the cath went in easily and he recovered very well with no more setbacks (knock on wood). At his last check up, his urine was beautifully clear and he is doing well again.

      How long has it been since Taco had his surgery? What pain meds are you giving him? Is he on an anti-anxiety drug that may help calm him, like amitriptyline? Why can’t he use clay litter? Something to do with the surgical site? After the PU, Shadow couldn’t use clay litter while he was recovering, but he was cleared to use it again several months later. In the mean time, we used horse bedding. Yes, horse bedding – it was like sawdust pellets that broke down when urinated on. We tried Yesterday’s News at first, but I didn’t like it because I couldn’t really monitor his output. The horse bedding is a pale golden color and I could see if his urine was bloody, and it was very easy to tell when he urinated because the pellets would break down immediately. I found it really hard to tell when he was peeing on the Yesterday’s News. It was always just dark gray, even when it was dry.

      Can Taco be given prazosin to help his urethra relax to encourage larger flows of urine, or maybe even something that’ll make his bladder contract to force it out? (I have no idea how that works – just something you can ask your vet). Or could you learn to manually express him? Some owners have to do that. Basically, several times a day, you hold him over the litter box and express his bladder yourself, making him urinate. I was told that might also be a possibility with Shadow, but fortunately it never came to that.

      Let me know how things progress with your baby. Stay strong and enjoy the time you have together!

  17. I am glad I found your blog, my cat Newbery had P/U 9 days ago and the emotional turmoil watching him go through it all is breaking me down. They tell me he’s doing well, but his recovery here at home was not good. So hard, lots of work, laundry, cleaning, giving meds, and constant worry. He was rubbing his new opening with the edge of the collar and leaking urine again. They do not catheterize the cats here where I had his surgery done. They assure me he is doing well overall and peeing on his own. But we decided that medical boarding was a better idea for his recovery for everyone. I go visit him twice a day. I am not as much of an emotional mess as I was, xanax if helping with that, and its obvious he is recovering better there. They are lasering his backside to heal it and it’s helping a lot. I am so glad your cat is OK. I hope that I can get my kitty and myself through this and that life can be close to normal one day for us. It’s great to see you and Shadow endured.

    • And the blow up collar was the trick for him so far.

    • How is Newbery doing now? Has he recovered from the PU? Have you recovered from the turmoil? It’s SO HARD to go through… I look back on the ordeal now and wonder that we made it through it!

  18. i just wanted to say how much I appreciated reading your fur baby’s story. I’m currently $3,000. into my cat Belvadere’s “aka Smushy” recovery. We’ve been hitting road block after road block. This is my first experience with a male cat blocking and he’s certainly going all out. He blocked 3 times at the vets office and then they recommended the PU. I finally got Smush home yesterday only to rush him back to the vet today. The vet said what he thinks is happening is that Smush basically has a microscopic leak somewhere through out the new urethra and that our only option is to go back in and try to shorten the urethra even more. If this doesn’t work he’s out of ideas. Do you have any advice or experience with this aspect of the PU recovery?

    • What is going on that makes the vets think he has a microscopic leak? After the original PU, did they leave a catheter embedded in him? That would be my only idea – leave the cath, so everything can heal up nice and tight around it. That’s what we did for Shadow… he had that thing in there for a whole month.

      Please keep me updated on Smushy’s progress. I’ll be thinking of him. Best of luck to you both!

  19. They left a catheter in for about a week but would not allow him to go home with it in. He was fine for the first 12 hours and had been doing well at the vets with out it. However when I woke up after work he looked very distressed and couldn’t pee. So I called the vet and they had me bring him back in. He bladder wasn’t exceptionally large but it was hard. The vet said that when cats pass the “stones” that they can some times create small tears in the urethra. So they think the leak is further up closer to the bladder. The plan now is to leave the catheter in until tomorrow and then go back in “exploring”. They think the leak is closer to the bladder so they want to create an even shorter urethra. Fingers crossed that they find it and fix it, but in the meantime Smush is enjoying some very good drugs!

  20. Jennifer Evans

    Up date on blade we are still back and fourth to the vets he is unable to pee again it looks as though all he is ever going to be able to do is drip like a tap with a washer broke he is slightly inconteniant so leaks when asleep and to get a good size pee out of him i have to help express his bladder 2 times a day he is still on his wet food diet to prevent crystals and now on cystease tabs. Im being to think that i am enabling my cat to suffer so don’t now if what i am doing is now cruel

    • I worried about that a lot with Shadow when going through the process – was I just making my cat suffer? But my vets kept reassuring me that he would be able to make a full recovery. If I hadn’t had that reassurance, honestly, I probably would have chosen to euthanize at some point – I wouldn’t have wanted him to live in pain. So if I were you, I’d be asking myself… is Blade in pain? Will he be able to recover? Is the prognosis still good? What sort of quality of life will he have? And these are all things you can discuss with your vet, too. I am sorry you are having such a hard time. I am keeping you and your boy in my thoughts. Please update me as things go on.

  21. Update on blade he has been ok quite content eating sleeping purring etc but he is consently cleaning his self to the point of making his self bleed these last 2 days he seems to have a perment urine scold with dripping all the time so i think that is why he is cleaning so much he puts up with me expressing him ok but keeps growling and hissing at his self when cleaning so gone back to cone and cleaning him with salty water to see if that helps

    • Jennifer Evans

      Very Sad day yesterday Blade completly blocked again rushed him to vet but time i got him there he started to have a fit the vet and me decided that he was in such a bad way that it would be kinder to let him sleep. That is the hardest decision i have had to make but it had to be done for my fur baby going to miss him loads thanks for all your help and support during these hard times to everyone xxx

  22. I am actually going through this with my 9 year old Forrest. Forrest had the PU a few months ago and is still experiencing problems. Back to the vet tomorrow. In & out of the box. They had put in a stent which he pulled out a few times. When the stent is in, he is fine. When it comes out within a week he is back to having trouble urinating. Been on all kinds of meds totally frustrating! They never sent him home with a catheter? Is that something I should ask about?

    • I am not sure what a stent is – I’m wondering if that’s the same thing I’m calling a catheter?

      Why exactly does he return to having problems urinating? Is the hole physically closing? If it is, maybe a cath would help. If it’s not, then he may have neurological issues that need medical treatment (Shadow dealt with that as well – we put him on Prazosin for months, and there are other drugs that do similar things).

  23. Thank you so much for writing all of this out in such detail. We are literally going through almost the same thing with our big guy. He had a PU in December and literally everything has gone wrong… 2 surgeries since then. The second was today so I was frantically doing more research. He had his urethra widened again after scar tissue built up from his last two surgeries. His hole kept healing over. My boy is also crazy with pulling the catheter out and I really appreciated reading your advice on that and the doughnut cone combo! I’m scared every single time he pees… but he’s my baby and we want him better. He stinks of pee tonight from his catheter leakage but he’s purring :) Just trying to now figure out how to deal with him overnight! He’s way too hyper. Again, thank you! I might have questions as we go along dealing with this too!

    • I am so sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. How is your baby recovering? Can you update me?e

      • Hi Britt! No worries!
        Finn is actually doing great! After he had the corrective surgery to remove the scar tissue that built up, the vet sewed the skin so that if any more scar tissue formed it would scar outwards instead of inwards. He had the catheter in for about 4.5 weeks (that was as long as we could keep it in him – so stressful!) before he eventually got it out. At that point the vet didnt want to put it back in because he thought the area would have been healed by then and by putting it back in could have potentially disturbed some of the skin. So…. that was back in july/august and since then Finn has been doing great! no problems at all. The only thing we have to keep an eye on is the fur growth in the area. Because of how his new pee hole was sewed some of his furr back there grows inwards into the hole a little so once every month and a half I have to take him back to the vet to be shaved haha. He seems so happy now and he’s peeing quickly, with a large amount, and back to a normal amount each day. I’m so happy when i see his litter full of pee now lol His diet is Urinary SO wet food and I mix in some Metamucil fiber dust. When we went to a specialist, they told us that he was getting calcium oxolate stones because his calcium levels in his blood were high… so by adding fiber to his diet it allows his body to absorb the extra calcium before it gets to his blood stream and makes stones in his bladder. This has worked. We’ve had some tests afterwords to confirm it’s working for him. So I hope this nightmare is over…
        Hope your guy is doing well ! i’m going to check out some of the comments to see if I see an update :) Thank you so much again!

        • I’m glad Finn is doing so well!

          That’s fascinating to hear about the fiber supplements. Both Storm and Shadow have always had struvite crystals, so I’ve never dealt with calcium oxalate. I had no idea that fiber helped absorb extra calcium. Science is so cool.

  24. I’m happy to some of us here who’s kitties are in the 10% range of problems with the PU surgery and recovery though I wish all our kitties would fall into the norm where they get fixed, sent home the next day and live happily ever after ( at least that’s what the vets say )…

    Our little Buddy got plugged up real bad last week and after a good flushing, he plugged up again so we had two choices… Surgery or say goodbye… Saying goodbye was not an option… Had to take a small loan out for the surgery.. Buddy was in the hospital since last Tuesday afternoon and we got him back Sunday evening… Been nerve racking to say the least. He went straight for the water bowl and started chugging it down, hit his food pretty good and took in a bit more water…. And then he tried to pee and he couldn’t. I rubbed him real good like you would a dog… Sides, top and belly ( he’s always liked that ) and he tried to pee again and a little bit came out. He then meow’d loudly a couple of times so we gave him the pain meds that happened to be in the scheduled time frame… We left him in the bathroom so the other kitty wouldn’t mess with him.

    The following morning we woke up to find that he tore up our bathroom by knocking stuff off the counters, unrolled the toilet paper… Kitty litter everywhere, like leaving a toddler alone for a few hours… But he did pee on his blanket which was good… He struggled to pee during the morning but played, ate and drank and the slept all afternoon and evening… I would too if I just got home from having my junk removed…

    Tuesday kind of the same… He woke up, ate, drank and played a little… Struggled to pee and he did pee, took a dump and pretty much chilled all afternoon… I could sit here and write a book of all the funny things he does while he’s moving around with his cone head and how awesome Buddy is/was before he got sick… He lights up the room when he walks in… Everybody that comes over always asks, ” Where’s Buddy?”…

    I can only hope that my little guy gets through this… So far so good…
    My heart goes out to all who have to see their little companion endure through so much discomfort…
    I have taken encouragement from reading the story and the follow up posts here…. Thank you

    Michael

    • How is Buddy doing now?

      The fact that he is still having some trouble urinating post-PU makes me worry a bit. Shadow did too, and it was indicative of the site closing – that’s when we almost lost him over Easter weekend. I would definitely ask the vet to check the site and make sure there is nothing physical preventing urination. Is Buddy on any meds to help?

      • Hey there….
        It’s been about a month post op for Buddy and he’s doing great… Our Buddy is back :-)
        He’s eating, drinking, poop’n, pee’n, playing and sleeping…
        He’s not on any medication and our regular Vet just saw him last week and said the only thing is that he lost a pound of weight but…. I’m sure he’ll get that back because he is such a muncher.
        We are feeding him a combo of wet food and dry Urinary S/O food and he likes it.
        I throw ice cubes into his water bowl and he’ll play with them and drink the water too… He’s always been such a playful little guy like that…
        His favorite toy is a bottled water cap… He scutes them around like a hockey puck on the floor, fetches them and brings them to me so I can throw them and we rinse and repeat.
        I wish I could upload a picture of him in his superman outfit… He’s so cute…

        Thousands spent and I’m glad I did…
        Something about these furry little critters and how God made them so special for us, to love and enjoy their companionship and visa- versa.

  25. So glad to to read about your buddy’s journey. My baby, Asher, is on his 2nd full blockage. Each time has cost us $800 and we are starting to go broke. Our next step is the PU surgery when my husband gets out of school and we can pay for it. He had his catheter removed this morning and still hasn’t peed at the vet. I am devastated, knowing we cannot afford the PU until January at the earliest as he has maxed my Care Credit.

    Do you think the Prazosin would help him now? He’s on Buprenex and has been on it between his obstructions. 2 weeks apart, this is ridiculous. But like you, whatever the cost is worth his life. Not many people agree with that. My mom being one of them. She did not like my response “dad has prostate issues, are you going to take him out back and shoot him!” I found humor in it as did my husband…

    Since its been a year, how is Shadow doing?

    • I hate answering the “how is Shadow doing” question because it always seems to curse him!! Last time I answered it back at the beginning of the year, that night he blocked up!

      So the PU surgery is not an end-all. I was really shocked when Shadow blocked earlier this year, but it can apparently still happen after PU. At that time his urine was incredibly sludgy. We have since switched foods again (Royal Canin Urinary SO, and I water it down heavily) and his urine has been much clearer.

      I really think the “holy trinity” of drugs my vet prescribes works really well – buprenorpherine for pain, prazosin to help the urethra relax, and amitriptyline as an anti-anxiety/to induce cotton mouth/as an anti-inflammatory. I would certainly highly recommend asking for the amitriptyline, it’s done wonders for my boys.

      Some people just don’t understand that our cats are our babies and we have a responsibility to them. How is Asher doing now? Will your vet accept a payment plan for the PU?

      • Asher has been home a week since his last blockage. I convinced the vet to put him on Prazosin Saturday. He just kept making trips to the litter box and peeing a bit. Unfortunately I think it was mostly him freaking out over blocking again. About two hours after his first dose he peed so much! I never thought I’d be happy about cat pee :)

        Other than charging me an arm and a leg, my vet doesn’t see much use in either prazosin or Amitriptyline in cats and was really resistant to adding the prazosin. I think I might ask for the other at his follow up. He’s not drinking much but boy do I water down his SD cat food to get his water in!

        As far as the PU, the vet has referred us to another as his office does not do them. Got to get my care credit paid off before then. Only way any of these vets in my city do payment plans! I’m definitely going to call around and find the place that looks best! :)

        Definitely don’t want to jinx shadow’s progress so I wish him well!

        • I would urge you to request amitriptyline. It’s been a godsend for my boys as it works as an anti-anxiety drug (and cystitis often flares up due to anxiety), has anti-inflammatory properties, and also encourages them to drink more water. I’m really surprised your vet doesn’t see much use in it as it has been widely accepted around these parts (all of the vets I’ve spoken to at various practices recommend it, and I have more friends scattered across the US who give it to their urinary kitties). The vet can write a prescription (both my boys take 10mg once per day) and it can be filled at a normal human pharmacy. I pay around $15 for a 60 day supply.

          Prazosin is a drug we use “as-needed.” I give it to the boys if they’re having a urinary flare up, or if we get into a situation where I think they are going to be stressed out (for instance, I started giving it to them routinely 2 weeks before we moved, and then kept up with it for a few weeks after we moved… those transitional periods can be very stressful and I didn’t want it to trigger an episode!). But amitriptyline is a baseline drug they stay on forever.

          Definitely keep hydrating his food! I water down canned food so much, it turns into a soup!

          Do you have any water fountains? My cats drink much more now that I have a couple of Drinkwell water fountains scattered throughout the house!

          Good luck to Asher, I hope he continues to improve.

          • I think it might be time to find my buddy a new vet. I called yesterday and asked about starting amitripyyline and he bluntly told me no. Did not give me a reason other than saying he hasn’t heard of success… Makes me want to do a lit search. My husband takes it and is willing to give his dose to his cat! :) He only takes 10mg a day, so it is tempting but he needs it too!

            He wanted us to continue to give the prozosin for a whole month just in case. We are closing in on the same amount of time between his last two. So I will keep mixing it with his food for another couple weeks. Its not the cheapest medicine and I do wish it was on the walmart $4 list! He does seem a bit anxious so I may do some calling around town to different vets about amitriptyline.

            We have water bowls all around our house. Unfortunately, I once had a fountain but Asher is terrified of it and our kitten is allergic to plastic. She’s been an interesting one herself. Allergic to gluten, plastic, and fish. Poor kitty being allergic to fish. That’s cruel.

            Thanks for all your help! I work in a hospital and I used to sigh when a patient or family said “well I read on the internet” and now I’ve become that pet parent! :)

          • Hi Britt!
            My Asher blocked again the day after Christmas. I was devastated as we have done everything possible to prevent it; he was on meloxicam, amytriptiline, and prazosin plus science diet SD. All the vets were closed except one who did not offer Care Credit. We wound up taking him there in hopes he wasn’t blocked. We ran a kitty hospice that night hoping to keep him comfortable until his vet opened. I honestly did not think he’d make it until morning.

            But he prevailed and had his PU surgery the next day. He only stayed 2 nights at the vet and came home confined to our master bath for 2 weeks. Thanks to your blog I had some great tips to prevent various complications. He did wind up with another UTI during the first week and kennel cough from the vet.

            Its been well over a month since his PU surgery and he’s finally back to himself! :) He’s on chews (they have D-mayonnase and other things) and as needed prazosin from here on out.

            Thanks again for all your tips and tricks and sharing Shadow’s journey

  26. My Ollie is at the vet getting unblocked. He hasn’t had a PU yet but we’re considering it. It seems that it doesn’t work too well though and cats get reblocked, even after the critical post op time has passed and post op stricture formation has been dealt with. I’m wondering if blockages can be treated preemptively with L-methionine and D-mannose, instead of doing surgery for those of us who’s kitty can be unblocked, flushed out and sent home. Ironically my boy is already on amitriptyline for a year now, and cosequin (glucosamine), but we’ve not yet tried the D-mannose (which lubricated the bladder’s mucosal lining, and also binds to bacteria so it cannot attach to the bladder wall, preventing infection), and L-methionine when pH appropriate, to make the urine more alkaline so struvite crystals do not form. You may want to research these for Storm, because D-mannose can be given daily for prevention, and the powder is odorless and tasteless. Search Facebook for the FLUTD cat group, they have very helpful information. You may be able to prevent Storm from getting blocked, if idiopathic cystitis is his issue. Thank you for your blog. It was very helpful. I think I’ll try the FLUTD “recipes” before doing the PU since it is not a one time cure all. I hope I’m doing the right thing.

    • Okay, so this is kind of eerie… I literally got this message from you as I was standing in Petsmart staring at some “urinary health” gummy vitamins that contain d-mannose. I am definitely going to research this more and discuss it with my vet. Storm and Shadow are both going to have a urinalysis done soon so I’ll talk about it with her then. And also thnk you for the fb group recommendation – never thought to look on fb for FLUTD information!

      If Ollie does not frequently block and if you are confident you can immediately recognize urinary issues, I wouldn’t do a PU. Now I am not a veterinary professional so I can’t give legit advice, but if it were me, I wouldn’t. Shadow had soooo many complications… But again, ALL of his care staff kept emphasizing they had never seen such a difficult recovery.

      If you haven’t yet tried Prazosin, that may help Ollie relax and pass the crystals. I’m also a huge fan of buprenorpherine for pain. Shadow’s surgeon didn’t think it did anything, but his primary vet always prescribed it and I feel like it does make a difference in his comfort levels.

      Please update me with news on Ollie!

  27. I am so shocked to see how many people are going through the same thing as me. Since Christmas Day, we have been struggling with our Pooders being unable to urinate. He was hospitalized for a week around Christmas. They hooked him up to a catheter, did a urinalysis, blood work, and X-rays. They couldn’t figure out. What the problem was. No stones/crystals, no infections, nothing. We have gone back 3 more times since Christmas to have his bladder emptied manually and have already spent $2700. He is on C/D pet food that’s prescribed, and takes prazosin once a day and buprenex twice daily. Our vet is now recommending the PU which will cost us another $2000. I’m really hoping it works because I’m not ready to give up on him. We are scheduled for tomorrow. Wish me luck!

    • Please update me on how Pooders is doing!!

      I wholeheartedly recommend something like amitriptyline or prozac for anxiety, if you can’t find an underlying physical cause for the blockage!

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