Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Homer - Pet of the Month hall of fame ( Dec 2017)


Handsome Homer is our December pet of the month after overcoming serious bladder issues.

Homer was rushed in to see vet Kirstie for an emergency appointment after his owner noticed that he was agitated and struggling to urinate. Kirstie examined Homer and identified that his bladder was full and painful. She suspected that Homer had a urinary obstruction of his urethra.
The urethra is a tubular structure that leads from the bladder to the outside of the body. Male cats are more prone to a urinary blockage due to their urethra being quite narrow; it can become more easily blocked. Sometimes the blockage is caused by bladder stones which travel down the urethra and get stuck and sometimes it is caused purely by muscle spasms or ‘plugs’ of cells, crystals and mucus forming a blockage.
Blocked bladders need urgent treatment; they are medical emergencies and, left untreated, are life threatening.

Kirstie’s immediate priority was to provide emergency treatment to Homer. This involved relieving the pressure on his bladder by carefully inserting a urinary catheter and flushing the urethral blockage back into the bladder, which then allowed urine to drain out. The catheter was stitched in place so that the urine could continuously drain. The catheter allows  the bladder to recover from the trauma of being overstretched and unable to empty. Kirstie also collected a blood sample to check that Homer’s kidneys had not been damaged and to assess the levels of potassium, an electrolyte that can dangerously build up in the bloodstream. Once he was more comfortable and stable, further investigations revealed that Homer had several stones in his bladder that required surgical removal.
Surgery called a Cystotomy was performed and several stones and grit were removed from his bladder and flushed out of his urethra.  A urinary catheter was again stitched into place and remained indwelling for a few days. It was then removed to allow us to assess whether Homer could pass urine by himself.
As can happen with severe cases, Homer unfortunately required a second Cystotomy to remove further grit and stones from his bladder. Finally, after two weeks in hospital and two operations, Homer began to urinate by himself and he was able to go home!

To help prevent recurrence of the bladder stones, Homer now eats a special prescription diet.
Throughout his treatment with us Homer did not complain once and demonstrated just what a lovely cat he is. We are all so happy that Homer has recovered and continues to do well.