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4153 Acorn Hill
San Antonio, TX 78217

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My cat can’t pee, now he’s at the Vet Clinic: A Case Study for Urinary Obstruction.


On Thursday, Tom Cat was presented to our veterinary hospital for screaming and dripping blood from his penis. Tom Cat could not urinate for 24 hours. He was also straining in the litter box and had small spots of blood in the litter box. Tom Cat was a veterinary emergency!

At our vet hospital, we anesthetized Tom Cat and placed an indwelling urinary catheter. We collected a urine specimen for urinalysis as we emptied his bladder. We successfully relieved his obstruction and the urine toxins that were accumulating. To help calm down his urinary tract we flushed out the many blood clots with sterile saline. Our veterinary team obtained a blood sample; his bloodwork was relatively normal.

Because his urethral swelling and his blood clots continued to obstruct his urethra, we were forced to leave his urinary catheter in place and connected to a collection bag for his multi-day stay at our veterinary hospital. Tom Cat could not be discharged from the vet clinic until he could urinate on his own. During his hospital stay, Tom had an IV catheter in place to manage his fluid and electrolyte balance; this helps manage his body’s response known as a post-obstructive diuresis.

In addition to fluid therapy, Tom received many medications for the swelling in his bladder and urethra. All of his treatments were geared towards resolving the inflammation in his urinary tract so he could urinate on his own and go home.

Tom was presented for a life-threatening emergency on Thursday morning. He was treated on an emergency basis and admitted to the veterinary hospital where he was stabilized. Tom Cat was attended by his veterinarian and treated by our attentive and caring veterinary technicians for several days. Tom Cat was finally able to urinate on his own and was discharged to his human family on Sunday evening. His family was sent with a few medications, a special diet, and strict rules to help him continue to improve and hopefully not recur.

Tom is what we call a repeat offender. Earlier this year, he was treated on an out-patient basis for cystitis symptoms; and he recovered. However, like many male cats, his symptoms recurred. This time, his condition was much more severe. Tom Cat was lucky his human family noted his condition and responded rapidly. Now, we want to manage his cystitis and hopefully prevent a severe recurrence like this in the future. If his condition continues to be a problem, we need to discuss a procedure known as a perineal urethrostomy or a PU surgery. But that is another conversation for another day.

Our veterinary technicians followed up with Tom Cat’s family Monday morning and Monday afternoon – Tom Cat was still doing well! A week later, his owner came in to get more food and couldn’t be more pleased with his progress. Our veterinary team came together, worked hard through the week and weekend, and saved Tom’s life!

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