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Sign of a blocked bladders in cats: Halifax Veterinary Centre

One of the most horrible noises to hear in our job is the pained yowling of a male cat who is experiencing a ‘blocked bladder’.
Blocked bladders are a true emergency and must be seen immediately if suspected.
This condition occurs when the tube that leads from the bladder to the penis becomes blocked. This means that the poor cat cannot pee, leading to a large, painful bladder that is at risk of rupturing if the issue is not addressed rapidly.
Causes vary – crystal formation, infection, inflammation and even stress can lead to this condition. Most commonly occurring in overweight, neutered male cats, it can even strike those who are svelte, like poor Archie here.
Archie presented with the classic yowl, he had been seen straining to pee and brought in ASAP. Once assessed it became clear that Archie’s bladder was perilously close to rupture and so he was rushed into theatre where he was sedated, the blockage cleared and a catheter placed to maintain a clear flow of urine while he remained in hospital for monitoring.
These cats have a range of tests run including urinalysis to determine the cause and blood tests to assess kidney function/potassium levels. They receive intensive care like pain relief, IV fluids and antibiotics IF the urinalysis has determined that an infection is present.
Once we have got them through the woods it is important to find out what was the cause of the problem so that we can hopefully avoid recurrence. Interestingly, there is a very high stress component to these cases. While Archie appears very relaxed all the time he was in fact very skilled at hiding the fact that he was stressed at losing his brother who had been keeping neighbouring cats at bay. Now that Archie was solely responsible he was finding it all a bit much!
Archie is on ongoing treatment for his stress and doing really well. His owners are amazing at keeping a very close eye on him and planning for stressful occasions like cattery visits by consulting with Dr Kim on his anxiety meds and routine and altering them to suit.
As you can see, Archie is a picture of health and love. We’re so happy he’s doing so well and long may it last!

Following on from our post on blocked bladders in cats yesterday, this handy infographic should help you identify the signs rapidly.
Neutered, overweight male cats are most likely to be the ones suffering from this horrid condition but of course others can too.
If you notice any of these signs in your cat then it’s always best to get them to the vet ASAP – blocked bladders are a true emergency.
#blockedbladder #felinecystitis #emergencyvet #catsofig

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