There is a particular sound that every member of my team knows is bad news.
It’s the long drawn out, harsh, deep cry of a male cat in deep trouble.
Alfie’s arrival at the Clinic was prefaced by just such an agonised meowing. He was rushed straight into the consulting room. The brief history from the owner tended to confirm our anxieties. He had been off colour for several days, straining to pass urine, which was coming in smaller and smaller streams, until for the last 24 hours there had been nothing.
I was able to palpate that this normally small soft bladder was rock hard and many times its usual size. He was blocked, and in danger of a rupture.
It’s a common emergency, and after only a brief consultation I split the team of nurses and vets in two. All routine appointments were kind enough to wait whilst one Vet took him into the operating Theatre to attempt to decompress the bladder, taking the immediate pressure off, and providing some pain relief.
I took some time with his owner to discuss the next few steps. The problem is it’s not enough to simply remove whatever item was obstructing the small tube through which urine exits the bladder (the urethra). We then need to diagnose why that item had got there, and try to prevent such a thing happening again.
In the day time, a few days’ care for this urethral obstruction with the required blood, urine and urolith (bladder stone) analysis can easily add up to £750. If the emergency had happened at night, the costs can be 3 times higher.
He was at risk of kidney failure, and we needed to counsel his owners about the possible risks he was now facing.
To be continued next week…..
Don’t forget to email us your favourite photos of your own best friends. Our Pet Portrait Competition is open until 28th October, and is free to enter. The top prize is £100 of pet food, and the front page of our 2018 Calendar, to be sold in aid of Smokey Paws.