Treating Feline Urinary Blockages
With Perineal Urethrostomy
As you know, urinary blockage is a common and potentially deadly problem in male cats. This is an urgent situation calling for immediate emergency care.

Sometimes a blockage can be caused by stones or a cancerous growth, but the most common cause by far is feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). This disease can cause an obstruction, despite the absence of a large stone or growth. The result is an inability for urine to exit the body via the urethra, the passageway that connects the urinary bladder with the outside world.

When educating cat owners on emergencies that require immediate attention, these are the most common symptoms they should look for: 

  • straining to urinate
  • blood-tinged urine
  • accidents outside the litter box
  • lethargy
  • decreased appetite
  • vomiting

To help them understand the potential severity of a blockage, let them know that not only is this a painful condition, but the inability to urinate also causes urine to build up in the bladder. This can result in potential bladder damage and more importantly, an unhealthy buildup of several substances in the blood, such as potassium and creatinine.
The best treatment is unique for each patient and situation. A combination of IV fluids, urinary catheterization, and medication is often the first line of treatment to combat the harmful effects of the changes in the blood, relieve the blockage, and help prevent early re-obstruction. Changes in diet and drinking habits can also help decrease the incidence and severity.

However, despite such care, the problem can recur. This can be shortly after the first episode or can be years later, and for some cats it can happen multiple times. If the risk of recurrence is high or if re-obstruction happens multiple times despite treatment, a perineal urethrostomy may be required to alleviate the symptoms.

The concept behind the surgery is fairly simple and has been utilized for some time. The cat urethra is narrow and becomes even narrower toward the tip. Because most cats with FLUTD develop an obstructing plug-like substance, increasing the size of the urethral opening can allow this potentially obstructing material to pass before it forms a blockage. This can be accomplished by opening up the urethra and using the wider part of it, farther in from the tip, as the new opening.

Here at Burleson Animal Emergency Hospital , we have successfully treated many cats suffering from FLUTD. Helping clients identify the issue and seek care earlier can lessen the severity of the condition and avoid some of the pain associated, particularly since cats are so stoic. 

If you have any questions, or if we may assist you or your clients, please do not hesitate to contact us anytime at 817.900.2000.
12600 South Fwy | Burleson, TX 76028 | 817.900.2000