Domestic cats are prone to sudden urinary blockages, which can be both dangerous and painful. While less invasive treatments are often preferred, there are cases where a perineal urethrostomy (PU) surgery becomes necessary. In this article, we’ll delve into the cost and recovery process associated with PU surgery for cats.
How Do Urinary Blockages Happen In Cats?
Urinary blockages occur when protein-rich sludge, crystals, or small stones form ‘plugs’ that obstruct the cat’s urethra – the tube responsible for urine elimination. Neutered male cats are more susceptible to these blockages due to their narrower urethra, which allows less material to pass through.
What Does A Urinary Blockage Look Like In A Cat?
When a cat experiences a urethral obstruction, it will attempt to urinate more frequently than usual, but only a small amount or no urine at all will be expelled. The real danger lies in the fact that liquid continues to enter the bladder without being able to leave. This leads to discomfort, pain, and potentially life-threatening complications. Symptoms may include lethargy, disorientation, and vomiting. Without prompt treatment, the bladder may rupture.
How Can PU Surgery Help My Cat?
If standard treatments like using a catheter to push the blockage away are unsuccessful, or if your cat is prone to urinary blockages, your veterinarian may recommend a perineal urethrostomy (PU) surgery. This procedure aims to widen the urethra, allowing blockages to pass through more easily. It reduces the risk of future obstructions but doesn’t guarantee that they will never occur again.
What Should I Expect After Surgery?
After the PU surgery, your cat will need to wear an Elizabethan collar (e-collar) to prevent licking or biting at the surgical site. Licking can interfere with the healing process, and excessive activity in the area may result in irreversible tissue damage. The e-collar should remain on until your vet gives the green light, which typically happens after about 2 weeks. Additionally, you’ll need to keep your cat calm and restrict its activity. Your veterinarian may suggest confining your cat to a small area away from other pets for close monitoring.
In the immediate aftermath of the surgery, it’s normal for your cat to have bloody urine for a few days and possible accidents as it adjusts to the new functionality of its urethra. To make cleanup easier, keep your pet in a room with tile flooring during the recovery period. If there is blood or urine on their back legs or belly, you can gently clean it with a wet washcloth, avoiding direct contact with the incision area.
During your cat’s recovery, you’ll need a special litter that won’t stick to the incision. Shredded newspaper or pelleted paper litter can be suitable options. Once your cat has fully healed, you can transition back to regular litter.
What Does A Cat’s PU Surgery Recovery Time Typically Look Like?
The outcome of PU surgery is usually positive, providing your cat with a more comfortable life without frequent bladder obstructions. Studies have shown that cats tend to live three to five years after undergoing PU surgery. However, this surgery does not negatively impact their life expectancy. With proper preventive care, you can help your cat enjoy a happy, healthy, and blockage-free life.
How Much Does PU Surgery for Cats Cost?
The cost of PU surgery can be significant and depends on factors such as the necessary diagnostic tests and the severity of the condition. However, when comparing the cost of surgery to the expense of frequent blockage treatments, opting for surgery may save you money in the long run. For a more accurate estimate, we recommend contacting our trusted veterinary professionals at Katten TrimSalon.
How Can I Prevent My Cat From Developing a Urinary Obstruction?
Preventive care is essential to reduce the risk of urinary blockages in cats. Routine wellness exams with your veterinarian allow them to ensure your cat is receiving the proper care at home. Here are a few additional measures you can take between appointments:
- Increase your cat’s water intake by providing clean and fresh water or adding flavor.
- Switch to a urinary diet that has limited minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.
- Minimize stress for your cat by keeping the litter box clean and maintaining a consistent schedule.
- Create an enriched environment with perches, moving toys, or food puzzles.
Remember, the advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice. To obtain an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian.
For more information about PU surgery for cats, visit Katten TrimSalon.