September Pet of the Month

Posted by on Sep 9, 2017 in Our Blog, Pet of the Month | 0 comments

Helmock AKA Hemi is a 1 year old neutered male domestic shorthair cat. He was presented to our clinic on in July for acting lethargic, vomiting and laying by his water bowl.
Upon examination Dr Sappington found that Hemi’s bladder was the size of a small balloon. His bladder grew because he was not able to urinate. She knew right away that Hemi was blocked and needed some emergency care.
Urethral obstruction is common in neutered male cats 1-10 years old. It can be caused by a stone, mucus or crystals lodged in the urethra. Fortunately urethral obstructions are a treatable emergency with high survival rate if caught in time. First symptoms are usually consistent with urinary tract inflammation. They would strain to pee, urinate frequently or inappropriately or have bloody urine. Complete blockage is very painful, and life threatening if not taking care of in a timely manner; cats can die from urinary obstruction in 3-6 days. The bladder would just keep filling up and chemicals that should exit the body with urine accumulate in the bloodstream.
Dr.Sappington opted to perform radiographs of the bladder first to see what kind of blockage we were dealing with. The X-rays showed that Hemi had a mucus blockage in the tip of his penis. Dr Sappington decided to take Hemi to emergency surgery to physically remove the blockage. Before surgery was performed, Dr Sappington ran a complete blood screen which showed that Hemi’s potassium level was really high (which can raise the risks associated with surgery), his white blood cell levels was too high to register (high white blood cell level usually indicate inflammation that the body is trying to fight) and his glucose level was on the low side. While these values were critical, surgery was still necessary to address them. Hemi was given antibiotic injections as well as pain medications to keep him comfortable.
Hemi was taken into surgery right away. Once he was sleeping Dr Sappington placed a urinary catheter in him. This allowed his bladder to empty and we were able to flush out any remaining sediment. To help Hemi to empty his bladder the catheter was left in and connected to a disposable bag. Once out of surgery he was placed on observation to insure proper recovery and healing. During this time Hemi received fluid therapy to flush toxins out of his bloodstream, and flush his bladder. The high potassium caused tachycardia (dangerously fast heart rate). We had to give Hemi insulin to move potassium into the body’s cells, which brought his heart rate back to normal right away. However because of low blood sugar he came in with we had to add dextrose (sugar) to his fluids to keep it in the right range. By the next day Hemi started to show signs that he was well on way to recovery. Hemi was interested in food and was starting to look for human interaction and even affection from the staff. Those are all great signs and once Hemi had demonstrated his ability to urinate on his own Dr.Sappington decided he was ready to go home.
When Hemi felt better, we could tell he was grateful. He seemed really happy with us and wanted all the love he could get. Since he was not in a critical state anymore, Hemi was ready to be sent home with some more fluids that his owners would administer subcutaneously. The subcutaneous fluids would further help his hydration and recovery. When time came for him to go home, we realized that we all grew attached to him and-even though we would have loved for him to stay with us 24/7-were really happy to see him go home to his family.

Written by Ando

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