Monday, May 21, 2012

Saving Smoke

Smoke while urethra is obstructed
Smoke, Day 1
On Thursday, last week, a new client came into our hospital with a very sick little cat. Smoke is a two-year-old male cat that suffering from a urinary obstruction. He was very sick, and his kidneys were in danger of shutting down. Smoke's owner was not able to bear the financial burden of the hospitalization, IV fluid therapy, and the long-term cost of monitoring Smoke and feeding special diets to keep him from having a urinary obstruction in the future. His owner was devastated at the thought of having to euthanize his buddy.

Some of our soft-hearted employees were able to pool their resources and champion Smoke, and his current medical expenses are being met. Smoke’s owner relinquished him to our care because, even if we can fix his problem, he will not be able to care for Smoke’s special needs. We are hoping that, once he is back to 100%, we can find a new home for Smoke with a family that is prepared to manage his special situation with prescription diet and regular checkups.

We started IV fluids and then unblocked his bladder. We removed almost ½ cup of urine from his bladder – which would be like removing almost 1 and ½ quarts from a human bladder! His urine was bloody and filled with crystals, which is what had caused the blockage. We flushed as many of the crystals out of his bladder as we could, and then placed a urinary catheter. We gave him pain medication, antibiotics and also treated his fleas.

While he immediately felt better, he still didn’t feel well enough to eat for a while. He gave us quite a scare on Friday, because instead of improving, his kidney values became worse. We were nervous that we might lose him. We continued to give him lots of fluid therapy to help his kidneys, and continued his pain medication and antibiotics.

Blood Clot in Urinary Bladder
Blood clot in Smoke's bladder
On Saturday, his kidney values were better, but now that his bladder was healing, he had developed a large blood clot in his bladder – about the size of a ping pong ball! Since he was feeling better, he did want to eat, but he was not interested in the prescription diets that will help dissolve the crystals. Eventually, we were able to fool him into eating the prescription diets by mixing them with Fancy Feast Fish and Shrimp.

On Sunday, his kidneys were even better – back to normal! By Sunday night, he was eating his prescription food without having to mix it with something else. Today, we stopped his IV fluids and removed his urinary catheter. We checked with the ultrasound and determined that the blood clot is getting smaller. Since he is doing better, we neutered him as well.
Smoke after relieving urinary obstruction
Day 5: Loving on the catnip toy

Smoke feels so much better, he was playing with a catnip toy during his exercise time, today. He was rolling on his back, asking for belly rubs, too! He has licked his catnip toy so much that both he and his toy have turned green! 

Smoke after relieving urinary obstruction
Investigating the fluid pump
Once he is no longer at risk, he will need to eat a special diet and get regular urine rechecks to ensure that he does not block again. Sometimes, even with meticulous care, cats with this problem will suffer another obstruction. We would like to ensure that his new caretaker is willing and able to manage his special circumstances so that he can live a long and happy life. If you are considering adopting this happy little fellow once he is ready for a new home, please contact our office at 248-666-5287 or with any questions or for more information.