Perineal Urethrostomy for Cats: Understanding FLUTD Treatment and the Role of Surgery

Dear Feline Lovers,

As devoted cat owners, we know how much you love and care for your feline friends.

Unfortunately, cats can sometimes experience urinary problems that require specialized care. One such condition is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which can be painful and serious, often leading to urinary blockage—a life-threatening condition. In this blog, we will delve into the predisposing factors of FLUTD, the clinical signs of urinary blockage, and how Perineal Urethrostomy can be a life-saving solution.

Understanding FLUTD and Urinary Blockage

FLUTD is a common and frustrating condition seen in cats, involving the lower urinary tract, including the bladder and urethra. Common causes include bladder stones, urinary tract infections, and stress.

One of the most serious consequences of FLUTD is urinary blockage. This occurs when crystals or stones obstruct the narrow urethra, making it difficult or impossible for your cat to urinate. Urinary blockage is not only extremely painful but can also be life-threatening if left untreated.

Predisposing Factors to FLUTD

FLUTD is a multifaceted condition with various contributing factors. Understanding these factors can help you take preventive measures for your cat’s well-being. Here are some common predisposing factors:

1. Age: Cats of all ages can be affected by FLUTD, but it is more prevalent in young to middle-aged cats.
2. Breed: Certain cat breeds, like Persians and Himalayans, are genetically more prone to FLUTD.
3. Gender: Male cats are more commonly affected due to their narrower and longer urethra, making them more prone to blockage.
4. Diet: A diet lacking proper hydration or with excessive minerals can increase the risk of developing urinary crystals or stones.
5. Weight and Sedentary Lifestyle: Overweight and sedentary cats may have a higher risk of FLUTD.
6. Stress: Changes in the environment or household dynamics can trigger stress in your feline friend, making it a significant predisposing factor.

The likelihood of re-blockage after the initial episode is concerning. Studies show that up to 40-50% of cats who have experienced urinary blockage may have a recurrence within one year if underlying issues are not addressed. This makes timely and appropriate treatment crucial to preventing future complications.

Clinical Signs of Urinary Blockage

Recognizing the early signs of a urinary blockage can make a significant difference in ensuring prompt medical attention. Look out for the following clinical signs:

1. Straining to Urinate: Your cat may repeatedly visit the litter box and appear uncomfortable while attempting to urinate.
2. Frequent Licking of Genital Area: Due to irritation and discomfort, your cat might excessively groom their genital region.
3. No Urine Output or Small Amounts: You may notice little to no urine output when your cat attempts to urinate.
4. Crying or Vocalizing in Pain: Cats in pain may vocalize more than usual, expressing their discomfort.
5. Lethargy and Loss of Appetite: A blocked cat may become lethargic and show a decreased interest in food.
6. Bloody Urine: Blood in the urine is a severe sign and requires immediate attention.

The Role of Perineal Urethrostomy

In severe cases of FLUTD with recurrent urinary blockage, Perineal Urethrostomy can be a lifesaving procedure. This surgical option involves altering the anatomy of your cat’s urinary tract to provide a wider and more open pathway for urine to flow out of the body.

The surgery is typically performed when other treatment options, such as medication or dietary changes, have proven ineffective or when there is a high likelihood of future blockages. Another reason to perform the procedure is when previous attempts to alleviate a urinary blockage by passing a urinary catheter have failed.

By widening the urethra, the risk of future blockages is significantly reduced, helping to reduce the pain and discomfort your feline companion may experience.

What the Surgery Involves

Perineal urethrostomy is performed under general anesthesia by a skilled veterinary surgeon. Here’s a brief overview of the procedure:

1. Preparation: Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical examination and may request diagnostic tests to ensure your cat is in good overall health before the surgery.
2. Surgical Incision: The surgeon will make an incision in the perineal area, which is the region around the anus and genitalia.
3. Removal of Part of the Urethra: A section of the narrow part of the urethra is removed, and the cut ends are sutured together to create a wider and more open pathway for urine.
4. Surgical Closure: The incision is carefully closed with stitches, and your cat will be monitored closely as they wake up from anesthesia.
5. Post-Surgery Care: Your cat will need to stay at the veterinary clinic for a short period for observation and pain management. Once stable, they can return home with specific care instructions.

Post-Surgery Care and Recovery

The success of the perineal urethrostomy surgery greatly depends on proper post-operative care. Your veterinarian will provide you with detailed instructions for your cat’s recovery period. This may include:

• Administering prescribed medications, such as pain relievers and antibiotics.
• Keeping the surgical site clean and dry.
• Monitoring your cat’s urine output and behavior closely.
• Transitioning to an appropriate urinary diet, like Hill’s Science Diet C/D Urinary MultiCare or Royal Canin Urinary S/O, to ensure ongoing management of optimal urinary health.

In Conclusion

Perineal urethrostomy is a surgical option that can significantly improve the quality of life for cats suffering from severe FLUTD and fatal urinary blockage. Understanding the predisposing factors, recognizing the clinical signs, and acting promptly can make a significant difference in your cat’s well-being.

Remember, every cat is unique, and their specific treatment plan will be tailored to their individual needs. As always, consult with one of our trusted veterinarians to discuss your cat’s urinary health and determine the best course of action.

Wishing you and your feline friend all the best.

Share This :
Facebook
LinkedIn

Get in touch

Our team are ready to take your call. 

Lynbrook Vet IconLynbrook Vet

14A/10-30 Northey Road, Lynbrook

4.9 508 reviews

  • Avatar Sahitha Dissanayaka ★★★★★ in the last week
    I cannot recommend this vet clinic enough! I recently took my cat in for castration surgery and the whole experience was fantastic. The staff was incredibly caring and attentive, and they kept me updated with cute messages throughout each … More step of the process. I felt well-informed and confident that my cat was in good hands. I am so grateful for the excellent care they provided and will definitely be returning for any future pet needs. Thank you for everything!
  • Avatar Jadee Knapp-harvie ★★★★★ in the last week
    Love love love this vet!!Updates all day and photos
  • Avatar Vivek Fernandez ★★★★★ a week ago
  • Avatar Lynne West ★★★★★ a week ago
    We are very grateful to the team at Lynbrook Vet for the care and dedication in looking after our beautiful girl, Gemma. We so appreciate your courtesy and professionalism.Lynne and Ray Kidd.
  • Avatar Neon Paints ★★★★★ a week ago
    We have been using Lynbrook Vet since they opened their doors, they have grown significantly since then, but we still receive the same amazing service from the team. We are always confident that we will get the information & care needed … More for our fur kids without pushing unnecessary extras, could not be happier with the level of care from the team.Everyone from the vets, nurses & reception team have been amazing, I have no hesitation in recommending this practice to anyone looking for a vet that they can feel confident with.
  • Avatar Lucinda Quick ★★★★★ 3 weeks ago
    great staff and service

You're in good hands

Lynbrook Veterinary Services Primary Care Practice

Lynbrook Vet is a close-knit team of Veterinary professionals dedicated to practising veterinary science in a compassionate, trustworthy, respectful and professional manner.  We care deeply not just for our patients and clients, but for one another as well.

Genuine Care
& Experience

Customised Treatment
Solutions

Customised Treatment
Solutions

Specialised
Services

Ready to book your appointment?

Please fill out the enquiry form below and we will get in touch with you soon. If your enquiry is urgent please call us on 8373 0301.

Contact Us

Contact Your Local Vet

Working Hours

Follow Us On Social Media

Search our site