Feline Idiopathic Cystitis

vanstar

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My cat starts to demonstrate the sign of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis/urinary contraction(My apologies but I am not really familiar with the medical terms), and my regular vet told me to go to the emergency room directly. The urine analysis shows that he has crystals in his urine, so we have to hospitalize him today in the hope that with some medication and fluid, he can pass the substance himself. However, the vet tells us that if he does not get any better in 24 hours they need to carry out a surgery. We do not really have an insurance(which is really a very bad decision) on him, so today has already cost us 1000 dollars, and the estimate cost for the surgery ranges from 2000-5000 dollars for just a single day. After the surgery thy will have to have him stay in the hospital for typically 3-4 days, which is gonna be another thousands of dollars I suppose. That is not really something that I can afford. I know I have made a huge mistake not to insure him, but all I want to do now is to explore some possible options in case the worst happens.
 

cmsandford

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This condition is definitely tougher for males vs females...recently went thru similar with a female. Reach out to your local humane society or shelters which may have some lower cost options for people in your situation. Vet charges have gone thru the roof for some reason but let her vet know how financially challenging this is and perhaps they can find ways to trim the bill. The estimate seems very high to me. You might want to shop around today and get quotes from other vets. I imagine you've already been made aware of Care Credit via your vet. Wishing the best for your boy.
 

FeebysOwner

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Can you describe more about what is going on with your cat? Are they saying he is blocked? How old is he, and has he had recurring issues? Is his bladder inflamed? What medications are they giving him? Find out more details and let members on this site know about them.

Urinary crystals are more of an issue in a male cat than a female. The type of crystals and how many also make a difference. But, what kind of care he needs depends greatly on what is and has been going on with him.
 
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vanstar

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Can you describe more about what is going on with your cat? Are they saying he is blocked? How old is he, and has he had recurring issues? Is his bladder inflamed? What medications are they giving him? Find out more details and let members on this site know about them.

Urinary crystals are more of an issue in a male cat than a female. The type of crystals and how many also make a difference. But, what kind of care he needs depends greatly on what is and has been going on with him.
Thank you, and below is a more detailed description:

1.My cat is 2 years old, and this is the first time he has ever experienced such symptoms.
2.He is licking his belly a lot and urinates outside the litterbox which is why I called the vet.
3. So basically the doctor first said she thinks that he might not be currently blocked because he did not seem to react strongly when she pressed his belly, but the urine analysis does show that there is crystal in his urine.
4. The doctor just told me that she did not know whether he is blocked or not but she thinks his bladder is inflamed due to the presence of the crystal. He has been in the hospital since noon and has been sleeping ever since. He hasn't peed which got the doctor worried
that he is actually blocked.
5. The crystal is struvite, and judging the amount of it based on a level of 1-4, the doctor said he is currently at the level 3.
6. The doctor told me that if he does not pee after 8-9 hours since he comes in, it is a strong sign that he is blocked, and they will have to carry out the surgery.
7. They are giving him Catheter, I.V. and fluid therapy right now
 

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I also think that this is high, but this all may be water under the bridge when it comes to helping your cat. Fiona herself had this surgery after several bladder infections and at the time it was $1500 which was high even by LA standards. I would call around, investigate Care Credit. As for insurance, I do believe in it but brace yourself for bladder issues will become a pre existing condition for your cat and won't be covered.

Bladder crystals are more serious for a male and you also need the answers to what FeebysOwner FeebysOwner is asking.
 

FeebysOwner

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Did the vets take an x-ray of his urinary tract to see if that would provide any information about the struvite crystals? Are there ones 'stuck' in the urethra? That would be an additional factor regarding the necessity of surgery. Are they giving him inflammatory meds to help reduce the inflammation? I gather he was peeing at home based on your comments about him going outside of the litter box. Sometimes, a cat will hold their urine while being confined in a hospital, but he will eventually have to go. I personally think this is all a bit rash in terms of surgery, but I am not a veterinarian either.

Can you ask your regular vet to talk to the ER vet for more clarification. Perhaps, they can better explain what is going on.

Edit: Crystals in his urine, depending on the size, is not an automatic requirement for surgery. The x-ray might be the key.
 
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vanstar

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Hi all, thank you very much for your reply!! So we ended up taking him home today because he was able to urinate on himself last night multiple times and the doctor says for now there is no need to perform surgery. But it seems that there is still chance for him to be blocked in the future. I wonder whether you guys have any suggestions on how to prevent that. The doctor tells me to 1). arrange more water 2). switch to canned food(I am already sort of doing this, I used to feed him dry in the morning and can in the evening). 3). Give him more toys.
 

fionasmom

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Those are good suggestions but if you are going to try that you need to correct this way you need the specific food for struvite crystals, I think. This was discussed with Fiona's vet briefly, but there was something, I think, about the other cats not eating the food and since I could not control that I opted for the surgery. She was about 9 and did fine with it. It is also true that the surgery does not have to be immediate if you go that route. You really need to watch him; I lost two ferals to blockage....I know this for a fact as I was sure that they were blocked but they remained untrappable and they ultimately died....no details as it was not good.
 

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Good news that he was able to pee on his own - and, that you could bring him home without surgery!! There are prescription foods that are supposed to help to dissolve struvite crystals. I only suggest this because if he loves dry food at least those foods would help from that aspect. Canned/wet food is best, of course. But, you could use one of script dry foods until you could possibly wean him off dry altogether. Also, try a water fountain, in addition to one or two 'regular' bowls of water, to see if that might help entice him to drink more.
 

cmsandford

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With my female, after 3 different antibiotics for bladder infection, was also determined she had crystals. I went with all UTI specific foods such as Purina ProPlan (wet and dry) plus Hills & Royal Canin. I gave her mostly wet for the first week...by the second week she was peeing pretty normally and drinking water. By week three the crystals had apparently been neutralized. I keep her on UTI specific dry and mix it up with UTI canned and other good canned food. So far so good...been a couple months now. When your boy does clear up, keep him on UTI food.
 
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