Damn Cat.

Luke had to be taken into the vet for a blockage earlier this week.  This is the third time he has had issues down there in the past year and he has now been diagnosed with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).  Basically it's a catch all term for cats with bladder issues and they don't really know the cause.  Luke's 1st incident involved a lot of bloody pee, his 2nd had him lying in a pool of his own urine, and this third time he was blocked and needed surgery.

Risk factors include
1. gender (male) being spayed/neutered:  Well we can't change this.

2. not drinking enough water:  Already have a pet fountain after the 2nd incident so I don't know how get him to drink anymore.  Will have to consider wet food although we really can't afford it.

3. obesity:  Never been free fed and is on a diet currently.  I don' think he's too fat at 10.9lbs although I will start feeding him even less.


4. stress:  He really never seems stressed with the other dogs and upstairs cats.  Really flaunts himself in front of the doggy visitors even.  But the 2nd vet trip happened a few weeks after we got Chuck, and now this latest one is 2 weeks after Java came home.  Maybe a feliway diffuser?

5. diet:  Currently he eats Felidae and I am very bummed that the vet now wants to put him on Hills C/D.  She agrees with me that the food is crap but doesn't know of any high quality foods that will have the nutrient level she thinks he needs.  Mainly high in fatty acids, and very low in phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium.  She did mention Royal Canin veterinary foods and at least that doesn't have rice, corn, and byproducts as the first three ingredients (just the 2nd, and 3rd...).


Thank you kitty for continuing to add to our ever growing Care Credit bill.

Amy / Layla the Malamute  – ( October 16, 2010 at 3:59 PM )  

Oh no. I'm sorry Luke's having problems, and it doesn't look like the solutions are really good, either. Care Credit probably has me blacklisted. I know they denied any credit limit increase when I tried getting more money for Layla's blockage. I hope you find a solution/treatment that you agree with soon - and doesn't involve reversing a spay/neuter, although that would be interesting to see.

Carol  – ( October 16, 2010 at 5:18 PM )  

OUCH! This is the reason that I wouldn't pick a male cat again....
Many moons ago when I worked for a vet, she had people add soy sauce to the food to get them to drink more....

Megan  – ( October 16, 2010 at 5:39 PM )  

I'm sorry Luke is not feeling well! Rascal blocked 4? years ago now and ate c/d for about a year and a half. We started adding water to his kibbles along with some canned food. He switched to Wysong Uretic (cheaper, but still not cheap) for about a year and is now eating "normal" cat food again (currently Fromm). He gets water added to every meal and I try to feed at least a couple meals of canned a week. He's never been good about drinking water, so I add it to everything and he, thankfully... tolerates it.

I really, really don't want another male cat but I currently have two!

Mango  – ( October 16, 2010 at 6:26 PM )  

You do everything right and he still gets sick. Such is life. I hope that he is going to feel better. I have no doubt that he is enjoying the best nursing care available.

Mango Momma

Muttsandaklutz  – ( October 16, 2010 at 6:31 PM )  

What *is* it with male cats and blockages? Dang.

Honey the Great Dane  – ( October 16, 2010 at 11:43 PM )  

Oh no - poor Luke - and poor you! You know, people always ask me about the hassles of having Honey but to be honest, our cat, Lemon, always gave us more trouble and cost more, relatively speaking! I think cats excel at making life difficult for you!

Do you think you could look into natural/organic type dry foods? I know they're probably very expensive too - although they would certainly not have the crap ingredients of the Hills, etc. Back in NZ, there was a food called 'Ziwipeak' which is sort of like jerky-texture - as a sort of halfway house between dry and raw diet. Don't know if you'd have anything similar where you are. As you know, we feed the raw diet and I think cats on that rarely have FLUTD - they get a lot of water in their diet - and it's not as expensive as feeding tinned food (plus healthier, no preservatives, etc) but I know it is a lot of hassle and not for everybody. We had a nightmare switching Lemon onto it - but once she finally made the swap, it was great.

Anyway, hope you find some solution for Luke. Maybe stress does play a factor - even though he seems chilled about the dogs - the timing with the new arrivals does seem a bit coincidental!

Hsin-Yi

Crystal  – ( October 17, 2010 at 1:33 PM )  

I have a cat with recurrent blockages, too. The last time, it was a $1500 surgery.

We're enrolled at the U of MN doing a diet study (so yes, it's that icky Hill's stuff), but... it's two years of free food, x-rays, ultrasound, bloodwork, AND they pay you at completion.

I don't know if you're interested, but it looks like they're still enrolling. Here's their webpage: http://www.cvm.umn.edu/depts/minnesotaurolithcenter/cat/home.html

Pepper  – ( October 17, 2010 at 4:05 PM )  

Man that sucks Laura. Poor wee Luke. Feeding the right food is so expensive but I suppose if you look at the expense of the food in comparison to the expensive of vet visits it might be cheaper? Hsin-Yi mentioned Ziwipeak which is an awesome product. Although its NZ made so not sure if you can source it. My friend has similar FLUTD problems with her rescue Tonk - she just waits until she finds wet food on special somewhere (they sometimes sell cans of the stuff for 69cents) and buys a gazillion cans at a time and supplements with the c/d diet

Anonymous  –   – ( October 18, 2010 at 8:18 AM )  

From what I've read and can figure out from labels, even the cheap Friskies brand canned cat food is better for blackage cats than any kibble on the market (including the perscription dry). I started my cat off with Friskies getting her used to not eating kibble and have been able to transition to some home cooked foods where I can control the ingredients. I found very cheap frozen turkey rolls at the grocery store ($1.45 a lb) and can add liver, heart and giblets to it now and she adores the mix. Working on getting the taurine and bone meal added now. My cat won't eat anything raw, but I've certainly increased the water consumption this way.

Dale  –   – ( October 18, 2010 at 9:35 AM )  

Just a thought here about what cats eat in the wild, which is mostly raw meat that is over 90% water. Maybe a little raw meat every day might help. (small chunk twice a day, or a mouse maybe???)Good luck.

Ninso  – ( October 18, 2010 at 1:25 PM )  

When I want Jun to drink more, e.g., at comps during the summer, I add water to her kibble. Will Luke eat soggy kibble?

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( October 18, 2010 at 7:03 PM )  

Thanks for all the advice! I looked into ZiwiPeak and I can order it online, but it and other high quality canned foods still don't have the lower levels of mangesium and calcium that is recommended by the vet.

I personally am not comfortable feeding raw as while I believe that the pets would really benefit, I am a vegetarian myself.

I think I will try water in the kibble once he starts that (she wants him on c/d canned for a week).

I have a recheck appointment next wednesday where I will ask more about feeding a different wet food.

Clicker Training  – ( October 19, 2010 at 7:50 AM )  

Such a shame to hear about these problems. My Jack Russell Runty is having blockage problems at the moment too, poor little fella. I'm hoping he comes right. Anyway hopefully a diet change will fix things up for Luke. I think often vets are pretty vague about what they really know but I guess we have to trust them.

achieve1dream  – ( January 10, 2011 at 8:12 AM )  

Wow at least your vet cares! I don't know about the food either, but I hope you can find something that helps that is healthy. Sorry you're having to deal with this. It can be so frustrating.

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