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breathes a sigh of



Boris presented to theWillows emergency team when his owners noticed he

was spending a lot of time in his litter tray trying to pass urine.

Boris was suffering from a blocked urinary bladder, which is

a very uncomfortable condition and if left untreated, can

damage the kidneys and even risk rupturing the bladder

wall. Luckily Boris’s owners caught the condition early and

a catheter was placed in to his bladder to allow the urine to

drain and be sampled to check for crystals and bacteria.

Boris’s kidneys had been mildly affected by the pressure

from his bladder, so he was placed on to a drip to flush his

kidneys of any toxins and help them to regain full functions.

He was given pain relief due to the inflammation and

antibiotics as catheters can predispose to infection.

The following morning Boris was comfortable but the urine

that was collecting from this catheter was very bloody so he

was given a light sedation and an ultrasound scan was taken

of his bladder to check for any stones, masses or thickening.

This original scan (

see ultrasound scan 1

) showed severe

thickening and inflammation of the bladder wall as well as

detachment of the thin layer of cells lining the bladder wall

away from the surface. Over the next 48 hours this lining

would either reattach or die off.

The following day Boris’s urine became less bloody and he

seemed more comfortable, his blood was re-checked and his

kidneys had completely recovered. His urinary catheter was

removed to ensure he was able to pass urine without it. He

was doing this freely and squatting in his litter tray with no

signs of discomfort.

‘Two days later his ultrasound scan was repeated


see ultrasound scan 2

) to reassess the health of his

bladder wall, and as can be seen on the scan image,

the wall was much more regular and less thickened,

with no evidence of detached cells remaining in

the lumen of the bladder.’

Cats can get blocked bladders for a number of different

reasons, including:

Urolithiasis (bladder stones) 10-15%

Bacterial infection (relatively uncommon, especially

in males) 5-15%

Urethral plugs (accumulation of debris)

Neoplasia (tumours)

Anatomical defects (scarring to the urethra can create

a tight band or stricture)

Idiopathic cystitis

(60-70%) or inflammatory cystitis,

as was the case with Boris.

Thanks to Boris’s owners paying close attention to his

behaviour and noticing that he was acting abnormally,

he made a full recovery and returned

home within three days.

Georgina Allsopp


General Practice Service Clinician