Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sick Boy

When I took Leo in this morning, the vet thought his inappropriate urination was behavioral. Possibly from stress with Star, which is not like it's a new thing, or maybe that hiss fight he had with that cat through the door and window last week, or something else. But he didn't think it sounded like he had a physical issue.

I knew better.

None of Leo's stresses are new or suddenly changed, not that his relationship with Star is great, but I couldn't see him suddenly starting to pee everywhere because of it. And, ok, this is a delicate section so skip on down if you are easily offended... All the sudden in the last week or so Leo has been spending an inordinate amount of time grooming his... WhoHa (that's the technical term of course). I know boy dogs will lick their dinglberries (another technical term) just because they can, but I have never had a male cat who licked his part unless there was a problem. I was thinking about asking if anyone knew anything about that kind of behavior, but then the peeing, so it was off to the vet anyway.

What happened is Saturday Leo just got up off our bed and peed on a folded mattress cover right in front of us. That's when I figured, something is up, he would not do that if he was fine. Greg, who has a low tolerance for pee outside the box, closed off the upstairs to both kitties. Then last night in the middle of snack time, he moved into the closet (which still doesn't have it's door back up..) and started peeing. Greg saw him and said "Hey!" So he came out of the closet and peed on the carpet in a crouched down position, not the usual pee position.

Ut oh, I said, that's it, now I know he's got a problem. As Greg was scrubbing the carpet, we found two more puddles right in front of the other food station. Cats do not like to pee where they eat, more proof of problem. Right after cleaning those two puddles, there was another one and dribbles in the kitchen, meaning he was on the move as he peed. More signs of trouble.

So first thing this morning, Greg called to see if he could drop him off before work because I don't drive, don't have a car. No go, and the only appointment they had was at 10:40. So I got my nephew to take us. And like I said, the vet didn't think it was a physical problem. No fever, he couldn't feel any issues, his eyes were clear, all looked good. But he'd check his urine anyway and I could either take him home and get the sample and bring it in, or I could leave him. I left him because they said his bladder was empty and they could give him fluids and maybe lasixs to get him to go.

I should have remembered that for the entire 8 hour trip home from Chrystal's when I adopted my sweet boy, he didn't pee once.... This was going to be a long day. They said I should call around 4-4:30 if I didn't hear from them. I called at 4:30 because I didn't want to appear to be one of those crazy obsessive cat mommies... even though I was staring at the phone every five minutes all day wondering if it was broken and that's why I didn't hear anything..

The nurse said he JUST finally went! Which meant they hadn't tested it. But it didn't look normal, could I call back in 40 minutes, apparently the time it takes to run the tests. Sure, of course I could. ARRGH!!! Do you KNOW how long 40 minutes are when they already said something's wrong????

I called my nephew and asked him to be at my house in 40 minutes because that would be getting pretty close to the time they close and I didn't want him to spend the night if we didn't have to. I called at 40 minutes on the dot. Basically they just said to come get him. I'm on my way!

The vet called me into the room. No Leo. He said that Leo has both blood and crystals in his urine. As near as I can understand it, crystals are the bigger problem because if they continue, they can grow and completely block his ability to pee. I lost a cat to that once, I do not want to go through that again!

So we are home, armed with two medications. One he'll be on for three weeks, the other, I think is a week, until it runs out. I only have a weeks worth of the antibiotic in case we have trouble giving him it liquid form, then next week we can pick up more in pills or liquid, which ever is easier. I've also got a stack of papers to read. While the vet didn't say anything about it being FLUTD, some of the papers talk about it. I guess we wont know if he has that until we see if it clears up or continues?

He also told me that fish cat foods can be a cause of crystals! We never had fish dry food until we got Leo, but because that's what he was used to, that's what we continued feeding him. And Star started preferring it over her old food so that was their basic diet. In canned food, we stuck to poultry because, as any long time reader may know, Star is a chicken addict. But recently, I'd say in the last three months, we have gotten more fishy flavors and they both liked them so we got more and more fish.. I had no idea this could be a problem.

Please pardon the no pictures today. And all the pee talk. And, seriously, thank you all for the purrs and prayers. If you would, please purr and pray and send good thoughts that when he gets tested again in three weeks that it's all cleared up and wont be an on going problem! Thank you everyone!!

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go snuggle my baby boy now.

46 comments:

Callie (a.k.a. Trouble) said...

We have both paws crossed and purrs started for Leo. Please keep us updated.

Sometimes, Cats Herd You said...

Thanks for sharing the update. We are purring and hoping that Leo feels better soon. Poor boy.

You said you didn't know if you should ask if anybody had a cat who licked their family jewels. Pierre went through a kittenhood phase where he discovered that he could do that and it was great fun, but he thankfully outgrew it. I was afraid I had a dog in a cat suit when he picked up that little habit.

Keep us updated on how Leo is doing.

William said...

We will certainly keep our paws crossed for a speedy (and permanent) recovery for Leo!

KC and the Giggleman Kitties said...

We are purring for sweet Leo to get better.
I did not know about tha fishy foods causing crystals. We only get bottled spring water to drink 'cause faucet water haf lots of bad stuff in it.
We's got a PUR filter on that, but we kitties get tha bottled stuff.
I's gonna make Leo hims furry own Purrs & Purrayers Badge so effurryone can post it and purr fur hims.
Love,
KC

Katnip Lounge said...

13 BIG purrs for Leo! Do you have a water fountain for him? It's important that he stays hydrated...and if you can, stop feeding dry kibble. Wet food is the only way to go for kitties with urinary issues.

Meg & Quill said...

Purrs for poor Leo! Hope this makes him feel better.

Good to know about the fishy flavors. Now that we have a boy we need to be concerned about this things.

Cathy Keisha said...

Gramma's Tymmie had crystals and they told us it was from too much ash in his food. Poor Leo. I'll keep purring for him.

The Island Cats said...

We are purring for Leo and hope he is feeling better real soon. Our mom tries not to feed us a lot of fish foods even though we love them!

Laila and Minchie said...

Keeping Leo in our purrs that he starts feeling better real soon! (((hugs)))

Ikaika said...

I am sending big healing purrs to Leo for a quick recovery. Pee problems are no fun. Our Miss Kitty was diagnosed with crystals and bladder stones (struvite). She is on special food and is taking a Chinese herbal formula to dissolve the stones. The treatment is working well. Hope Leo has good results.

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Oh, poor Leo. He must have been so uncomfortable. We're sorry he hasn't been doing well and hope he gets well soon. purrs and pawhugs.

~*Connie*~ said...

My Jack who looks a lot like your Leo (and who is on my lap doing his darndest to make this reply near impossible) also suffers from struvite crystals. and so does his brofur Eli.

There are two types of crystals, struvite and oxolate. Struvite occurs when the urine is too alkaline and oxolate when it is too acidic. Most cats suffer from struvite. No one knows why some cats develop crystals when others don't, but they do know quite a bit about how to prevent them in kitties that are prone to them.

http://catinfo.org/?link=urinarytracthealth is a great place to start reading if you want to learn more. Feel free to email me if you would like some additional info or have any questions about how I keep my two boys from suffering from crystals.

meowmeowmans said...

We are purring and praying for Leo, and for all of you. Please update us when you can, okay? Hugs!

The Cat From Hell said...

Thanks for letting us know! Me is purraying that Leo feels better soon! Me did not knows that about fish! Thanks yous for telling us!
Kisses and purrs to both of yous!
Nellie

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

All the talk about pee and "parts" is OK. Its important. Our purrs for Leo ta get all right again...

Oui Oui said...

I had a kitty with this problem, and the type of dry food was causing crystals. It was Purina, and its high in minerals it shouldn't be (ash and something else I can't remember), so you might have to switch to a better type of food too. After I switched, he didn't have any more problems.

Sparkle said...

I am purring lots for Leo! I hope he gets better soon - he must have been really uncomfortable if he was peeing in all those places.

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

Me, I kind of enjoy talking about pee and parts! But I am purring my very hardest for my pal Leo, and hope this is a one-time dealio. I hope the medicines take hold quick and that he feels much better by tomorrow! XOXOXO

P.S. Moms ALWAYS know best!

Cory said...

It's ok to talk pee with me...I have been thinking outside the box as well and seem fine, but mom doesn't think so and feels I might have something going on. Sending my purrs to you.

Cory

Laura and Taffeta Rose said...

We are purring that Leo feels better quickly. My prior boy cat had this problem, but he was not getting any fishy food because he was allergic since a kitten. Did they do a culture and sensitivity test on the urine to identify which bacteria were the problem (and which drug would work best)?

Laura & Taffy

Bellen said...

I hope that Leo returns to normal, and quickly. My four generally eat Fancy Feast fish flavours as their soft food, but they don't eat it exclusively. The hard food that they eat is California Natural. The only time any had a problem wetting outside the box was Tucker, and he did it only a couple of times where another cat had thrown up. Why he did that, I've no idea, but he was fine then and since. I didn't know that fish foods could produce crystals...

In any case, I hope the medicine you have for Leo works and that he's back to normal soon. Good luck to all.

The Furries of Whisppy said...

We went through this twice with Cosmo. But in his case, he was completely blocked so needed a catheter and a couple days stay at the vet. We found that it had a lot to do with the fact he was on a kibble only diet (venison).
We hope the medication clears up Leo's system and he's able to pee normally again.

Brian said...

Purrs and prayers coming to you Leo from all of us. Now that you know what it is it can be managed. Lots of good advise here. Hugs pal!

Marg said...

WE sure are sending tons of purrs to you Leo and hugs to the Mom. We know how stressful it can be to have a sick fur baby. Hope he is feeling better really soon.

ZOOLATRY said...

We don't have any familiarity with these issues, but will purr and pray that Mr Leo will be helped by his meds, and that soon all this will be little more than an unpleasant and worrisome memory.
Be well, Leo ...
Hugs 'n' purrs, Maggy and Zoey
(and Ann)

Fuzzy Tales said...

Derry has had two bouts of idiopathic cystitis, last fall he had some crystals, this April none, his urine was great.

It's more common in young cats to have this -- i.e. with no bacteria as the cause. And btw, the ONLY WAY to determine if it's a bacterial infection is via a culture and sensitivity test, where they send a sample off to a lab to try to grow any bacteria over the course of a few days. In other words, if no bacteria are present, antibiotics are useless. I hope they gave him pain meds, because that's what he'll need.

If it's cystitis, it will clear up on its own in a handful of days, but it's very painful, of course, hence the need for a painkiller.

Please read the fabulous info at www.catinfo.org, written by a vet after her own experiences.

More water in the diet is crucial--i.e. getting him off any dry food, eating canned with a bit of added water, etc. Derry's pH dropped from 7.0 (neutral) to between 6.0 and 6.5 in the six months I cut their dry back to 2 TBSP per day. Oh, and of course stay away from grains in food--that includes the vet-prescribed food. A diet that is grain-free, because they're obligate carnivores, will naturally balance the pH. And getting more water into him will help keep his bladder flushed out.

Good luck, lots of purrs. It's quite manageable via diet change. And there ARE options for stress relief, such as the Vetri-Science or Pet Naturals calming treats, plus the natural product Zylkene.

http://www.zylkene.co.uk/

I would say the Zylkene is more for short to moderate-term use, but seems to be safe for longer term as well, as it's a lactose-free milk-protein based calming product.

Hannah and Lucy said...

We are so sorry to hear about Leo's problem and hope he will soon feel better and doesn't get it again.
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

Alasandra, The Cats and A Dog said...

WE are sending healing purrs to Leo and have our paws crossed the problem will clear up with the medication.

FURKIDSMOM said...

Purrs and prayers for Leo. We hope the meds fix him up quickly.

The Florida Furkids and Lexi

Anonymous said...

My Angel had sterile cystitis and it was horrible during her last year of life. She died at 18 last year and had other health issues including bad kidneys and high blood pressure.The sterile cystitis was horrible -- until we got the right mix of medicine down and then things got better. She had to take an antidepressant and other meds but once they worked it all out it worked wonders. Things improved fast. God Bless and Good Luck to Leo! Hang in there!!
Marian in Houston

Cat said...

Of course it was not behavioral, we know every single detail about our cats and I hate when vets try to cop-out and give a blanket diagnosis without investigating all possibilities!!! Poor Leo we are so sorry he is having troubles and we're purring for his swift recovery!!!

Father Tom said...

Andrea, I'm so sorry to hear about Leo! Any change in behavior and I think peeing or pooping in the wrong places is the worst, is such a worry for us parents! I hope the medication works and he is comfortable while he's healing. Poor baby! I'm sorry for what you're going through, too. We'll be keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Hugs,
Tom, Mom Julie, Mittens, Tinker & Anastasia

Random Felines said...

Poor Leo. But we are SO glad you insisted they run some tests. I can't believe your vet was like "don't see anything must be behavioral". really??? Our angel Butterscotch had this once and the vet said canned food can help. We switched over to a dry that was specific for that thing (for the life of me I can't remember the name - it has been many years). Fortunately (knock on wood) we haven't had the problem since. Kiss the boy from mom....

Sierra said...

We are purring and praying for Leo, and we'll post the badge on our blog that was on the CB page, too.

It sounds to me like Leo has FLUTD. My baby boy has had it for 4 years now. He was having a LOT of trouble peeing and that's when I took him to the hospital. They determined he had struvite crystals and a urinary tract infection. They gave me some antibiotics and told me to visit our regular vet for further care, which we did, of course. The regular vet has prescribed him Hill's prescription c/d, which he's been eating ever since they discovered his crystals. The food has been wonderful; he has had no more problems with crystals and the food works to dissolve them. I'm so happy that it's working for him!

I really hope the vet figures out exactly what's going on with your baby boy. I know how miserable it is to know your baby's sick and I know the helpless feeling that can come when you aren't sure what's going on with your baby. Please know that I am around if you ever want to talk or anything (I'm an obsessive cat mommy, too!).

Please try to encourage him to drink more water. We mix water into Carmine's wet food so he'll get more water. He doesn't mind; he just gobbles up his wet food happily :)

Also, keep an eye on him and call the vet if you don't notice any improvement or if he seems to be getting worse, though I'm sure you know that already. :)

We are sending lots of purrs, prayers, and love to you and Leo! Please keep us updated.

ABBY said...

Definitely try mixing some liquid down in his food to increase his water intake. I am lucky that Abby likes her wet food wetter. I make sure she gets lots of water. We are all purring our mega purrs.
Xoxox
Abby

LP said...

Thank Cod you caught it in time and you insisted the vet run soome tests! It seemed pretty obvious it wasn't behavioural so very odd that the vet said that...
Get better quick Leo :) We send you hugs and cuddles!

the critters in The Cottage xo

Junior, Orion and Sammy said...

We are sending tons of purrs for Leo to get better!

Prancer Pie said...

We'll be purrin fur your handsum boy. Hope the meds clear him up fast, quick , and in a hurry.

Cheri said...

Purring for Leo - talk yto Kim of Fuzzy Tales - she is going thru this with her cat. I know how stressful this can be.

Cats of wildcat woods

Fuzzy Tales said...

One thing I wanted to add: Crystals will grow in the sample fairly quickly, so if they waited for him to pee, then collected it (versus getting the sample via needle into the bladder), or if there was any delay in processing the sample, the crystals MIGHT not be (all) his. So just bear that in mind too, okay?

And again, I encourage you to read the info at www.catinfo.org, vet-written.

Fingers--and paws--crossed for Leo and hugs and kitty kisses to you.

P.S. After Derry's second bout in April I've been trying various calming things, the treats and Zylkene. Because in his case it's stress-related. IF that's the case for Leo, Google for info on "idiopathic cystitis" or stress-related cystitis. I read a lot of good stuff from various vet sites, gave me far more info than my own vet. All my own vet wants to is get Derry on an antidepressant, which I would do ONLY as a last resort.

Fuzzy Tales said...

A few links I found helpful:

http://www.squidoo.com/Cystitis-In-Cats

http://www.michvet.com/Client%20Education%20Handouts/Internal%20Medicine%20handouts/Feline%20Idiopathic%20Cystitis.pdf

http://ckm.osu.edu/sitetool/sites/Indoorpetpublic/documents/hospital/indoorcat/vcna041.pdf

Tamago said...

It is typical that vets can't see the real problem. Glad they took urine sample and found out the cause. I hope Leo will get better soon.

Eric and Flynn said...

Sending lots of purrs for Leo to feel lots better very soon.

Bengal Duo ~ Luna -n- Zulu said...

we has had the crystal pee too; it is no fun :( hope you are better soon! we has been eating dis food from the vet - science diet veterinary blend. Is good fur overall kitteah healths. So far so good no more hurty pees =^_^=

Photo Cache said...

pawhugs and purrs for leo. hope you get better soon and keep the peeing in the litter if possible. mommies hate scrubbing pee off the carpet.

emma and buster

Katie Isabella said...

PLEASE...tell us anything we need to know about pee and parts because it's up to us wo educated one another.

Leo..I am sending my hardest most loving purrs for you to feel better. When you can, Mom, please let us kow. xoxo