Oh joy, it's another cat piss question! Sort of. Please share your experiences with
I'm probably going to make a decision in the next few days about whether to have this performed on my 13-year-old boy, and really need to hear about costs, complications, and how your cat is doing now. I even answered this
question, which has some of what I'm looking for, but please hit me with anything else you have.
Background, if you want it:
My cat has been on a prescription diet of Royal Canin Urinary SO (dry) for the past 3-4 years, ever since an apparent bladder infection that cleared up with antibiotics. I eventually stopped giving him most treats/scraps, and the condition seemed to be under control.
And then there was a period a couple of months ago where I could, quite literally, barely afford to feed myself, much less him. So I was living off eggs, he was living off $4 Meow Mix or whatever*, and things seemed fine. As soon as I had the money, I went and bought him a big bag of his prescription food. Over my birthday at the beginning of May, I went to stay with my parents for a few days, took him along, and he received a fair number of table scraps.* A day after I brought him home, he very quickly became very sick- straining to pee, vomiting from the straining, bloody urine, extreme lethargy, and trembling from pain. I rushed him to the vet where they cathed him, put him on pain meds, an antibiotic, and a smooth muscle dilator. Labs were still good, and vet didn't believe he was suffering from kidney disease. He passed several bladder stones while at the vet's, stayed three days, and came home peeing fine. All was well for about two weeks.
Then I discovered him straining and grunting again. After he vomited once, he stopped eating. No blood in the urine, no lethargy, just pain and inability to pee. Went back to the vet's yesterday for another catheter, which they removed this morning. There was a big "sandy" plug of mucus and crystals blocking him, which they got out. But he still hasn't peed on his own, so he's spending another night. The vet will be calling me tomorrow morning. I get the feeling that because she knows I'm not well-off, she's not pushing the idea of surgery, but instead would prescribe some combination of ongoing medication.
While I was in the waiting room yesterday, a woman tried to "comfort" me by describing how her cat had the surgery for $3000. I'm willing to travel if there's a chance of getting it done for less. This is an animal that is otherwise very healthy- good bloodwork, good teeth, a little arthritis in the hips that showed up on his x-rays, but doesn't prevent him from jumping, and he is happy and friendly and playful. His quality of life, when this condition is managed, is great. So even though the expense is likely to hurt me
pretty badly, it seems worth it to both of us. What can you tell me?
*Correct: on top of everything, I fully blame myself for possibly killing my cat.