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Please help me decide if I need to seek emergency medical care for my cat.
February 14, 2012 10:06 PM   Subscribe

Please help me decide if I need to seek emergency medical care for my cat.

Two weeks ago, my cat, who has never urinated outside of the litterbox, peed bloody urine all over my bed. I immediately whisked him off to the vet, who found that he had bladder crystals. He was put on a regimen of phenoxybenzamine, now finished, and the vet advised that I give him a special bladder health food which I am still feeding him.

I have been obsessively monitoring his, uh, urinary habits and he has seemed okay until now - active, eating regularly, but...I just came home from a party and found that he had leaked bloody urine all over the couch. I tried to give him his favorite treats but he crawled away, which is very unusual for him.

My options are:

1) Try and find an emergency, late-night vet in NYC
2) Page my regular vet; I know this is stupid but I feel embarrassed. I have taken him into the vet several times since the initial scare, and I worry that I'm being an annoying helicopter cat parent.
3) Wait 7 hours until the vet office officially opens; I am confident they'll be able to see us when they open.

I am basically freaking the fuck out, any advice is highly welcome.
posted by socks are for puppets to Pets & Animals (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Lethargy and avoidance in addition to bloody urine & crystals which is a diagnosed VERY SERIOUS condition in male cats means emergency vet now. Sorry, but this is not something you wait on.

I wish you the best.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:08 PM on February 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


Agree with LastCastle. Vet, now. You're not being helicoptery.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:15 PM on February 14, 2012


If you can get him to the ver sooner, that would be much better, especially if he starts yowling, or you see him straining/hanging out in the litterbox. He might have a urethal blockage, which can be fatal, and turns deadly quickly. My cat got blocked many times, and I had to get him this serious and expensive operation to fix him: http://www.healthypet.com/PetCare/PetCareArticle.aspx?title=Urethral_Obstruction
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 10:16 PM on February 14, 2012


Page your vet. Update them and ask which emergency vet they recommend. They likely have a relationship with an emergency vet. This will help with coordinating care.

If you don't hear back from your vet after a page, take the cat to an emergency vet tonight.

You are not overreacting.
posted by quince at 10:16 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


IANAVeterinarian but I am in the pet ER biz. Don't wait. He should see someone tonight.
posted by bebrave! at 10:16 PM on February 14, 2012


The thing about male cats w/ crystals is that their urethra can become blocked instantly. The cat has a very limited way to express this, but imagine if you can't urinate at all. Urine backs up into your kidneys and you die.

A cat expresses this by trying to pee in random places, crying in pain, hiding, lethargy, not eating or drinking, returning to the litter box over and over. Some or all of the above.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:18 PM on February 14, 2012


Sorry, I hope I'm not scaring you too much. With treatment your cat will be fine. It's just not a thing you can ignore for awhile because you're not sure exactly how long the problem has been occurring.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:19 PM on February 14, 2012


Y'all are awesome. Thank you for giving me the kick in the butt I clearly needed. I paged my vet and got redirected to an emergency hospital; when I described his symptoms the attendant told me to bring him in ASAP.

(I am typing this as I pull on jeans and brush my teeth, we'll be in a cab momentarily.)
posted by socks are for puppets at 10:25 PM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Don't bother paging your vet. Just google an animal ER online and get him there NOW. Please update us later on how he's doing. Good luck.
posted by timsneezed at 10:26 PM on February 14, 2012


Thinking of you and your poor kitty. Best, best wishes.
posted by bearwife at 10:38 PM on February 14, 2012


You're doing the right thing- I hope he gets well quickly
posted by drhydro at 10:58 PM on February 14, 2012


please update when you can. I'm thinking good thoughts for the two of you.
posted by makonan at 11:02 PM on February 14, 2012


Oh my goodness, I hope he's okay. Please update us when you can.
posted by Maisie at 11:12 PM on February 14, 2012


I found this table of symptoms for cats and whether it's an emergency. Blood in urine says seek immediate treatment.

http://www.catclinicofnorman.com/CCN/Is_It_an_Emergency.html
posted by cali59 at 11:36 PM on February 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


( typing from my phone)

We are at the animal ER. You all were right, he has a urethral blockage and the vet said it's good I brought him in now, as this is definitely an emergency. He could have died.

He's going to have to stay here overnight for procedures, but then he should be fine.

I can't thank everyone enough. AskMe saved my cat.
posted by socks are for puppets at 11:54 PM on February 14, 2012 [38 favorites]


So glad to hear the little guy's in good hands. Please give us another update once he's back home. :)
posted by timsneezed at 12:09 AM on February 15, 2012


Glad to hear he's okay. I knew when my cat peed blood that things weren't good. Unfortunately she didn't make it (it wasn't crystals in her urine, but an extremely aggressive anaemia), but I know the vet did everything possible.

Also, TTIUWPOK. (This thread is useless without pictures of kitteh)
posted by essexjan at 12:31 AM on February 15, 2012


Also, TTIUWPOK. (This thread is useless without pictures of kitteh)

So true! The kitteh in question is the one on the left in both photos.
posted by socks are for puppets at 12:44 AM on February 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


He is a little sweetieface!

My kitty had the same issue; once he had surgery he was placed on a prescription diet so crystals don't reform, and he was back to his obnoxious passive-aggressive self within days.

I'm sure you already know this, but once he's home you will need to keep the kitties separate for a bit and watch their interactions closely once they're together. Cats get weird when they smell veterinarian on another cat and sometimes try to attack the patient.
posted by kinetic at 3:19 AM on February 15, 2012


You did the right thing. I had a cat who had a serious blockage, had surgery, and lived for many happy years after with no recurrence. What a pretty orange kitty! He looks like one of my son's cats, and I would love to have an orange guy. So glad you got to the vet in time:-)
posted by mermayd at 4:58 AM on February 15, 2012


Oh, those pictures made me gasp aloud. Please keep us posted.
posted by something something at 6:56 AM on February 15, 2012


Yeah let us know what procedure they did. My ex's cat had crystals in his urethra and they said if they hadn't been able to get them out with a catheter or some other tool, they were just going to cut off his penis.
posted by MonsieurBon at 1:36 PM on February 15, 2012


Any news?
posted by timsneezed at 8:23 PM on February 17, 2012


Update: adorable orange kitteh is FINALLY back home, after 2.5 days in the (excellent) care of NYC's Animal Medical Center. He was catheterized, which we hope has flushed out most of the crystals that were causing him distress, and then kept for observation until he was able to independently urinate. He will be following a maintenance diet that will hopefully prevent this from happening again. He has a follow-up appointment in a week which is actually free (!) because he is now part of a study on feline urethral issues.

Cats get weird when they smell veterinarian on another cat and sometimes try to attack the patient.

So true. Luckily, so far his brother is not being a total asshole. They are littermates and have rarely been separated, so they usually get over the EW VET SMELL thing pretty quickly.

Again, I can't thank y'all enough for the support and advice you gave when I was incredibly freaked out and not thinking clearly. I'm so grateful that I have a healthy kitty back home - rest assured that he is receiving treats and lots of snuggles and tummy scratching sessions.
posted by socks are for puppets at 8:31 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and hugs to essexjan for her sweet cat. The only bad thing about having pets is knowing that they will someday leave us.
posted by socks are for puppets at 8:34 PM on February 17, 2012


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