Is my cat still sluggish from a sedative, or is it time to go back to the vet?
January 11, 2010 10:40 AM   Subscribe

Is my cat still sluggish from a sedative, or is it time to go back to the vet?

Sorry, this is yet another Cat Pee AskMe thread. I've read the others (plus more) but they don't really cover this issue.

Some background: Yesterday morning (Jan-10-2010) I noticed my 1.5 year old male cat crying and licking his genitals after urinating. Shortly after, he tried urinating again and was only able to squeeze out a small amount. I recognized these signs and immediately rushed him to an emergency clinic.

The vet there determined that he was not yet blocked, but his urine contained a high amount of struvite crystals. He prescribed Phenoxybenzamine (2.5 mg a day for 15 days) to dilate the urethra, and a diet of wet Medi-Cal (Royal Canin) Urinary SO for at least a month. I'm to monitor him and take him to my regular vet for a follow-up urinalysis in two weeks.

He also hydrated the cat with subcutaneous fluids (which created some seriously weird pockets of fluid in the little guy's armpits), applied some sort of topical solution to the genital area, and gave him a "sedative" that would ease any pain or discomfort.

In my flustered and worried Cat-Mom state, I didn't ask what the sedative was. Some of the effects I noticed: pupil dilation, mouth hanging open (with a bit of tongue protruding), a voracious appetite (he wolfed down the Urinary SO like he hadn't been fed in days). In general, he just seemed really doped-up and "off."

He was incredibly active and playful all day yesterday, both before and after the vet visit. He urinated frequently in the afternoon and evening, with a good quantity and stream. This morning, however, he seems sluggish. He won't play, and he refused to eat the new food (or any food). I managed to give him the Phenoxybenzamine--pilling him was really easy, which is pretty strange. I haven't been able to determine if he has urinated yet or not, but I've felt his bladder and it doesn't seem distended or hard.

Could his behaviour be a residual side-effect of the sedative the vet gave him (or the phenoxybenzamine?), or does this all seem to indicate that he is now blocked?
posted by 1UP to Pets & Animals (5 answers total)
Call the vet and ask.
posted by Carol Anne at 10:46 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I had pretty much the exact same situation with my guy. He got SUPER STONED from the painkiller. It took him a good week to get over it. If your kitty isn't eating at all, I'd ask your vet. But if he is eating some, and peeing and pooping okay, I wouldn't worry about it. Just make a lot of Grateful Dead jokes.
posted by kidsleepy at 11:08 AM on January 11, 2010

Best answer: Side effects of Phenoxybenzamine are nausea and dizziness, so perhaps your cat's behavior is a consequence of coming off of the sedative combined with the new drug.

You said you took your kitty to the emergency vet? Do you have a regular vet that is familiar with your cat? It may be worth it to consult with your regular vet, if you have one.

To prevent recurrences of your cat's condition, I'd strongly advise that you find a grain-free wet food for your kitty. Dry foods often lead to urinary tract problems in male cats. They contain too much plant protein and carbohydrates, and not enough water.

Make sure that kitty is eating and drinking, pooping and peeing. He urinated a lot last night because they gave him subcutaneous fluids, but he needs to keep going. You could put him in a room by himself with a clean litterbox to monitor his progress.

Good luck! I hope mister kitty feels better soon.
posted by Seppaku at 12:01 PM on January 11, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you everyone! Little guy's regular vet is aware of the situation through communication with the emergency clinic. We spoke and they told me to continue monitoring him, and they'll phone me again tomorrow for an update.

Since posting this, kitty has become more alert, started eating, and he peed a little (minus any cries of distress). I'm less panicked and more convinced that kidsleepy and Seppaku are right--he's just still groggy and loopy from the meds. He just spent the last few minutes sitting on my desk with one leg in the air, looking at me with "whoa... dude" eyes.

Starting my research on a good wet grain-free food now! FWIW, he was eating Wellness Core dry until it became clear that my other cat (female) was faring poorly on it--worst poops ever (but I will not go there). I agree that wet is the way to go.

(The issue with not eating today seemed to be that he didn't want to eat the wet food out of a bowl. I gave him some on a spoon and he inhaled it. Conclusion: cat's a weirdo.)
posted by 1UP at 1:13 PM on January 11, 2010

Glad to hear he's feeling better. There was recently an AskMefi about grain-free cat food. I'm sure there are others, too!

Metafilter: Cats are weirdos.
posted by Seppaku at 5:48 PM on January 11, 2010

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