The past two Moggy of the Week posts weren’t done because we had a small issue with our Bombay Black cat, Akira.
He was being more lethargic than usual on Tuesday and struggling to go to the bathroom on Wednesday. So much so that he kept trying to pee everywhere and in the garden but with no success. Hubby Jim called the vet to ask for an appointment and we took Akira in on Wednesday evening. The vet checked him over and felt a very full and swollen bladder that, when she pressed around it, was caused Akira pain.
The vet diagnosed feline cystitis, which is an inflammation of the bladder that causes urinary tract infection symptoms and means that your kitty is having real problems trying to go to the toilet. This meant that she took Akira in to stay overnight at the vets so that she could flush him out – via a catheter (poor Akira) – and put him on a drip, as he wasn’t eating much by this point, in order to check that he would be OK overnight.
We called on Thursday morning to find out that the flushing out had worked wonders and that Akira, thanks to the catheter, was going to the toilet regularly and lots, which must have been a relief for him. I’ve never had a urinary tract infection or anything similar myself so can only imagine how difficult and uncomfortable it is not being able to go when you need to go.
The vet told us that she would need to keep Akira in for another night as she wanted to ensure that, when she took the catheter out, he was able to go to the toilet himself and that he was eating, which he hadn’t done as yet. So, Akira spent another whole day and night at the vets’ surgery.
On Friday, the vet called us to let us know that he seemed better today and, after the anesthetic from his wee op to insert the catheter had worn off, his appetite had returned – but not as fully as she’d have liked. So, he was kept in another night but we were told on Saturday morning that we could go and collect him to bring him home as they removed the catheter and he had been to the toilet himself and eaten a half a pouch of food.
We were so relieved! We collected Akira that afternoon and he seemed happy to see us. We took him home and you know that many cats are wary of animals that have spent time at the vet’s due to them bringing home lots of other cats’ and dogs’ smells with them. But in our home, the five cats we have are very close-knit a pack so Akira wasn’t shunned or avoided by any of the other four. In fact, Buffy and Ripley (our two girls) licked his head and were happy to welcome him home.
Akira slept most of that evening and night and by Sunday morning we were hopeful that he was on his way towards being fully recovered…..however, come Sunday afternoon, he was struggling to pee again and hadn’t touched his breakfast, which is unheard of in cats – losing their appetites is a rare thing so is always a bad sign and indicator to get your wee one to the vets ASAP. So, rather than waste any time, we called the vets’ surgery and were told to bring him straight down, which we did.
The vet took one look at him and said he would need to be readmitted ☹. WHY? Well because he had potentially been released too early and the crystals in his urine, which is what cystitis is, had not fully dissolved or the removal of the catheter had caused blood clots in his winky. Unfortunately Akira was left behind at the vets aka the kitty hospital and me and Hubby Jim went home sad and worried all over again.
To cut a long story short, Akira was kept in the kitty hospital for another four – FOUR! – days until he was fully recovered. The vet had said she’d flushed out his bladder by reinserting the catheter and had him on a drip again to really make sure all of those persky crystals in his urine were gone. She also told us that, after having put him under for a bladder ultrasound scan, she found several blood clots in his bladder, which were sowing the flow and causing him to be in pain and discomfort when he tried to go to the toilet.
She also confirmed that if we had left it any longer than one whole day between getting Akira home and noticing he still wasn’t right to getting him back to the surgery then he would likely have died of kidney poisoning or would have been in such a bad state that we’d have needed to have him put down. I was really shocked and just so thankful that we had kept such a close eye on him and reacted as quickly as we did that Sunday morning.
He’s home now and, one week on, is doing much better than the last time he was at home. The bald patches where his fluid drip was in and where he had his catheter inserted and anesthetic for his scan and bladder check are all starting to grow hair back now. The only pain is in my bank account as the two kitty hospital stays, all of the anti-inflammatories and antibiotics etc cost me around £1,300, which is a lot of money but totally worth it to have saved the life of my first ever rescue cat.
The cost of cystitis
Is £1,300 a price that you’d fork out to help and heal your Furry Baby? For me the answer is yes but I am glad that I have good pet insurance for Akira, as for those without it may have been a very different story. It just makes so much sense to have your cats insured as that sort of money coming out of my account without the promise of being repaid by our insurance company would have broken me and then the only other option – and cheaper – would have been to make the harsh decision to not treat him at all.
And, although some cats only ever have one episode of cystitis in their life, some kitties once they have had it, get it on a non-regular basis so if your cat is diagnosed with cystitis he or she will be more prone to having more episodes of bladder problems in future. This means that, for some insurers, they will not cover your cat – or it’ll cost a fortune after diagnosis. So our advice is to get your cat insured now before any problems like that come about – it’ll save you in the long run.
What to know more? Then visit this page for some pointers on feline cystitis that every cat parent should know: http://www.mymoggiesandme.co.uk/feline-cystitis-facts/