Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Soth Files

It's been a while since there's been a post dedicated to my sweet kitty boy Soth. Long-time readers know that Soth has struggled with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) since 2011. For the last year or so, he'd been doing really well. He was still eating his prescription food and would occasionally have brief episodes of bloody urine, but for the most part, he was feeling really good. 

Around his yearly checkup in April, I noticed he was going outside of the litter box more frequently. There were bloody puddles in the bathroom more frequently, too. When I mentioned it to the vet, she recommended trying a new prescription diet that helps with stress, which often contributes to FLUTD. For a little while, he was eating that food really well--going through two little cans and about 1/4 a cup of dry food a day. He was using his litter box regularly again and his coat looked better than it had in ages.

By early July, he was having a never-ending episode of FLUTD. He was straining in the litter box. His urine was always filled with blood, but he was still eating well. By the end of the month, he was vomiting regularly and eating less. We'd had a heat wave, so I thought he might be having hairball issues and we used a little Cat Lax for several days, which helped a bit, but didn't solve our problems. Throughout the month, I refilled his pain medication prescription a few times, which helped with the straining. 

At the beginning of August, Rye had an appointment to get a vaccination. The morning of the appointment, I woke up to cat barf all over the hallway. Soth was walking around crying and he hadn't eaten any food over night. After a quick call to the vet, Soth was coming along to his sister's appointment. 


When the vet lifted Soth's tail, we saw that he had an anal prolapse--which is something I can never unsee. He had strained so much trying to urinate that things that should be on the inside of him popped right out. Since I still had to keep Rye, who is a chicken outside of the house and yard, calm, I couldn't cry like I wanted to, but I felt like the worst cat mom in the world for not knowing he was suffering that much.

The vet ran a full blood panel on him and everything came back clean. She didn't feel any stones in his bladder and his bladder didn't have an urine in it, so based on that and that I'd been scooping urine out of the litter box still, we knew he wasn't blocked. That meant that we didn't really know what to do to help him. In 2013, we'd tried to flush his bladder out, but it had been so small and unable to expand to hold much liquid that the procedure hadn't been as successful as we'd hoped. He did have a little relief temporarily, but it didn't last for long. The vet said we could do that again to see if it gave him more relief or we could try a steroid shot to see if that helped first. 

I'm not crazy about putting Soth under anesthesia for a procedure that probably won't be any more successful than last time, so we decided to try the steroid first. Soth also got some fluids, an anti-nausea medicine, and some antibiotics in case there was bacteria in his urine (after 6 years of this, we still haven't gotten a successful urine sample). 

 Soth's stopped vomiting daily. He isn't straining when he urinates, but he is still just able to produce a tiny amount of urine at a time and almost every time he gets up, he has to go to the litter box. He's eating--but not his prescription food and only a small fraction of what he usually eats. He's still urinating all of the place.


He's still his usual social self and is hanging out with the dogs and with me. He's been enjoying lots of extra belly rubs and chin scratches. He's been enjoying having the windows open on these cooler fall-like days. 


So now we're just at a standstill. I'm waiting to see how things are now that he's starting to eat again. We're setting up Operation Litter Box 2.0 with more litter boxes around the house to try to encourage him to quit using my carpets and the dogs' toys. And I'm still thinking about whether the risks of anesthesia outweigh the temporary relief that repeating the bladder flushing procedure might provide.


My sweet boy could use some good thoughts, though, so if you feel so inclined, send some good vibes our way! 

18 comments:

  1. Poor Soth,must be awful for all of you,hope you find a solution soon,xx Rachel and Speedy

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    1. Thank you! It can be really frustrating--he seems to be on the mend right now, though!

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  2. We're sending all kinds of good vibes to you all. Appreciate your filling us in on what's going on. Would you be able to find a cat urologist in your area for a second set of eyes to review Soth's condition?

    Keep us posted -
    Chris from Boise

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    1. Unfortunately, we live in a pretty small, rural area, so internists that specialize in kitties are a few hours away. It's definitely something we're considering, though!

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  3. Just went back to your earlier FLUTD posts - you and your vet have moved heaven and earth to resolve it. So I retract my suggestion about a second opinion, but sending double best wishes.

    Chris from Boise

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    1. Thank you! Our vet has done everything she possibly can for him and she keeps trying to find new solutions :)

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  4. Oh no! Poor Soth! I hope he feels better soon!

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    1. Thank you! He's eating normally again, so I'm hoping he is getting back on track!

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear about Soth's ongoing health problems...hoping he finds some relief soon.

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    1. Thank you! He's starting to eat normally again, so now we're just working on remembering that cool cats use their litter boxes ;)

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  6. Purrayers and POTP for Soth and for you and the vet and all who are caring for him !

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    1. Thank you so much! We really appreciate that!

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  7. Poor Soth, I will definitely add him to my prayer list. Is there anything else they can test for, besides flushing the bladder?

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    1. Thank you! In typical Soth fashion, he has made it difficult to test for anything else. In all of the years we've been dealing with this, we have yet to get a urine sample from him (they put him in a kennel with a pan to get one and he pulled the blanket that was in the kennel into the pan and soaked it up before they got it; he peed on the vet tech when she was taking him back to get one; his bladder was empty when they flushed his bladder and tried to get a sterile sample), so we haven't been able to test that--we did do a super duper round of antibiotics just in case he had a UTI that was aggravating things further, but that didn't seem to help. When we did the full bloodwork, there wasn't anything abnormal on there, so for now, we're just kind of waiting it out.

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  8. Oh, poor Soth, and poor you too! I think probably most of us have felt like bad pet parents at some point....it's so tough when they can't tell us what's wrong; and it's so tough to find the balance between rushing them to the vet every minute, and waiting things out a bit.
    We hope Soth continues to eat better and gets feeling 100% better soon!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. Thank you! He's been eating like a pig all week, so I think he might have just needed me to go back to work and quit hovering over him ;)

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  9. So sorry about Soth. That sounds so terrible for him and to make matters worse, cat pee is something no one wants all over the house. We sure hope he gets better. Maybe the surgery would work better this time since the issues are so much worse. That is a real tough situation.

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    1. Thank you! My spot cleaner is definitely getting a work out lately and I think I've singlehandedly depleted Amazon's stock of carpet cleaning supplies! The vet and I aren't optimistic that the flushing procedure would go better because his bladder is just so small because of built up scar tissue that it's hard to get enough of the fluid in to flush his bladder and put in enough medication to make a difference, but if he doesn't continue to improve, we'll be giving that another shot.

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