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).
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!