Tuesday, November 21, 2017

3 Weeks Post Cystotomy

It's hard to believe that three weeks have already passed since Soth had his bladder stone removed. There are some regular reminders that make it seem like it was just yesterday--like his shaved spot on his leg and his bald belly--but most of the time, we've settled back into normal life so seamlessly that it almost feels like it's never happened.

I keep thinking that his leg is weird and crooked and broken every time I look at him.

Soth's stitches came out 10 days after surgery and we were all very happy that he could be released to the rest of the house and be part of the family again. Rye was especially happy to have her partner in crime back.



Soth's continued to eat well throughout the whole experience and he has been using his litter box regularly. He's even been playing with his toys again.


This week, Rye had to go in for her rabies vaccination and parasite test. While we waited for the heart worm, Lyme, and other parasite-related disease test to finish, the vet mentioned that she'd gotten Soth's stone analysis results back from the lab.

The first thing she said was that in 29 years of practice she has never seen a cat with this type of stone. Most stones are struvite or oxalate stones. Soth has an ammonium urate stone, which is something that is usually seen in dalmatians and sometimes English bulldogs. I'd heard a little bit about these types of stones because my aunt has dalmatians and my best friend has a bulldog, but I didn't know much.

The vet sent me home with lots of paperwork and information about the type of stone that was found in Soth's bladder. According to the research our vet did, only 5% of stones submitted to the Minnesota Urolith Center at the University of Minnesota are ammonium urate stones. There's very little known about why they form.

This cat prides himself on being different from every other cat in the universe.

One reason they can form is because of liver disease, but we did a lot of blood work on Soth when we were trying to find out why he was vomiting and having anal prolapses and all of his liver levels were completely normal. For about $200, we can do a more complex liver test to determine if there's some underlying liver problem. It can also be the result of a shunt that keeps blood from filtering properly, which is what the case often is in dalmatians and bulldogs. Or, it can be a completely unknown reason.

While struvite and oxalate stones have special diets that help dissolve the stones, there aren't diets specially designed to dissolve ammonium urate stones. Even though there's not a special diet to dissolve these stones, a diet that helps keep the urine pH greater than 6.6 can help keep the stones from forming. To keep the urine at a higher pH level, Soth needs a diet of lower protein, lower purine foods. I didn't get my parents' chemical engineering genes, so I won't pretend to know exactly what a purine is, but according to my dictionary, it's "a colorless crystalline compound with basic properties, forming uric acid on oxidation." Some proteins, like organ meat and certain types of fish, have higher purine levels, so we're avoiding those types of diets--which includes his current prescription food. The lab recommends a prescription diet for cats with kidney disease since they are lower in protein and won't "overly acidify the urine."

After Rye's appointment, the vet sent us home with a sample of one of the kidney diets they keep in stock to see if Soth liked it and tolerated it. She also told me to try mixing in some water with his current wet food to help dilute his urine as well. He gobbled up the can of kidney food and although I was skeptical that he'd eat moistened dry food, he also emptied his bowl when I added 2 teaspoons of water to his dish. I'm hoping he continues to do that.

We'll be getting a few more cans from the vet as well as some new dry food and trying that out to see if Soth will eat it consistently and not go back to his regular vomiting schedule. In about two months, we're going to do a urinalysis to see what his urine pH level is. If it's below 6.6 even with the prescription diet, we'll try some medication to help get the levels to where they should be to keep the stones from forming.

We've also spent some time watching the final season of Longmire and looking for shots of our old apartment!

I've spent most of my free time since getting the information from the vet researching different prescription diets, purines, and ammonium urate stones. For now, we're going to try the diet we've sampled from the vet, work on continuing to increase Soth's water in take, and just see what the urinalysis says in a couple months. After we get those results, we'll decide if we need to take any further action.

10 comments:

  1. Glad he is doing so well. I guess we can say way to go, Soth! If you are going to get a stone, get the stone of all stones, something rare and special. Hopefully now that you had one, you won't feel the need to get another!

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    1. I'm hoping he doesn't decide to get another one. Supposedly, these are also the most likely to recur, but I'm hoping Soth hasn't heard that bit ;)

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  2. Things like that make you think you should play the lottery, right? LOL
    But seriously, we're so glad Soth is doing well, and hope that the diet will work and he can continue on that way!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. If only I had this much luck with getting happy things! Maybe if I let Soth pick the lottery numbers ;)

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  3. Ditto what Emma said. Soth proves once again he's one unique cat. So glad things are going better and hope a dietary fix prevents reoccurrence.

    Cheers,
    Chris from Boise

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    1. He definitely wants everyone to know he's special ;)

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  4. Does Soth have a fountain ? Sometimes that helps a cat drink more (and the dogs can drink frm it too.) So glad he is doing better !

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    1. He had a fountain and he started peeing from. I only had one dog then, but she was scared of it and wouldn't go near it--and she's the brave dog, so I haven't tried another one.

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  5. Wow, I'm glad you finally got an answer for Soth. I hope he's continued to do well on the new diet.

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    1. He is doing so, so, so well! Better than he's been in 6 years! We'll schedule the urinalysis for next month, so I should have more details to post another update then :)

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