12.19.2012

Worried about my boy today ...

Tanner seemed "off" this morning, not his usual self, so I decided to run him over to our wonderful vet's office before work.  Turns out it was a very good thing I did, as his bladder was about half full of urine and he had a partial urethral obstruction, which is one of the symptoms of FLUTD.  This is one of those tricky things that affect male cats, but it's usually most common in boy kitties who are overweight and who eat a dry diet, which Tanner is not and does not. 

About five years ago, during a routine urinalysis at one of his yearly checkups, Tanner had some pre-crystals, (he was eating premium canned food at the time) and for a brief time he was put on a canned prescription diet for same.  It was shortly thereafter that I decided to switch everyone to a raw diet, and since then he has been completely fine, with no evidence of crystals whatsoever.  So this was a very unwanted and unexpected surprise, and it made for a very long and nerve-wracking day, during which I had to leave Tanner at the vet's so that he could be sedated and a catheter inserted to drain his bladder.  I visited him at lunchtime, though, and other than being a bit glassy-eyed from the meds, he seemed in decent shape.  He was happy to see me, and purred up a storm during our fifteen minute visit.  He's got an IV of saline in to hydrate him and flush out his kidneys, and a cone of shame on to keep him from messing with the IV.  He looks extremely pathetic, but Dr. C. assures me that he's doing well, but unfortunately because of the Christmas holiday and the fact that the cats had been scheduled to be looked after by a teen-aged friend of the family, he'll probably have to stay at the vet's until Wednesday morning, which just about breaks my heart, but I also know I wouldn't be able to enjoy my long weekend/Christmas holiday if I was worried about Tanner obstructing again and someone watching over him who may not recognize the signs and get him to the vet right away.  So as much as I hate the idea, I think it's best that he stays where he is until after Christmas.  



He'll be on the prescription canned food again until at least then, and then after the first of the year I'm going to schedule an appointment with our holistic practitioner, to see if there is anything she can suggest either instead of or in addition to this prescription food, to keep him from obstructing again.  Which, I'll be honest, I'm pretty worried about, as once it happens once it is likely to happen again, somewhat like bloat in dogs.  Fortunately, Tanner doesn't have stones, what he has is called a urethral plug, which is a partially solid cylindrical mass of minerals. For this reason, it is our vet's opinion that the underlying cause is very possibly the tap water, so we'll be switching either to a different kind of filter, or going to bottled water.  

I'd also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that if you have a nagging suspicion that something might be wrong with one of the fur-people in your life, do yourself, and them, a favor, and get it checked out.  I felt a little ridiculous calling the vet's office this morning to let them know I was on my way in with Tanner, because of course they wanted to know what was wrong, and I really couldn't tell them. He wasn't off his food (he ate breakfast and dinner as normal yesterday and was on his way to the kitchen for breakfast this morning when I noticed that he didn't seem to be moving "right"), he wasn't crying or acting sick, he just seemed "off" to me, and so I took him in.  This meant that we caught what could have been a very serious, even life threatening, problem in the very early stages, and he is, paws crossed, going to be just fine.  

Point is, they can't tell us what's wrong, they can't tell us if something hurts, or they just don't feel "right."  We have to know them well enough to know what's normal for them and what isn't, and looking back on it, I should have known something wasn't right when Tanner insisted on sleeping next to me all night long, which he never does unless it's really cold out and he wants under the blankets.  Knowing what I know now, I honestly believe that he was trying to tell me  something was wrong in the only way he knew how.  

Anyway ... for now the news is good - he's no longer blocked, and is resting comfortably.  He probably even has a good buzz going.  But I am worried about the possible long term implications of this, and I'd appreciate any good thoughts you could send his way.  


19 comments:

Amber DaWeenie said...

I'm a lot like you and run to the vet every time something doesn't seem right. Sometimes it turns out to be nothing but most of the time it's something lurking in the shadows just waiting to blossom. Pet parents just know when something is wrong.

Hope Tanner is back to his old self really quickly. Paws Crossed!

K-Koira said...

Oh, hope he does okay. Please keep us updated. My sister's cat just went through a blockage and is on prescription food for now, but they are thinking of switching to a raw diet soon. I would love to hear what your holistic vet says about what to add or look out for in his diet so that I can pass it on.

The Island Cats said...

We're sorry to hear Tanner is having pee problems. But you were smart to take him in. We are purring for him and hope he does well at the vet and improves.

tubby3pug said...

So sorry to hear about Tanner. I am right with you, I have rushed my pets to the vet many times when something was just off, a few times it was in fact nothing. Twice it was something major. We hope Tanner does well

urban hounds

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

Poor Tanner! He's lucky to have you! I'm really glad that the vet has it under control and that he's going to be okay. I completely agree with what you said about going to the vet if you feel that something is off. Better safe than sorry! Anyway, keep us posted on how he's doing. Love from Chicago!

William said...

Aw, poor Tanner. You did the right thing in taking him in and letting him stay.

We've never had any trouble with the boys (or the girls, for that matter). A long time ago my original cat (female) would get UTIs, but once I changed her dry food to Science Diet (original), she never had a problem again. I know you don't feed dry foods, but this is all I have with similar problems.

GizmoGeodog said...

I've always felt that the communication between us and our furry companions is almost mystical...The signs may be subtle but we become so attuned to them we can tell when something "just isn't right" it's part of our bond with them and they depend on us to read those signals they give off...I know you're worried about Tanner but you've done the right thing and he's in the best place right now to get the care he needs

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

Aw, we is purring and purraying for Tanner! It is most excellent that he is feeling better and purred for you ;-) And it is also good that you are leaving him there to be carefully watched over instead of relying on the kitty sitter. He might not be thrilled to be there, but better safe than sorry & I'm sure he'll we well and truly loved on! XOXOXO

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Moms always seem to know when something isn't quite right. We will keep our paws crossed for Tanner - you are doing the right thing leaving him with your vet or you would be so worried the whole time you are away. Hope he is better and you can find some solutions.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

houndstooth said...

I'm glad you went with your gut and took him in. I hope things will work out okay for him and that he won't have problems anymore.

onebluedog said...

What a very good pet mom you are! I am really glad that Tanner is okay and I hope that he will not have a blockage again. Poor buddy :(

Jeanne Pursell said...

Poor Tanner!! Glad you noticed something wasn't right and he is where he will get the care that he needs. Hope he's feeling better real soon. xoxo Chloe and LadyBug

Kate said...

Poor Tanner. I hope he's good going forward.

Terry said...

Hope Tanner feels better soon. We live in a semi-dessert, and our water has a high mineral content. Our vet suggested we use distilled water for our cats, so of course we do.

Heather Peden said...

Poor Tanner :( My cat Chestnut has been through this. His first bout with crystals he had to be catheterized too and I felt so terrible for him. His urinary problems have recurred twice since then, but not as seriously (thank goodness), still, we are always on watch with him. I agree with you, it is so important to just know when something seems off with your pets, because things can progress so quickly.

Sending good thoughts to Tanner for a speedy recovery over the holiday.

Amy said...

I hope a full recovery happens quickly. Shoot, by Wednesday morning he'll be the vet office's new mascot! You are so right to leave him where he'll be healthy and safe.
Happy holidays,
Amy and Toby

Bassetmomma said...

Just stopping by to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Basset Momma, Freddie & Gloria

heyitsjethere said...

Hey Tucker, Hey Tanner, Hey Olivia, Hey Phoebe, Hey Finn, Jet here.

OMD, so sorry to read about Tanner. So glad you trusted your gut. Mom asked me to share that when she rescued Mugs in 9/1987, he ended up with the same thing on Christmas Eve, 1987. In Miami, most of the residents celebrate Noche Buena... it was near impossible to find a vet. $3,000 later, he was attended to and saved again! Mom said she and Mr. Fred looked at him and said... please live a long, healthy life. He lived with them for 15.5 years and was a wonderful furfamily member.

Your strategy seems sound. Sending lots of Jetty kisses and JJ hugs for a comfortable and speedy recovery. :)

Tucker The Crestie said...

Thanks to all of you for your well wishes. Tanner is much better, and is now back home and VERY happy to be there. I will be posting an update a little later today!