What is FLUTD?
Feline lower urinary tract disease “(commonly referred to as FLUTD, LUTD,FLUDT or FUS–feline urologic syndrome) come in at least three distinct varieties. All of them put together affect a small percentage of cats, but for those who are affected, it can be a major problem. Bladder diseases occur in both male and female cats, although males have a higher risk of life-threatening blockage of the urethra. Male cats’ urethras taper toward the opening at the prepuce making them especially susceptible to forming a “plug” which obstructs normal urination. All of the constituents of a urinary plug can be the result of a true bacterial infection or a complicated disorder called Feline (Idiopathic) Lower Urinary Tract Disease, or FLUTD. It is usually first seen in cats between 2 and 7 years of age (though some very young and very old cats may develop signs). Episodes of FLUTDs are usually triggered by stress, such as home remodelling, severe weather, or loss or addition of a family member/pet.”
…our Maine Coon cross cat. He’s as soft as butter and the friendliest cat you could hope to meet… Unless that is, you are our dog Magic who Mac seems to hate with a passion and seems to blame for his current predicament… But I am getting ahead of myself…
I had a week off work recently and I was looking forward to some R&R, catching up on some cinema films and perhaps fit in some running along the way. All that went out the window when Mac stopped going to the toilet just before bed time. It wasn’t much, he just sat in the litter tray and did nothing… It might be something, it might be nothing. However, if you know the signs and when you see them you take note and that put Mac on the watch list. He’s not the first cat we have had problems with, Silver (my first cat that I had) also had problems though his was from Struvite crystals.
Next morning however there was no doubting that there was a problem… Mac always greets you in the morning with a miaow and a rub but he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. We found him in a scratching post box looking miserable and with a very wet bottom. To give you an insight into Mac, if you were to personify him as a human, he would be a dandy, dressed in finery and perfumed. His bottom is normally quite perfumed anyway, I don’t know where he has a bottle of the stuff hidden away. So, to see him wet, was very disturbing…
Day 1 – Calling in the Vets
We are so very lucky in our neck of the woods to have the Ellon Mobile Vet service and so after a quick phone call and a short while later the vet was with us.He was diagnosed very quickly as having Flutds by the vet feeling that his bladder was full. The vet managed to squeeze the bladder hard enough to release the blockage and empty the bladder. A swift multifunction test swab showed us that there was a bacterial infection in the urine that was the most likely cause of the problem. Mac got a couple of injections, a long lasting antibiotic and and anti-inflammatory to hopefully release the blockage. Sure enough, through the afternoon we saw signs that he was going to the toilet though in small amounts and not the size of what he usually does. By the time we went to bed, he had stopped going.
Day 2 – Off to the vets
Next morning and Mac was back to leaking again and his sides were more solid than the should be so it was straight on to the vets again and they promptly came out and expressed his bladder again to relieve the pressure. Then he got whisked away in a carrier with a promise that he would be looked after.
The other cats, you an see them all on the left there, were shocked when they came in after Mac had gone. They all looked so concerned that he wasn’t there and spent the entire day slinking about with their tails down.. I think they thought he wasn’t coming back. Mind you, If I had a tail, it would have been down too…
We called later that day and he had been put on a drip in his foreleg and a catheter at the other end to flush his system. He had been sedated but he was OK. “Hopefully”, they said, “We’ll get him back tomorrow morning”.
It was a long night.
Day 3 – Another overnight Stay
As soon as the vets were open the next morning, I was back on the phone to find out how he was. He was doing Ok they said but he was going to have to stay in another night as he had pulled his catheter out overnight and they wanted to ensure he was fully hydrated before they let him home… He was also starting a course of antispasmodics, Hypovaze from Pfizer. The hope here is that if we are dealign with a bacterial infection then the antispasmodics should help while that passes through his system and then hopefully his bladder will have recovered to normal function.
Another long day followed by a long night.
Day 4 – Back home again
Friday, we got him home. He got transported back to us from the vets and was very happy to be back home. We were happy to have him back and cuddled him half to death I think. The cats were overjoyed at him being back too.
So what happens now?
As well as continuing his course of antispasmodics, we have been instructed that he is to receive no dry food at all for at least three months and to give consideration to keeping him off cat biscuits always… This comes right after I purchased a 10Kg bag of biscuits from Amazon, typical! Beyond that we are adding extra water to his cat food so he gets as much fluid as possible – Have you ever tried to get a Cat to drink voluntarily? They never drink near enough.
Our other secret weapon is cat milk…. yes, horribly overpriced and with added sweeteners, Goats milk – Did you know that cat milk was Goats milk in disguise? I didn’t. However, Goats milk didn’t float his boat at all so back to the expensive stuff it is… If it keeps him healthy, he can bath in it if he wants.
Beyond that, it’s crossing our fingers and hoping beyond hope that it doesn’t happen again….
You mentioned the dog?
You’re so right, I did mention him right at the beginning of tho didn’t I? Poor Magic is getting the sharp edge to Mac’s claws at the moment. If Magic’s tail strikes anything too loud, if he barks just a little too loud, then Mac is on him. The cat for some reason blames the dog entirely for his current situation and gives him “the hairy eyeball” each time one or the other walks into the room with each other… There’s an uneasy truce until Magic makes a noise, then it’s all fur ‘n claws.
Off to get seem Felliway diffuser and a DAP diffuser to se if that helps…