Whistler, BC (Apr 10/22) – Some say cats have nine lives. Well it would appear that Jesse (N&J’s seasoned Westfalia traveler) may have used up one of those lives over the weekend. Late Friday (Apr 1st) night N&J noticed that Jesse was acting a bit out of sorts, meowing incessantly, in/out of his litter box, wondering aimlessly around the house. At one point he approached J who was sitting on the couch, meowed softly, tapped him with a paw… then laid down on the floor looking rather lethargic.
N quickly checked Jesse out, feeling his abdomen for firmness, this Jesse did not like, it would seem he was having a bladder problem, unable to pass urine. Not a moment to spare N&J frantically made the 1.5 hr drive with Jesse in to North Vancouver’s Mountainside 24 hour animal emergency hospital.
After a quick diagnose, the medical staff determined that Jesse indeed had a blocked urethra preventing him from emptying his bladder. A typical ailment suffered by male, neutered Tabby cats. If not treated quickly, death (by heart attack) usually is not far behind. Jesse had a similar episode back in 2014 when he was just a 9 month old kitten, at that time it was not as acute & anti-inflammatory drugs cleared the problem. Jesse was placed on a special ‘pH adjusted’ diet which seemed to do the trick… until now.
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J had made a minor change to Jesse’s diet, just 3 days before. For the past two years Jesse’s diet of dry kibble had been supplemented with freeze-dried raw food in chicken or duck… with no problems whatsoever. A change to the freeze dried ‘rabbit’ variety seemed to have set off the Urinary Tract problem.
Jesse was admitted to the hospital, a catheter was placed into his bladder to relieve the blockage. After 60 hours of care & treatment (what seemed like an eternity for N&J), Jesse was well enough to come home on Monday morning, armed with a battery of medicine & special instructions. To prevent him from licking his ‘manly privates’ too much, causing more inflammation, Jesse had to wear an e-collar (ie. lamp shade) for at least 3 days or until the inflammation resolved and he has stopped licking.
The lamp shade may have been more intolerable for N&J, so round the clock ‘penis watch’ for a solid week took its toll after only a few days. A ‘make shift’ hospital established in the living room with the three sleeping on a mattress with litter box nearby and an eye on Jesse at all times. Exhaustion setting in they decided to put a harness on Jesse which was then tied to a large set of Christmas bells sure to get the attention of even the sleeping neighbours. Jesse quite ‘high’ on his medications wasn’t sure about this new arrangement and wondered why his every move evoked the commotion of bells and the crazed attention of his parents. After 4 nights of this Jesse had enough, with wobbly legs and glazed pupils, pulling the bells behind him he clamoured his way up the stairs to the bedroom meowing the whole way as if to say “this is ridiculous, come on, let’s get some proper sleep upstairs”… needless to say, Jesse’s thinking was spot on, the 3 Amigos slept much better in their own bed. 😴
Reaching out to Jesse’s friend Rhonda in Ontario ‘DiamondBearHealing‘ brought further clarity and healing by clearing his energy and clearing his blockage. Rhonda is an energy healer whom Jesse met in a pub (whaaaat? …a cat in a pub) during N&J’s travels across Canada. They became fast friends and have kept in touch ever since.
Thanks to the incredible staff at Mountainside Animal Hospital in North Vancouver for their expertise & kind care to Jesse and all those creatures large & small who pass through their doors… they are truly special.
Thank you to Rhonda for her continued connection and healing sessions she provides for Jesse.
After this very scary experience, J will no longer play with Jesse’s diet (and life) without a veterinarian’s approval, lesson learned. Jesse plays such an integral part in N&J’s lives… to live without him is unthinkable.
UPDATE: (Oct 09/22) Jesse experienced another bout of bladder blockage caused by a crystal formation (stone). The stone was so big it could not be passed through the uretha so surgery was performed to remove the stone from the bladder, fortunately no kidney damage resulted from the blockage. After 2 days Jesse was back home recuperating. Obviously more modification & monitoring of his diet will have to be implemented to prevent another occurrence. It would seem ‘dry kibble’ is one of the culprits, so a transition to wet & raw food to prevent pH imbalances which cause crystals to form in the bladder. Needless to say N&J are very concerned & on high alert to keep ‘their boy’ healthy.