Feline Perineal Urethrostomy: Surgical Treatment for FLUTD

FLUTD urolithiasis or feline lower urinary tract disorders in cats cause excessive discomfort and pain. Cat's that exhibit several symptoms should be diagnosed and treated promptly in order to prevent urethral blockage commonly seen in male cats. FLUTD is caused by many factors such as bladder stones, infections and a combination of urolithiasis and infection. Pets that suffer from frequent urinary tract infections may be treated with medications such as antibiotics to kill internal infections. However, many pets require surgery in order to prevent further infections. Pet owners should watch for any symptoms of FLUTD and seek prompt medical help.

Symptoms of FLUTD Include

  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Bloody urine
  • Licking of the genitals
  • Lethargy
  • Defecating and urinating away from the litter box

Treatment of FLUTD

Cats suffering from FLUTD caused by bladder stones are treated with diet modification. Pets are also prescribed antibiotics to clear bacterial infection. Cats that are severely ill due to FLUTD may require IV fluids and hospitalization. Male cats in particular are at greatest risk of developing urethral blockage due to FLUTD. The male cat urethra is narrow and if the opening becomes blocked due to bladder stones or crystals, the pet will not be able to eliminate urine from the body. Urethral blockage is a life threatening condition as it prevents the natural elimination of waste and toxins from the body and causes electrolyte imbalance. Pets suffering from urethral blockage are surgically treated with a procedure known as feline perineal urethrostomy.

Feline Perineal Urethrostomy

In addition to pet's suffering from FLUTD, cats that experience trauma in the pelvic region or injury to the genitals require perineal urethrostomy. During perineal urethrostomy, the vet will create another opening in the perineal area to facilitate easy elimination of urine by bypassing urethral blockages. Before surgery, the vet will perform a thorough physical examination of the abdomen by palpating it to detect any swelling or enlargement of the urinary bladder. Pets will also be subjected to various tests such as blood and urine tests to rule out underlying conditions such as kidney disease and liver abnormalities.

Preparation for Feline Perineal Urethrostomy

The vet will also perform an x-ray or ultrasound to determine any changes in the urinary tract. Pets in emergency situations are helped with a catheter to prevent death. This involves the use of a tube cystostomy to eliminate urine. Pets that survive with a catheter are treated with perineal urethrostomy. The pet will require anesthesia for both catheterization and perineal urethrostomy. Once the surgery is performed, pet's need proper home care and rest.

Home Care

Cats should be prevented from licking the genitals or the site of surgery. An Elizabethan collar is recommended for this purpose. Since the pet requires rest, he shouldn't be allowed to go outdoors. It's best to avoid exertion or play to help the incisions to heal rapidly. The stitches will be removed after sedating the cat. Pet owners should also administer all prescribed medication on time and take pets for scheduled vet checks.

Since perineal urethrostomy is an expensive procedure and pet's experience pain and discomfort with FLUTD, it's necessary to follow an adequate diet low in magnesium in order to prevent FLUTD in cats.