Treating FIC With Butorphanol Tartrate

Feline idiopathic cystitis, or FIC, indicates the inflammation of the urinary bladder, which can be effectively treated with butorphanol tartrate. FIC is a common problem observed in cats of unknown origin. At times, it is also referred to as feline urological syndrome or feline idiopathic lower urinary tract disease. This disease is observed in both male and female cats, and a total of 1% of the cat population is affected by this disease.

Symptoms of FIC

The disease results from accumulation of mineral crystals and inflammatory debris, which can form a plug and obstruct the urethra of the male cats. Symptoms of the ailment include the following:

  • increase in the frequency of urination
  • presence of blood in the urine
  • increase in the grooming of the genital area
  • difficulty in urinating with tormented meowing
  • urinating in wrong places (usually on smooth and cool surfaces such as sinks and bathtubs)

Often these symptoms can be confused for constipation; however, in male cats, it can result in a medical emergency if the following symptoms prevail:

  • recurrent failed attempts to urinate
  • sluggishness and unwillingness to move
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting

There are a number of diagnostic tests carried out to establish that the pet is suffering from FIC, namely urinalysis, serum analysis, abdominal x-rays, urine culture tests and cystoscopy. Butorphanol tartrate is the most recommended drug for the treatment of this condition.

Treatment with Butorphanol Tartrate

Butorphanol tartrate is an analgesic drug that is used to reduce the pain that the cat experiences while urinating in the diseased condition. The drug falls under the category of opiate agonists and also has some sedation properties, but the sedation does not last for long. It is available in the form of tablets and also injections. Depending on the severity of the condition of the pet, the veterinarian would either inject the drug or would prescribe tablets. A dose of 0.05 to 0.4 mg per pound is usually prescribed two to six times a day.

Butorphanol tartrate is available under the trade names Torbugesic® and Torbutrol®. The duration of treatment depends on the condition of the cat and the response that the pet shows towards the drug. It is important to complete the course of prescription even if the pet shows improvement to prevent any reversion, unless advised otherwise by the veterinarian.

Precautions and Side Effects

Butorphanol tartrate is a safe drug, but it can cause some side effects such as loss of appetite, sedation and diarrhea. It is essential to inform the veterinarian about the medical history of the pet, especially if there has ever been a diagnosis of kidney impairment, thyroid problem, nervous system dysfunction or any prevailing allergies. If the pet is administered with butorphanol tartrate and it shows signs of allergy, such as hives, facial swelling or skin reactions, then the drug should be discontinued immediately and veterinarian help should be called for without any delay.

The drug is reported to interact with other medications such as antihistaminics, tranquilizers and barbiturates. This makes it important for the veterinarian to know if the pet is on these medications before administering butorphanol tartrate.