Perineal Urethrostomy In Cats - 'P.U.' It’s not about the POO, It’s all about the PEE!
An article written by Veterinarian Dr. Leanne Julian
Cats commonly get cystitis which we often see as frequent small urination often with blood in it and discomfort.
It can be caused by stress, infections or crystals forming in the urine and it can become extremely serious in male cats because the urethra (the tube that passes the urine out of the bladder) can block and the bladder overfills and cannot empty. These cats will be trying to go to the toilet and they can’t. They will often strain to toilet and cry.
This is an emergency as they can die if they don’t pass urine. If this happens to your cat afterhours you need to call your vet as they cannot wait until the morning. These cats may be given some medication to relax their urethra so they can urinate. If it is not successful they will need an anaesthetic and a catheter is used to flush the blockage in their urethra so we can empty their bladder.
Various tests will be done to find the underlying cause of the cystitis and blockage. Some cats will get reoccurring blockages. We tend to have a 3 strikes rule so after the 3rd time, we advise a surgery to hopefully prevent him blocking again.
This surgery is called a Perineal Urethrostomy, which is like a sex change for your cat opening up his urethra and making it very much like a female’s urinary tract opening. The urethral opening is much wider and should prevent them from being able to block. The surgery is very delicate with many tiny sutures holding the reconstruction in place until it heals. They are usually kept in hospital for a few days after which they are sent home for close observations. All the cases that we have done this surgery on have gone on to live for many, many years without ever blocking again.
Please see gallery below about how to tell if your cat is struggling to urinate and also what the surgery entails.