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It’s all in a Saturday morning

By Helen Burns | Dated February 21, 2019

Last Saturday morning, the waiting room at Gordon Vet was buzzing at 7:30am. Sitting near the door was a young Labrador, happy to see everyone, looking as though nothing was wrong. His owner however had astutely noticed that there was a large piece of bone stuck in his mouth, and was patiently waiting to have it removed. In the corner sat Spencer, a young ginger cat whose owner had noticed him trying to pass urine that morning but with no success. Across the room sat a forlorn looking cavoodle puppy who just couldn’t stop vomiting.
All three pets were fortunate that their owners were up at the crack of dawn and attending to their needs, in particular young Spencer.

There is a condition that male cats are prone to, in which they acutely become unable to pass urine. Consequently their bladder fills and fills and fills and you probably get the very uncomfortable picture. Spencer’s bladder felt just like an orange sitting inside his abdomen.

We immediately gave Spencer pain relief, and ran a blood test to check his electrolyte levels. When cats are unable to excrete potassium in their urine, the level builds up in their bloodstream, and this leads to a slow heart rate and heart arrhythmias. Commonly, this is accompanied by the build up of other waste products too. These are serious considerations for a patient who needs a general anaesthetic to relieve the obstruction. Fortunately for Spencer, his owner noticed the problem and brought him straight in, and he had no electrolyte abnormalities or toxin build up.
Spencer’s general anaesthetic was smooth, and a urinary catheter was passed to relieve the obstruction. We all felt immensely relieved, I must say!
Spencer had a condition called feline idiopathic cystitis, which stimulated his urethra to spasm and effectively clench shut. His own body was working against him, obstructing him from being able to pass urine. After spending most of the week in hospital, Spencer is now at home, taking a couple of different medications to relax the two types of muscle that he needs to relax, in order to urinate. Who would have thought doing a wee was so complicated?

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Written by Helen Burns

Helen graduated from Sydney Uni in 1997 with First Class Honours and worked in a practice on the Northern Beaches for 16 years. Helen joined the Gordon Vet team early in 2014 and our clients have really enjoyed getting to know her. She loves being a vet and takes a keen interest in all of her patients. Her gentle, friendly nature helps pets to feel relaxed when they visit the vet. Helen lives locally and has 3 children. At least one of her children seems destined to be a vet! When not ferrying her children around, Helen cares for her menagerie of pets. These include Chloe the dog, Obi and Leia the cats, Little Cocky the galah and Rosie the very tame eclectus parrot who all happily coexist at her house. In her spare time, Helen likes to be active outdoors, running, kayaking, camping or playing any manner of sport with her children.

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Lihong Xing
Lihong Xing
05:00 05 Nov 18
Highly recommend Dr David, Scott, Helen, and Catherine, I've taken my cat to see all the doctors here.
Vishal Kapoor
Vishal Kapoor
01:52 04 Sep 18
Really amazing staff members. Their systems and processes are also very
Arezu A
Arezu A
03:20 15 Feb 18
Absolutely love the service here. I switched from other Vets to this Vet as the staff here are quite attentive and really care about your furry baby! I have basically seen most of the Dr's here and all of them so far have been fantastic, friendly and fun to speak with! Easy to locate and enough parking available! 5 Stars indeed!
Gerry Stevens
Gerry Stevens
11:01 14 Jul 18
Good competant vet. Did what I needed. Staff friendly. Cat's well.
Jeremy Tarbox
Jeremy Tarbox
22:55 10 Sep 18
We found a stray, agitated dog in front of our house last night. We phoned but got no help from the Council ranger who gave two options: tie him up in front yard overnight or "let him loose, he'll find his own way home" :( So we phoned Gordon Vet: they stayed open a few minutes so we could run him up and he could have a bed and dinner. Thank you Gordon Vet Hospital, hope he gets home soon!!! :)
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