By Kay Hisano | Dated September 7, 2023
Meet Romeo, a beautiful 7-year-old Ragdoll cat who recently went through quite an ordeal at Gordon Vet Hospital. Romeo has been undergoing treatment for a very specific liver cancer over the past few months, however more recently his loving owner noticed he wasn’t his usual self and had lost interest in food.
Upon Romeo’s arrival at our hospital, Dr. John, conducted a thorough physical examination. During this examination, Dr. John discovered that Romeo was experiencing discomfort when his right kidney was gently palpated. Concerned about Romeo’s well-being, we admitted him for further evaluation and to address his hydration needs.
Our diagnostic tests revealed some crucial findings. Romeo was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, a common issue in cats. Additionally, his blood work showed signs of inflammation, indicating an underlying problem. Fearing that the infection could spread from his bladder to his kidneys, we promptly initiated treatment by administering intravenous antibiotics. Furthermore, we scheduled Romeo for a comprehensive kidney scan. It’s important to note that cats often develop urinary tract infections due to underlying factors, making it vital to identify the root cause.
To our astonishment, the kidney scan unveiled more than expected. Romeo not only had a kidney stone but also two stones causing obstructions in his ureters—the slender tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder. Ouch! What made this discovery even more surprising was that Romeo’s kidney function appeared normal on his blood test results. This serves as a testament to the kidney’s remarkable compensatory ability. However, it underscores the urgency of early treatment, as delaying it could eventually harm the kidneys and prove fatal.
In roughly 80% of cases like Romeo’s, obstructions are attributed to stones. The second most common cause are narrowing of the ureters, known as ureteral strictures.
To tackle Romeo’s situation, our team at Gordon Vet Hospital opted for medical management. We prescribed a diuretic to increase urine output, a medication to alleviate inflammation, and a ureteral muscle relaxant. After just two days of intensive therapy, Romeo’s ureters successfully expelled all the stones into the bladder. In some instances, a Subcutaneous Ureteral Bypass (SUB) may be considered, which is a specialized surgical procedure performed by experts. This involves the placement of synthetic tubing from the kidney to the bladder to replace the affected ureters.
Romeo’s journey highlights the importance of prompt diagnosis and treatment in feline urinary issues. We are thrilled to report that Romeo is on the path to recovery and look forward to seeing him back to his charming self in no time.