Emergency and Critical Care
90th FVMA Annual Conference
Feline urethral obstruction is a common condition in the cat that has the potential to be both rewarding and frustrating to manage. As they can present in a variety of ways, from stable to critical, knowing how to rapidly diagnose and treat them is invaluable. The nuances of stabilization, including treatment of hyperkalemia and whether to consider decompressive cystocentesis, will be highlighted. Alternatives to gold standard care will be discussed, as many owners do not have the finances for prolonged hospitalization and often there are ways to avoid euthanasia in these circumstances. This may include unblocking the cat using a 22-gauge IV catheter, flushing the bladder, and hospitalizing or sending home with subcutaneous fluids, analgesics, and anti-spasmodics. The controversy around decompressive cystocentesis is an important topic to explore, and the arguments for and against will be discussed. Various approaches to unblocking the cat will also be covered, including the different types of catheters that are available and the pros and cons of each. Once the patient is stabilized, an appropriate fluid and monitoring plan must be developed. Deciding when to remove the urinary catheter and when to discharge the patient is another important consideration.