I know I briefly mentioned the little scare we had with our kitty, Sammie, in my post on Friday. I noticed him acting stranger than usual on Thursday morning. He's normally pretty vocal, but his meowing was nothing short of obnoxious that morning. He had also been licking himself (down there) more frequently. Things started adding up once I saw him jumping into the litter box a few times in a row. After the third time he hopped out, I took a peak and that's when I realized what was going on. He was trying to pee, but nothing was coming out. It was clear that he had a blockage and I was 99% sure it was struvite crystals (or urinary crystals).
We've actually had two other cats experience this painful condition in the past ― Orion's seemed to clear up with a diet change (he passed away of old age over a year ago), but Toby's was much worse. It could only be fixed by having a Perineal Urethostomy (PU) surgery. Simply put, they had to remove his penis. I know. It was pretty crazy and expensive as heck, but no more blockages for that guy. Whenever we adopted Sammie back in 2011, I knew I wanted him on a high quality dry food. I thought we'd be able to avoid this whole situation if we put him on a good diet from the get-go. We fed him California Natural and later switched to Blue Buffalo. Little did I know that feeding him an all dry food diet could be just as harmful in the long run. Research suggests that urine pH and water consumption factor into the formation of crystals. Dry food has a tendency of dehydrating cats (especially if they don't drink a lot of water to begin with). I'm certain this was the case with Sammie.
We were able to get him down to the vets office within a few hours of becoming aware of the issue. They had to catheterize him, shoot him full of IV's, and keep him overnight for observation. He was released on Friday afternoon. 5 different medications, a few cans of prescription wet food and a $1,400 bill later, he was home and on the mend! Now, we just have to recover from the unexpected expense. Thank God our vet just started accepting CareCredit. We had to watch him like a hawk the first couple days back home (to monitor his urine output), but he's back to normal now. I've been switching him between Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO + Purina Pro Plan Focus Urinary Tract Health canned food, as well as the Purina One Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health dry food. They want him back in a couple of weeks to do another urinalysis to see where his pH is.
Yay for pet ownership, even when things get tough and mad expensive! Ha. He's worth every penny.