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Feline Urethral Obstruction

Segev G, Livne H, Ranen E et al: Urethral obstruction in cats: predisposing factors, clinical, clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis, J Feline Med Surg 13, 2011.

Feline lower urinary tract diseases (FLUTDs) are common. Urethral obstruction (UO) is believed to occur more commonly in young cats and almost exclusively in male cats. Veterinary literature has limited information regarding the risk factors for UO. The most common etiology of UO in cats is urethral plugs. The most common signs of UO include stranguria, dysuria, and pain, and varying degrees of systemic signs. The objectives of this study were to identify risk factors for UO, to illustrate clinical and clinicopathological signs, outcome, and recurrence, as well as risk factors for mortality and recurrence. The study compared 82 cats with UO to 82 sex and time matched control cats. Indoor-outdoor cats were found to have a decreased risk for UO, while increased body weight was found to be a risk factor for UO over the control group. Cats with UO were younger than the control cats and the proportion of cats with UO consuming dry food was higher than the control cases. Even though UO is a life-threatening condition, in this study, the survival rate was high. Ionized calcium was found to be significantly higher in survivors compared to non-survivors. The recurrence rate in this study was relatively low. Urine pH was overall significantly lower at presentation in those reoccurring cases. Presence of ionized hypocalcemia and hyperkalemia should alert practitioners to the need for aggressive management and stabilization prior to de-obstructing patients under general anesthesia. [VT]

Related articles:  
Cooper ES, Owens TJ, Chew DJ et al: A protocol for managing urethral obstruction in male cats without urethral catheterization, J Am Vet Med Assoc 237:1261, 2010.