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View Full Version : Plugs, etc.--one can never get complacent


Jean B.
October 28th 06, 04:08 PM
Just the night before last, I was sitting here thinking I
would write a post saying Mingy has been fine since he blocked
and was diagnosed with Struvite crystals in January 2005.
Well, the next morning, I ended up calling the Vet, which led
to a quick trip to the Vet's and the finding that he was
plugged. Aaaargh. His bloodwork and EKG are fine though,
thank goodness.

It is really odd. Before he was blocked, I noticed he spent
lots of time in his litter box, and he was doing much licking.
This time, neither was the case. Just he hadn't used his
box in more than 24 hours. (This is tricky, because he
normally only pees once a day--much to my dismay.)

I am praying he doesn't replug over the weekend.... He peed
four times after we got home yesterday, because he had been
given fluids. But since then, Mingy has only eaten a tiny
tad, and I haven't noticed him drinking at all.

Now I am back to contemplating foods. Of course, the Vet
wants him to eat c/d or some other food that only vets can
provide. He gave me samples of three types, none of which are
mostly chicken, which seems to be Mingy's main food. (Had I
just not noticed before that the c/d is mostly pork?) Per
usual, my main concern is that Mingy eat. I will tinker later.

I was pleased that the Vet didn't give me dry c/d, although I
did see some there. I was perplexed though, because he spoke
of manganese, and then went on to the possible problem of
oxalate crystals forming. So, is it even advisable to try to
get Mingy to eat a c/d-type diet even right after he plugged?
Do mucous plugs necessarily indicate the presence of crystals?

And what is the feeling re pain killers and antibiotics post
visit? I was unhappy that they said to give Mingy a
painkiller when we got home, since they could have given him
on before we left. I brought my daughter home to help with
that. :-( And the Vet seemed to indicate there were all
possible thoughts re antibiotics--yes, no... That some vets
do nothing post plug--and that they don't really know. Sounds
like some human maladies, and how they thoughts re them keep
changing.

Will Mingy really deign to pee in a litterbox that only has a
tiny amount of special pellets in it? (The Vet expressed all
the pee, and then couldn't get more pee to test it. I am
thinking, if necessary, the Vet can get some pee when we go in
in two weeks for Ming's rabies shot.)

--
Jean B.

October 28th 06, 06:35 PM
Jean B. wrote:
> Just the night before last, I was sitting here thinking I
> would write a post saying Mingy has been fine since he blocked
> and was diagnosed with Struvite crystals in January 2005.
> Well, the next morning, I ended up calling the Vet, which led
> to a quick trip to the Vet's and the finding that he was
> plugged. Aaaargh. His bloodwork and EKG are fine though,
> thank goodness.
>
> It is really odd. Before he was blocked, I noticed he spent
> lots of time in his litter box, and he was doing much licking.
> This time, neither was the case. Just he hadn't used his
> box in more than 24 hours. (This is tricky, because he
> normally only pees once a day--much to my dismay.)
>
> I am praying he doesn't replug over the weekend.... He peed
> four times after we got home yesterday, because he had been
> given fluids. But since then, Mingy has only eaten a tiny
> tad, and I haven't noticed him drinking at all.
>
> Now I am back to contemplating foods. Of course, the Vet
> wants him to eat c/d or some other food that only vets can
> provide. He gave me samples of three types, none of which are
> mostly chicken, which seems to be Mingy's main food. (Had I
> just not noticed before that the c/d is mostly pork?) Per
> usual, my main concern is that Mingy eat. I will tinker later.
>
> I was pleased that the Vet didn't give me dry c/d, although I
> did see some there. I was perplexed though, because he spoke
> of manganese, and then went on to the possible problem of
> oxalate crystals forming. So, is it even advisable to try to
> get Mingy to eat a c/d-type diet even right after he plugged?
> Do mucous plugs necessarily indicate the presence of crystals?
>
> And what is the feeling re pain killers and antibiotics post
> visit? I was unhappy that they said to give Mingy a
> painkiller when we got home, since they could have given him
> on before we left. I brought my daughter home to help with
> that. :-( And the Vet seemed to indicate there were all
> possible thoughts re antibiotics--yes, no... That some vets
> do nothing post plug--and that they don't really know. Sounds
> like some human maladies, and how they thoughts re them keep
> changing.
>
> Will Mingy really deign to pee in a litterbox that only has a
> tiny amount of special pellets in it? (The Vet expressed all
> the pee, and then couldn't get more pee to test it. I am
> thinking, if necessary, the Vet can get some pee when we go in
> in two weeks for Ming's rabies shot.)
>
> --
> Jean B. ALSO YOU COULD TRY CAT FOOD

jmc
October 29th 06, 11:16 AM
Suddenly, without warning, Jean B. exclaimed (29-Oct-06 12:38 AM):
> Just the night before last, I was sitting here thinking I would write a
> post saying Mingy has been fine since he blocked and was diagnosed with
> Struvite crystals in January 2005. Well, the next morning, I ended up
> calling the Vet, which led to a quick trip to the Vet's and the finding
> that he was plugged. Aaaargh. His bloodwork and EKG are fine though,
> thank goodness.
>
I feel your pain. Meep has had cystitis attacks twice. Fortunately,
she's female so doesn't block (I'd never let her get that bad) but I
hadn't learned her little clues before the second time, when she started
peeing blood (yikes!)

> It is really odd. Before he was blocked, I noticed he spent lots of
> time in his litter box, and he was doing much licking. This time,
> neither was the case. Just he hadn't used his box in more than 24
> hours. (This is tricky, because he normally only pees once a day--much
> to my dismay.)
>
All I can suggest here is to watch him closely, and try to learn the
little clues that all is not well. Meep also only peed once a day,
which is a precursor to problems, according to my vet: concentrated
urine is much more likely to crystallize. He's not drinking enough.

> I am praying he doesn't replug over the weekend.... He peed four times
> after we got home yesterday, because he had been given fluids. But
> since then, Mingy has only eaten a tiny tad, and I haven't noticed him
> drinking at all.
>
Drinking is really, really important. You gotta get him to drink. Try
putting multiple sources of water all over the house, especially in
areas he spends time in. Note which ones he drinks from and which he
doesn't. At Meep's second attack, she only had water near her food, and
didn't drink much. I've since realized she prefers her water away from
her food. She has one bowl of water near her cat furniture downstairs,
a Drinkwell in this room, and a big water bowl in the bedroom, where she
prefers to drink. She drinks a LOT more now than she used to.

> Now I am back to contemplating foods. Of course, the Vet wants him to
> eat c/d or some other food that only vets can provide. He gave me
> samples of three types, none of which are mostly chicken, which seems to
> be Mingy's main food. (Had I just not noticed before that the c/d is
> mostly pork?) Per usual, my main concern is that Mingy eat. I will
> tinker later.
>

Meep get a mix of Royal Canin c/d and Iams Senior 7+ for her dry food.
I have more problem with her canned, she flatly refuses most
high-quality canned food, so she gets one small can of whatever she'll
eat, each night. She gets her dry food mostly free choice, a controlled
amount though.

For a cat with cystitis, wet food is preferred over dry. You can add a
bit of water to his wet food as well, I do that for Meep as well.

> I was pleased that the Vet didn't give me dry c/d, although I did see
> some there. I was perplexed though, because he spoke of manganese, and
> then went on to the possible problem of oxalate crystals forming. So,
> is it even advisable to try to get Mingy to eat a c/d-type diet even
> right after he plugged? Do mucous plugs necessarily indicate the
> presence of crystals?
>

I get mixed signals here too. I've had one vet tell me it's not a good
idea to keep them on c/d for too long, because the "opposite" crystals
can form, but another has said I can keep her on c/d for life. I've
been splitting the difference with the half-and-half. Seems to be
working though. If I put her in a high-stress situation (like moving or
a cattery), I switch her to all c/d beforehand.

> And what is the feeling re pain killers and antibiotics post visit? I
> was unhappy that they said to give Mingy a painkiller when we got home,
> since they could have given him on before we left. I brought my
> daughter home to help with that. :-( And the Vet seemed to indicate
> there were all possible thoughts re antibiotics--yes, no... That some
> vets do nothing post plug--and that they don't really know. Sounds like
> some human maladies, and how they thoughts re them keep changing.
>

My vet did both the antibiotics and the painkillers, at the clinic. I
had to give her a series of antibiotic pills for a few days after the
second attack. I think it's "just in case" the problem is caused by a
bacterial infection, or to prevent a secondary infection, caused by
damage from the crystals.

> Will Mingy really deign to pee in a litterbox that only has a tiny
> amount of special pellets in it? (The Vet expressed all the pee, and
> then couldn't get more pee to test it. I am thinking, if necessary, the
> Vet can get some pee when we go in in two weeks for Ming's rabies shot.)
>

Well, depends on the cat. Meep hates the special pellets, uses the box
but pees over the edge. If I have to use them again, I'll put a smaller
box inside a bigger one, so when she does this I still get a sample.

If he doesn't, the vet can get a sample using a needle. The whole idea
gave me the willies, and still does, but there was no ill effects when
they did this for Meep, since she's got some incredible sphincter
control and no vet has managed to get a sample by attempted expressing.

Good luck. I'd also suggest doing some research on this NG, these
problems are very common so there's a lot of posts about them here. To
save you a bit of time, here's a quote of a post I did just the other day:

"[...]have you talked to your vet about a glucosamine supplement? It is
supposed to coat the bladder and reduce damage/discomfort from any
crystals that form. It seems to be working very well for Meep, she had
two cystitis attacks within months of each other, but she's been fine
now for nearly a year. I actually give her a glucosamine/chonodroitin
supplement from Dr Fosters and Smith, with my vet's blessing. I also
keep around a tube of 'urinary acidifier', which is essentially a
dl-methionine supplement - if I think she's uncomfortable, I start
feeding her the recommended dosage, and within a day or so she's back to
normal.

Joint care: http://tinyurl.com/y7h65s

Urinary acidifier: http://tinyurl.com/mvvbw "

Hope this helps, and good luck!

jmc

Jean B.
October 29th 06, 02:37 PM
jmc wrote:

> I feel your pain. Meep has had cystitis attacks twice. Fortunately,
> she's female so doesn't block (I'd never let her get that bad) but I
> hadn't learned her little clues before the second time, when she started
> peeing blood (yikes!)
>
> All I can suggest here is to watch him closely, and try to learn the
> little clues that all is not well. Meep also only peed once a day,
> which is a precursor to problems, according to my vet: concentrated
> urine is much more likely to crystallize. He's not drinking enough.
>
> Drinking is really, really important. You gotta get him to drink. Try
> putting multiple sources of water all over the house, especially in
> areas he spends time in. Note which ones he drinks from and which he
> doesn't. At Meep's second attack, she only had water near her food, and
> didn't drink much. I've since realized she prefers her water away from
> her food. She has one bowl of water near her cat furniture downstairs,
> a Drinkwell in this room, and a big water bowl in the bedroom, where she
> prefers to drink. She drinks a LOT more now than she used to.
>
> Meep get a mix of Royal Canin c/d and Iams Senior 7+ for her dry food. I
> have more problem with her canned, she flatly refuses most high-quality
> canned food, so she gets one small can of whatever she'll eat, each
> night. She gets her dry food mostly free choice, a controlled amount
> though.
>
> For a cat with cystitis, wet food is preferred over dry. You can add a
> bit of water to his wet food as well, I do that for Meep as well.
>
> I get mixed signals here too. I've had one vet tell me it's not a good
> idea to keep them on c/d for too long, because the "opposite" crystals
> can form, but another has said I can keep her on c/d for life. I've
> been splitting the difference with the half-and-half. Seems to be
> working though. If I put her in a high-stress situation (like moving or
> a cattery), I switch her to all c/d beforehand.
>
> My vet did both the antibiotics and the painkillers, at the clinic. I
> had to give her a series of antibiotic pills for a few days after the
> second attack. I think it's "just in case" the problem is caused by a
> bacterial infection, or to prevent a secondary infection, caused by
> damage from the crystals.
>
[peeing in small amt of pellets]
>
> Well, depends on the cat. Meep hates the special pellets, uses the box
> but pees over the edge. If I have to use them again, I'll put a smaller
> box inside a bigger one, so when she does this I still get a sample.
>
> If he doesn't, the vet can get a sample using a needle. The whole idea
> gave me the willies, and still does, but there was no ill effects when
> they did this for Meep, since she's got some incredible sphincter
> control and no vet has managed to get a sample by attempted expressing.
>
> Good luck. I'd also suggest doing some research on this NG, these
> problems are very common so there's a lot of posts about them here. To
> save you a bit of time, here's a quote of a post I did just the other day:
>
> "[...]have you talked to your vet about a glucosamine supplement? It is
> supposed to coat the bladder and reduce damage/discomfort from any
> crystals that form. It seems to be working very well for Meep, she had
> two cystitis attacks within months of each other, but she's been fine
> now for nearly a year. I actually give her a glucosamine/chonodroitin
> supplement from Dr Fosters and Smith, with my vet's blessing. I also
> keep around a tube of 'urinary acidifier', which is essentially a
> dl-methionine supplement - if I think she's uncomfortable, I start
> feeding her the recommended dosage, and within a day or so she's back to
> normal.
>
> Joint care: http://tinyurl.com/y7h65s
>
> Urinary acidifier: http://tinyurl.com/mvvbw "
>
> Hope this helps, and good luck!
>
> jmc

Thanks, jmc! We are pretty much on the same page on most of
the issues and the responses, although you are ahead of me on
the curve when it comes to glucosamine. Also, I had been
thinking of using a small litterbox, and the idea of putting
it inside the larger one is great!

I have been pondering these issues ever since Mingy blocked in
January 2005. At the time, I spoke about it here and did much
research. Now I have been doing more research, trying to get
more up-to-date info re the foods, etc. I find it interesting
that we both, for example, are reluctant to use straight food
intended for controlling crystals. I also use part prescribed
food and part normal (but good) food, and I also vary the
amount, depending on how stressed Mingy is. [I REALLY wish
Halloween was not coming up in a few days, because Mingy will
be freaked out be the constant ringing of the doorbell--not
what he needs now. It is very tempting to just stay on the
doorstep--or maybe plant myself at the storm door. Maybe I'll
just have to do that. Mingy's well-being comes first, as cat
slaves know.)

Like Meep, Mingy really prefers dry food, alas. I have gotten
him to eat more canned food, but he has not totally gotten off
the dry food. I will push him even harder to do so, but you
know cats.... There is always the concern that they do need
to eat! I was pleased to see the c/d mashes, since Mingy
likes his food in pretty much puree form.

After his first blockage, I did get him a fountain, which he
loves, and I put some water for him in my bedroom. He avails
himself of both sources, but I still think he doesn't
drink--or pee--enough. Maybe I'll go get him some ice today,
since he likes playing with ice in his water and consumes
water as he plays. Of course, he may outsmart me and just
ignore it.

Thanks again, jmc!

--
Jean B.

Phil P.
October 30th 06, 06:17 AM
"Jean B." > wrote in message
...
> Just the night before last, I was sitting here thinking I
> would write a post saying Mingy has been fine since he blocked
> and was diagnosed with Struvite crystals in January 2005.
> Well, the next morning, I ended up calling the Vet, which led
> to a quick trip to the Vet's and the finding that he was
> plugged. Aaaargh. His bloodwork and EKG are fine though,
> thank goodness.

Depending on the size and number of crystals, it could take a month or
longer to dissolve. So, its not unusual for cat to reblock soon after he was
unblocked. You just have to watch him very closely.


>
> It is really odd. Before he was blocked, I noticed he spent
> lots of time in his litter box, and he was doing much licking.
> This time, neither was the case. Just he hadn't used his
> box in more than 24 hours. (This is tricky, because he
> normally only pees once a day--much to my dismay.)
>
> I am praying he doesn't replug over the weekend.... He peed
> four times after we got home yesterday, because he had been
> given fluids. But since then, Mingy has only eaten a tiny
> tad, and I haven't noticed him drinking at all.


Try putting a dab of salt on the tip of his nose or lips- that might
encourage him to drink. Just wet the tip of your finger- dab it a little
salt. You can also give him tuna water from a can of tuna packed in water
(never oil).

>
> Now I am back to contemplating foods. Of course, the Vet
> wants him to eat c/d or some other food that only vets can
> provide. He gave me samples of three types, none of which are
> mostly chicken, which seems to be Mingy's main food. (Had I
> just not noticed before that the c/d is mostly pork?) Per
> usual, my main concern is that Mingy eat. I will tinker later.

Ask your vet about Hill's Prescription c/d with Chicken- it only comes in
the canned version.


>
> I was pleased that the Vet didn't give me dry c/d, although I
> did see some there. I was perplexed though, because he spoke
> of manganese, and then went on to the possible problem of
> oxalate crystals forming.


The low magnesium/highly acidic diets used to dissolve/prevent struvite can
also predispose a cat to develop calcium oxalate. The single most important
thing in preventing both types of crystals is *water*.


So, is it even advisable to try to
> get Mingy to eat a c/d-type diet even right after he plugged?
> Do mucous plugs necessarily indicate the presence of crystals?


Usually, but not always. The mucosal cells that line the bladder and
urethra secrete mucus when they're inflammed or irritated. Small crystals
can irritate and inflame the mucosal lining and then become trapped in the
mucus. Plugs are something like fruit jello. The mucus (a/k/a matrix) is
something like the gelatin in jello. The crystals would be like the fruit
suspended in the gelatin. Plugs usually get caught in the tip of penis
where the urethral lumen is the narrowest- but they can lodge anywhere in
the urinary tract.



>
> And what is the feeling re pain killers and antibiotics post
> visit? I was unhappy that they said to give Mingy a
> painkiller when we got home, since they could have given him
> on before we left. I brought my daughter home to help with
> that. :-( And the Vet seemed to indicate there were all
> possible thoughts re antibiotics--yes, no... That some vets
> do nothing post plug--and that they don't really know. Sounds
> like some human maladies, and how they thoughts re them keep
> changing.

Which pain killer did they give you?


>
> Will Mingy really deign to pee in a litterbox that only has a
> tiny amount of special pellets in it? (The Vet expressed all
> the pee, and then couldn't get more pee to test it. I am
> thinking, if necessary, the Vet can get some pee when we go in
> in two weeks for Ming's rabies shot.)

The easiest way to get a urine sample from a cat is hold a long basting
spoon under him while he's peeing, then just draw it from the spoon with a
syringe. I have low-sided dog litter boxes just for that purpose. The
Second Chance Miniature Dog size (24"x20"x5") works the best. Since you'll
probably need to collect samples frequently to monitor his urine, the $18
for the low litter box might be a good investment- its cheaper than the
beads and you don't have switch his litter.
http://maxshouse.com/Environmental_Enrichment/second_nature_litterboxes_dogs.jpg

Once get the hang of collecting urine, you might want to invest in a hand
held pH meter. I have a Hanna Checker 1- about $35- simple to use and very
accurate. Just dip the probe in the urine like a thermometer.


Keep the faith,

Phil

Jean B.
October 30th 06, 01:30 PM
Phil P. wrote:

First, thanks so much for your response, Phil. I find what
you say very useful, and you are very kind to share your vast
store of knowledge with us.

>
> Depending on the size and number of crystals, it could take a month or
> longer to dissolve. So, its not unusual for cat to reblock soon after he was
> unblocked. You just have to watch him very closely.

I sure am. I do guess, then, that I should use c/d for this
month or so--or REALLY push him to eat canned food and to
drink water. (Note to self: get that ice!)
>
>
>
> Try putting a dab of salt on the tip of his nose or lips- that might
> encourage him to drink. Just wet the tip of your finger- dab it a little
> salt. You can also give him tuna water from a can of tuna packed in water
> (never oil).

Unfortunately, Mingy doesn't fall for the tuna water ploy.
I'll try again though. I was going to ask whether this should
be the no-salt kind, given your comment re salt it shouldn't be?
>
> Ask your vet about Hill's Prescription c/d with Chicken- it only comes in
> the canned version.

Oh good. I was thinking they just changed formulas. I can
get this at the veterinary hospital near here, I think. The
still let me buy him food there, since they have the record
from his previous blockage.
>
>
> The low magnesium/highly acidic diets used to dissolve/prevent struvite can
> also predispose a cat to develop calcium oxalate.

That is what I worry about!!!! Esp. since I have read Persian
cats are prone to developing oxalate crystals! I am extremely
reluctant to use straight c/d or whatever and prefer to go the
canned food plus water route. BUT getting Mingy to drink (and
to pee more than once a day) is most difficult. You know cats
do what they want to do. (In this case, I'll append an "alas".)

The single most important
> thing in preventing both types of crystals is *water*.

Yup. Maybe I'll put a fountain in my bedroom too, in addition
to seeing whether he still likes ice! He does drink from the
cup in my bedroom, and he loves the fountain in the kitchen.
>
>
> Usually, but not always. The mucosal cells that line the bladder and
> urethra secrete mucus when they're inflammed or irritated. Small crystals
> can irritate and inflame the mucosal lining and then become trapped in the
> mucus. Plugs are something like fruit jello. The mucus (a/k/a matrix) is
> something like the gelatin in jello. The crystals would be like the fruit
> suspended in the gelatin. Plugs usually get caught in the tip of penis
> where the urethral lumen is the narrowest- but they can lodge anywhere in
> the urinary tract.
>

Okay. This answers my main question now. The relationship
between plugs and crystals was not clear to me.

Next question, is there a technical difference between being
plugged and being blocked? I was thinking "plugged" refers to
the mucus (etc.) type issue, while blocked may refer to
something else (or maybe blocked includes plugged?)....

>
>
> Which pain killer did they give you?

Meloxicam. The vet said it tasted like honey. Do cats LIKE
honey? That sounded like a flavor intended to appeal to people!
>
>
> The easiest way to get a urine sample from a cat is hold a long basting
> spoon under him while he's peeing, then just draw it from the spoon with a
> syringe. I have low-sided dog litter boxes just for that purpose. The
> Second Chance Miniature Dog size (24"x20"x5") works the best. Since you'll
> probably need to collect samples frequently to monitor his urine, the $18
> for the low litter box might be a good investment- its cheaper than the
> beads and you don't have switch his litter.
> http://maxshouse.com/Environmental_Enrichment/second_nature_litterboxes_dogs.jpg
>
Fun, fun, fun! I guess I'd better get used to it though.

> Once get the hang of collecting urine, you might want to invest in a hand
> held pH meter. I have a Hanna Checker 1- about $35- simple to use and very
> accurate. Just dip the probe in the urine like a thermometer.

More good advice!
>

Thanks again, Phil. You are a treasure!

--
Jean B.

Phil P.
November 2nd 06, 07:02 AM
"Jean B." > wrote in message
...
> Phil P. wrote:
>
> First, thanks so much for your response, Phil. I find what
> you say very useful, and you are very kind to share your vast
> store of knowledge with us.
>
> >
> > Depending on the size and number of crystals, it could take a month or
> > longer to dissolve. So, its not unusual for cat to reblock soon after he
was
> > unblocked. You just have to watch him very closely.
>
> I sure am. I do guess, then, that I should use c/d for this
> month or so--or REALLY push him to eat canned food and to
> drink water. (Note to self: get that ice!)

To dissolve the crystals, he should be eating s/d-- c/d is only meant for
prevention. If he's eating c/d, it will take much longer than a month to
dissolve formed crystals. If he won't eat s/d, speak to your vet about
adding an acidifier to a canned food that he'll eat.


> > Try putting a dab of salt on the tip of his nose or lips- that might
> > encourage him to drink. Just wet the tip of your finger- dab it a
little
> > salt. You can also give him tuna water from a can of tuna packed in
water
> > (never oil).
>
> Unfortunately, Mingy doesn't fall for the tuna water ploy.
> I'll try again though. I was going to ask whether this should
> be the no-salt kind, given your comment re salt it shouldn't be?


Its ok to give him a little salt to stimulate his thurst- it won't affect
his blood pressure or kidneys. You could also try making home made chicken
broth- without the spices. Most cats I know lap it up.



> > Ask your vet about Hill's Prescription c/d with Chicken- it only comes
in
> > the canned version.
>
> Oh good. I was thinking they just changed formulas. I can
> get this at the veterinary hospital near here, I think. The
> still let me buy him food there, since they have the record
> from his previous blockage.


If he still has crystals, he should be on s/d. c/d might prevent new
crystals from forming and prevent existing crystals from growing- but it
will take much longer to dissolve existing crystals with c/d than with s/d.


> > The low magnesium/highly acidic diets used to dissolve/prevent struvite
can
> > also predispose a cat to develop calcium oxalate.
>
> That is what I worry about!!!! Esp. since I have read Persian
> cats are prone to developing oxalate crystals! I am extremely
> reluctant to use straight c/d or whatever and prefer to go the
> canned food plus water route. BUT getting Mingy to drink (and
> to pee more than once a day) is most difficult. You know cats
> do what they want to do. (In this case, I'll append an "alas".)


Try homemade chicken broth as I mentioned. That should increase his water
intake and urine volume. But he still might need a urinary acidifer if he
still has crystals. Actually, giving him a urinary acidifer and giving him
a regular canned food that he'll eat might not be a bad idea. A regular
canned food usually contains normal magnesium- which inhibits oxalate.
Magnesium is only a problem when urine pH rises above 6.1 or 6.2. Regular
canned food is designed to keep the urine at pH 6.2 -- 6.4. So, it won't
take much supplemental acidifier to keep his urine <pH 6.1 and dissolve
crystals.


>
> The single most important
> > thing in preventing both types of crystals is *water*.
>
> Yup. Maybe I'll put a fountain in my bedroom too, in addition
> to seeing whether he still likes ice! He does drink from the
> cup in my bedroom, and he loves the fountain in the kitchen.

If he likes fountains, get a few more if you can. *Anything* to encourage
him to drink!


> >
> >
> > Usually, but not always. The mucosal cells that line the bladder and
> > urethra secrete mucus when they're inflammed or irritated. Small
crystals
> > can irritate and inflame the mucosal lining and then become trapped in
the
> > mucus. Plugs are something like fruit jello. The mucus (a/k/a matrix)
is
> > something like the gelatin in jello. The crystals would be like the
fruit
> > suspended in the gelatin. Plugs usually get caught in the tip of penis
> > where the urethral lumen is the narrowest- but they can lodge anywhere
in
> > the urinary tract.
> >
>
> Okay. This answers my main question now. The relationship
> between plugs and crystals was not clear to me.
>
> Next question, is there a technical difference between being
> plugged and being blocked? I was thinking "plugged" refers to
> the mucus (etc.) type issue, while blocked may refer to
> something else (or maybe blocked includes plugged?)....


The terms are often used interchangeably- although they probably shouldn't
be.


> > Which pain killer did they give you?
>
> Meloxicam. The vet said it tasted like honey. Do cats LIKE
> honey? That sounded like a flavor intended to appeal to people!

Jean, meloxicam has very narrow safety margin in cats. I wouldn't use it in
my cats or any cats in my care. Here's an excerpt from an article by
Elizabeth Hardie, Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons:

"Safety studies performed to assess the safety of the one time 0.3 mg/kg SQ
meloxicam dose demonstrated a narrow margin of safety. Cats given 0.3 mg/kg
for eight days developed vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and decreased food
consumption. Two of 4 cats were moribund or dead by day 9, and reddened GI
mucosa was seen at necropsy in 3 of 4 cats. Repeated use of meloxicam in
cats in clinical settings has been associated with renal failure and death.
(package insert) Since there are no studies examining the pharmacokinetics
and pharmacokinetics of repeat dosing of meloxicam, it is not known if there
is an effective long term dose with minimal toxicity. Thus, recommended
long term doses of 0.025 mg/kg daily or every other day are based solely on
clinician experience."



> >
> >
> > The easiest way to get a urine sample from a cat is hold a long basting
> > spoon under him while he's peeing, then just draw it from the spoon with
a
> > syringe. I have low-sided dog litter boxes just for that purpose. The
> > Second Chance Miniature Dog size (24"x20"x5") works the best. Since
you'll
> > probably need to collect samples frequently to monitor his urine, the
$18
> > for the low litter box might be a good investment- its cheaper than the
> > beads and you don't have switch his litter.
> >
http://maxshouse.com/Environmental_Enrichment/second_nature_litterboxes_dogs.jpg
> >
> Fun, fun, fun! I guess I'd better get used to it though.

What's really funny is when the cat turns around to sniff and cover and
nothing is there! They sniff around the whole box looking for their pee!
Its really funny! lol


>
> > Once get the hang of collecting urine, you might want to invest in a
hand
> > held pH meter. I have a Hanna Checker 1- about $35- simple to use and
very
> > accurate. Just dip the probe in the urine like a thermometer.
>
> More good advice!


The meter pays for itself by eliminating just one trip to vet for a pH
check-- not to mention the stress you'll save Mingy. Also, you'll be able
to keep a much closer watch on his urine pH which might actually prevent an
emergency. You'll know to call your vet as soon as you see the pH rising.


> >
>
> Thanks again, Phil. You are a treasure!


Thanks. I think you might be right because when I go to the beach the cats
always try to bury me. ;)

Please keep me posted.

Good luck,

Phil

Jean B.
November 4th 06, 06:18 PM
Phil P. wrote:

> To dissolve the crystals, he should be eating s/d-- c/d is only meant for
> prevention. If he's eating c/d, it will take much longer than a month to
> dissolve formed crystals. If he won't eat s/d, speak to your vet about
> adding an acidifier to a canned food that he'll eat.

Gee, I wonder why he was never prescribed s/d? I'll ask about
that and an acidifier when I see the vet in a few days (if not
sooner, but my fingers and everything else are crossed).
>
>
> Its ok to give him a little salt to stimulate his thurst- it won't affect
> his blood pressure or kidneys. You could also try making home made chicken
> broth- without the spices. Most cats I know lap it up.

Good idea! Since he does like chicken, he may just like
chicken broth. Any suggested amount of salt in that? I am
thinking I can make a fairly large batch and then freeze
portions of it.
>
>
> If he still has crystals, he should be on s/d. c/d might prevent new
> crystals from forming and prevent existing crystals from growing- but it
> will take much longer to dissolve existing crystals with c/d than with s/d.
>
Okay.
>
> Try homemade chicken broth as I mentioned. That should increase his water
> intake and urine volume. But he still might need a urinary acidifer if he
> still has crystals. Actually, giving him a urinary acidifer and giving him
> a regular canned food that he'll eat might not be a bad idea. A regular
> canned food usually contains normal magnesium- which inhibits oxalate.
> Magnesium is only a problem when urine pH rises above 6.1 or 6.2. Regular
> canned food is designed to keep the urine at pH 6.2 -- 6.4. So, it won't
> take much supplemental acidifier to keep his urine <pH 6.1 and dissolve
> crystals.

That sounds like the most desirable route.
>
> If he likes fountains, get a few more if you can. *Anything* to encourage
> him to drink!

I am going to put a fountain in my bedroom too. He probably
would use it even more than the cup that he likes up there.

Unfortunately, he seems not to remember that he liked ice!
>
> The terms are often used interchangeably- although they probably shouldn't
> be.

Hence, my confusion.
>
>
>>> Which pain killer did they give you?
>> Meloxicam. The vet said it tasted like honey. Do cats LIKE
>> honey? That sounded like a flavor intended to appeal to people!
>
> Jean, meloxicam has very narrow safety margin in cats. I wouldn't use it in
> my cats or any cats in my care. Here's an excerpt from an article by
> Elizabeth Hardie, Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons:
>
> "Safety studies performed to assess the safety of the one time 0.3 mg/kg SQ
> meloxicam dose demonstrated a narrow margin of safety. Cats given 0.3 mg/kg
> for eight days developed vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and decreased food
> consumption. Two of 4 cats were moribund or dead by day 9, and reddened GI
> mucosa was seen at necropsy in 3 of 4 cats. Repeated use of meloxicam in
> cats in clinical settings has been associated with renal failure and death.
> (package insert) Since there are no studies examining the pharmacokinetics
> and pharmacokinetics of repeat dosing of meloxicam, it is not known if there
> is an effective long term dose with minimal toxicity. Thus, recommended
> long term doses of 0.025 mg/kg daily or every other day are based solely on
> clinician experience."

Uh, I'm REALLY glad I didn't give this to him!!!! Are there
any better pain killers for cats--if they are warranted?

>
> The meter pays for itself by eliminating just one trip to vet for a pH
> check-- not to mention the stress you'll save Mingy. Also, you'll be able
> to keep a much closer watch on his urine pH which might actually prevent an
> emergency. You'll know to call your vet as soon as you see the pH rising.

And I do want to minimize his stress level to the degree
possible. I'll look into that, Phil.
>
> Please keep me posted.
>
> Good luck,
>
> Phil
>

Thanks again, Phil. I really appreciate your taking the time
to answer my posts.

--
Jean B.

Phil P.
November 6th 06, 05:04 AM
"Jean B." > wrote in message
...
> Phil P. wrote:
>
> > To dissolve the crystals, he should be eating s/d-- c/d is only meant
for
> > prevention. If he's eating c/d, it will take much longer than a month
to
> > dissolve formed crystals. If he won't eat s/d, speak to your vet about
> > adding an acidifier to a canned food that he'll eat.
>
> Gee, I wonder why he was never prescribed s/d? I'll ask about
> that and an acidifier when I see the vet in a few days (if not
> sooner, but my fingers and everything else are crossed).


I'm surprised too. s/d is the first line treatment for dissolving struvite.
s/d should only be fed for 2-3 months- or until most of the struvite
dissolves. Long-term feeding can result in metabolic acidosis, kidney
damage or even demineralization of bone.


> >
> >
> > Its ok to give him a little salt to stimulate his thurst- it won't
affect
> > his blood pressure or kidneys. You could also try making home made
chicken
> > broth- without the spices. Most cats I know lap it up.
>
> Good idea! Since he does like chicken, he may just like
> chicken broth. Any suggested amount of salt in that? I am
> thinking I can make a fairly large batch and then freeze
> portions of it.

You might not have to and any- See if he laps it up without it- you can
always add a pinch or two if you have to.


> >
> >
> > If he still has crystals, he should be on s/d. c/d might prevent new
> > crystals from forming and prevent existing crystals from growing- but it
> > will take much longer to dissolve existing crystals with c/d than with
s/d.
> >
> Okay.
> >
> > Try homemade chicken broth as I mentioned. That should increase his
water
> > intake and urine volume. But he still might need a urinary acidifer if
he
> > still has crystals. Actually, giving him a urinary acidifer and giving
him
> > a regular canned food that he'll eat might not be a bad idea. A regular
> > canned food usually contains normal magnesium- which inhibits oxalate.
> > Magnesium is only a problem when urine pH rises above 6.1 or 6.2.
Regular
> > canned food is designed to keep the urine at pH 6.2 -- 6.4. So, it won't
> > take much supplemental acidifier to keep his urine <pH 6.1 and dissolve
> > crystals.
>
> That sounds like the most desirable route.

That's about the only alternative if he won't eat a prescription food.
Before you go that route, you might want to try Purina's UR Urinary St/Ox
and Eukanuba's Low pH/S. I'd try Purina's first.


> >
> > If he likes fountains, get a few more if you can. *Anything* to
encourage
> > him to drink!
>
> I am going to put a fountain in my bedroom too. He probably
> would use it even more than the cup that he likes up there.
>
> Unfortunately, he seems not to remember that he liked ice!

I'd freeze the some of chicken broth in ice cube trays and throw a cube or
two in his water bowl.


> >
> > The terms are often used interchangeably- although they probably
shouldn't
> > be.
>
> Hence, my confusion.


Some vets still call urolithiasis and crystalluria "FUS" (feline urological
syndrome)!



> >
> >
> >>> Which pain killer did they give you?
> >> Meloxicam. The vet said it tasted like honey. Do cats LIKE
> >> honey? That sounded like a flavor intended to appeal to people!
> >
> > Jean, meloxicam has very narrow safety margin in cats. I wouldn't use it
in
> > my cats or any cats in my care. Here's an excerpt from an article by
> > Elizabeth Hardie, Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons:
> >
> > "Safety studies performed to assess the safety of the one time 0.3 mg/kg
SQ
> > meloxicam dose demonstrated a narrow margin of safety. Cats given 0.3
mg/kg
> > for eight days developed vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and decreased
food
> > consumption. Two of 4 cats were moribund or dead by day 9, and reddened
GI
> > mucosa was seen at necropsy in 3 of 4 cats. Repeated use of meloxicam
in
> > cats in clinical settings has been associated with renal failure and
death.
> > (package insert) Since there are no studies examining the
pharmacokinetics
> > and pharmacokinetics of repeat dosing of meloxicam, it is not known if
there
> > is an effective long term dose with minimal toxicity. Thus, recommended
> > long term doses of 0.025 mg/kg daily or every other day are based solely
on
> > clinician experience."
>
> Uh, I'm REALLY glad I didn't give this to him!!!! Are there
> any better pain killers for cats--if they are warranted?

Yes- and less risky.


> > The meter pays for itself by eliminating just one trip to vet for a pH
> > check-- not to mention the stress you'll save Mingy. Also, you'll be
able
> > to keep a much closer watch on his urine pH which might actually prevent
an
> > emergency. You'll know to call your vet as soon as you see the pH
rising.
>
> And I do want to minimize his stress level to the degree
> possible. I'll look into that, Phil.
> >
> > Please keep me posted.
> >
> > Good luck,
> >
> > Phil
> >
>
> Thanks again, Phil. I really appreciate your taking the time
> to answer my posts.

I'm sorry I took so long to reply- I've been really busy.


Please keep me posted on Mingy's progress.

Good luck,

Phil

tension_on_the_wire
November 7th 06, 06:49 AM
Phil P. wrote:
> > > Once get the hang of collecting urine, you might want to invest in a
> hand
> > > held pH meter. I have a Hanna Checker 1- about $35- simple to use and
> very
> > > accurate. Just dip the probe in the urine like a thermometer.
> >
> > More good advice!
>
>
> The meter pays for itself by eliminating just one trip to vet for a pH
> check-- not to mention the stress you'll save Mingy. Also, you'll be able
> to keep a much closer watch on his urine pH which might actually prevent an
> emergency. You'll know to call your vet as soon as you see the pH rising.

Hi Phil, I'm baaaaack! 8^P

This is just a quickie.....have you ever tried using
those quick strips for pH-testing in aquariums?
Using them to check cat urine, I mean, obviously?
Or Ketostrips? (given to humans with diabetes to
check urine pH and presence of ketones)
I'd be interested in knowing if they correlate with
this handheld meter because they might be an
inexpensive alternative for someone who only
needs to check urine pH for a short term period.

--tension

Phil P.
November 7th 06, 05:22 PM
"tension_on_the_wire" > wrote in message
oups.com...
>
> Phil P. wrote:
> > > > Once get the hang of collecting urine, you might want to invest in a
> > hand
> > > > held pH meter. I have a Hanna Checker 1- about $35- simple to use
and
> > very
> > > > accurate. Just dip the probe in the urine like a thermometer.
> > >
> > > More good advice!
> >
> >
> > The meter pays for itself by eliminating just one trip to vet for a pH
> > check-- not to mention the stress you'll save Mingy. Also, you'll be
able
> > to keep a much closer watch on his urine pH which might actually prevent
an
> > emergency. You'll know to call your vet as soon as you see the pH
rising.
>
> Hi Phil, I'm baaaaack! 8^P
>
> This is just a quickie.....have you ever tried using
> those quick strips for pH-testing in aquariums?
> Using them to check cat urine, I mean, obviously?


Yes. And Multistrips, and Chemstrips


> Or Ketostrips?


Ketostrips don't test pH.


(given to humans with diabetes to
> check urine pH and presence of ketones)
> I'd be interested in knowing if they correlate with
> this handheld meter because they might be an
> inexpensive alternative for someone who only
> needs to check urine pH for a short term period.

I don't think testing her cat's urine pH will a short term thing. If her
cat is prone to forming crystals, she'll probably have to monitor his urine
pH for life.

I haven't found any pH strips that are as accurate and consistent as a
meter- even a cheap meter like the Hanna Checker 1.