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View Full Version : Ongoing litter box problem. Medical help not yet working.


Theodore
January 24th 07, 06:40 PM
I'm hoping someone has experience in a similar situation and may offer
advice regarding chronic idiopathic cystitis:

"Mister Stripes" is a 2-year-old neutered male, rescued feral, whom we
adopted from a shelter last April, along with his sister "Miss Possum."
We had one incumbent cat, "Mister Pants", a 3-year-old neutered male.

Shortly after getting Stripes & Possum, we started noticing lots of
litter [box filler] outside the box. We couldn't figure who was doing
it at first, since the new cats were still quite shy. We figured one
of them was a very vigorous digger, so we tried getting extra deep
boxes. This identified the culprit and showed us the real problem:
Stripes was urinating outside the box, and then trying to bury the
urine on the floor by pulling litter out of the box. It doesn't look
like litter box avoidance or spray marking: He stands in the box like
normal and paws around, then when he actually urinates, he stays
standing rather than squatting down so that the stream goes over the
edge of the box and onto the floor. He appears to be straining, and
would sometimes vocalize.

We took him in to the vet right away, who diagnosed a bladder infection
and prescribed antibiotics. After the course was done the problem
continued, albeit less frequently. The vet did some more tests and
determined that the bladder infection was gone, but the infection had
ascended into his kidneys (pyelonephritis). Another (long) course of
antibiotics followed, and then tests showed no infection, so the
diagnosis then became idiopathic cystitis, an inflammation of the
bladder lining with no apparent cause. We put him on Cosequin (a
glucosamine supplement also used for arthritis). There was some
apparent improvement, but it was far from total. The vet did not
explain that he was supposed to be on this supplement long-term, and
didn't indicate any refills on the package, so we finished the
prescription. Again the problem returned, and seemed to be more
severe, so we went back to the vet, and got more Cosequin, along with a
pain killer (butorphanol) to help in the short term; it made him drool
and act strangely. We discontinued the butorphanol, but he's been on
the Cosequin for over a month continuously now. It doesn't seem like
there's much improvement.

I'm wondering if the Cosequin should be working by now, and whether
there's anything additional we might do. I'm also wondering if all the
months of discomfort have conditioned him to urinate in this manner,
even after there is some relief. If this is the case, would there be a
way to retrain him to go normally?

Gail
January 24th 07, 08:51 PM
You should have three large boxes for the three cats you have. I think you
should get a second opinion. The cat may have crystals forming and needs
prescription food, etc. This still sounds like a medical problem rather than
a behavioral one. Also, medications such as Buspar and anti-depressants can
help with cystitis, pain, and inappropriate elimination. Again, I would see
a different vet.
Gail
"Theodore" > wrote in message
ups.com...
> I'm hoping someone has experience in a similar situation and may offer
> advice regarding chronic idiopathic cystitis:
>
> "Mister Stripes" is a 2-year-old neutered male, rescued feral, whom we
> adopted from a shelter last April, along with his sister "Miss Possum."
> We had one incumbent cat, "Mister Pants", a 3-year-old neutered male.
>
> Shortly after getting Stripes & Possum, we started noticing lots of
> litter [box filler] outside the box. We couldn't figure who was doing
> it at first, since the new cats were still quite shy. We figured one
> of them was a very vigorous digger, so we tried getting extra deep
> boxes. This identified the culprit and showed us the real problem:
> Stripes was urinating outside the box, and then trying to bury the
> urine on the floor by pulling litter out of the box. It doesn't look
> like litter box avoidance or spray marking: He stands in the box like
> normal and paws around, then when he actually urinates, he stays
> standing rather than squatting down so that the stream goes over the
> edge of the box and onto the floor. He appears to be straining, and
> would sometimes vocalize.
>
> We took him in to the vet right away, who diagnosed a bladder infection
> and prescribed antibiotics. After the course was done the problem
> continued, albeit less frequently. The vet did some more tests and
> determined that the bladder infection was gone, but the infection had
> ascended into his kidneys (pyelonephritis). Another (long) course of
> antibiotics followed, and then tests showed no infection, so the
> diagnosis then became idiopathic cystitis, an inflammation of the
> bladder lining with no apparent cause. We put him on Cosequin (a
> glucosamine supplement also used for arthritis). There was some
> apparent improvement, but it was far from total. The vet did not
> explain that he was supposed to be on this supplement long-term, and
> didn't indicate any refills on the package, so we finished the
> prescription. Again the problem returned, and seemed to be more
> severe, so we went back to the vet, and got more Cosequin, along with a
> pain killer (butorphanol) to help in the short term; it made him drool
> and act strangely. We discontinued the butorphanol, but he's been on
> the Cosequin for over a month continuously now. It doesn't seem like
> there's much improvement.
>
> I'm wondering if the Cosequin should be working by now, and whether
> there's anything additional we might do. I'm also wondering if all the
> months of discomfort have conditioned him to urinate in this manner,
> even after there is some relief. If this is the case, would there be a
> way to retrain him to go normally?
>

Theodore
January 24th 07, 10:58 PM
On Jan 24, 2:51 pm, "Gail" > wrote:
> You should have three large boxes for the three cats you have.

Already do. Three huge ones, actually 66 quart translucent Sterilite
bins.

> I think you
> should get a second opinion.

We've considered this.

> The cat may have crystals forming and needs
> prescription food, etc.

There were some tests done (he's had urine samples taken at least half
a dozen times) and no crystals were found yet, but they recommended
monitoring him.

> This still sounds like a medical problem rather than
> a behavioral one. Also, medications such as Buspar and anti-depressants can
> help with cystitis, pain, and inappropriate elimination.

What is Buspar?

Why antidepressants?

I hope both are available as liquids. After the antibiotics, I hope I
never have to get a pill down this poor cat's mouth again.

>Again, I would see
> a different vet.

Thanks.

Gail
January 24th 07, 11:03 PM
Buspar is an anti-anxiety meds and the anti-depressants are also used for
pain. Both are used for inappropriate elimination problems.
Gail
"Theodore" > wrote in message
oups.com...
> On Jan 24, 2:51 pm, "Gail" > wrote:
>> You should have three large boxes for the three cats you have.
>
> Already do. Three huge ones, actually 66 quart translucent Sterilite
> bins.
>
>> I think you
>> should get a second opinion.
>
> We've considered this.
>
>> The cat may have crystals forming and needs
>> prescription food, etc.
>
> There were some tests done (he's had urine samples taken at least half
> a dozen times) and no crystals were found yet, but they recommended
> monitoring him.
>
>> This still sounds like a medical problem rather than
>> a behavioral one. Also, medications such as Buspar and anti-depressants
>> can
>> help with cystitis, pain, and inappropriate elimination.
>
> What is Buspar?
>
> Why antidepressants?
>
> I hope both are available as liquids. After the antibiotics, I hope I
> never have to get a pill down this poor cat's mouth again.
>
>>Again, I would see
>> a different vet.
>
> Thanks.
>

Rene S.
January 25th 07, 12:47 AM
Has an x-ray been done to rule out the possibility of bladder stones?

Also, here's a link you may find helpful:
http://community-2.webtv.net/getcathelp/urinarytract/

Rene

Theodore
January 25th 07, 02:00 AM
On Jan 24, 6:47 pm, "Rene S." > wrote:
> Has an x-ray been done to rule out the possibility of bladder stones?

Yes. Nothing was found.

Theodore
January 25th 07, 02:12 AM
On Jan 24, 6:47 pm, "Rene S." > wrote:
> Also, here's a link you may find helpful:http://community-2.webtv.net/getcathelp/urinarytract/

Thanks. Someone else also emailed me off the group with this link.
Most of what's in there we're already doing, fortunately. What's the
source of this anonymous document with no references?

In our cat's case, the urinary tract infection was not a misdiagnosis--
the bacteria in the first urine sample were "too numerous to count".

It's also interesting to read that stress can cause flare-ups. There
has been some unavoidable stress in the house lately due to home
repairs.

Rene S.
January 25th 07, 02:48 PM
> Most of what's in there we're already doing, fortunately. What's the
> source of this anonymous document with no references?
>
> In our cat's case, the urinary tract infection was not a misdiagnosis--
> the bacteria in the first urine sample were "too numerous to count".
>
> It's also interesting to read that stress can cause flare-ups. There
> has been some unavoidable stress in the house lately due to home
> repairs.

Stress can do nasty things (to people and cats), so perhaps there is a
link there in your case.

This page was written by a cat owner who has had lot of experience with
this. The owner is not a vet but has had plenty of personal experience.