Ripley On The Bed

While Ripley’s cystitis has never fully gone away, the discomfort he felt was managed by a daily dose of Metacam. He suffers from Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC), a condition where cystitis is triggered from an unknown cause, but usually stress-related. What that stress factor is can be very difficult to diagnose.

However, a little over a week ago I noticed he was straining when trying to urinate and that very little urine was being expelled. He was also licking his penis much more after each urination attempt. In the last couple of days, I found several pools of urine about the house, despite there being 3 clean litter trays dotted around it.

Ripley also has a habit of urinating in the bath when he wants to see what’s come out of him. His bladder seems especially sensitive and he’s had frequent bouts of bloody urine over the period that he’s suffered from the condition. After urinating in the bath, he often hops up onto the side of the bath and peers in at his urine, examining it.

While there have been a number of puddles of urine outside of cat litter trays in the last couple of days, none have had any signs of blood in them. There have been times in the past, when what’s come out of him looks like a river of blood.

Given that the frequency with which he has been urinating outside of litter trays has been increasing and he has looked uncomfortable after each urination attempt, despite the Metacam, I decided to take him to the vet this evening to get him checked out.

I had wondered if he perhaps had a urinary tract infection and/or partial blockage that was making urination difficult. As his bladder was near empty when the vet examined him, that ruled out a blockage.

The vet was able to get a sample of Ripley’s urine for testing and, after spinning, it looked clear. There was no sign of the crystalline deposits that would be indicative of crystal buildup in the bladder that is associated with cystitis.

A blood test revealed trace amounts of blood, but as the vet had to extract the urine sample by needle, he thought the blood was most likely from that procedure.

However, there us some inflammation in Ripley’s bladder and steroids were given to alleviate that. Ripley was also given an antibiotic injection and prescribed anti-biotics for the next week. He’s also on a week’s course of Zylkene, a drug to manage cystitis symptoms.

There’s also no trauma to his penis from repeated licking. This is something to watch out for in male cats given the raspy roughness of the cat tongue and what it could do to soft tissue over an extended period of time.

Another problem that can occur in cats suffering from cystitis is urethra spasm that can make the cat think it needs to go to the toilet. Cystitis itself make cats (and people who suffer from it) feel an urgent need to urinate, even when the bladder is almost empty. So to combat the possible muscle spasm issue, Ripley has also been prescribed Dantrium.

As of Sunday, he’ll be on four medications: Metacam, Zylkene, Dantrium and the anti-biotics.

Stress is the trigger factor where Ripley is concerned. He’s a very sensitive cat, so it doesn’t take much to upset him. And then the cystitis flares up again. The problem is that the lining of the bladder gets sensitized to the stress hormones and it takes less and less of them to trigger inflammation as time goes by. Getting a cat to have long periods of stress-free time is the goal, so that the bladder can desensitize over that time. With Ripley being so sensitive, that’s been a big ask. He’s not confined indoors, so other neighbourhood cats, local foxes, and changes in the local environment (house renovations, etc) could be a triggering factor.

Now it’s a wait-and-see-game to see how Ripley responds over the coming week to see if his urination patterns return to normal.

In the meantime, my carpet cleaner is getting lots of use!


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