Ginger’s Day 2 – to the vet’s for a thorough check-up

1.30pm:

Ginger was still squatting and straining. The amount of urine output had not improved from yesterday. Also, I didn’t know how to palpate his bladder to check if it is enlarged, so I had already decided last night that I would take Ginger for a more thorough and complete check-up at his regular clinic today. I also wanted to rule out stones and crystals, just in case. Moreover, Ginger is also due for a blood test, it’s been three years since the last one.

I first sprayed some Feliway in the carrier and off we went. No worries, I know the way to this clinic!!

First, the vet palpated and found that Ginger’s bladder is very small. That’s a relief! But I’m surprised, though, WHERE did all the urine go?  He has only been excreting such small amounts each time, it hardly totals up to his usual volume of urine output. The vet also checked his penis and confirmed that it is turned in. And this could also cause the urinary problem. It could have originated with stress first (yes, at being locked in the cage that day), then urine stars to pool at the urethra and this can lead to an infection.

The vet said that if Ginger had not shown much improvement since yesterday, then it is likely that he may have an infection. Then, antibiotics would be needed. The vet gave him a Baytril injection to be followed by 8 days of oral Baytril. So maybe it started with stress, and then the infection set in.

The vet confirmed too that with cats, sometimes anything can trigger stress and lead to a urinary blockage. Even something as minor as seeing another cat outside can cause certain cats to be stressed and lead to urinary problems. That being the case, poor Ginger certainly had so many triggers in the past week.

An ultrasound was done and something else turned up – Ginger has gallbladder sludge. If not detected, this could lead to blockage in the gallbladder later. So, luckily the vet picked that up in the ultrasound today and to address this problem, Ginger was prescribed Ursofalk. It is actually a human medication to clear gallbladder sludge. Just 10 days and it should do the trick. The ultrasound also showed slight structural degeneration in his left kidney but it was minor.

Bloodwork was done and surprisingly, Ginger’s results were “very good”. I’m so glad. His creatinine and urea readings are normal (actually, quite low too). His lever readings are also good and his blood PCV is 35%. I think I must attribute this to his raw diet. Ginger’s staple diet is Coco&Joe’s but he insists on toppings, so he has been getting a variety of such. Without toppings, he walks.

An ear-prick test was done and everything is normal except for the presence of some allergic cells. Ginger was dewormed at my request and also given Advocate spot-on which I will follow up next month with the second dose.

The only thing which wasn’t too good was Ginger’s teeth. There’s thick tartar on his back teeth on the right. This might warrant a dental scaling but not right now.

The vet tried to extract a urine sample to do a urinalysis, but failed to do so because the bladder was just too small. So Ginger was given a 200ml subcut and either I bring him back after 4 hours to get the urine sample with a needle or I collect his urine and send it to the clinic later. I hope I can do the latter, then I don’t have to subject Ginger to another trip.

On the way back…

Ginger urinated this much in his carrier! Yay!

Now, I’m waiting for Ginger to produce some urine so that I can collect a sample.

Ginger was so happy all afternoon because he had free access into the house.

But here’s the thing, with free access, he will spray on everything. For example, if he sprays on that air purifier, it would be completely spoilt. And he even jumps up to tables and even the top of the piano to spray. He will spray on the sofa, the cushions and curtains too. Imagine how much work I’ve been doing to wash up on a daily basis.

Now, I’ve decided to just try spraying Feliway around daily to see if he will stop spraying. Please wish me luck.

3.15pm – I finally managed to catch Ginger squatting at his personal toilet (his sandpit). So I quickly put the urine bottle under his private part but nothing came out! Sigh. It looks like we would have to make another trip to the vet’s to get his urine extracted.

Poor boy, I had to wake him up from this very comfortable nap to take him to the vet’s again. The stones are so cooling in the afternoon, he loves taking a nap here.

So we were at the vet’s again. The ultrasound showed that his bladder is still as small as this morning! Oh dear, so we cannot extract a urine sample again. Either he had secretly and sneakily urinated without me catching him or the subcut fluids hasn’t reached his bladder. I’m more inclined to think it’s the latter as I was watching him like a hawk except for the time I went to feed the Cow Clan.

But in this second ultrasound, the vet caught something else. There seems to be a bright contrast in his bladder which could be a stone. Of course with imaging, you cannot be entirely sure. That is why the vet wanted to do the urinalysis to check for stones or/and crystals – that would be more accurate.

As the vet palpated Ginger’s abdomen, there is also pain at the right kidney. It could be due to inflammation.

Also, there is evidence of sediment in Ginger’s bladder. Sediment is what comes before crystals. To address this, the recommended treatment is to change the diet. We’ve discussed this and I’m all game for it because in 2016, Cow’s senior vet already shared with me Jody Lulich’s research which showed that a change in diet is a very effective treatment for FLUTD. Cow’s condition in 2016 was successfully treated with just a change in diet. That time, I used RC S/O (wet and dry).

For Ginger, we are going to try Hills’ CD.

Back home, at 4.30pm:

He ate!

But wait…let’s not celebrate yet. He might not eat in the next meal. Haha… We shall see.

The vet suggested that we increase the Prazosin to 3/4 tablet instead of half, twice a day. I asked why is it that Ginger was able to urinate quite a bit in the carrier but when we are home, he still strains. The vet explained that it could be because at the clinic, they have palpated his bladder quite a bit, so that stimulates him to urinate on the way home. Got me thinking then, should we also palpate his bladder at home?

Regarding the possible stone in the bladder, it might cause blockage if the stone gets to the urethra. Hence, we hope the CD diet plan will help dissolve the stone and sediments. It’s supposed to. But tomorrow, I shall have to palpate Ginger’s bladder to check if there is any enlargement. Again, please wish me luck.

So, Ginger isn’t out of the woods yet. Let’s see if there is any positive progress tomorrow.

As for the urinalysis, I will have to collect his urine when I can and send it to the clinic within 2 hours. There is no hurry in doing this.

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