Friday, May 27, 2005

Friday Pet Blogging | Otis: Home Again

Otis has recently suffered through the longest vet visit of his short life. I think the little guy is happy to be back home:
"Hey guys, I missed you!"
Like Colin (Jazzy cat that often graces Running Scared), our Otis has been shuttled to and from the vet. Unlike Colin, however, Otis' issues do not seem to stem from an injury. And we seem to have a handle on the condition now. At least, a lot more so than we had prior to this week.
Long story short:
Otis has been diagnosed with FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease) and he is going to be on Prozac for the foreseeable future.
Longer Story (but still fairly shortened):
I first mentioned Otis' litter woes on April 15 (Hush). Since then he has made a number of trips to the vet, both emergency and otherwise. After each one, Otis returned to fairly normal activity and, um, litter function. But after a week or so, the symptoms would come back, and Otis would again have to be whisked away to a doctor. The most recent situation was Sunday, May 22. We noticed the frustated struggle to use the litterbox, the frequent squatting, the plaintive meowing, the nearly obsessive licking, and -- worst of all -- we could see that he was distended. This was about 7am on Sunday morning. Mrs. Brainwise called the emergency vet and prepped Otis for his latest trip. I had to teach a class that morning, and then attend an afternoon filled with rehearsals for two musicals. So I didn't join her. But thank the Gods she noticed his symptoms and was able to attend to him. You see, Otis was completely blocked. He couldn't urinate at all. And that is a life-threatening sitution for a cat. Otis had to be cathetered and kept overnight. And then we had to transfer him from the emergency room to our regular vet on Monday morning. We thought we might get him back later on Monday, but he had to stay overnight to Tuesday ... and then to Wednesday as well. Mrs. Brainwise was finally able to take him home on Wednesday evening, and I took a few pics while he was resting on his favorite chair. Throughout this ordeal, there was cause to speculate that Otis was suffering from a form of bacterial cystitis. And we were actually hoping this would be the case because the right dose of antibiotics would knock the bad bugs out of him and leave him relatively free of issues. But negative urine tests and this latest bout have confirmed that we are dealing with FLUTD. Apparently, Otis' condition is triggered by stress or anxiety. Hence the Prozac prescription I mentioned earlier in this post. For an account of one pet owner's account of her own FLUTD trials, read Simba's Diseases Page. She is not a medical (or a web) professional, but the page is a pretty good compilation of material on three feline diseases. For more specific information about FLUTD, you can check writeups at and the Cornell Feline Health Center. Right now, we are monitoring him. Trying to make certain he gets enough water. And listening whenever we notice he has entered the litterbox. I never thought I could get so happy over the sound of a cat peeing.
The Modulator has a compilation of today's pet posts from other bloggers. Previous Milo & Otis appearances on Prophet or Madman are indexed here ... just in case you missed one. And do keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of the Carnival of the Cats, served fresh every Sunday.
Photo Date: May 25, 2004


georg said...

As you can read on Colin's Discharge Summary, he had a kidney infarct, so apparently he had peeing trouble too. And the old cat, Rags, (who was always the old cat to us) was simply incontinent and peed wherever she felt like. So I can empathize.

I am very glad that Otis is home and comfortable, and I hope he thrives from here. I've not heard any bad reactions to kitties on Prozac, which is good.

mira said...

If you don't have one, a kitty fountain may help Otis drink more. I have one, and our kitties all love it. I think it's the constant running water that stimulates them to drink more.

Kat said...

I'm sure your vet will tell you this, but you have to make sure the cat's pH is correct. If it goes too alkaline crystals will form and block the urethra.

There are special foods for this, and they actually shouldn't drink *too* much water. If the urine gets too diluted it becomes too alkaline and the crystals will start forming again.

My aunt's cat has this, they actually ended up resorting to a surgical method to control it.

brainwise said...

Thanks for the comments.

Otis is indeed on a special diet, has been since his first visit for this issue in April. I cannot see the bag from here, but suffice it to say that we can only get it from the vet, and its purpose is pH balance.

He wasn't drinking much to begin with, and he visits the water dish even less frequently now. But he is supposed to have more water because of the meds he is on. We have found one way that he will drink: put water on his food. Laps it right up like gravy.

Right now, the prevailing water-dish-avoidance theory is that he associates its use with visits to the vet. Or something like that. Just an unpleasant memory association that will probably pass with time.