I learned about this forum from a blog poster that found it really helpful and am hoping to connect with others who have relevant experience. We found our 11 year old kitty Gosha after he was likely hit by a car. He was diagnosed with "sacral-iliac laxations on both sides and separation of the tail vertebrae from the sacrum" which was simplified to us as a mild fractured pelvis and tail pull injury. He initially spent 5 days in the hospital and has now been at home for 8 days on cage rest. Mobility-wise, he's seeming much more comfortable, mainly lying down but also standing/walking and sitting up a bit.
However, the difficult thing is that he has not been able to urinate or defecate on his own since the accident. =( We were told that he has anal tone and sensation of pain in the tail base, which are supposedly good signs for recovery, but it's been 13 days since his accident and still no bathroom function. When he was in the hospital, he was on a catheter for a couple of days, but otherwise, his bladder has been expressed 2-3 times a day. We are learning to do this at home, and while I don't quite have it down, my OH is getting the hang of it. In terms of stool, we occasionally find a small piece in his crate that probably "fell out". Gosha does stand over the kitty litter and posture to pee and poop, but nothing happens, which is heartbreaking for me to watch. Aside from this issue, and being on cage rest, he is purring, eating, and seem to be his same old self. Though Gosha's 11 years old, he was a spry, youthful 11 year-old boy prior to the accident, in good health.
I would love to hear from anyone who has relevant experience. We've read that if bathroom function doesn't come back within a month it probably will not, but I've also read a couple comments that there may not be great longer-term data since many owners don't allow their cats to make it long enough for what could be a slow path to recovery. I'd really like to understand what his chances are of recovery and how long this could take. Also, I understand other posters may also be dealing with challenges too given the name of this forum, and would appreciate any moral support. My OH is going to be out of town for a couple weeks for work (planned well before Gosha's accident) and I'm feeling quite frazzled about having to express him 2-3 times a day when I don't have it down yet (have a backup arrangement with vet just in case I need their help).
Thanks in advance and I hope to hear from you!
I don't quite know exactly when your OH is leaving for the trip. Glad you have a contingency plan with the vet. It is easy to have the situation where one family member gets the hang of expressing first and kind of ends up doing it all. I think you'd be doing yourself a favor for your own peace of mind if you could insist on being the one to do it every time from now until they leave, while they stand by and watch or coach. Even if you just get a few drops and your partner has to finish it so he's completely empty, that is still good. Because if you can get a little, you will soon be getting it all.
Have you had a chance to watch some of the videos on expressing cats? Different people do it different ways. Here is a link, if you scroll down to the bottom of the article it has videos that may help. The first cat video about Pookie is great, you will probably enjoy it. It does not matter that he (Pookie) is paralyzed and your kitty has a tail injury, the result is the same as far as needing to be expressed.
Critters mentioned medication for poop and pee. If your OH is expressing OK without medication, then it sounds like your cat is doing OK without it. But if needed, there is medication to make them easier to express.
If he is merely dropping the occasional stool at random, you want to be sure he is not getting backed up. They say the bowel takes care of itself, but actually even though it continues to work in kind of an automatic fashion, it can be slower and especially with cats, they cat get a little constipated. You might want to ask your vet about lactulose syrup or Miralax. I use Miralax with my cat, it is easier and seems more effective. Having the colon empty makes it easier to express the pet.
Also, in the past two days we've noticed a few large spots of urine in his crate. Unfortunately, we didn't catch him in the act to see if this was leakage or intentional urination, but it was surprising as we hadn't previously noticed leakage (he seems to have the opposite kind of nerve damage).
GoshaTheCat wrote: ↑Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:39 amHi all, thanks for your encouraging responses. Gosha is on Prazosin to help with urination/expressing the bladder, as well as Miralax and psyllium husk powder for loosening the stool. He's also on Gabapentin for pain and we'll be weaning him off Buprenorphine soon. Are there any specific medications you've heard are helpful for this? A common medication for relaxing the internal urethral sphincter is phenoxybenzamine, but prazosin has a similar effect so it sounds like your vet has it covered. Glad you have the Miralax, too. We had an appointment with the neurologist yesterday who said that Gosha shows some anal tone (but not great) and that he doesn't have sensation at the base of the tail, which is different than what we heard at the vet. The neurologist said based on where Gosha is two weeks out from the accident, he's unlikely to recover his normal urination and bowel movement function, but that nothing is impossible and he would also never say never. It is kind of frustrating and hard to know what to think when you get different opinions from different vets and you respect both of their qualifications. All I can suggest is maybe your own observation will resolve the question as time goes on.
Also, in the past two days we've noticed a few large spots of urine in his crate. Unfortunately, we didn't catch him in the act to see if this was leakage or intentional urination, but it was surprising as we hadn't previously noticed leakage (he seems to have the opposite kind of nerve damage). I'm not sure either. Did they occur overnight, or how long had it been since he was last expressed, and did he get pretty empty during the express? That's another thing where it may come down to your own observation. Some people have installed nanny cams for their pet while they are away at work. If you have white bedding (towels) down you might be able to tell, I don't know how good those systems are. If the buprenorphine is zonking him out, between that and the prasozin it's possible he's leaking while he's asleep, but there's really no way to be sure without seeing, like you said. I guess one thing you can check is whether it continues when he is off the buprenorphine.
I was going to suggest something, I don't know if this will help. William had a male cat and he expressed his cat laying down because he wanted to be able to watch his cat's rear and look for any signs of the p*nis twitching or a drop of urine forming on the p*nis, because those were his clues that he was squeezing in the right place. If you are expressing with your cat in a standing position, it might help do to it on the bathroom counter so you can watch him in the mirror while you squeeze (if your bathroom has one of those big mirrors that covers the wall above the vanity). Sometimes it helps to be able to *see* what you are doing. If you are worried about it being unclean, there are several things about that. For one thing, the urinary tract is a sterile tract. But you can also put away all the things that normally sit on the vanity and spread out a puppy pad behind him if it makes you feel better. You can try it with a puppy pad under him but it may just make it slippery for him, whereas having it behind him in the area you expect the urine stream to go will not be under his feet. Just a thought.