Urinary Tract Obstruction

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Urinary Tract Obstruction - Urinary Retention

A pet with urinary tract obstruction is in obvious pain. It strains, cries, is restless and passes no urine. Left untreated clinical shock rapidly develops. This is a potentially life-threatening condition. While urethral stones are the most common cause of sudden bladder obstruction there are other reasons for urinary retention. These include:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Urethral plug
  • Tumour
  • Prostatic cyst
  • Prostatic abscess
  • Spastic sphincter

Pets with partial obstructions dribble urine when they try to urinate. This is a vital clue that full obstruction is imminent. A pet with full obstruction may have a distended, certainly a tender abdomen. Straining can sometimes be mistaken for constipation and straining to defecate. Using a catheter we will try to push the blockage back into the bladder. If this isn’t possible, the distended bladder is reduced by cystocentesis, drawing off retained urine by syringe via a needle inserted through the abdominal wall. Most blockages are caused by stones. Those that are not need further investigation to find the underlying cause.

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