Sunday, 27 November 2011

Gin the Tom cat with urinary retention

This October Gin, a tom cat was brought in as an emergency case to the LSPCA vet clinic.  He was not suffering from a situation you automatically consider when you think of an emergency, but instead had the potentially life threatening condition of a blocked urethra.  The urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the outside world. This blockage, which most commonly caused by a build up of calcium carbonate in the wee causing a gritty paste, leads to the bladder getting fuller and fuller, without the option to empty, causing severe discomfort and damage to the bladder muscle.  As well as the damage locally, the inability to express the urine from the body can lead to something known as ‘post renal azotemia’.  This is simply a build up in the blood of all the waste the body usually excretes, making the cat very poorly. 
Risk factors: Male cats (the urethra is longer and narrower then females), a high protein diet, high calcium diet, dry food diet and low vitamin B6 diet.
Symptoms that may be seen: blood in the wee, inability and discomfort to wee, weeing lots but expressing little, general malaise.
The bladder is very solid when felt and is also very fragile so must be handled with care!
Emergency treatment: Although the blockage must be removed, the priority is to stabilise the cats potassium and sodium levels in the blood with fluids. After which the cat is sedated, with a muscle relaxant and a  cat catheter (a narrow plastic tube) is  advanced into the urethra.  With flushing and slowly advancing the blockage should hopefully remove.
As the bladder muscle has been stretched and sprained, for a few days post block removal it is common that the bladder does not function as normal, simply refilling without contracting to empty.  This means that these cases need several days hospitalisation with the catheter left in place to allow the bladder to drain, whilst administering drugs that will help stimulate the bladder to contract and the urethra to relax, to help function return to normal.  This may take a while, as you would appreciate if you’ve ever sprained an ankle or wrist! Gin was with us for a week before he was ready to go home and was a very patient cat despite all the poking and prodding!
As well as draining and stimulating the bladder, due to the insertion of a ‘foreign’ object into the bladder it is important the cat is protected against infection so Gin was also placed on a course of antibiotics. 
This is not the end of the story though as if the risk factors are not addressed (bar the being male part!) the condition has a high potential to recur. 
Prevention: Feeding wet canned food (this causes a more dilute urine meaning the calcium carbonate is not as saturated as to form a pasty plug) and decreasing the calcium and protein content of the diet.
We are very pleased that Gin is now home safe and well- one of our first patients at the new clinic and such a star of a cat!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Katherine Crosse at LSPCA

Dear Readers

On the 2nd November 2011, a week and a half ago from today, we received Katherine Crosse MRCVS from the World Veterinary Services to help with the setting up of the Veterinary Clinic as well helping to treat the animals too. Two weeks seems like a very short period but Katherine has been a great help in quite a number of things during this period; she assisted with the farm day in Dzenza, the spay and neuter clinic in Area 25, Rescues and Public call outs, reviewing and making an inventory of the drug supplies in the clinic as well as structuring their prices.

She has also left a foundation for the Standard Operating Procedures and reviewed clinic procedures paperwork to build on after she leaves. We have no doubt that she has left the LSPCA Clinic in a much better place than she found it. Thanks Katherine.

In addition to the domestic work, she helped in the treatment of some wildlife at a local wildlife centre; the health of a newly rescued baboon battling to survive was reinstated and carried out a life-saving finger amputation on a resident African green monkey that was caught up in interspecies squabbles.

Her two weeks stay has been greatly beneficial to the resident clinic staffers as time has been freed to focus on less prioritised facets of the practice since she arrived.

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Katherine and the Worldwide Veterinary Services who made her stay possible. We look forward to maintaining this cooperation for the greater good of the animals.

Richard K Ssuna

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Wow, lots of dogs' dinners...!

A big thank you to Mars PetCare for a very generous donation of tinned and dry dog food for our rescued LSPCA dogs! This is a fantastic help and will provide yummy meals for all our dogs for many months. Thank you to Andrew for arranging this, much appreciated! 


New donation - lots of paper

A big thank you to Commercial (thank you Michelle!), for donating 10 boxes of computer paper, this will keep the LSPCA office going for a long time and we will use some of the paper for our educational leaflets for schools. Thank you! Donna 

New toys to keep our dogs happy!

Thank you to Paws to Your Door ( (thanks Tony!) for donating these great toys and 10 dog bowls. Our dogs will love playing with these squeaky toys and the stainless steel bowls are perfect as they are indestructible! We really appreciate your support. Donna