Hi,My cat's vet just found that he has many stones in his bladder and is recommending surgey. Are there any non-surgical alternatives?Thanks very much,Heather
Type of Animal: Cat
Name of Cat: Koby
He had a blockage, and currently is at the vet's, with a catheter in him.
Generally speaking, surgical removal of stones is the best option for male cats. In female cats, female dogs, and large breed male dogs other non-surgical options include dissolving the stones with a diet change (depending on the kind of stone present), voiding urohydropulsion (where you anesthetize the patient, fill the bladder with urine and then put a lot of pressure on the bladder to try and push small stones out), or lithotripsy (where you use a laser to break up the stones so that they are small enough to pass).
Unfortunately, because of the anatomy of male cats (a long skinny urethra) these other options are likely to produce very small stones that will get stuck in the urethra causing him to not be able to urinate, which is a life threatening problem.
Your best bet is to have them surgically removed. I know that surgery is stressful for the pet and the owner but the surgery is actually quite a simple procedure with relatively few complications.
Board Certified in Veterinary Clinical Pathology, several years private practice experience