Urethrostomy – Prevention of a Life-Threatening Condition

Urethrostomy – Prevention of a life-threatening condition

Urethrostomy is a surgical procedure that creates a new path for urine to exit the body when the regular route is blocked. The urethra is a tube through which the urine flows without any obstruction. Therefore, the urethral obstruction can be corrected with a urethrostomy.

A Common Condition

The scary bit is that urinary blockages aren't as rare as you'd think. They're often seen in male cats and dogs because of their narrow urethras. However, urethral obstruction occurs due to stones, trauma, protein plugs, or scarring. It can be a life-threatening condition, and it requires care on an emergency basis. For instance, scrotal urethrostomy is performed in dogs, and perineal urethrostomy is performed in male cats.

Preventing Urethrostomy In Pets: What You Can Do

All this talk about surgical Urethrostomy procedures may have you on edge but don't fret. There are ways you can help your pet dodge this bullet. Let's take a peek.

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

Yep, you read that right. Keeping your pet well-hydrated is a crucial step toward prevention.

  • The more water your pet drinks, the more they pee.
  • And more pee means their urinary system stays clean, reducing the risk of blockages.

So, keep that water bowl topped up, and consider adding wet food to their diet. Remember, a well-hydrated pet is a happy pet.

Regular Check-ups

Regular vet visits are essential. They're like your pet's very own health MOT.

  • These check-ups allow your vet to catch potential problems early.
  • Early detection can mean the difference between a simple treatment and a complicated surgery.

So, keep up with those visits!

Balanced Diet

Feeding your pet, a balanced diet can help prevent the formation of urinary stones. Avoid diets high in minerals like magnesium and phosphorus that contribute to stone formation. Poor diet also leads to anal gland problems. 

Monitor Bathroom Habits

Yes, it might sound a bit weird, but keep an eye on your pet's bathroom habits.

  • Any changes could be a red flag.
  • Straining, frequent attempts to pee, or discomfort are signs something could be up.

If you notice any of these, get your pet to the vet!

Signs to Perform Urethrostomy

  • A major indication to perform a perineal urethrostomy cat is that the urethral opening is too narrow or obstructed.
  • It is commonly performed on male cats suffering from the urologic syndrome.
  • The cats become prone to protein plugs, bladder stones, or sludge to obstruct the urine flow.

Symptoms of Urethral Obstruction

All right, let's cut to the chase! Have you been noticing your pet showing signs of discomfort during their potty time? Or maybe they've been trying to pee more often than usual, but only a dribble comes out? Perhaps there's even blood in their urine? 

These are all signs that your pet could be dealing with a blocked urinary tract, a nasty and painful condition that could become life-threatening. Other signs are

  • Constipation
  • Hiding
  • Crying
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Death
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy

Only a few cats will respond to the medication, but surgical treatment is the ideal option for those who face urethral obstruction recurrently.

Affected Breeds

Commonly, the affected breeds with urethral obstruction include Dalmatians and Lhasa Apsos. Additionally, the urethrostomy is performed among dogs and cats which face penile trauma, such as scarring and stricture that obstructs normal urine flow.

What Is the Difference Between Scrotal And Perineal Urethrostomy?

The vital difference between the scrotal and perineal urethrostomy dog is how the urethra is opened.

The perineal urethrostomy will open the perineum and the distance between the scrotum and rectum. For instance, the penis is excised, and the opening of the urethra is enlarged, making it an easier way to pass urine, stones, and sand.

The scrotal urethrostomy creates an opening in front of the scrotum. Also, the penis is impaired in any way. The dogs will have the same void behavior, like lifting their left; even the urine is evacuated from another area.

The Urethrostomy Procedure 

Once your vet has checked your pet over and decided a urethrostomy is needed, what's next? Here's the skinny:

  • First, your pet will be under anesthesia so they don't feel a thing.
  • Then, the vet will make a small incision to create a new opening in the urinary tract.
  • This will allow urine to bypass the blockage and flow freely. Phew!

Post-Operative Care

The pets should remain inactive after the surgical urethrostomy procedure for better and quicker recovery.

  • Sometimes, they will have bleeding from the surgical region in the ten days of recovery.
  • It is essential to keep the pet calm to reduce the bleeding.
  • Access to the litter box should be highly convenient for the pet because they will have the urgency to urinate. There should not be any dust or clay in the litter box, so choose the litter box made with old newspaper.
  • The dog will walk more frequently due to the high urgency of urination.
  • It would be great if the patient wore an Elizabethan collar until suture removal.

In the long run, pets who've had a urethrostomy typically lead healthy, normal lives. There might be a few adjustments, but that's a small price to pay for having your furry friend back to their usual, happy self, right?

And there you have it! It's vital to keep tabs on your pet's health and be on the lookout for these signs. That way, you can spring into action at the first hint of trouble. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and here's to the health and happiness of your pets!

The Benefits of Urethrostomy

The advantages of this procedure for our pets:

  1. No more Repeated Blockages: With a urethrostomy, we're talking about a permanent solution here. The risk of blockages cropping up again? Reduced to a mere whisper.
  2. Pain Relief: Urinary blockages are painful. With a urethrostomy, your pet will be relieved from the discomfort, making for a happier, healthier buddy.
  3. Saves Lives: Let's cut to the chase. A blocked urinary tract can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. A urethrostomy is a surefire way to prevent this nightmare scenario.
  4. Improved Quality of Life: Once recovered from the surgery, our pets can bounce back to their playful selves, pee painlessly, and enjoy life as they should.

Risks & Urethrostomy Complications

Overall, the urethrostomy complications involved in this surgical urethrostomy procedure for a healthy patient are not high. However, there is a risk of renal functioning due to general anesthesia. Besides this, other hazards include post-operative infection, bleeding, and wound dehiscence (breakdown). Unfortunately, scar formation is possible in some felines, and it causes urethra stricture that requires additional surgical treatment.

What Is Perineal Urethrostomy In Animals?

Perineal urethrostomy surgery will create an incision in the space present between the scrotum and rectum, known as the perineum. Also, the animal's penis is excised, and the urethra is opened to pass through the stones, urine, and other toxic materials.

What Is the Difference Between Urethrotomy And Urethrostomy?

Urethrostomy surgery is executed in the ante-pubic and perineal positions, and scrotal urethrostomy is performed to create an opening right in front of the scrotum, but urethrotomy is entirely performed on the perineal regions that depend on the urethral obstruction.

What Is the Perineal Urethrostomy Cost?

The perineal urethrostomy cost in pets can vary depending on a number of factors, including the pet's size, the location of the surgery, and the veterinarian's fees. However, pet urethrostomy ranges from $2,000 to $3,500.