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A Cat Medical Emergency: Every Furparent's Worst Nightmare

My friend's orange tabby cat Ranga just recently had a medical emergency. He started to become visibly weak and would throw up after eating and have diarrhea which progressively got worse over time. I offered to accompany them to go to the vet so I lent one of my cat carriers for them to use and we planned to go to the nearby vet clinic (Rebadulla Animal Clinic in Jaro, Iloilo City) first thing in the morning.  

The following day, he drove over to the house with Ranga in the backseat in a pet carrier. The cat looked like he was just resting and you wouldn't know just by looking that he was sick. The drive to the vet was just a few short minutes. When we arrived there were already a lot of pets (mostly dogs) with their owners in the waiting area (the clinic operated on a first come first served except for emergency cases). We registered and waited patiently for our turn. After a few minutes, it was finally Ranga's turn. My friend carried the pet carrier inside the examination area while I waited outside browsing the array of pet food and accessories for sale on display. It was several minutes before my friend came back out into the waiting area looking a bit distressed. It turned out that his cat had a urinary blockage and the vet informed us that it was fortunate that we were able to get there in time since his bladder was so full and waiting any longer would have resulted in a much more severe health outcome and even death. Ranga was immediately fitted with a urinary catheter and relieved of the pressure in his bladder (my friend told me that the accumulated urine was the color of blood and looked a bit viscous) but he will need to be confined at the vet for several days with IV fluids and administered with antibiotics. One thing I like about this vet is that they are very transparent with the cost of everything from the medication, and the vet professional fees, to the confinement costs so you won't get a shock when you are presented with the bill. After assurances from the staff that they will take good care of Ranga, there wasn't anything else we could do but leave him to their competent hands so we left for home. 

The next few days were an agonizing time of waiting for the daily status report from the staff but with time Ranga got better and by the end of the third day, we finally got the good news that he was eating well on his own and is ready for discharge anytime we can swing by the clinic. Overall, the total expense was roughly 8,000++ PhP which included the medication during and after confinement, the clinic stay, and the special recovery food that he needed to eat a few days after going back home. 

After that medical scare, there were a few things that needed to be implemented at home to help prevent the recurrence of the same problem.

- Having a pet water fountain at home is ideal to encourage the cats to drink more often. The water is moving and becomes aerated which makes it more tempting to cats. 

- Making sure that litter boxes are regularly cleaned will reduce the incidents in which your cats will hold their pee or pee somewhere else. 

- Introducing more wet food into the diet and adding water to dry kibbles to further improve water intake. Cats in the wild get most of their water from their prey. There are specially formulated cat foods that are designed to support the urinary health of older cats and those that have a predisposition for urinary blockages (like neutered male cats). Consult with a professional if your cat is predisposed to these conditions. 

A ginger tabby cat with a collar and tag in a veterinarian clinic looking a bit sick - Image generated with the assistance of Dall-E3.

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