Pole’s emergency visit to the vet’s (it’s FIC, a type of FLUTD)

That’s FIC (no typo). It’s Feline Idiopathic Cystitis.  

Feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) is also referred to as feline interstitial cystitis. It is one of several medical issues that fall under the umbrella term of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). FIC is a sterile inflammatory condition affecting the urinary bladder.

This morning, I saw Pole urinating a bit more frequently than usual. But she normally squats really low, and in the dark (at dawn) I did not notice that there was actually no urine and that she was actually straining, until she showed it to me by squatting on the bed.

She showed me this, on the bed, twice. I must say, Pole is incredibly smart to think of using this way to show me. There was no urine at all.

Oh no, UTI again, I thought. Pole had UTI last year, on 31st July 2019. Again on 2nd Jan 2020 this year when we sent her for emergency treatment at the 24-hour hospital. And now, again. Some CKD cats can be prone to UTI because the urine is diluted and unable to kill off bacteria. But on both times, liquid Clavamox cured her within less than a day.

I knew there was no choice but to take her to the vet’s again for an emergency pet care. Even though her bladder wasn’t blocked those two previous times, we cannot assume it’s not blocked this time. Every UTI is an emergency.

On hindsight, I think the term FLUTD is more accurate.

She did this about 15 times between 7am and 8.30am today. No urine came out.

But she was still able to eat, so I hypothesise that it is probably not as uncomfortable (until she could not eat). But still, I will not delay a visit to the vet’s for any cat with FLUTD.

So, off we went at 9am. The vet opens at 9.30am.

The vet palpated her abdomen and the bladder felt big. That got me worried. In the past two episodes, Pole’s bladder was very small, so the vet on both occasions said there was no blockage. Now, it felt rather big.

Pole temperature was normal (no fever). An ear-prick blood test was done, no increase in white blood cells too so there is probably no infection.

An ultrasound was done and to our relief, the bladder was actually very small and what had felt big was her abdomen. Apparently, due to stress, Pole had “expanded” her abdomen. It wasn’t anything serious there.

The vet doesn’t think an infection resulted in this conditon, so it is diagnosed as FIC (Feline Idiopathic Cystitis), it isn’t UTI (Urinary Tract Infection – there is probably no infection).

So what caused it?


Sigh…Pole is a highly strung cat. She gets stressed so very easily and there’s nothing much we can do about it.  Perhaps she is stressed over the force-feeding and the morning gastric medication which involves a rather large tablet.  There’s just one more tablet to go for tomorrow.

She cannot be stressed over Minnie or Smurfy as they are “far away” outside at the patio and she probably doesn’t know about them. Only Indy knows, I think.

The vet also said that trips to the clinic can also be very stressful for certain cats.

The ultrasound also shows some “sediment” (or it could be crystals) in Pole’s bladder.  But the amount isn’t alarmingly high. It can be passed out.  The vet said this FIC is neurological. Due to stress, it sends the signal to the brain and this can cause the lining of the bladder to thin. Hence, the sediment.

Struvite crystals in cats: https://www.thesprucepets.com/good-food-cat-with-struvite-crystals-3976993

Luckily, Pole is not on any dry food at all. She has to drink more water, but so far, she has not been interested in the water fountain.

Based on the article above, I think it’s more likely that the sediment is from the lining of the bladder and not crystals, but we cannot be sure. Pole’s bladder was too small to take a urine sample this time. We could leave her at the vet’s for a sample later, but the vet thought she would be even more stressed, so we shall not do the urine sample this time. Maybe next time.

Pole was given a 120ml subcut at the clinic too as she was a bit dehydrated.

So, anyway, since Pole is a CKD cat, the vet would still like to put her on liquid Clavamox (the antibiotic that helped the previous two times). It’s liquid and easy to feed. Besides this, there’s a tablet, Papain (brandname Beazyme), as an anti-inflammatory that would be safe for Pole. There’s also Prazosin, only on standby, in case she still cannot urinate by this evening. If she can, there’s no need for this.

The vet also prescribed Cystaid Plus, a supplement that would help soothe her bladder. Look at the size of the capsule. The vet gave her the Papain and the Cystaid using a pill popper. The Cystaid is a rather large capsule and she has to be on it for 30 days. Please wish me luck.

I haven’t had much luck with the pill popper so far, so I’m going to need all the luck I can get.

The vet said to try and reduce Pole’s stress by using Feliway. Hopefully, it works on her. I have to been using it each time Pole has had to travel in the car.

Pole was slightly less than 2.5kg today, so that’s about 100g of weight loss, which isn’t so significant.

We came home and Pole was hungry.

Since she is still turned off by Coco&Joe’s (probably due to the strong smell), I tried Cubgrub, but she isn’t exactly crazy about it either. So, it had to be Primal then. Pole was okay with Primal mixed with Cindy’s mousse. At least she is getting back to raw.

Luckily I have 3 types of raw food at home.

I ordered these and it arrived this morning. Thank you very much, Avant Pet! I had already bought a few cans from Petsmore yesterday, on standby.

She seems much happier after coming back from the clinic.

There has been only one squatting episode just now, but I could not see if there was any urine. Perhaps there was because I saw a wet patch on the soil after that and Pole tried to cover it. If there were no urine, she would just run off and not try to cover anything.

At lunch time, Pole ate with everyone else, but she still rejected Coco&Joe’s. Instead she had Cindy’s mousse with a tiny bit of Cubgrub and Primal sprinkles.

She’s obviously hungry because here she is asking for more food. But she can only eat a small amount each time.

Asking for food again.

It’s okay to eat more frequently, since Pole can only eat small amounts each time for now. Let’s hope that in time, everything can be back to normal.






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