Cats can occasionally experience the symptoms of a urinary blockage, which can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. In today's post, our Stockton vets talk about what a perineal urethrostomy surgery is, what to expect from PU surgery, and recovery for your cat.
Perineal Urethrostomy (PU) Surgery
A perineal urethrostomy (PU) addresses narrow or blocked urethras in cats via the surgical reconstruction of the structure. The purpose is to create a larger opening through which your cat can urinate. Typically, PU surgery is considered once it has been determined that urinary obstructions either cannot be corrected by catheterization or if the cat has been experiencing repeated obstructions.
Urinary blockages can very quickly become life-threatening for your cat. While this surgery is used to greatly decrease the likelihood of repeat blockages it will not guarantee that obstructions will not reoccur. The care taken after surgery will help to ensure that the procedure was a success, and lower the risk of future blockages.
While possible in both female and male felines, it is much more likely for a male cat to experience urinary blockages due to the female urethra being much shorter and wider than the male urethra. As the male urethra extends the length of the penis it narrows, increasing the likelihood of an obstruction occurring.
Conditions Addressed By PU Surgery
Perineal urethrostomy surgery is most commonly recommended in the following situations.
- A urethral obstruction that cannot be removed. The most common treatment for urethral obstructions is through the use of a urinary catheter. This procedure consists of your vet passing this catheter through the external opening of the urethra, which forces any stones or mucus within the urethra into the bladder. At this point, the blockage is removed and the stones can be managed using medication or surgery. If this method is unable to clear the blockage then perineal urethrostomy surgery may be required in order to allow the cat to urinate.
- Recurrent urethral obstructions. It is possible for obstructions to be common and reoccurring in some male cats. Although it is possible to continually remove the blockages in these cats, they may also benefit from perineal urethrostomy surgery to try to avoid or lower the risk of future obstructions.
The Goal Of PU Surgery
The main concern addressed by PU surgery is the narrow urethra, so the goal of the surgery will be to widen it. Your vet will complete this by making an incision in the penis and suturing it open to create a stoma (an opening) and drainage board. Over the weeks following surgery, the drainage board will shrink and your cat's fur will grow back and leave your cat with more of an appearance of a female cat rather than a male.
Post-Surgical Care After A PU Procedure
Since cats are notorious for attempting to clean and lick their wounds, as well as their potential to attempt scratching or biting at the surgical site, it is recommended that your cat wear an Elizabethan collar for the duration of the recovery process.
Your vet will also recommend having your cat kept in an area of the home where they can relax and will not be able to climb or jump onto furniture. Your cat should also be isolated from other pets to limit interactions and possible playtime which could further injure your cat.
After Your Cat's PU surgery
If your cat has undergone a successful PU surgery and has recovered without complications, then there should be no further concerns. There may be a rare case where a cat experiences another obstruction after having PU surgery, but this is highly unlikely. In this case
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.