Bladder Stones

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    My 11 year old 16 lb male cat had P.U. surgery five months ago after blocking due to struvite crystals. It was a bad case and he was in the animal hospital for about a week. After blocking 4-5 catheters over as many days they recommended P.U. surgery. At the time of blocking, he had a ph of 8. He was eating Science Diet dry food at the time. I was told to put him on Hills s/d canned food and buy a feline water fountain. I thought I could lower his ph without giving him prescription food. I’m skeptical of this kind of food. So instead I decided to give a mixture of canned wellness organic cat food and the organic raw medallions. I was occasionally giving him vitamin c but not on a regular basis. He does love the water fountain.

    Since, the surgery he has been excessively licking his new pee hole and exhibiting NEW behaviors such as pooping in places other than his cat box and wiping his bum on carpet after pooping.

    I came home one night to find him exhibiting the same behavior he did when he was blocked and it was off to the emergency room at the animal hospital again. Behavior such as sitting on his lower back with leg lifted in the air, as if to relieve bladder pressure and growling. I rushed him to the animal hospital…about 30 minute drive and he peed on the way there…spraying it out the front of the cat carrier on me.

    The vet, examined him and had trouble finding his new pee hole. He ended up expressing his bladder with instructions to me to watch where the urine comes out so I could tell him where the hole is.

    About 2 weeks ago, I brought him to my vet because he was peeing in appropriate places (something he has never done). That vet thought his new pee hole might be too small and suggested I contact his surgeon.

    A few days ago I brought him back to the vet because he had bloody urine and was obviously uncomfortable urinating and straining.

    They took an x-ray and found 6 bladder stones. I was told I had two options…surgery to remove the stones or change his diet to hill’s s/d and wait 30 days to do another x-ray. I chose the latter option as I don’t want to put this cat through major surgery again so soon if ever.

    Fortunately, my cat likes s/d canned food but is still so uncomfortable. straining to pee, sometimes just drips come out, sometimes more, sometimes nothing but growling all the while. IT si no longer bloody urine. I keep an eye on him to make sure he isn’t blocked but want to do more to relieve his pain while we wait and hope the prescription food does the trick. My vet says there is nothing to do without removing a stone and testing it. My feeling is that since he had struvite crystals before and he still has a high ph of 7 that it is likely that they are struvite bladder stones. but my knowledge of this stuff is very limited.

    What would you recommend either to help the breakdown of the stones and/or palliative care for this guy who is very uncomfortable? I read somewhere that berberis vulgaris might be helpful for the stones.

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