Friday, January 11, 2013

Guess who.. (and guess what!)

These are NOT bunny buts..
They are Jack feet.
You knew that... right?

We have actually been dealing with some pretty serious issues with Jack the past couple of days.  The other night I got home from work and while I was having the "How was your day" discussion with my husband, I turned and saw Jack watching "Mirror Jack" and looking pretty uncomfortable.  He could have just paused halfway through a sit (hey, it happens!) so I kept watching him, and even my husband noticed that he looked uncomfortable.

I went to check him out and his stomach was very taught and he actually shivered while I felt him over.

Since Jack has had several bouts of urinary crystals, my mind immediately flew there.  I offered treats and he ate.  I isolated him and gave him dinner and he ate that too, but he was still very uncomfortable and restless, and he started doing the "pee pee" dance - that stance cats take when they are about to spray.  Yup.. my boy had crystals again.

Crystals are very serious.  They can easily bind together and block a cat which is deadly. No one knows why some cats get them over others, but they do know how to prevent them once a cat shows they are prone to them. You need to keep their urine acidic (6.0 - 6.5 on the PH scale) and you need to keep them well hydrated to flush them out regularly so they don't bind up if they form.  There are other schools of thought that you need to keep ash low or potassium low or magnesium low or calcium low - or all of the above - but to me that just seems to open the door up for nutritional deficiencies   I feed my cats what they were designed to eat - raw meat and as little plant based ingredients as possible.  This has kept Jack crystal free for quite some time.

The last time he got them was because he broke into a bag of food I brought home for the foster kittens. Another time it was a bag of wheat based litter he chewed through and ate.  This time I have no idea what brought it on this time.  I also find it very peculiar that I didn't get the warning signs before it got that far.  Usually he pees in a tub and I know to be very careful with what he eats for the next couple of days to keep things "flowing" if you will.  I'm quite concerned with this.. but I have no answers so I have none to give.

But this time he was uncomfortable, and miserable, and I immediately started him on the few supplements that I know will help him.  This is the first time I have had to deal with this after making the decision that this was something I could deal with without a vet.

Now be aware that I take this VERY seriously.  I know how to palpate his abdomen and feel for a full bladder. I could not feel Jack's so I knew he was not blocked.  He was eating, he was not lethargic, if he was "blocked" it was very recent and at this point did not pose a danger - the danger being an overly full bladder backing up and causing problems with the kidneys and even rupturing..   I would NOT let that happen, and would bring in a vet if necessary..

While I knew he was treatable at this point, it didn't stop me from being panicked.  I checked in with him every few minutes - and I swear I heard him tell me to stop hovering.  With an acidifying amino acid on board, and a few other things to help calm his bladder, and his being locked in the bedroom with me so I could be right there if something else happened.. we called it a night.

Um, momma... you are forgetting to let us in!!

In the morning he was better but yet things were worse.  There were a few small bits of urine in the litter box, a positive sign... he was hungry.. a positive sign.. and when I paid attention to him he danced around and leaked urine on the floor.  which is good - but oh so much worse to me..  ah well.. "better out than in" as the saying goes..

Another round of supplements, and a trek home at lunch time found Jack looking seriously bothered.  The poor boy had puddles all over the room.. and his rear end quite wet and smelled of urine.  I cleaned him up the best I could, and I would have just said the heck with it and run him to a vet if we didn't have a clump in the litter box that was 50% larger than what had been in there that morning. (and a quick check told me his bladder wasn't full - so there was no blockage)

Come dinner time he was dry and cleaner than he had been when I had left at lunch.  there were no more puddles around the room, and there was several clumps in the litter box! :) He was also far more comfortable in his own skin and far less guarded when I touched his middle.

I do not, nor would I ever,  advocate people abstain from their vets when their cats look uncomfortable or have urinary issues.  I do believe in empowerment though. There are things you can take care of yourself.. As you learn and grow in alternative healing, at some point you have to take that leap of faith that you know what you are doing and just do it... but always with the cautious mind that if things get out of hand faster than you can 'fix' them that you will need to get to a professional.  It is also why I am not mentioning the supplements I have been using here.  I'm more than willing to share with anyone who asks, but I wouldn't want someone to stumble upon this post thinking they could just give them with out knowing a lot more about them.

At this point I say we are "out of the woods" but they are just right over there.  I need to keep a close eye on him and watch his diet carefully.

and clean the room..
Urine under black light
Same photo just with a little more light so you can see where it is..
that is the baseboard near where he did the "pee pee dance" several times 


  1. Poor Jack. Purrs and prayers for you both, Connie.

  2. well with your love and care he will do just fine,here is to a speedy recovery,xx

  3. Oh the poor guy. I agree with you in your treatment. You've been through this before and have lots of experience with cats. I sure hope he improves soon--and it's a bummer that you don't know what the trigger was this time.

  4. Pooro Jack...we hope he is feeling better soon (and the girls get back into the bedroom). We have to agree - if you have the experience then do what you need to do - but don't anyone think they can just skip the vet and hope for the best.

  5. I am well aware of urinary crystals and blockage. Cosmo was totally blocked twice before he turned 2. Once more and the vet said we'll have to consider the PU. The second blockage happened at midnight and since he only pees once a day, that meant his bladder was full. He was in so much pain when we rushed him to the Emergency Vet.
    That was when I changed his diet that contained more fluids (he WON'T touch raw). So far, so good.
    I'm glad Jack is in good hands and the alternative *treatment* worked. :)

  6. I am sending purrs Jack's way - I hope the woods stay far away. My human is pretty clueless about medical issues - she pokes around our abdomens sometimes and she has NO idea what is what!

  7. oh poooor Jack...! So glad he's on raw - we wish Maxie would join Allie & Faraday in that regard. The best we can do for him right now is grain free. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try... *sigh*....

    Paws crossed that he remains on the track back to health!


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