Urethral obstruction in cats

Urethral obstruction, either functional (e.g., reflex dyssynergia, urethral spasms) or anatomic (e.g., urolithiasis, granulomatous urethritis, neoplasia), usually causes pollakiura, dysuria-stranguria, or both, with an attenuated or absent urine stream. A urethral catheter will pass relatively easily in patients with a functional obstruction, whereas an anatomic obstruction will result in “grating”, difficult passage, or the inability to pass the catheter. If a complete urethral obstruction exists, the degree of postrenal azotemia and hyperkalemia should be assessed immediately. Hyperkalemia can cause life-threatening cardiac arrythmias and should be treated promptly.

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