Occasionally, cats may experience a urinary blockage. These blockages can become life-threatening if not treated fast, and a perineal urethrostomy may be an option. In this blog post, our Gardena vets discuss PU surgery and what to expect as your cat recovers.

What is perineal urethrostomy (PU) surgery?

Perineal urethrostomy (PU) surgery in cats, also known as feline PU or PU surgery, is a surgical procedure performed to treat urinary obstruction or recurring urethral blockages in male cats. It involves creating a new opening in the urethra, typically near the perineum, to bypass the narrowest part of the urethra, known as the os penis or urethral process.

It's a valuable procedure for managing recurrent urinary obstructions and chronic urinary tract issues. While it carries some risks and potential complications, it can significantly improve a cat's quality of life by alleviating urinary blockages and associated discomfort. Cat owners must discuss the procedure thoroughly with their veterinarian to understand the potential benefits and risks of their cat's situation.

Why is perineal urethrostomy important?

PU surgery in cats is essential for their health and well-being, especially those suffering from chronic urinary issues. Urinary blockages can lead to severe pain, kidney damage, and even death if left untreated. Perineal urethrostomy surgery significantly reduces the risk of recurrent by providing an alternative pathway for urine to exit the body.

Conditions That May Require Perineal Urethrostomy

Perineal urethrostomy surgery is most commonly recommended in the following situations.

  • A urethral obstruction within the penis that cannot be removed. The most common treatment for urethral obstructions is using a urinary catheter. Your vet would pass this catheter through the external opening of the urethra, forcing any stones or mucus within the urethra into the bladder. At that point, they can be managed using medication or surgery. If this method cannot clear the blockage, then perineal urethrostomy surgery may be required 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 remove the blockages in these cats continually, they may also benefit from perineal urethrostomy surgery to try to avoid or lower the risk of future obstructions.

Importance of Veterinary Consultations and Preparations

Before opting for perineal urethrostomy surgery, it is crucial to have a thorough consultation with a veterinarian to receive a proper diagnosis and assessment of the cat's health through a physical examination.

Outline of the Perineal Urethrostomy Surgical Process

During the perineal urethrostomy (PU) surgery process, the cat is placed under general anesthesia to ensure it remains pain-free and still during the procedure. Incisions are made in the perineal area, and the urethra is carefully dissected and repositioned to create a new opening. The veterinarian surgeon then creates a stoma (a new external urethral opening) in the perineal region.

Suturing will be done, and post-operative care will include pain management to alleviate any pain or discomfort, antibiotics to keep the surgical site clean, close monitoring to ensure that the cat urinates properly without signs of obstruction, and dietary adjustment, implementing a special diet to prevent the formation of urinary crystals or stones.

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.

If your cat is experiencing urinary issues, please contact our veterinarians in Gardena today to schedule a wellness exam.