Urethral Catherization

Animal Doctor offers Urethral Catherization for dogs and cats. We accept referrals and provide second opinions.

Description: Urinary catheters are more commonly placed in males versus females due to small urethral diameter. Catheters can be utilized to collect urine for evaluation or to relieve obstruction (inability to urinate).  

Symptoms & What to look for: Straining to urinate or not producing a full stream of urine. Small amount of urine frequently or no urine produced at all. Discomfort or shifting weight while trying to rest. As the urinary obstruction continues it can lead to a severe electrolyte imbalance causing your pet to be lethargic and anorexic.  

How does it happen? Urinary obstruction can develop from a multitude of diseases varying from stress (more common in cats), urinary tract infection and/or a mineralized stone blocking outflow.

What questions do we ask?

  • How long have you noticed a changes?

  • Describe the urine:

  • Does your pet strain to urinate?

  • Any recent changes to the urination?

  • When is the last time your pet urinated?

  • Are urinary accidents active (standing to urinate, squatting, lifting leg)?

  • Do you find leaking or puddles after the pet has been lying down?

  • Are there any particular areas around the house that your pet chooses to urinate?

  • History of urinary abnormalities in the past?

  • Does your pet lick at it's private areas more often than normal?

  • Any recent changes in Thirst?

  • Any recent changes in Appetite?

  • What kind of food are you feeding? How much per day? Table scraps/ treats?

  • Any recent history of Vomiting/ Diarrhea?

  • Any recent changes in activity level or behavior?

  • Any changes at home that could cause stress?

  • (Cats only) How many litterboxes at home? How many cats? How often are litter boxes cleaned? Any changes in litter?

  • (Cats only) How often does your cat go outside? Does he/ she go outside on a leash or on a screened in porch?

What steps do we take to treat your pet?

  • Depending on the symptoms you are seeing at home and our physical exam findings we will likely recommend further diagnostics such as bloodwork, urinalysis and/or radiographs.

How do we arrive at a diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan?

  • After physical examination and further diagnostics we will likely have a diagnosis and treatment plan specific for your pet’s condition.

Animal Doctor Urethral Catherization potential treatment plans?

Oral medications

  • Antibiotics if there is evidence of an infection.
  • Pain medications to treat painful conditions or inflammation.
  • Anxiety medications could be an option for patients with sterile cystitis.
  • Prescription food to alter urine pH


  • Antibiotics if there is evidence of an infection.
  • Pain medications to treat painful conditions or inflammation.

What are the risks if a urinary obstruction is left untreated?

If left untreated, your pet’s condition could decline due to a life threatening electrolyte imbalance. Urinary obstruction is a true emergency!