Urinary Obstruction Relief

Animal Doctor provides urinary obstruction relief through catheterization. We accept referrals and provide second opinions.

Description: Male or female dogs and cats can have issues with obstruction along their urethra. However, it is much more commonly for a male vs. a female to obstruct. Male cats have very small urethras. Male dogs have a bone present in the penis (called the os penis) that stones and so forth can get lodged next to. Most of the time obstruction is caused by a stone, however sometimes it can be caused by epithelial cells and blood – otherwise known as a “plug.” To provide relief to these patients, we need to place a urethra catheter and flush the bladder. 

Symptoms & What to look for: Straining to urinate or not producing a full stream of urine. You may notice your pet wanting to relieve themselves more frequently than normal. And your pet may not be able to produce urine or may only produce a small amount of urine. Your pet may feel uncomfortable when trying to rest. They may also seem more lethargic than normal. If the pain is too much, you may see your pet pacing or hyperventilating. If your pet is reluctant to eat or exhibits vomiting and diarrhea, this too could be a sign of urinary obstruction.

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 these changes?
  • Describe the urine: Is there blood in the urine? Is the urine malodorous?
  • Does your pet strain to urinate?
  • Any recent changes to urination?
  • When was the last time your pet urinated?
  • Do you find leaking or puddles after the pet has been lying down?
  • Are there any areas around the house that your pet chooses to urinate?
  • History of urinary abnormalities in the past?
  • Does your pet lick its 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, urine culture, radiographs, and/or ultrasound.

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 to your pet’s condition.

Animal Doctor Urinary Obstruction Relief potential treatment plans?

Oral medications

  • Antibiotics if there is evidence of an infection.
  • Pain medications to treat painful conditions or inflammation. Sometimes our pain medications are multi-modal and aid in decreasing stress as well as stress is a large contributing factor of inflammation of the bladder in cats.
  • Anxiety medications could be an option for patients with irritation of the bladder without bacteria present.
  • Prescription food to alter urine pH – This can sometimes help dissolve crystals and prevent future urinary tract infections or urinary stone development from happening.


  • Antibiotics if there is evidence of an infection.
  • Pain medications to treat painful conditions or inflammation.
  • IV Fluids to help maintain hydration and stabilize any electrolyte abnormalities.

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!


Animal Doctor Provider

Dr. Makiah Versch

Click to Learn More about Animal Doctor Referral Services!