Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Urethra: catheterization

Contributor(s): Andrew Gardiner, Catherine Sturgeon

Introduction

  • The commonest reason for the urethra to be catheterized in cats is due to urethral obstruction Urethra: obstruction and secondly to facilitate a urinary investigation.
  • Feline urethral obstruction is usually due to feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).
  • Male cats are most commonly affected and the obstruction comprises of crystals, mucous, uroliths and urethral plugs either alone or in combination.
  • Urethral spasm is always present during and after an obstruction is relieved and should never be underestimated in its ability to cause ongoing discomfort and signs of dysuria.
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Uses

  • To drain the bladder of urine on a single occasion or to act as an indwelling urinary catheter.
  • To obtain a urine sample for diagnostic purposes if cystocentesis Cystocentesis is not successful or is contraindicated.
  • To facilitate contrast radiographic studies of the urinary tract.
  • To act as a stent for urethral mucosal healing if urethral rupture present.

Advantages

  • Equipment readily available and not expensive.
  • Modern catheters now made from materials that are less rigid and less irritant to urethral mucosa.

Disadvantages

  • Potential for urethral contusion and iatrogenic urethral rupture Urethra: rupture if the catheterization is not performed with care and anatomical considerations taken into account.
  • Culture and sensitivity Urinalysis: culture and sensitivity on a catheter urine sample may result in false positive or spurious results due to contamination introduced at the time of catheterization. The technique is, however, superior to free-flow samples for culture and sensitivity.
  • Indwelling urinary catheters are associated with a high incidence of ascending urinary tract infection Cystitis: bacterial.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Holroyd K & Humm K (2016) Standards of care for feline urethral catheters in the UK. J Fel Med Surg 18 (2), 172-175 PubMed.
  • Corgozinho K B, de Souza H J, Pereira A N et al (2007) Catheter induced urethral trauma in cats with urethral obstruction. J Fel Med Surg (6), 481-486 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Feline Urethral Obstruction (FUO): how to unblock a cat. VETgirl Veterinary CE Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0HsTgPuP14.
  • Jasani S (2011) Urinary tract emergencies. In: Small Animal Emergency Medicine. Saunders Elsevier, Ch 36, pp 215-223.


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