Consider a cat I treated recently. Five years ago he suffered from a life-threatening condition called urinary obstruction. It is a condition in which the affected animal is unable to urinate. The bladder fills with urine until it can hold no more. At that point the kidneys shut down and kidney failure and electrolyte imbalances develop. Without treatment the condition is not only miserable. It is fatal.
The cat had been successfully treated five years ago. After treatment he was placed on a special diet designed to prevent relapse. His owner got tired of buying expensive cat food. Anyone who has worked in a veterinary office knows what happened next. Two weeks after switching diets the cat suffered another episode of urinary obstruction.
The miserable cat spent two extremely unpleasant days and nights in the hospital with a urinary catheter in place. However, he was one of the lucky ones. He survived. I doubt his owner will make that mistake again.
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