Ruptured Bladder in Cats

Ruptured bladder in cats

The bladder is a hollow, muscular organ which is located within the pelvis. It stores urine until it is ready to be voided. The most common causes of a ruptured bladder are trauma, such as being hit by a car, falling from a height, gunshot wound or due to a urinary blockage caused by calculi or mucous plugs or bladder cancer. Once the bladder ruptures, urine leaks into the abdomen (known as uroabdomen) resulting in uremic poisoning, a life-threatening condition due to a dangerous build-up nitrogenous of toxins in the bloodstream.

Symptoms of ruptured bladder:

Any cat who has had a serious trauma should be evaluated for a ruptured bladder, especially where a pelvic fracture has occurred. Obviously, a traumatic injury will result in a bladder that ruptures quickly, however, if a urinary blockage is the cause, there may have been symptoms of a urinary prior to the bladder rupturing. These would include:

Presenting symptoms relate to uremic poisoning and may include:

Diagnosing a ruptured bladder:

Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination of your cat and obtain a medical history from you. If he has been involved in a trauma he will be assessed for a broken pelvis and a ruptured bladder, both of which are common injuries.

  • Abdominal x-rays and ultrasound will be taken to evaluate the pelvis and bladder.
  • Bloodwork to evaluate for elevated BUN (blood urea nitrogen), creatinine and potassium levels.
  • Urinalysis to evaluate for blood in the urine (hematuria).

How is a ruptured bladder treated?

  • Your cat will need to be stabilised in order to prepare him for surgery. Intravenous fluids will be administered to correct electrolyte imbalances, azotemia (high levels of nitrogen-containing compounds in the blood, and cardiac arrhythmias due to high blood potassium levels.  Ruptured bladders require surgical repair.
  • Draining the urine from the bladder is the next step. Your veterinarian will insert a catheter into the abdomen and remove the fluid. Ruptured bladders require surgical repair.
  • Ruptured bladders require surgical repair.