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Special Procedure: Cystourethrogram

Special Procedures - Cystourethrography

Your pet is scheduled to have a special procedure. This information sheet will give you an idea of what is involved in the procedure and what to expect.

What is cystourethrography?

Cystourethrography is a radiographic contrast study for the evaluation of the urinary bladder and urethra. This procedure is performed by administering contrast into the bladder and urethra and then taking conventional radiographs (x-rays).

Why has cystourethrography been recommended?

The administered contrast allows better visualization of the bladder and urethra than conventional x-rays. This procedure can diagnose diseases such as bladder and urethral tumors, bladder and urethral stones, and bladder and urethral inflammation. The results of the cystourethrogram will help your veterinarian make a definitive diagnosis and offer you the best options for treating your pet.

Are there any known complications from cystourethrography?

This is a safe procedure with rare complications. Blood in the urine (hematuria) is the most commonly seen complication after the procedure, and this should resolve within a couple days. The other possible complication is a bladder infection after the procedure.

How should I prepare my pet for cystourethrography?

Pets having a cystourethrogram must be anesthetized so that they remain still for the procedure, which lasts 30-60 minutes. Additionally, the intestinal tract must be empty in order for good visualization of the bladder and urethra. Please withhold food from your pet for 18 hours to ensure that the intestinal tract is empty. Please continue to provide free access to fresh water. Ask your veterinarian for instructions if your pet is on any medications.

Patient preparation will also include cleansing enemas in order to evacuate the colon so that fecal material will not obscure the bladder and urethra. The general practice technicians will perform this service the morning of the exam. Please do not administer at-home laxatives or enema products purchased over-the-counter for human or other use. Many of these products are not safe for use in dogs and cats.

What should I bring to the appointment?

We will ask your veterinarian to fax us a copy of the medical record so that you do not need to be responsible. However, if your veterinarian has any x-rays that they are unable to mail to us in time for the appointment, we ask that you please bring those to the appointment.

What happens to my pet after the procedure?

After anesthesia, your pet will be disoriented and off balance for about half an hour. We will watch them closely until he/she has recovered. Once your pet is standing and able to move around safely, they will be hospitalized in our wards. Your pet will be able to be discharged between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. You will be notified as to when you may pick up your pet.

Your pet may urinate a large amount after returning home because of the fluids given intravenously during the anesthesia. Once home, it will be important to keep your pet away from stairs and obstacles and feed only a small meal. The effects of the anesthesia should be gone within about 24 hours. If you feel your pet has not fully recovered by that time, please call us or your regular veterinarian.

How will I learn the results of the cystourethrogram?

The radiologist who performed your pet's procedure will complete a report which will be faxed to your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will call you with the results of this procedure.


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