Ruptured bladder in cats

Ruptured Bladder in Cats


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A ruptured bladder occurs when the urinary bladder tears, releasing urine into the abdomen.  The most common causes of a ruptured bladder are trauma, such as being hit by a car, a fall from a height, gunshot wound or a urinary blockage caused by calculi or mucous plugs, bladder cancer or during catheterisation. Once the bladder ruptures, urine leaks into the abdomen (uroabdomen) resulting in uremic poisoning, a life-threatening condition due to a dangerous build-up nitrogenous of toxins in the bloodstream.


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 cause a bladder that ruptures quickly, however, if a urinary blockage is a 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:


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, they will assess him 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).


It will be necessary to stabilise the cat to prepare him for surgery. This will include:

  • Intravenous fluids to correct electrolyte imbalances, azotemia (high levels of nitrogen-containing compounds in the blood), and cardiac arrhythmias due to high blood potassium levels.

Repairing the bladder:

  • Drain any urine remaining in the bladder or abdomen.
  • Surgical repair of the bladder.