Jessica, a beautiful Egyptian Mau kitty cat, presented to the emergency vets on a Monday night. Her owner was worried as Jessica was sitting in her litter tray meowing quite loudly and unable to urinate. While male cats often develop urinary obstruction or “blocked bladder” it is much less common in female cats.

Jessica was quickly seen by the emergency doctor who suspected a urinary system blockage. A catheter (a rigid tube) was placed into Jessica’s bladder to release the pressure and allow the urine to flow freely. After initial stabilization, Jessica was referred to London Vet Specialists to figure out what was causing the blockage and if it could be fixed.

Dr Ian Jones, specialist in Diagnostic Imaging, performed an abdominal ultrasound and Jessica was diagnosed with bladder stones as well as an angry looking urinary bladder wall (indicative of cystitis). It appeared that the small pebble in her bladder was preventing her from urinating. See the ultrasound image below with the arrows outlining the offending cystolith or “pebble” blocking Jessica’s ability to urinate.


Surgery for bladder stone removal was indicated. Luckily for Jessica, London Vet Specialists has the expertise of Dr Janet Kovak McClaran, who is not only a recognised specialist in Soft Tissue Surgery she is also a specialist in Minimal Invasive Surgery.  While traditional surgery (known as a cystotomy) to remove urinary stones involves a 5-10 cm incision along the belly and into the bladder, keyhole surgery can be performed to remove stones through just a tiny incision. Following a traditional surgery up to 20% of bladder stones can be left behind, leading to future infections and blockages. The magnification afforded by the minimally invasive approach (also know as PCCL, or percutaneous cystolithotomy) allows much more complete stone removal. The videos show what the inside of Jessica’s bladder looks like before and after the tiny stones are removed.

Jessica’s surgery was a success! The picture below shows one of the bladder stones in the palm of the surgeon’s hand and the black arrow points to the tiny incision made along Jessica’s tummy.


This amazing procedure is done with the efforts of an extraordinary team. In addition to head of surgery, Dr. Janet McClaran, our team includes Dr David Neilson, specialist in Anaesthesia and Analgesia, Joey Buchholz our anaesthesia nurse, Fran Owen our surgery nurse and Dr Maite Pardo our surgical intern. Having a strong team (our family) allows us to take great care of your pets (your family!)

After 24 hours post-surgery Jessica was discharged from the hospital, feeling great and urinating with no problems. Here she is at her last re-check looking great and pain free.


London Vet Specialists

70 Chancellor's Rd, Hammersmith, London, W6 9RS

Tel: 020 7433 0155

Vet Professionals Pet Owners