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Has anyone heard of cat enemas?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Just talked to my sister who got this story 2nd hand.

My niece is out of the country right now and her 14 year old boy Chief is staying at my BIL's house. Chief basically stopped eating and then stopped pooping so BIL brought him into his local vet. He lives in a very small town and he doesn't have a choice of vets. He has to drive about 100 miles to get to a city large enough for a specialist.

I understand that the vet did some blood work, but then he gave Chief an enema to make him go. Sent him home, Chief didn't go so he was returned at which time the vet gave him another enema. This was repeated a third time. Somewhere in there the vet gave him sub-q's because he was dehydrated (he has never drank a lot of water) and that made him feel better and he started eating again. That, and not the 3 enemas got him going again (I suspect).

I want to call my BIL tonight and coach him on what to ask for from this vet, or to help him find another vet. Before I do, I want to hear anyone's experience with enemas. Frankly, mine have never had one and it seems absolutely excessive that they gave him 3, when the fundamental problem was that he stopped eating. I also don't know the results of his blood work but I really have to suspect CRF, knowing his history of never drinking very much water and refusing canned food.

Any insights are appreciated. I don't know how firm I need to be with my BIL about Chief's care. My niece is calling from Europe hysterical and Chief needs help now.
post #2 of 20
My cat has just been diagnosed with CRF, so I have been doing a lot of research. I'm no where near an expert on the matter, but I have crossed over a bit of info regarding enemas. You can give a cat an enema but you have to be careful using them. The exact info escapes me at the moment, I'm sorry. Hopefully someone with more knowledge will chime in.
post #3 of 20
I brought Mitties to the vet 2 months ago and she received two enemas and it cost me over $50. I can't afford to keep bringing her for this when she gets plugged up, which is often, so I bought some "Petema Feline Enemas." They're relatively cheap. She was plugged up again, and I gave her two. My Mother in law is a vet tech, so I called her first to see if this was ok. Mitties pooped a lot after that, but it took a few hours. I had to give her one just last week and she went within 15 minutes. I would definitely consult your vet first but with their permission, you can do enemas at home. Even a warm water enema is ok. It's not easy to do, and you'll need two people, but believe me, it has saved my cat many times. Good luck with the kitty. I know exactly how you feel.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
The problem is, the cat is in Ohio and I'm in Kansas. BIL is home alone with the cat and is having difficulty giving the meds to him. But I just talked to him. It took the third enema to get him to go, and the vet told him it was harder than anything he had ever seen before. That was on Thursday and he's home, eating again but hasn't gone since. I've given him tips on how to administer the meds alone (Chief bites him when he gives it to him), and suggested canned pumpkin to soften his stools. He's calling the vet again in the morning.

The blood work was fine. No CRF (whew).
post #5 of 20
Well, there's not much either of you can do. If he doesn't have the tools to do a home enema or an actual enema itself, there's nothing that will magically make him go within a few minutes. Is the cat in pain? Is he making several trips to the litterbox and straining? Taking him to the vet first thing in the morning is the best decision. If it's an emergency situation I'd consider taking him to an ER if you have one around.... if not just try to make him as comfortable as possible until tomorrow morning. It's not easy when they feel like poop (no pun intended). Good luck and I hope the kitty is okay.
post #6 of 20
Personally, I would never give a cat an enema myself. Too high of a risk of perforating the rectum...that could be fatal. I also would seriously consider a different vet. There are many other ways to treat constipation in cats. Once the initial enema clears the problem, adding fiber to the diet should be the first line of treatment. If added fiber doesn't work, then I would talk to the vet about adding Lactulose to the diet. Lactulose is a prescription medication, and is dosed to effect. Enemas should be used as a last resort for constipation issues.
post #7 of 20
Paisley had an enema, once.

Her appetite tapered off over the course of 2.5 days. She finally ate a bit more normally at one meal, but it promptly came up. Went to the vet, could feel the hard stool in Paisley's colon...but there was a good chance that Paisley had ingested something inappropriate so they took xrays. She was full of poo, completely. She had an enema and was fine after that.

Since then, she eats only canned food and that keeps her out of trouble. No constipation since then.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
It took 3 enemas to loosen him up so this is beyond constipated. This is a very rural country vet who doesn't have the necessary equipment to do any testing, but will refer him to another vet in the county that has some level of equipment. If there is anything that requires surgery, then he has to drive the 100 miles to the nearest city. The closest ER vet is 100 miles away but he's not at that point yet.

So home enemas are out of the question as the vet is having difficulty with it. He normally won't eat canned food but has been eating it since Thursday. My niece ordered a pet fountain and that should be arriving for them in a few days (he doesn't have stores out there that sells them).

I told him he needs to find a prescription food that is higher fiber, but use canned pumpkin in the mean time (and hope he eats it). My niece was giving him some when she was home, but her vet is 400 miles away from where Chief is right now. They will call the vet and ask what food he was on.

The vet gave him a paste medicine that BIL can't get him to take - he bites him if he tries to put it in his mouth, won't eat it in the food and won't lick it off his paw. I asked him to get a syringe from the vet so that at least he can get it into his mouth without being bitten.
post #9 of 20
Try some of that Benefiber stuff or Metamucil that's tasteless.. he could mix it into his wet food and that should help easily get some fiber into his diet. That's not going to help him today though. I feel that if he is severely plugged up he'll need another enema or two from the vet. You don't want it backing up so much that it creates problems. Does he have this problem when your daughter is home? Maybe he's just stressed from the whole situation. I feel so bad for poor Chief and the BIL... I know exactly what they're going through and how frustrating it is to not be able to help. The best I can offer is a big hug and my prayers for Chief. Good luck and do keep us posted. Tell BIL not to give up.....
post #10 of 20
Yes, 3 enemas is quite an ordeal...beyond constipated sounds about right.

This article is pretty good, it covers diet and other suggestions...
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Awesome, thank you all. I've passed along the information and will check back on him tomorrow night.
post #12 of 20
Pippin had constipation issues last year and had several enemas. None of which really worked.
I had never heard of cats having constipation and/or enemas but I guess I shouldn't be that surprised since they seem to get a lot of issues that humans get.

We bought a pet fountain which got him drinking more and he's had no issues since. The vet gave him lactulose which I used for a while. I now have him eating two meals of wet food/day and that has helped also. He has UTI/crystal issues now so it was a must for him.
Generally, it seems the problem with constipation stems from hairballs and a lack of adequate hydration. Pippin also has issues with pica (eating inappropriate things). For example, if I'm brushing another of the cats he always comes over hoping for a fur treat. Yup, he eats the fur off the carpet. He also likes to try to eat the straw broom. Who knows why? lol
Anyways, best of luck! Perhaps your BIL can pick up a pet fountain for the kitty? It would probably help the situation out a lot. If he can get him eating wet food, that would help too, or at the least some sort of hairball formula. I've heard petroleum jelly is the primary ingredient of hairball remedies, so maybe a bit of that dabbed on the paws once or twice a day can help him too.
Obviously, everything should be cleared by the vet.

post #13 of 20
I am glad to hear crf is not involved, but (no surprise here) I still think you would find this section on constipation helpful: especially where it lists why enemas containing sodium phosphate are dangerous for cats (one brand that contains this is the Fleets brand).

Tyler recently began having issues with constipation...I am having good success by syringe feeding him baby food squash or peas 3x a day. My vet also worked out the dosing amount of miralax (an over the counter for humans product), but I have not felt I needed to use this since the peas and squash are working.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Devlyn View Post
Perhaps your BIL can pick up a pet fountain for the kitty? It would probably help the situation out a lot. If he can get him eating wet food, that would help too, or at the least some sort of hairball formula. I've heard petroleum jelly is the primary ingredient of hairball remedies, so maybe a bit of that dabbed on the paws once or twice a day can help him too.
The pet fountain is on order. Chief was switched to wet food last Thursday (he normally doesn't eat it). And the hairball remedy on the paw trick isn't working. He just wipes it off on anything he comes into contact with.

Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
I am glad to hear crf is not involved, but (no surprise here) I still think you would find this section on constipation helpful: especially where it lists why enemas containing sodium phosphate are dangerous for cats (one brand that contains this is the Fleets brand).
Thanks Pat, I'll pass this along also.
post #15 of 20
I feel like TheCatSite Brewer's Yeast pusher, but ...Pumpkin won't eat hairball goo unless I dust the top of the glob with Brewer's Yeast powder (found at the health food store). It makes anything yucky turn into something delicious. It only takes a pinch.

Of course, make sure that fits in with any dietary restrictions, but it's already found in a lot of cat foods...and there's fiber in it too.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
I feel like TheCatSite Brewer's Yeast pusher, but ...
You can push all you like hon!!
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
A few of you have asked me how Chief is doing. Here is the latest update from my BIL. He is sending a daily report to his daughter is in Algeria right now and I asked him to copy me. He sent this to me last night.

"I took Chief to the vet today because he stopped eating and was not acting normal. The vet gave him an enema and it worked real good. Before I got him to the car, he pooped all over the cage. I had put a towel down in the cage on top of the carpet that is in there. So, before I left the vets parking lot, I took out the towel full of you-know-what and by the time I got him home, he had pooped on the carpet too. But, I think he felt better because he started eating as soon as he got home."
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
I got an e-mail from BIL this morning. Chief's eyes are yellow and his urine is orange. He's showing signs of Hepatic Lipidosis. He's at the vets right now and I'll call him tonight to get an update.

He's had Chief at the vet's almost every other day since this started and was scheduled for an MRI today. This came on suddenly so hopefully they caught it in time.

This is not good.
post #19 of 20
For real? cat enemas? At home, without sedation?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

I have bengals. "Claw trim day" is quite enough, thanks. I have to make sure my cookies and OJ are waiting for me to help restore my fluid levels after that-god almighty-what they would do to me if I were to insert nozzles in their butthole and attempt to fill it with liquid-ha ha ha ha ha!
Omigoodness, it's hilarious.
Honestly, if these guys were ever to be real constipated, I'd rather feed 'em ex-lax. I've got children to consider!
post #20 of 20
Our cat Toby had to have an enima. To this day we call it the $700 enima because he was so sick and not moving and we had taken him to the vet several times and also had our at-home vet look at him with no outcome and it seemed he was deteriorating.

So we took him to the Animal Emergency and Critical Care center in Northbrook to find out what the heck was wrong with him. This place has a really good reputation in our area; it is a trauma center and looks more like a people hospital LOL.

It turned out he was so impacted they had to give him an enima (on top of a million other tests to figure out what was happening) and then they said he had a bladder infection.

We think what had happened was that he injured his leg and just stopped moving and these other things happened. The thing was we were watching and he did use the potty, but it just got less and less.

Anyhow they use enimas at the fancy places too. We found out the expensive way LOL. Our boy definitely needed it LOL.
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