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Chronic constipation

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I am boarding a neighbor's cat in my home while they are on vacation. Have cared for him off and on for about a year. He suffers from chronic constipation--he'll produce little dots of stool for a week or so, then come out with one big one. Not enough!

Last time his owners were away I took him to the vet because he was very uncomfortable. Yuck alert...vet collected almost a cup of poop manually, and Jonesy had a couple more good movements after a kitty enema. Then the owners came home...

Long story short. Owner has agreed that diet may be part of the problem. When I first met Jonesy they were giving him one can of Fancy Feast a day. He was half starved. They give him no dry food because "he swallows it whole and then brings it back up." They have since moved him to two cans of Nine Lives a day. He has plumped up and is quite sleek, almost up to where he should be, but almost always hungry. He doesn't appear to be uncomfortable, which he clearly was the time I took him to the vet.

Jonesy gets 5 mg of methamizole once a day which maintains his thyroid levels well. I am giving him 2.5 cc of Lactulose solution, 10g/15ml twice daily, and putting about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil into each of his four feedings (I've broken it up at the owner's suggestion).

Owner thinks maybe dried food mashed up? What brand that is available in the grocery store? I've read here that plain canned pumpkin might help.

My concerns are a) the owners won't maintain the four feedings, even though they suggested it (new house, marriage next month), b) the owner won't continue the Lactulose (it appears from med levels that they didn't give it to him after they returned home the last time), and c) it might have become a behavior problem.

Thanks for feedback.
post #2 of 6
the cat is. Has he been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism? That could account for the thinness. Hyperthyroid cats have quite an appitite. If the cat is older, constipation is a common problem. I changed all my cats who have constipation to all wet food. Neighbors don't sound like they should even have an animal. I feel bad for that. I used Laxitone as a lubricant also. There is a pill that speeds up the contractions of the colon to move food along better. But then again, getting the people to put the effort into their animal is another matter. Can you adopt him? You sound like you would be a good mom!
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Jonesy is around nine, I think. He's been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, but it's stable. He drinks huge amounts which makes me wonder if he might not be having kidney problems as well.

I am interested that you also cut out dry food. Wouldn't it provide more fiber and roughage?
post #4 of 6
on fiber for cats. Their colon is small and too much fiber is not good for them. The general idea out there is that wet food is much closer to the food they would have in the wild. That is why you see so many foods on the market that proclaim that they are close to what the animal would get in the wild. Like Taste of the Wild, Orijen, EVO The Ancestral Diet that is high in meat and protein. I had changed my cats to all wet after I lost one to diabetes (vet never told me to take him off dry but now I know a diabetic cat should never have dry food) because of the high carb count from all the fillers and grains. Then another came down with it at the time my other one passed away. That is when I started all wet for everyone. Unfortunately, it got soooooooo expensive I had to switch back to a very high quality dry, Natural Balance that is better than alot that is out there as far as carbs go. But of course, I feed my diabetic seperately and he still gets wet! It's a hassle, but I have no choice. If I ever get rich, they will all go on wet again. Go to the nutrition forum and you will learn alot about food and how it really does matter what you feed. With Hypethyroidism, everything in the cat
's system speeds up. Heart, kidneys (drinking alot), etc. My guy was always ravenous! I had to have him put down last September. He suffered from runny stools so bad, life was not good for him anymore. Two days later, my diabetic cat died. Found him in the am. Died in his sleep. Anyway....... do some research and you will learn alot about nutrition here.
post #5 of 6
My Jordan (6 years old) has had chronic constipation the last 2 years. He went on lactulose after his first bout. Unfortunately for Jordan Laculose is no longer an option for 2 reasons. 1 he has developed cataracts & a veterinary eye specialist told me that the Lactulose has been known to contribute to catartacts in some dogs & cats. Second, despite my vet not believeing me I (& others on this site) believe that it contributed to Jordan developing "Idiopathic Hypercalcimia" (elevated blood calcium for no known reason). It was a 2 year strugle to get him stabalized. His blood calcium began going up about a month after starting the lactulose & then a month or two after I too him off of it his calcium started going down. So he is now all better, but I still have to manage the constipation. I have found that a combination of grain free dry in the morning & good wet food (Natural Balance) at night helps. Then I do give him Cat Lax regularly. Cat Lax is made with fish oil, this seems to help him without causing other problems. There are lots of good natural remedies for constipation as long as the cat does not have a problem with hypercalcimia. For me the Cat Lax is really the only option, but if this cat doesn't have problems I know there are other options. Feeding 4 small meals a day will help as it helps increase the mobility of the colon. My concern is that since the vet had to extract the stool has the cat suffered any long term damage to his colon? This is usually know as Mega Colon & the damage can cause the colon to stretch & lose all mobility to the point that the cat must have the damaged part of the colon removed. Perhaps if his owners know that this is a concern they will be more likely to try to keep him regular.

As a side not the excessive thirst and urination can be a side effect of several disorders includeing hyperthiroidism. I think blood tests are in order, as maybe the thyroid medicaitn is not working well, or maybe it is something additional like kidney failure.
post #6 of 6
I agree that dry food, and high fiber foods, are bad for cats with constipation.

this poor kitty may already have a megacolon. The only cure for megacolon is surgery. other wise a lifetime of every increasing doses of laxatives and cisapride (a motility agent, very expensive) is what the cat is facing. I have heard of cats having to be put to sleep because of megacolon. All things have to poop and a cat that can't poop is a very sick unhappy animal.

Can you adopt this cat? he should be having blood work done fairly regularly. Cats with hyperthyroid sometimes will develop kidney disease too.
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