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Colonoscopy for a kitty??

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm a newbie here but really really hope that someone here has some experience with this.
Our vet has told my husband that a colonscopy would be needed in order to find out exactly what is causing the explosive painful diarrhea that our 5 yr old cat Duncan has been having. My husband went ahead and scheduled it for next Monday & then called to tell me.

When we adopted him we were told he had had a double infection and it was obvious that he had one bad eye. He had diarrhea, but it was heavier liquid and in the cat pan. In the last 6 months it seems like he can't get that far and has had several accidents on the living room carpet and our bedroom comforters.
He has been on prednisone & the z/d science diet food with no results.

What I want to know - honestly, is whether a colonoscopy for a cat is just a little beyond normal cat care...
I love all of our cats, but not as if they were humans.
If a cat is having painful chronic diarrhea isn't it crueler to put them through more humanlike procedures when they cannot understand?
I'm lost here.
Has someone had a colonoscopy for their cat? Can you help me with what happened with your cat before & after since my husband is determined to put Duncan through this?
Thank you SO much in advance!
Ruth
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
I thought I would share what we've found so far in case anyone here is ever faced with the same thing..

Duncan came home pretty much unbalanced, staggering a bit. He paced in and out of rooms for almost two hours and had some amount of bloody discharge. I would recommend paying for a night at the vet because it's hard to know if they are uncomfortable, in pain, or what. The other cats were hissing at him of course because he didn't smell like Duncan to them.

We'll find out the results of the colonoscopy on Friday.
My husband feels the test was worth it to rule out things.
I'm still not so sure that an animal, who can't understand what is happening should be subject to human procedures...
I'd be interested in what others think on both sides.
post #3 of 14
wow Ruth, sorry to hear all about what is happening with Duncan, and I am sorry that it seems no members have gone through this procedure with their kitty's (well its a good thing they havent, but it would be good if there was someone to give you some sort of advise)

I personally think, and I do know many others will agree, that we would do anything to help diagnose or help our sick cats, no matter the cost. I truely hope that this gives you some answers.

Thankyou for returning to us to give us an update. It would be wonderful for you to continue to update this thread so we can all follow his progress and hear what the vet says.

I am sending Duncan lots of thoughts from across the ocean - may he recover from whatever it is causing this very quickly
post #4 of 14
I think you made the right decision. Remember that he was asleep for the procedure and doesn't remember a thing. Plus he's not been feeling well for some time. It's worth finding out what is wrong and fixing it so he feels better in the long run. Hopefully you will get good information from the results of the colonoscopy.

Really, using medical equipment and procedures that were developed for humans on animals is a pretty amazing thing. It means that many conditions that were untreatable before can now be cured and the animal can go on to live a normal, healthy life.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the replies. I know my feelings about medical procedures on pets is different than most animal lovers.
I don't have children or grandchildren and love my 4 cats to pieces - but for me, they are still my much loved pets and not substitute children as they are for my husband.
I try to make sure that my love for them doesn't put them through procedures and treatments that are worse than loving them enough to let them go when it is time.

It was very distressing to see him last night - I hope that he wasn't awfully uncomfortable - he can't tell us of course.
Thanks for listening - it's been a difficult thing to deal with.
post #6 of 14
I know you tried z/d but have you tried homemade or raw food ... my yorkie has IBS and that is working great for her
post #7 of 14
My feeling is that knowledge is power. Spot had sneezing bouts for over a year. They were increasing, and the discharge/snot was only coming from one nostril. It was worrisome enough to me that I requested a referral to a specialist, who did a rhinoscopy (like a colonoscopy only up the nasal cavities).

We discovered an extensive bacterial infection. It was a relief to me to know that it wasn't nasal cancer. If it had been nasal cancer, I would have had the knowledge to determine whether he was currently suffering and whether it was time to help him cross the rainbow bridge.

Since it was not, we were able to put him on antibiotics to help reduce the infection (unfortuantely, his body didn't tolerate them very well, and he couldn't stay on them for the whole course due to diarrhea). While I understand not wanting to put your kitty through unnecessary procedures, I know that I feel better about having some answers if something is obviously wrong and/or painful for my kitties.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
For those of you who have been following Duncan's colonoscopy story:

It cost just around $600 and basically showed signs of colitis.
We had already had Duncan on Science Diet K/D, prednisone and antibiotics with no results.
They have given him a shot of Depo-Medrol (an anti-inflammatory) which, if it works, will need to be re-given every two weeks. The vet has said that there are a couple others we can try if this doesn't work before we would need to think about euthanasia. This is a chronic condition that in Duncan at least gives him painful explosive watery diarrhea (on the carpet, on the comforters, etc)

A thank you to sharky for the feeding suggestion. We have 3 other cats and aren't able to go the homemade route (barely enough hours in the day to fix our own suppers!)

And a big thank you from a newbie for everyone who helped me!!
post #9 of 14
Sorry to come in on this so late, but here are a couple of links to articles on colitis for you

http://www.fabcats.org/colitis.html
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_colitis.html

I know someone who had a cat with colitis and there were certain wet foods he couldn't tolerate, so she had to eliminate them completely. I have everything crossed you manage to get it under control.
post #10 of 14
Have they checked him for allergies? I knew a human who got that from an allergy. -kd
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Libertys, we had Duncan on Science Diet K/D which is their allergy line of cat food. We don't feed our cats wet food or anything other than cat food.
When he was still having problems my husband wanted to have the colonoscopy - which led to my first post!

The latest and possibly final (!!) update is that the Depo-Medrol worked very well.
My husband has a 6 wk supply of syringes and give Duncan the shot every 2 weeks and reduce the inflammation that was triggering the watery diarrhea.
So,
Duncan has a chronic condition that I probably wouldn't put a pet through, but my husband wins on this one.
And I thank all of you for your thoughts and help!!
Ruth
post #12 of 14
I'm a receptionist at a veterinary clinic. I have a cat with what turned out to be psychogenic alopecia (she's being treated with Amitriptyline which seems to be helping her). Originally the vet thought it was allergies. She received one Depo-Medrol injection (which did not stop her hair pulling/licking at all). I remember reading that because it's a steriod it's recommended that they don't receive it more often than every 3 months or so. Chronic steriod use can lead to diabetes. I'm glad that the injection is helping your kitty's diarrhea, but you might want to discuss the side effects of it with your vet if it's something he's recommending you give her long term.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmy4cats
I'm a receptionist at a veterinary clinic. I have a cat with what turned out to be psychogenic alopecia (she's being treated with Amitriptyline which seems to be helping her). Originally the vet thought it was allergies. She received one Depo-Medrol injection (which did not stop her hair pulling/licking at all). I remember reading that because it's a steriod it's recommended that they don't receive it more often than every 3 months or so. Chronic steriod use can lead to diabetes. I'm glad that the injection is helping your kitty's diarrhea, but you might want to discuss the side effects of it with your vet if it's something he's recommending you give her long term.

Good advice from luvmy4cats.

Just wondering, Ruth6:11, why you don't feed your cats canned food. Sometimes cats will develop gastric problems from eating dry food because of the high percentage of carbs in it. Cats can have difficulty digesting so much carbohydrate (not normally something they'd eat a lot of) which sometimes can lead to diarrhea. Canned food is closer to a natural diet and the high water content is beneficial to a cat's system.

Hope Duncan will continue to improve.
post #14 of 14
I just wanted to point out that z/d gave my cat HORRIBLE diarrhea, as well as my friends dog who was on it. The only reason I am mentioning this is that if Duncan doesn't have a food allergy [that you can tell] the z/d won't help make his stools harder.

Something you could try if you wanted would be to see about feeding him Evanger's Game Meats, they are for dogs, they come in Pheasant, Beef, Chicken, Buffalo, Duck, and Rabbit. They are 100% meat, you would need to supplement taurine, BUT the high protein and lack of fillers could help ahrden his stools, since it sounds like things can't get worse, this could be an option for you.

I too hope your vet discussed the side affects of the depomedrol injections because this can lead to diabetes. I'm in the same boat as you, only with food allergies and having to give my cat depomedrol. So anyway I hope things will get easier for you guys!
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