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Ask Dr. BJ Hughes Your Own Question
Dr. BJ Hughes
Dr. BJ Hughes, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4794
Experience:  20+ years in feline medicine,surgery, and teaching. Special emphasis on educating owners.
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Cat Veterinary
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Is it safe to give my constipated cat prunes or prune juice

? Vet checked his urine... Show More
? Vet checked his urine and since the extra water (only 2 ounces daily) His urine is good and he passes a good amount of urine daily He is very constipated OK otherwise.We have taken him to our Vet and this is his major problem. We give him water from a child dosing syringe He receives a FUS diet mostly wet with a very small amount of dry food. We have tried all the remedies we have found ( pumpkin ,salmon , bran , sardines etc, Do you have any suggestions ? What about figs?

Hopefully Helen
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Dr. BJ Hughes :

HI there --

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Constipation is not uncommon in older kitties -- and there are some simple ideas to help out.

Customer:

Such as?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

The most common ones to use are a cat laxative (hairball preventative) that is a formulated ointment which is found in pet stores etc -- but personally, I am a fan of addiing canned pumpkin (somewhere between 1/2 - 1 teaspoon per day_ will add correct fiber to the diet. Another easy one is olive oil -- this is more of a lubricant and will help with hairballs as well.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

The general dosage is about 1/2 teaspoon per meal --

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Obviously -- too much of either of these will result in a loose stool -- so if this develops then discontinue for a couple of days and let the stools return to normal. give a much smaller dosage.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

This should do wonders for simpel constipation.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

I noted that you have tried the pumpkin -- how much were you using?

Customer:

I said I have tried these remiand my cat refusesAbout a tbsp

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Ok -- just to clarify --- did your cat refuse to eat the pumpkin -- or did it actually get the tablespoon per day and not respond?

Customer:

Both. I put in on several different foods and gave it to him with syringe

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Ok - it sounds liek you finally had to give it by syringe -- how many days?

Customer:

Week

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Ok -- so fiber is not the issue. Let's look at lubricants and laxatives-- these would be the ointments and oils -- have you tried any of these? If so -- if you can give me the amount and dosage it would help me out. (I do not see any in the list you gave -- but since you have tried many things there may be some you have tried andI do not know yet)

Customer:

I also give Medi Lax Every other day now. At first I gave it every day about 1 to 1 /2tsp. Now every other with a small amount of Metamucil. By syringe also

Dr. BJ Hughes :

When was his last bowel movement - and was it very hard, have hair is it , etc?

Customer:

Sorry about that it is called Tonic Lax from my vet. Yesterday if I can t by his complaining and temper.. We have 2 cats and he chases her. and simetimes tries to bite met (halfheartedly/ I find little pieces of feces around the house as I try to check if I think he has gone. It is like a rock!!!!

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Ok -- I checked out Tonic Lax -- and you are well above the dosage for constipation -- so this shoudl eb working.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

(sorry for the typing errors )'

Dr. BJ Hughes :

But if it is not -- then there need to be some confinement of him to an area that you can observe any BM. This is imperative -- because at this point, if he is not responding to this -- then there is concern for a bigger issue -- loss of bowel contractions and elasticity -- which can further develop to megacolon. These are not terrible uncommon in cats -- older in particular. It sounds like you have taken the right steps. If this is not responding to treatment -- then an xray os advised to visualize the colon -- and if it is very full -- an enema followed by medication to increase gut motility and keep stools soft and moving.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Sometimes -- correcting the problem medically -- and then staying on top of the BM consistency can be enough. With other cases, continued medicatikonis necessary.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

If it is confirmed as megacolon = where the movement and elasticity of the colon is lost -- so it is a big flabby balloon -- then this is more involved with medication and surgucal options.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

But first of all - is to see what the colon looks like and address accordingly.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

You have definitely tried reasonable at home measures -- you can possibly try the fiber and lubricant together -- response should be seen in 2-3 days.

Customer:

OK will give it another whirl but what about the prunes and figs or other fruit?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

These are slower acting and not typically used in cats -- many do not accept the taste and there is no increased benefit over the safer alternatives.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

SOme of these (or parts) are toxic to cats -- so often they are somply avoided.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

These also serve to increase the fiber.

Customer:

How much fibre fo you suggest and how muvh lubricant? I think I can suprpass your typing errors!

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Best ones to choose from at this point is the lubricant you are currently using-- with fiber (metamucil and or pumpkin)

Dr. BJ Hughes :

For fiber -- to get this moving -- use about a teaspoon per day

Dr. BJ Hughes :

For lubricant_- use of 1/2 teaspoon per day.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

You have already tried to "jumpstart" this with higher levels of the lubricant.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Which is what we try to do.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

If there is any diarrhea -- which is a great reason to keep him in an area where you can closely monitor BM's-- then reduce accordingly. If you are not seeing a reasonable amount of BM in 2-3 days -- and he is eating normally -- then there is an issues.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

(sorry -- issue)

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Usually == when they are really constipated -- then there is a decrease in appetite as well. So watching his eating is very important as well.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Obviously -- another contributing factor is water consumption. Which if decreased, will result in constipation. SO anything you can do to increase water consumption (add to food, running water, etc). I see you are already on a soft food -- which increases water consumption as well.

Customer:

OK I will do both to-gether. I didn' t mention that I have to give the Tonic Lax in a syring eso I know how much he is getting He is supposed to love this when he spent 4 days at the vet without defecating!! I will try giving more water by syringe . as 2 oz is not very much

Dr. BJ Hughes :

I am suspecting a colon movement problem. These can respond to appropriate meds quite well in many cases. And the earlier it is detected -- the better.

Customer:

Thank you for your help. Helen

Dr. BJ Hughes :

You are most welcome.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

I hope this information helps!
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Please click "ACCEPT" if the information I have provided has been of help so I receive credit for my work. Bonuses are always welcome and appreciated. Thank you.
The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian