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Dr. Gene
Dr. Gene, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2663
Experience:  DVM degree from Ontario Veterinary College
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Can a cat be given liver oil? I've tried canned pumpkin,

Customer Question

Can a cat be given cod liver oil for constipation? I've tried canned pumpkin, Laxatone, and vet prescribed lactulose. Is a diet change in order? Feeding Rx dry for urinary, and grain-free canned mixed with pumpkin.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gene replied 1 year ago.

Hi there!

Cod liver oil probably won't help much; it doesn't provide a better laxative effect over lactulose, which is very good laxative, so I would use that. A diet change could be really helpful if using a specifically designed gastrointestinal diet made for use in constipation prone cats; these diets contain several different types of fiber that maximize the function of the colon and other components that are helpful in prevention of constipation episodes. Such diets a "prescription only" and are made by Royal Canin, Hill's and Purina (I prefer the Royal Canin line); your vet can recommend the specific type and/or provide it for you.

In general, unless a cat has megacolon (inability of the colon to contract effectively), a combination of appropriate diet and a laxative is sufficient to help prevent episodes of constipation. In more severe cases, medication called cisapride may be helpful (it improves muscle contractions of the colon) and in some cases (those with megacolon), surgery may be needed. All other options should be exhausted first before surgery is considered.

MOST cats have underlying disease that results in constipation, such as kidney disease, osteoarthritis and others. So, Diamond should be screened for health problems (blood/urine testing and x-rays) before changes in treatment are considered. Here is a link with some information on constipation: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=634

Hope this helps!