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Ask Drhollowayvet Your Own Question
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 707
Experience:  Relief Veterinarian at Aloha Animal Hospital
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Our very old cat seems to be impacted...she can usually poop

Customer Question

our very old cat seems to be impacted...she can usually poop a little bit but now she cannot...and is in obvious discomfort...i tried vaseline on her but to help sooth her but what else should i do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 6 months ago.
Hello this is Dr. Holloway and I am a licensed veterinarian with a lot of experience dealing with constipated/obstipated cats. I will offer you some advice on how to best help your cat and what has worked for my patients. But first I have a few additional questions for you. How many days has it been since you cat was able to poo? Is she a very tolerant cat when it comes to manipulating or handling her? - Dr. H
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
several days...
not too cooperative about handling her at the moment...she is howling and nervous
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 6 months ago.
Ok thank you for the additional information. So here is what has to be done to relieve cats with obstipation (unable to defecate). Obstipation results in a complete stop or flow of ingesta through the GI tract which means we have to do most of the work through the colon first. 1) Enema - a saline only (NO phosphate as this is toxic to cats!) enema has to be inserted into the rectum to help relieve the obstruction at its source. Nothing you give my mouth will have enough movement in the GI tract to reach the colon, it has to be given rectally first. 2) Fluids- typically subcutaneous fluids are most effective at helping to hydrate the colon to stimulate GI motility. 3) X-ray of the abdomen- this is vital in cats where they have been obstipated for more than 2-3 days or our older cats. Then reason why is because older cats are more prone to a condition called megacolon (enlarged and dilated colon) that is caused by lose of rigidity of their colon. This will cause chronic issues with constipation if not treated with medication (Cisapride is my #1 drug of choice for this condition). 4) Adding fiber to the diet- fiber sources are usually found in most senior pet foods. But adding Metamucil to the diet also can help regulate her stools in the long term after her current obstruction is relieved. Now since she is a very nervous cat and it is not safe to give cats enemas at home if they are not cooperative, it is best to take her to your vet for these treatments. The last thing we want is for her to injure you or herself in an attempt to get her well. Do you have any questions so far on the recommendations above? I will be happy to continue the conversation if needed. - Dr. H
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 6 months ago.
If I have provided you with sound advise on your pet then please rate my answer before you leave as this is how I am credited with assisting you with your pet concerns today. Thank you for your feedback! And again if there is anything else I can help with then don't hesitate to ask. Best regards, ***** ***** H
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 6 months ago.
Hello this is Dr. H again. I wanted to check in your cat to see how things were going with the impacted colon. I hope the resources and information I gave was helpful for you to provide the care your pet needs to overcome her issue. Please let me know if there is anything else you need or if you wish to just update her status you can do so at your convenience. Thank you!Best regards, ***** ***** H