How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Louis Gotthelf Your Own Question
Dr. Louis Gotthelf
Dr. Louis Gotthelf , Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2438
Experience:  35 years owning a dog and cat veterinary practice. President of an animal emergency clinic
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. Louis Gotthelf is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Dear Dr. Gotthelf,About a month ago, I asked about how to

Resolved Question:

Dear Dr. Gotthelf, About a month ago, I asked about how to deal with a little blood on my cat's poop. You recommended higher fiber food and a little mineral oil, which have worked great! His poop looks normal, if a little dry, certainly better than the smelly, softer stools he was having with the EN food recommended by a novice vet. However, I neglected to ask when I could discontinue the mineral oil. People have begun the grisly stories of overuse/ using too long.


Would slippery elm bark be a good maintenance supplement for a cat who is hairball prone and has consequent issues? If not, I will just feed it to the boyfriend.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 3 years ago.


I'm Camille, and I’m a moderator for this topic. I sent your requested professional a message to follow up with you here, when they are back online.

If I can help further, please let me know. Thank you for your continued patience.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much!

I was quite foolish in not asking for the duration of the treatment.

Now that I am calmer, i also realize that some of the old ladies who think themselves experts do not know the difference between aspiration and merely sniffing something. It's true that mineral oil supplied by syringe can aspirate. I doubt, however, than the cat's sniffing his food will do anything to him.

Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 3 years ago.
Hi again,
am sorry for your long wait, I just sent the Dr a reminder that you are waiting, thank you very much for your continued patience:-)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I did check the box that says it is not an emergency, so I don't expect any immediate response.

He's allowed to have a vacation now and then! : )

Expert:  Dr. Louis Gotthelf replied 3 years ago.
Hi. I'm Dr. Gotthelf. I have been a vet for 33 years and I would like to use my experience to help you with your pet's medical problem.

I am sorry for your wait, but I am in practice and it has been a very busy day. Yes, I agree that giving lots of mineral oil over a long period of time can cause some of the fat soluble vitamins to not absorb well. But the fallicy of that argument is that the most absorbtion of foods and vitamins are in the small intestine. The nutrients are getting absorbed but the mineral oil is not and it ends up in the large intestine where it allows the stool to become easier to pass. In 35 years of practice I cannot remember one constipated cat that was on mineral oil that got into any kind of trouble.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much for replying!

And I was aware that this is *not* an emergency, so I was not upset about waiting.

Just so that I am clear on this: giving my precious furry baby, who is 15 pounds of muscle and meow, a little mineral oil--say 1/2 teaspoon--a day will not cause poor absorption?(I am basically asking what "a lot" is.) How long can I do this?

He seems to be pooping about once a day, which is less than he was with the EN, and it's not as smelly or as yellow, nor is it as soft, so my guess is that he was at more risk of poor absorption of vitamins with the irritated GI tract.

Expert:  replied 3 years ago.
I would use as little as possible and mix it with his food. The object is to prevent constipation, which has its own problems. You may need to do this daily or just use it two or three times per week. Using a small amount of the mineral oil as possible should balance too much with daily bowel movements. This will need to be continued from now on to help keep things moving.
Dr. Louis Gotthelf, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2438
Experience: 35 years owning a dog and cat veterinary practice. President of an animal emergency clinic
Dr. Louis Gotthelf and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Previous | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • Terri


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • Terri's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Cher's Avatar


    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • Lori's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • Micki's Avatar


    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • Theresa's Avatar


    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician